Bruce McKenna ’84 is the lead writer for the HBO series The Pacific. Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks produced this as follow up to Band of Brothers, for which McKenna also wrote.
According to a Feb. 28 article in The Los Angeles Times, McKenna accompanied a locations crew to a tiny coral island near Guam known as Peleliu to prepare for the $200M show. A ridge there is laced with hundreds of caves — undisturbed for more than half a century — where Japanese troops hid out from U.S. Marines during one of the WWII’s deadliest conflicts.
“There are still skeletons in the caves, and we saw them,” McKenna says in the article. “At the first cave we found, we walked in and there was the rib cage of a dead Japanese soldier. Up in the hills, every square inch is covered with shell casings and rusted machine guns. The place is unbelievable.”
The 10-part production, will run on consecutive Sundays at 9 p.m., presenting the war in the Pacific from the days following the attack on Pearl Harbor to the emotional return of troops home after final victory over Japan.