After Sgt. Pete McGill was certified as a trained paratrooper, he was assigned to the escort carrier USS Block Island. She and three other escort carriers were assigned to provide combat air patrols to protect Tern Island while the Navy built a runway on it. The four carriers circled the island while protecting it and McGill was not surprised to learn that most of the Marines on board were also paratroopers. After the runway was completed, McGill and the other paratroopers were taken by ship's launch to the island, loaded onto C-47s and dropped onto Midway Island to take it back from the Japanese.