Moving off the beaches

Amtracs, unable to do more than uselessly churn the black ash, made no progress up the slopes; their Marine passengers had to dismount and slog forward on foot.   Men of the Naval Construction Battalions (CBs or Seabees), braving enemy fire, eventually were able to bulldoze passages up the slopes. This allowed the Marines and equipment to finally make some progress inland and get off the jam-packed beaches. “Even so, in virtually every shell hole there lay at least one dead Marine…”

By 1130 hours, some Marines had managed to reach the southern tip of Airfield No. 1, whose possession entire had been one of the (highly unrealistic) original American objectives for the first day. The Marines endured a fanatical 100-man charge by the Japanese, but were able to keep their toehold on Airfield No. 1 as night fell.  It was in this sector that Sgt. Darrell S. Cole of the 23rd Marines was killed after single-handedly knocking out several pillboxes and a bunker, thereby earning the Medal of Honor.