Twenty-Two on Peleliu

Four Pacific Campaigns with the Corps: The Memoirs of an Old Breed Marine

George Peto, Peter Margaritis

On September 15, 1944, U.S. Marines landed on a small island in the Central Pacific called Peleliu, as a prelude to the liberation of the Philippines. Among the first wave of Marines that hit the beach that day was 22-year-old George Peto. This is the wild and remarkable story of an "Old Breed" Marine told in his own words.
Date Published :
July 2017
Publisher :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612005270
Pages : 368
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Available
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On September 15, 1944, the U.S. First Marine Division landed on a small island in the Central Pacific called Peleliu as a prelude to the liberation of the Philippines. Among the first wave of Marines that hit the beach that day was 22-year-old George Peto.

Growing up on a farm in Ohio, George always preferred being outdoors and exploring. This made school a challenge, but his hunting, fishing and trapping skills helped put food on his family’s table. As a poor teenager living in a rough area, he got into regular brawls, and he found holding down a job hard because of his wanderlust. After working out West with the CCC, he decided that joining the Marines offered him the opportunity for adventure plus three square meals a day; so he and his brother joined the Corps in 1941, just a few months before Pearl Harbor.

Following boot camp and training, he was initially assigned to various guard units, until he was shipped out to the Pacific and assigned to the 1st Marines. His first combat experience was the landing at Finschhaven, followed by Cape Gloucester. Then as a Forward Observer, he went ashore in one of the lead amtracs at Peleliu and saw fierce fighting for a week before the regiment was relieved due to massive casualties. Six months later, his division became the immediate reserve for the initial landing on Okinawa. They encountered no resistance when they came ashore on D+1, but would go on to fight on Okinawa for over six months.

This is the wild and remarkable story of an "Old Breed" Marine, from his youth in the Great Depression, his training and combat in the Pacific, to his life after the war, told in his own words.

About The Author

A proud surviving member of the 1st Marines’ “Old Breed," George Peto served with distinction throughout the entire Pacific War. He was later author or contributing author of several articles on the Pacific theater. In 2009, George was inducted into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame. He became a distinguished public speaker, sharing stories of his amazing life with veteran organizations, civil organizations, and schools in Ohio.

Peter Margaritis minored in History at Ohio State University. A retired chief petty officer, he has an extensive military background in communications and naval intelligence. He now writes and lectures on military history. He has written many technical manuals and guides as a civilian, dozens of reports in the military, and several articles on World War II and the Civil War. He is the co-author (with George Peto) of 22 on Peleliu (Casemate 2017) and has also written several short books on the European theater.


Early life
Before the Corps
Into Combat
After the War



"Peto's autobiography reads like a script from a Hollywood blockbuster..."

- Books Monthly

"It is a very atmospheric account of life in the front line, including beach assaults, perimeter defence, and the constant fight against disease and exhaustion.”

- Miniature Wargames

“This is a well described story coming from a remarkable man and it's a tale that has taught me things about the fighting in the Pacific...It is easy reading, informative and riveting. 5 stars.”

- Army Rumour Service

“Peto comes across as adventurous, lively, outspoken, opinionated and, above all, lucky… Margaritis lets Peto tell his story his own way, while enriching it with extensive footnotes and passages that provide historical context for Peto’s personal experience. That double perspective, with Peto immersed in the action and Margaritis writing from a distance, enriches the memoir. Maps help place the combat scenes and photographs of the author from childhood onward, looking every bit as “ornery” as he describes himself, add to its intimacy.”

- The Columbus Dispatch

“Twenty-Two on Peleliu will haunt, enchant and thrill you. And it will inspire you with stories of heroism and courage under fire. By the end, you’ll understand why these men and women were called, “The Greatest Generation.””

- New York Journal of Books

“It was an honor to read the history of this American and to have it preserved forever in this book.”

- Semper Fi, Winter 2018

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