Appendix III

23 January

Japan seizes Rabaul; lands at Kieta, Bougainville

12 March

Jananese forces invade Bougainville and raise their flag after a short struggle

20 April

The South Pacific Command established

8 May

Battle of Coral Sea; further Japanese advances to the south halted

19 June

Vice Admiral Robert Ghormley, USN, assumes command as COMSOPAC

7 August

1st Marine Division lands on Guadalcanal; first American land offensive undertaken in the war against Japan

8-9 August

Battle of Savo Island; U.S. Fleet suffers a defeat while protecting Guadalcanal

23-25 August

Battle of Eastern Solomon Islands; U.S. Carrier forces turn back Japanese attempt to bring reinforcements to Guadalcanal

2 October

U.S. Marines occupy Funafuti

5 October

U.S. carrier aircraft raid Buin-Faisi-Tonelei area, Bougainville

11 October

Battle of Cape Esperance, Guadalcanal; U.S. fleet turns back another Japanese attempt to retake Guadalcanal from the sea

18 October

Vice Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., U.S.N., relieves Admiral Ghormley as COMSOPAC

26 October

Battle of Santa Cruz Island; U.S. planes and surface units inflict severe damage on the Japanese

13-15 November

Battle of Guadalcanal; final Japanese attempt to engage in naval action in the southern Solomons ends in disaster for Japanese navy

30 November

Battle of Tassafaronga, Guadalcanal; a naval meeting engagement ending in a draw

9 December

Major General Vandegrift, USMC, relieved by Major General Patch, USA, of command at Guadalcanal; 5th Marines relieved by Army troops preparatory to their withdrawal

7-8 February

Japanese Naval feint enables Japan to deceive U.S. Fleet and facilitate the final evacuation of Japanese forces from Guadalcanal

21 February

3d Raider Battalion and Army troops seize the Russell Islands

1-4 March

Battle of the Bismarck Sea

5-6 March

Vila-Munda bombarded by U.S. DD-CA Task Force


12-13 May

Vila-Munda bombarded by DD-CA Task Force; Kolombangara coast mined

21 June

4th Raiders and Army troops land at Segi Point, New Georgia

29-30 June

Vila-Munda and Shortland-Faisi areas bombarded by DD-CA Task Force; Shortland Harbor mined

30 June

Initial landing of 1st Raider Battalion and 43d Inf. Div. (Maj. Gen Hester) captures Rendova Island, Wickham Anchorage, Segi, and Viru, all in the New Georgia Area

30 June

12th Defense Bn. and Army troops occupy Trobriand and Woodlark Islands

1 July

9th Defense Battalion, FMF, shells Munda

4 July

9th Defense Battalion, FMF, establishes new record for 90mm AA fire

4-5 July

1st Raiders land at Rice Anchorage on north coast of New Georgia

5-6 July

First Battle of Kolombangara; Beginnings of Japanese attempts to evacuate Central Solomons

11 July

Admiral Halsey issues directive to his subordinate units to prepare for an attack on an unannounced position in the Bougainville area

11 July

Lieutenant General Vandegrift makes an examination of forces available for a Northern Solomons operation

11-12 July

Munda bombarded by CA-DD Task Force

12-13 July

Second Battle of Kolombangara; Japanese attempting to evacuate Central Solomons intercepted and defeated

26 July

Plan of 11 July slightly modified, in that the area to be attacked is designated to be Southern Bougainville, Shortland, Kieta, Faisi

5 August

Plan of 26 July modified in that the target area is limited to Shortland-Faisi due to insufficient troops for large attack

5 August

Munda airfield falls to Americans

6-7 August

Battle of Vella Gulf

15 August

Allied forces (including Fleet Marine Force units) occupy Vella Lavella

17-18 August

Battle of Vella Lavella

22-23 August

Three Marine amphibious patrols landed on Shortland and in the Treasurys for the purpose of conducting reconnaissance missions

3 September

Marine amphibious patrol lands on Santa Isabell. Returns to base on 9 September

6 September

Marine amphibious patrol lands on Choiseul and returns to base on 12 September

7 September

Rear Admiral Wilkinson, Lieutenant General Harmon, Major General Barrett, and Vice Admiral Fitch propose landings on Treasury Islands and Choiseul with purpose of launching further attacks on either northeast or southwest coast of Bougainville

11 September

COMSOWESPAC requests Admiral Halsey to strike in the Northern Solomons in accordance with JCS directives

15 September

Maj. General Charles Barrett relieves Lieutenant General A. A. Vandergrift as CG, IMAC

17 September

COMSOPAC requested by COMSOWESPAC to strike at Bougainville on pin point target to be selected by Admiral Halsey


17 September

IMAC Warning Order # 18-43 directs all IMAC units to be prepared for a movement to a forward area

22 September

Two Marine amphibious patrols land on Choiseul to make a reconnaissance of the north-west coast in preparation for a proposed landing

22 September

Admiral Halsey issues directive to prepare study of a proposed landing at Empress Augusta Bay. Places Wilkinson in overall command of the proposed operation

23 September

Two Marine amphibious patrols sent to Bougainville; one to north coast, the other to the south coast, in order to conduct reconnaissance for suitable landing beaches and airfield sites

27 September

General Barrett completes ground forces conception of the operation. Informs subordinate units of the plan

27 September

General Barrett instructs the 3d Division to be prepared to undertake the Bougainville operation

28 September

General Barrett instructs the 8th New Zealand Brigade to be prepared to undertake the Treasury Islands operation

1 October

Low level reconnaissance flights, with ground officers acting as observers, made over the Cape Torokina region

7 October

Admiral King approves 1 November 1943 as D-day Empress Augusta Bay

8 October

General Barrett sets up the Task Organization for the ground forces

8 October

Lieutenant General Vandegrift resumes command of IMAC upon the death of Major General Barrett

9 October

Central Solomons Campaign ends

15 October

IMAC issues Operation Order #1; orders 3d Marine Division to seize Cape Torokina

21-22 October

New Zealand amphibious patrol lands in the Treasury Islands

22 October

IMAC issues Operation Order #2, directing the 2d Parachute Battalion to conduct the Choiseul diversion

22 October

Major General Geiger named Deputy Corps Commander IMAC

25-26 October

New Zealand advance party lands in the Treasury Islands

27 October

Advance party of Marines landed at Atsinima Bay to prepare for the assault landing of the 3dMarDiv

27 October

8th New Zealand Brigade lands on the Treasury Islands

28 October

2d Parachute Battalion lands on Choiseul for a diversionary raid shortly after 0001; withdrawn 4 November

31 October

Buka-Bonis at northern end of Bougainville bombarded by Admiral Merrill's Montpelier Task Force

1 November

Shortland-Faisi area bombarded by Admiral Merrill's Montpelier Task Force

1 November

IMAC lands at Cape Torokina with 3d and 9th Marines and 2d Raider Regiment in assault

1-2 November

Battle of Empress Augusta Bay; U.S. Fleet turns back Japanese attempt at naval counteraction

5 November

Rabaul bombarded by U.S. carrier planes

7 November

Elements of the Japanese 54th Infantry land near the mouth of the Laruma River; join our forces in battle


7 November

Battle of Piva Road Block (Piva Trail), units of Japanese 23d Infantry attack of 3d Raider Battalion

8 November

First elements of 37th Division arrive at Bougainville

9 November

End of Battle of Koromokina Lagoon; Japanese 54th Infantry defeated by 3d Battalion, 9th Marines, 1st Battalion, 3d Marines, and 1st Battalion, 21st Marines

9 November

Major General Geiger relieves Lieutenant General Vandegrift of command of IMAC. Vandegrift ordered home to become 18th Commandant of the Marine Corps

10 November

Japanese 23d Infantry defeated at Piva Road Block by 3d Raider Battalion, 2d Battallion, 9th Marines, and 1st Battalion, 9th Marines

11 November

Rabaul bombarded by U.S. carrier planes

12 November

Beginning of Battle of Coconut Grove; Company E 21st Marines, contacts elements of the Japanese 23d Infantry

14 November

2d Battalion, 21st Marines, secures Coconut Grove and East-West Numa Numa trail junction for IMAC

19 November

Beginning of Battle of Piva Forks

19 November

Final elements of 37th Division arrive at Bougainville

20 November

Cibik Ridge discovered and seized

23 November

Buka-Bonis bombardment by Admiral Merrill's Montpelier Task Force

24 November

Battle of Cape St. George, New Ireland; defeat of the "Tokyo Express"

25 November

Kavieng, New Ireland, bombed by U.S. carrier planes

26 November

3d Marine Division advances to Piva River line, having defeated the Japanese 23d Infantry in the battle of Piva Forks

29 November

1st Parachute Battalion conducts Koiari Beach raid

10 December

Fighter field on Bougainville becomes operational

15 December

IMAC relieved by XIV Corps; Major General Geiger relieved by Major General Griswold

22 December

3d Marines relieved on the lines by the 2d Raider Regiment

25 December

The 164th Infantry begins relief of the 9th Marines on the lines

27 December

9th Marines relieved on the lines by the 164th Infantry

28 December

3d Marine Division relieved of responsibility for eastern sector at 1600 by the Americal Division

28 December

9th Marines withdrawn from Bougainville

1-2 January

21st Marines relieved on the lines by the 182d Infantry

9 January

21st Marines withdrawn from Bougainville

9 January

The 132d Infantry arrives at Cape Torokina and relieves the 3d Parachute Battalion and the 3d Raider Battalion on the lines

16 January

Final evacuation of 3d Marine Division personnel from Bougainville

31 January

78,000 men and 130,000 tons of supplies delivered to Bougainville by eight echelons of landing craft since 1 November. 14,700 men and 28,000 tons of supplies delivered to Treasury Islands since 27 October by six echelons of landing craft

15 February

Green Islands fall to 3d (NZ) Division


8 March

Japanese begin attack on 37th Division sector

20 March

4th Marines (Reinforced) seize Emirau

24 March

Japanese attacks on 37th Division reach greatest intensity with Japanese 13th, 23d, and 45th Infantry Regiment elements in the fight. Certain elements of the 53d, 54th, and 81st Japanese Infantry Regiments appear

1 April

End of the Japanese attacks on the 37th Division. Americans begin advance against no resistance up the Numa Numa trail

15 June

South Pacific Command turned over to Vice Admiral Newton by Admiral Halsey. COMSOWESPAC assumes command of all forces west of longitude 159 East. The South Pacific Campaign against the Japanese virtually ended

21 June

3d Defense Battalion, FMF, which landed 1 November 1943 on Bougainville, and was the last FMF ground unit in active South Pacific area, withdrawn to Guadalcanal


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Transcribed and formatted by Jerry Holden for the HyperWar Foundation