The Pacific Wiki
Elmo "Gunny" Haney
Gunny in Peleliu


Gary Sweet


Gunnery Sergeant


Some in WWI

Battle of Peleliu


Deceased as 1979

GySgt. Elmo "Gunny" Haney was an NCO and one of the oldest in the 5th Marines. He is one of the marines to command Eugene Sledge's unit


Early History[]

Elmo M Haney was born in 1898 in Magazine, Logan County, Arkansas to Albert S. and Mary Haney. He was the grandson of Henry Haney a confederate veteran. He was listed in the 1900, 1910, and 1920 censuses. He was in the US Marines in 1918 assigned to the MGB (Machine Gun Battalion) stationed at Quantico Virginia.

He left the service in 1921 while stationed at Boston Navy Yard to teach school in Arkansas for four years. He reentered the service in in 1927 in San Diego California and was reassigned to the same Company, Battalion, and Regiment and stayed in till after WWII.


He fought in Guadalcanal along with the 1st Marine Division prior to the series, making it out unscathed. He later went on to fight at Cape Gloucester, where he withstood all the rain and diseases, and received a Silver Star for valor. He is first seen in Pavuvu, where he is fighting an imaginary Japanese with his bayoneted rifle, yelling "Take that you f**king jap" while swinging his rifle, which is also attracting the stares of replacements Pfc. Bill Leyden, and Pfc. Eugene Sledge. Haney then took advantage of the rainfall on Pavuvu, by stripping naked and bathing himself, while saying, "The health of the Corps, is the health of the individual Marine. The Marine will make every attempt to keep himself clean," but the rain stops immediately, to Haney's displeasure as he bitches that he hasn't rinsed. He is then seen training Sledge and others in a firing range. There, he notices a Second Lieutenant dangerously aiming around with his gun. An enraged Haney then picks up some bullet shells from an ammunition box and tosses it in the bewildered mans face. He then takes the Lieutenant's M1911A1 and unloads it, then gives the gun back to the Lieutenant, ordering him to keep it pointed downrange, threatening to "shove it up the Lieutenant's sorry f**king a*s" if he doesn't. The Lieutenant then looks at Ack Ack, but the Captain refuses to back him up, saying that "the Gunny's right." Haney then returns to train the men as though nothing had happened.


Gunny is later seen as one of the marines in the Battle of Peleliu. He survives the landing, and while leading most of the Company through the sniper-infested scrub, comes across a runner, who tells him he has to lead the men to the rest of the Battalion at the southern end of the airfield, which he acknowledges.

At the airfield assault, Haney was among the men ordered to take out a building filled with Japanese soldiers. There he attacks a sniper, and grins as he plunges his knife in the mans head. After the assault, Haney tries to get a fatigued Pvt. Daniels to report to a unspecified OP, (Observation Post - used as a means to keep eyes on the enemy and ensure the main unit is informed of a impending attack or enemy movement), only to be stopped by Ack Ack, who knows that Daniels has lost it. He later headed on into "The Hills," where they encounter a couple of Japanese Nambu Machine guns. While waiting the night out, he pays a visit to Sledge, Leyden, Snafu, Burgin and De L'Eau, saying that he doesn't think a dog can "smell a Jap before he does." He then asks Sledge if he can pour his Mortar fire on the Japanese if they attack. Before he leaves, he blurts out "Woof!", breaking the tension & giving the men a much-needed morale boost as they giggle, chuckle and laugh at the absurdity of it, especially coming from The Gunny.

Gunny's most notable role is in the hills of Peleliu. While taking a rest at the Airfield, Haney can be seen quietly reciting the words to a speech Haldane gives to Eugene about taking the opportunity to rest and refill water whenever possible. While heading back to Bloody Nose Ridge, a man is killed by another Marine, who mistook him for a Japanese. A saddened Haney tells the men that you can't get out of your hole at night, "because this is what happens." During another assault into the hills, Haney witnesses 1st Lieutenant Jones get killed on a stretcher. This traumatizes Haney, as he smokes a cigarette nervously, and is led away by Haldane. This is regarded by the others as an omen, because if someone like Gunny could crack, they have no chance. He is later seen in a Navy ship heading back to Pavavu, where he is seen giving Sledge his cigarette lighter that he carried even from Guadalcanal.

Later Life[]

He ultimately retires from the Corps after his experience on Peleliu. He has not been seen in the series since. He married Ethel Taletha Tirey in 1949. Ethel died in 1972. Haney died in 1979 and was buried in Benton County Memorial Cemetery, Rogers, Benton County Arkansas.


  • There is confusion regarding Haney's real rank in the miniseries. He was nicknamed "Gunny" for Gunnery Sergeant yet he was promoted to Gy. Sgt. after Peleliu. Meanwhile his dungarees bore the insignia of a Platoon Sergeant (a curved rocker indicated Platoon Sergeant during the war, a straight rocker was Staff Sergeant.) Although a Platoon Sergeant, by rank, his billet in the company is likely Company Gunnery Sargent, leading to the title "Gunny. This seems to be most plausible rank since he is usually seen assisting Lt. Edward "Hillbilly" A. Jones and handling logistics and communications from the CO/XO to the men.
  • He is the oldest NCO in the series.
  • In Sledge's book, it is pointed out that Gunny Haney is merely attached to K/3/5, and doesn't occupy a specific command role. Sledge states that he appeared where he was needed and saw to it that what needed to be done was done.
    Platoon Sergeant Elmo P. Haney.jpg

See Also[]

Eugene Sledge

Merriel Shelton

Andrew Haldane

1st Marine Division