Painting Peleliu


The artist and war correspondent Tom Lea accompanied the 1st Marine Division during the assault on Peleliu for LIFE magazine. His paintings were later published in the June 1945 issue, here are some of them:



A very famous painting: “2000 Yard Stare” – “Down from Bloody Ridge Too Late. He’s Finished – Washed Up – Gone”


“Going In – First Wave” – “For an hour we plowed toward the beach, the sun above us coming down through the overcast like a silver burning ball….Over the gunwale of the craft abreast of us I saw a Marine, his face painted for the jungle, his eyes set for the beach, his mouth set for murder, his big hands quiet now in the last moments before the tough tendons drew up to kill.”


I always found the face paint very intriguing, would make an interesting reenactment project. According to my sources the assault on Peleliu was the only time during WW2 that the Marines used this type of face camo.

The next two are quite gruesome. Not sure if something like this, about Afghanistan for example, could be published in a major magazine today without somebody going into rage mode.

“The Price”


“The Blockhouse”


Tom Lea on Peleliu


And here in front of his painting “The Price”




~ by m1pencil on June 18, 2014.

One Response to “Painting Peleliu”

  1. grew up with tom lea’s pictures ….great artist…

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