Thursday, August 12 through Sunday, August 15, 2004
First Marine Division Reunion

Hugh Ambrose, son of the late author, Stephen Ambrose, attended the reunion to talk with
the veterans about his planned new series – The Pacific – based on Eugene Sledge's book
"With the Old Breed". Stephen Spielberg and Tom Hanks are working with him on the new series.
They're hoping for a completion date in the middle of 2005. More details of the story are below.

 

Hugh Ambrose and Nick Mott.

 

Valton Burgin of Texas, Hugh Ambrose, Nick Mott and Harry Bender of Hawaii.
Mr. Burgin and Mr. Bender were with Nick's father, Garner W. Mott, at Peleliu
and Okinawa. Garner Mott was KIA on Okinawa 7 May 45.

 

William Leyden of New York and Valton Burgin of Texas. Bill Leyden was
a good friend of Nick's father, Garner Mott. Mr. Leyden is a historian and lecturer
on the battles of Peleliu and Okinawa. He is in the process of writing a book about
these events and is working with Hugh Ambrose on the upcoming series.

 

In response to the recent success of Saving Private Ryan and the TV mini-series, Band of Brothers, along with the recent dedication of the World War II Memorial which generated increasing interest in The Greatest Generation, a new TV mini-series is being produced. It will be based on Eugene Sledge's book, "With the Old Breed" which documents the Marines in the Pacific battles on Peleliu and Okinawa. The series is presently referred to as "Pacific" and, hopefully, will be a reality by mid to late 2005.

Mr. R. V. Burgin, Texas, First Marine Div, K Company, is proudly representing Sledge, who is deceased, and is working closely on the production with historian and producer, Hugh Ambrose, son of the late Stephen Ambrose. Bruce McKennah, one of the screen writers for Band of Brothers, is again the screen writer for this new series.

Mr. Burgin states that he initially had a 7.5 hour telephone interview with Hugh Ambrose. Then, on April 8, 2004, Mr. and Mrs. Burgin, and Bill Leyden, from NewYork, a historian and lecturer on the battles of Peleliu and Okinawa, also from K Company, First Marines, were flown to California, "to hang out with Hugh Ambrose, Stephen Spielberg, and Tom Hanks" for more interviews. Eugene Sledge's widow and two sons were flown there also. They were taken to the studio in Burbank, where they taped interviews for the series. Mr. Burgin relates, "we were treated like royalty!" Harry Bender, of Hawaii, is another of the K Company Marines, being interviewed by phone.

Mr. Hugh Ambrose attended the First Marine Division Reunion, and was guest of the K Company Marines August 12 - 15, 2004 in Washington D.C. Hugh talked and listened to the men share their experiences, in the Hospitality Room. He was impressed with the new WW II Memorial. Hugh's Father, Stephen Ambrose was an early supporter of the WW II Memorial.

Nick and Darlene Mott, and their grandson Braden Dellinger, were in attendance also, and got to talk with Hugh frequently. Nick's Father, Garner William Mott, was with K Company - and was wounded on Peleliu and killed on Okinawa, on May 7, 1945. This series is so exciting to Nick, because it will trace his Father's last steps in battle!

The next planned interview for the series, will consist of Hugh Ambrose traveling to the home of R. V. Burgin, in Texas, later this Fall. Mr Burgin states: "It is an honor to see these great professionals devote so much attention to the Marine Corps' efforts in the Pacific and document history!"

The photos and story were provided by Nick Mott, with thanks and congratulations to Nick
for representing AWON as well as Garner Mott in this process of bringing history to the screen.