August 22, 2020, the Upcountry History Museum-Furman University, opens its newest exhibition, Ghost Trail: U.S. Marines & The Battle of Tarawa in the Pacific, 1943, which will transport visitors back in time to World War II where, on a small sliver of land in the Pacific Ocean, United States Marines, soldiers, and sailors defied logic, secured a key victory, and laid bare raw acts of heroism that define courage.
Through a combination of original combat art by renowned artist/illustrator Kerr Eby and film footage of the battle, visitors will be able to follow the three-day battle from the pre-assault bombardment and amphibious landings to the unrelenting enemy fire from entrenched Japanese troops taking aim with their own naval guns. The degree of detail displayed in Eby’s drawings shows the power of emotion, the concentration of elements in battle, and the realities of a coordinated air, sea and land assault on all involved.
Ghost Trail reveals an intensity through art that draws visitors into a greater understanding of the strategic significance afforded the many tiny specks of land, coral reefs and sand by the U.S. military during its unprecedented “island-hopping” campaign which turned the vast distances in the Pacific into an American ally.
This unique exhibition, on display through January 3, 2021, is hosted by the Museum in partnership with the U.S. Navy History and Heritage Command to commemorate the service and sacrifice of those who fought at the Battle of Tarawa. With the opening of this exhibition, the Museum proudly continues its strong legacy of honoring the men and women who have worn a military uniform in service of their country. The Battle of Tarawa was a turning point not only in the Pacific Theater, but in the minds of the American public. Ghost Trail inspires a deeper appreciation and respect for the sacrifices made by so many.