The following listing of events is limited to those coming within the scope of this book, and those forecasting events to be treated in the volumes to follow.
1943 23Jan Casablanca Conference approves ELKTON plan for operations against Rabaul. 23-24Jan Kolombangara bombarded by cruiser-destroyer and carrier group. 7-8Feb Japanese destroyers successfully evacuate 13,000 troops from Guadalcanal. 9Feb Organized resistance on Guadalcanal ends. 12Feb Gen MacArthur issues ELKTON I plan. 15Feb ComAirSols, a joint air command, established on Guadalcanal. 21Feb Russell Islands seized by 43d InfDiv troops reinforced by Marines. 2-5Mar Battle of Bismarck Sea; US and Australian aircraft bomb Japanese destroyers and troop transports en route to Lae, New Guinea. 6Mar U.S. naval force bombards Vila-Munda area.
First Japanese air raids on Russells.
29Mar CARTWHEEL directive issued by JCS. 7Apr FAdm Isoruku Yamamoto begins "I" Operation, designed to drive Allies out of Solomons and New Guinea. 15Apr First of Russell Islands' air strips operational. 18Apr Adm Yamamoto is killed when his plane is shot down by P-38s. 26Apr Gen MacArthur issues ELKTON III, superseding previous ELKTON plans. 2May Japanese commanders at Rabaul create Southeast Detached Force for the defense of the central Solomons. 25May TRIDENT Conference in Washington ends; CCS decide to seize Marshalls and to move against Japanese outer defenses. 3Jun Adm Halsey issues orders for assault on New Georgia Islands. 5Jun First long-range daylight raid by Marine SBDs and TBFs on ships in Kahili-Buin waters. 16Jun New Georgia Occupation Force FO #1 issued; sets D-Day as 30Jun. 21Jun One-half of 4th RdrBn lands at Segi Point; begins operations in eastern New Georgia. 22-23Jun Army units begin Trobriand Islands invasion with landing on Woodlark Island. 28Jun 4th RdrBn meets first resistance of New Georgia campaign while approaching Viru Harbor. 30Jun Army troops, reinforced by Marine elements, land on Vangunu and Rendova. Army troops, reinforced by 12th DefBn, seize Kiriwina. 1Jul Viru Harbor seized. 9th DefBn shells Munda from Rendova. 3Jul Southern Landing Group lands on Zanana Beach.
5Jul Northern Landing Group lands at Rice Anchorage. Cruiser-destroyer force bombards Vila, Kolombangara, and Bairoko Harbor. 5-6Jul Battle of Kula Gulf; U.S. naval task force engages 10 Japanese destroyers carrying reinforcements and supplies to Kolombangara. Some troops land during battle. 8Jul MajGen William H. Rupertus relieves MajGen Alexander A. Vandegrift as CG, 1st MarDiv. 10Jul Northern Landing Group attacks and takes Enogai. 11Jul Adm Halsey issues directive for an attack on an unannounced position in the Bougainville area; Gen Vandegrift, CG, IMAC, selected to head invasion force. Segi Point air strip become operational. 11-12Jul Cruiser-destroyer force bombards Munda. 13Jul 2d naval Battle of Kolombangara marks end of Japanese attempts to resupply and reinforce their New Georgia garrison by destroyer. 20Jul Northern Landing Group launches unsuccessful attack on Bairoko Harbor; falls back to Enogai under cover of one of heaviest air strikes of central Solomons campaign. Marine land-based aircraft attack Japanese shipping south of Choiseul; two enemy destroyers sunk. 5Aug Munda airfield, main objective of central Solomons campaign, falls. 6-7Aug Three Japanese destroyers sunk, one damaged, in Battle of Vella Gulf. 8-9Aug Main body of Southeast Detached Force moves to Kolombangara. 9Aug Northern and Southern Landing Groups of New Georgia Occupation Force establish contact. 11Aug Adm Halsey issues orders for Vella Lavella invasion. 13Aug Japanese Imperial Headquarters issues Navy Staff Directive No. 267, authorizing abandonment of central Solomons after delaying actions. 14Aug Marine aircraft begin operations from Munda airfield as ComAir New Georgia opens command post there. 15Aug Vella Lavella invaded in force; 4th DefBn included in invasion group. 24Aug QUADRANT Conference in Quebec ends; CCS decide to attack Japan along both central and southwest Pacific routes. 25Aug New Georgia campaign ends as Bairoko Harbor is seized without opposition. 27Aug Marines and Seabees occupy Nukufetau, Ellice Islands; Arundel Island occupied by Army troops. 28Aug Forward echelon of 7th DefBn occupies Nanumea, Ellice Islands. 29Aug 1st RdrRegt withdraws from New Georgia operation. 31Aug 1st MarDiv alerted for movement from Melbourne to advance staging area. 1Sep ComAirNorSols formed at Espiritu Santo under command of BGen Field Harris in preparation for northern Solomons offensive. 4Sep V Amphibious Corps (VAC) formed under command of MajGen Holland M. Smith. Australian troops land near Lae, New Guinea. 11Sep CinCSWPA requests Adm Halsey to strike in northern Solomons in accordance with JCS directives.
15Sep MajGen Charles D. Barrett relieves Gen Vandegrift as CG, IMAC. 16Sep Army troops fighting on Arundel Island reinforced by three platoons of Marine defense battalion tanks. 17Sep 3d NZ Div lands on Vella Lavella relieving Army landing force. 19Sep 1st MarDiv combat teams begin departure from Melbourne. 20-21Sep MajGen Sasaki withdraws last Japanese survivors from Arundel as island is declared secure by Allied forces. 22Sep Adm Halsey issues warning order for northern Solomons invasion of Treasury Islands and Empress Augusta Bay area of Bougainville. Gen MacArthur issues orders for DEXTERITY. Australian troops land at Finschhafen. 24Sep ALAMO scouts begin reconnaissance of Cape Gloucester area. 25Sep Forward echelon of IMAC Corps Troops land on Vella Lavella. 27Sep IMAC issues instructions to 3d MarDiv for Bougainville operation. ComAirSols planes begin operations from Barakoma air strip. 28Sep Japanese begin withdrawal from Kolombangara. 1Oct Adm Halsey informs Gen MacArthur of decision to invade Bougainville on 1 Nov and is promised maximum air assistance from SWPA air units. Low-level reconnaissance flights made over Cape Torokina region with ground officers acting as observers. 2-3Oct Japanese complete safe withdrawal of some 9,400 troops from Kolombangara. Australian troops capture Finschhafen. 6Oct Action in central Solomons ends as Army units make unopposed landing on Kolombangara. 6-7Oct Battle of Vella Lavella; nine Japanese destroyers evacuating troops from Vella Lavella attacked by U.S. naval force. 8Oct Gen Vandegrift reassumes command of IMAC upon death of Gen Barrett. 9Oct 3d NZ Div declares Vella Lavella secure. 15Oct IMAC issues OpO #1 directing 3d MarDiv to seize Cape Torokina. Beginning of intensified preinvasion air bombardments of Bougainville by Allied aircraft. 22Oct IMAC directs 2d ParaBn to land on Choiseul, night of 27-28Oct, to conduct diversionary raid. 27Oct Marine advance party lands at Atsinima Bay, north of Karuma River on Bougainville, to prepare for assault. 8th NZ Brig lands on Treasury Islands. 28Oct 2d ParaBn lands on Choiseul. 31Oct Bougainville invasion groups head for target area after rendezvous west of Guadalcanal. 1Nov IMAC lands at Cape Torokina with 3d and 9th Marines and 2d RdrRegt in assault. First successful night air interception in Pacific by VMF(N)-531 aircraft. 1-2Nov Battle of Empress Augusta Bay; U.S. fleet turns back Japanese naval attempt to counteract landing on Cape Torokina. 4Nov 2d ParaBn withdraws from Choiseul. 5Nov First carrier-based air strike at Rabaul.
6Nov Elements of 21st Marines arrive to reinforce Bougainville beachhead. 7Nov Japanese counterattack Bougainville beachhead by landing troops near Laruma River. 8Nov Battle of Koromokina Lagoon ends as the Japanese landing force is defeated by elements of 3d, 9th, and 21st Marines. First elements of 37th InfDiv arrive at Bougainville. MajGen Roy S. Geiger assumes command of IMAC as Gen Vandegrift is ordered home to become 18th Commandant of the Marine Corps. 11Nov Additional elements of 21st Marines arrive on Bougainville. 13Nov Pre-invasion bombardment of western New Britain targets begins. 17Nov Japanese aircraft attack convoy carrying Marine reinforcements to Bougainville; APD McKean is sunk with loss of some personnel from 21st Marines. 19Nov Battle of Piva Forks begins as final elements of 37th Inf Div arrive. 20Nov MajGen Ralph H. Mitchell assumes command of AirSols. 25Nov Carrier-based aircraft bomb Kavieng, New Ireland. Battle of Cape St. George concludes series of night naval engagements of the Solomons campaigns. 26Nov 3d MarDiv advances to Piva River line, having defeated Japanese in Battle of Piva Forks. 29Nov 1st ParaBn conducts Koiari Beach raid on Bougainville. 30Nov EUREKA Conference at Teheran ends. Stalin agrees to commit Russian forces against Japan after Germany is defeated. CG, ALAMO Force issues Field Order #5 for Arawe and Cape Gloucester operations. 7Dec SEXTANT Conference at Cairo concludes; CCS set up timetable for offensive against Japan. 15Dec Operation DEXTERITY begins with invasion of Arawe. BACKHANDER force conducts final rehearsal at Cape Sudest, New Guinea. 17Dec First AirSols fighter sweep over Rabaul from Bougainville air strips. 26Dec 1st MarDiv lands on Cape Gloucester at Silimati Point and Tauali. 28Dec Relief of 3d MarDiv begins as Americal Division takes responsibility for eastern sector of Bougainville beachhead. 30Dec 1st Marines secures Cape Gloucester airfield.
1Jan BGen Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., issues first ADC attack order for the drive on Hill 660. 2Jan Task Force MICHAELMAS lands at Saidor, New Guinea. 11Jan Aogiri Ridge taken, renamed Walt's Ridge. 13Jan CinCPac-CinCPOA GRANITE plan issued; outlines tentative operation plans CATCHPOLE (Marshalls) and FORAGER (Marianas). 16Jan 3d MarDiv completes withdrawal from Bougainville. Hill 660 taken by 3/7 on Cape Gloucester. 31Jan Marines and Army troops land on Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls. 1Feb Marshalls invasion continues as Marines land on Roi and Namur Islands. 2Feb Roi and Namur secured. 7Feb Kwajalein Atoll secured.
10Feb Operation DEXTERITY declared at an end by CG, ALAMO Force. 12Feb Elements of the 1st Marines land on Rooke Island. 16Feb Western New Britain secured as Gilnit patrol group meets Army patrol from Arawe on Itni River. 18Feb Marines and Army units land on Eniwetok Atoll. 19Feb Rabaul installations attacked heavily by Marine, Navy, and Army aircraft; after this date, the enemy abandons air defense of Rabaul. 21Feb 3/5 lands at Karai-ai. 25Feb 2/5 lands at Iboki Plantation. 29Feb 1st Cavalry Division lands in the Admiralties. 6Mar 5th Marines, Reinforced, land at Volupai Plantation for the Talasea operation. 8Mar Japanese begin attack on 37th InfDiv sector on Bougainville. 9Mar Talasea declared secure. 18Mar Plans for Hollandia invasion issued jointly by CinCSWPA and CinCPac-CinCPOA. 20Mar 4th Marines seize Emirau. 24Mar Last intensive enemy attack on Bougainville beachhead. 25Mar IMAC, Corps Troops, 1st and 3d MarDivs transferred to CinCPOA operational control. 27Mar Japanese begin withdrawal from Empress Augusta Bay area. 1Apr Army troops begin advance up Numa Numa Trail on Bougainville. 22Apr Army forces land at Hollandia. 1st MarDiv patrol clashes with enemy on Cape Gloucester for last time. 23Apr 1st MarDiv turns responsibility for New Britain over to 40th Inf Div. 15Jun CinCSWPA assumes command of all forces west of longitude 159° East; South Pacific campaign against Japanese virtually ended. 21Jun 3d DefBn, which landed 1Nov43 on Bougainville and was last FMF ground unit in active SoPac area, withdrawn to Guadalcanal. 27Nov 40th InfDiv relieved on New Britain by Australian 5th Division. 3Dec First Marine air units assigned to Philippines campaign at Leyte.
11Jan Marine Air Groups, Dagupan (1st ProvMAW) organized at Luzon. 15Aug 1st MAW Hq moved to Philippines. 6Sep Japanese surrender Rabaul to the Australians.
Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Jerry Holden for the HyperWar Foundation