Guadalcanal. Iwo Jima. Saipan. These names and others from the Pacific Theater during World War II serve as a kind of brutal shorthand for scenes of unspeakable carnage and unfathomable courage. But for reasons lost to the decades, countless other pivotal battles in the Pacific have been largely forgotten. Here, LIFE.com recalls one of those pivotal battles.
As the Massachusetts high school volleyball player suspended for coming to the aid of a boozed-up pal served out the final game of her punishment Friday, an e-mail penned by a police officer that appears to exonerate her has come to light.