In the grand strategy of the Pacific War, the Central Solomons operation constituted only a short step in the over-all advance on Japan. But in the neutralization of Rabaul, Japan's key holding in her "Southeastern Area," this campaign played a vital role.
By early 1943 the Central Solomons area might be described as an amphibious no man's land lying between Rabaul and the new Allied citadel of Guadalcanal, across which the two antagonists exchanged air and naval blows. The Japanese, by increasing the strength of their garrisons in New Georgia, had already begun their effort to control this strategic area. The Allied campaign that followed was designed to drive them out and establish a forward base from which Rabaul could be brought under constant assault.
It is a source of extreme pride to me that those Marines who participated in the Central Solomons operations acquitted themselves with such distinction. Despite the most adverse weather, terrain and climate, the enemy was driven out and the mission finally accomplished. Growing out of this campaign was an extremely significant sense of mutual admiration between the Army, Navy and Marine troops involved.
LEMUEL C. SHEPHERD, JR.
GENERAL, U. S. MARINE CORPS
COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS
MARINES IN THE CENTRAL SOLOMONS is the eleventh in a series of historical monographs treating Marine operations during the recent war with Japan. When this series has been completed, it will be assembled into the Marine Corps' Operational History of World War II in a fashion that will preserve the chronological and strategic continuity of the war.
This study concerns those Solomon Islands actions fought between the Guadalcanal and Bougainville areas. It deals primarily with Marine units in the belief that the activities of other services are more properly covered by their own historical studies. Army and Navy operations perforce are treated only as they affected Marine Corps contributions to the eventual victory.
Many officers and men who participated in the Central Solomons campaign have provided information or clarified evidence obscured by inadequate records. To cite each individual by name would be nearly impossible. However, grateful acknowledgement is made to the Office of Naval Records and History, Navy Department, and to the Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, for their assistance in furnishing material pertaining to the activities of their particular services. To compile the explanatory and illustrative facts and figures presented in these pages, Mr. Gerald Diamond performed the necessary research tasks involved. Cartographic work was done by the Mapping and Reproduction Section, Marine Corps Schools. All photographs are official Marine Corps unless otherwise specified.
It is hoped that this study may be improved, elaborated upon where desirable, and otherwise corrected. Criticism therefore is invited. Comments and additional material will be incorporated before the monograph is included in the final Operational History. All correspondence concerning MARINES IN THE CENTRAL SOLOMONS should be addressed to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps (Code: A03D), Washington 25, D. C.
T. A. WORNHAM
BRIGADIER GENERAL, U. S. MARINE CORPS
ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF, G-3
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