Guadalcanal

Guadalcanal

Guadalcanal, an island in the Solomons archipelago in the South Pacific, was the scene of the first U.S. offensive land action against Japan in World War II.  American Marines landed on Guadalcanal in August 1942 and were later supported by U.S. Army troops.  The Japanese defended Guadalcanal tenaciously, and the Americans did not declare the island secure until February 1943, and the victory was a turning point in the Pacific War.  Numerous naval battles occurred off the shores of Guadalcanal as well.

Guadalcanal

Midnight Raid in Iron Bottom Sound

By John Domagalski

Shortland Harbor was bustling with activity during the late morning hours of December 7, 1942. A group of warships were slowly getting underway, making for the open sea. Read more

Guadalcanal

Japan’s Underwater Aircraft Carriers

By Phil Zimmer

Lieutenant Commander Stephen L. Johnson had a problem on his hands; a very large problem. His Balao-class submarine, the Segundo, had just picked up a large radar contact on the surface about 100 miles off Honshu, one of Japan’s home islands, heading south toward Tokyo.  Read more

Nicknamed “Peashooter,” the P-39 Airacobra was maligned by many.

Guadalcanal

WWII Planes: The Bell P-39 Airacobra “Peashooter”

by Sam McGowan

If there is an American combat airplane that has achieved an ill-deserved reputation, no doubt it would be the much-maligned Bell P-39 Airacobra, a tricycle landing gear single-engine fighter whose reputation was greatly overshadowed by the more famous, and of more recent design, Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, and North American P-51 Mustang. Read more

It was during the now-infamous Goettge Patrol Incident that marines died in one of the first publicized atrocities of the South Pacific.

Guadalcanal

The Ill-Fated Goettge Patrol Incident in the Early Days of Guadalcanal

By John Wukovits

The summer of 1942 had brought uplifting news for the United States in the Pacific Theater. After a numbing series of setbacks, including the December 1941 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent fall of Guam and the Philippines, the nation’s Navy had husbanded its depleted forces and, with the crucial aid of naval intelligence, halted the Japanese in the May 1942 Battle of the Coral Sea and the June Battle of Midway. Read more

During the Battle of the Tenaru, U.S. Marines annihilated a detachment of elite Japanese troops.

Guadalcanal

Marine Stand on Guadalcanal

By David Alan Johnson

At about 2:30 on the morning of August 21, 1942, U.S. Marine units east of Henderson Field on the embattled island of Guadalcanal were awakened by several bursts of machinegun fire. Read more

Allied efforts at the Battle of Wake Island gave America hope in the opening days of WWII. The heroism of the Marines was never forgotten.

Guadalcanal

WWII’s Battle of Wake Island: An Unsteady Victory

by John Wukovits

In mid-December 1941, during the thick of the Battle of Wake Island, the 400 U.S. Marines who called the island outpost home stood a lonely sentinel in the watery Central Pacific wilderness, like a cavalry fort in an oceanic version of the Western frontier. Read more

Guadalcanal

The Doomed Expansion of Imperial Japan

by Michael E. Haskew

Since 1931, Japan’s army had asserted control over territory on the continent of Asia, brushing aside Chinese resistance, condemnation and political pressure from other nations, and most recently, the Allied military. Read more

Guadalcanal

Bloody Tarawa: Betio’s Lagoon

By John Wukovits

Colonel Merritt A. Edson, the 2nd Marine Division’s chief of staff, and Colonel David M. Shoup designed a simple plan to seize Betio—land along its northern beaches, drive straight across the narrow island, and kill the defenders. Read more