Marines in World War II
Historical Monograph

The Guadalcanal Campaign

by Major John L. Zimmerman, USMCR Historical Section, Division of Public Information
Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps

Cover graphic


Forword iii
Preface iv
Special Prefatory Note v
Chapter I. Prelude to the Offensive 1
    Advance of the Japanese 1
    U.S. Countermeasures 4
    U.S. Means Available 10
    Accumulation of Intelligence 14
    Planning and Mounting Out 19
    Rehearsals and Movement to the Objective 22
Chapter II. Landings on Tulagi and Gavutu-Tanambogo 26
    Tulagi. The First Day 26
    Tulagi. The First Night and Succeeding Day 31
    Landings on Gavutu-Tanambogo 33
Chapter III. Guadalcanal--The First Three Days 41
    Intelligence Situation 41
    The First Day 44
    General Vandegrift's Change of Plan 47
    The Naval Withdrawal 49
    Withdrawal of Task Force 62 52
Chapter IV. Establishment of the Perimeter and Battle of the Tenaru 55
    The Goettge Patrol 58
    First Action along the Matanikau 60
    The Brush Patrol 61
    Beginning of Air Support 62
    Battle of the Tenaru 65
Chapter V. The Battle of the Ridge 73
    Second Action along the Matanikau 77
    The Tasimboko Raid 79
    Gathering Strength 82
    The Battle of the Ridge 84
Chapter VI. Development of the Perimeter and Actions to the West 92
    Coming of the Seventh Marines 93
    Action on the Matanikau, 24-26 September 96
    Actions on 7-9 October 101
    The Battle of Cape Esperance 104
Chapter VII. Expansion to the West and the October Attack on the Airfield 106
    Action at Gurubusa and Koilotumaria 112
    The Attack of 21-28 October 113
    Matanikau Phase 114
    The Inland Phase--24-26 October 117
    The Enemy Situation--21-28 October 123
    The Battle of Santa Cruz 126
Chapter VIII. Critical November 128
    The Aola Base 128
    Further Action on the Matanikau 130
    The Koli Point Action 133
    The Second Raider Battalion 141
    The Battle of Guadalcanal 145
Chapter IX. Final Period--9 December 1942 to 9 February 1943 156
    Relief of the 1st Division 156
    Coming of the 2d Division 159
    Patrol of the 132d Infantry 162
    The Final Drive 162
Chapter X. Conclusions 165
A. Casualties 168
B. Bibliography 170
C. Native Help 173
D. Medical Experience 176
E. Station List 181
F. Marine Corps Aces 189

Men Who Took Tulagi
The Japanese Commenced An Airstrip
Gen. A. A. Vandegrift
Guadalcanal Presents A Varied Terrain
South Pacific Jungle
Crude Maps
Enroute to the Objective
Advance Along Tulagi
Final Assaults on Tulagi
Japanese Seaplane Anchorage, Gavutu-Tanambogo
Surprise Was Impossible
Gavutu and the Causeway
Loyal Natives
The Transport, George F. Elliot
Victim of Savo Island
The Existence of the Fleet Marine Force
Beach Defenses
First Plane to Land
Using Captured Japanese Guns
90mm Anti-Aircraft Guns
Loser at Tenaru
Sgt. Maj. Vousa
The Japanese Suffered Total Casualties
Carrier Torpedo Planes
Five Army P-400s Arrived
Marine Fighter Planes
Maj. John L. Smith
Marine Fighters
Kawaguchi Brigade Headquarters
Maj. Gen. Roy S. Geiger
Luckier at Home Than at Edson's Ridge
Where the Tide Turned
Wire Protected the 1st Marines' Positions
Col. Merritt A. Edson
Maj. Kenneth D. Bailey
Patrolling Intensified
Advanced Air Base Operations
Heavy Pressure on the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines
The Japanese Had The Advantage
In a Tight Spot
Action on the Matanikau
Horseshot Defense Along the Matanikau
Lt. Col. Harold W. Bauer
Malaria Began to Make Itself Felt
Air Evacuation
Capt J. J. Foss
The Operation Bogged Down
With Bow Over Dry Land
Native Help Payed Off
"Pistol Pete"?
Japanese Medium Tanks
Scientific Extermination
Sgt. John Basilone
Unremitting Japanese Air Attacks
Anti-Aircraft Gunners
Sgt. Mitchell Paige
Lt. Gen. Hyakutake
Vandegrift's Opponent
The Commandant Inspects
Additional Units Arrive
Operations Above Point Cruz
The Engineers Succeeded
Heavy Casualties Were Suffered
Gunfire Support by Day, Torpedoes by Night
Carlson's Raiders on the March
Plummeting Down
Maj. R. E. Galer
On The Way Out
Maj. Gen. Patch, USA
The Army Arrives
Matanikau Positions in December
Inside the Stockade
Guadalcanal was the Turning Point
Guadalcanal and Florida Islands
Approach of Task Forces 61 & 62 to Guadalcanal
Guadalcanl-Tulagi Objective Area
Initial Dispositions-Guadalcanal, 7 August 1942
The Perimeter
Battle of the Tenaru, 21 August 1942
Edson's Ridge-First Phase
Battle of Edson's Ridge
Edson's Ridge-Final Phase
Perimiter Following Battle of Edson's Ridge
Operation Along the Matanikau, 23 to 27 September
October Attacks Along the Perimeter
Conoley's Action, 24-26 October 1942
Carlson's Patrol: 4 November-4 December 1942

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Last updated: 9 June 2009
Compiled and formatted by Patrick Clancey