Bougainville and the Northern Solomons

Major John N. Rentz, USMCR

Historical Branch, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps

THE COVER OF THIS NARRATIVE shows men of the Third Marines hotly engaged on Blue Beach shortly after their landing.

BOUGAINVILLE BEACH, D-DAY, as seen from the bow of an assault landing craft. Drifting smoke rises from the Naval gunfire preparation which has just disturbed the calm of a tranquil tropical morning on Empress Augusta Bay.


Chapter Page
1. Plans and Preparations 1
    Strategic Situation 1
  Seizure and Consolidation of the Central Solomons 5
  Bougainville and Its Protectors 6
  IMAC Planning 7
  Accumulation of Intelligence 14
  Assault Unit Planning 19
  Rehearsal 20
  Approach 22
2. Establishing Bougainville Beachhead 24
  Landings at Cape Torokina 24
  Naval Battle of 1-2 November 38
  Establishment of the Perimeter 39
  Koromokina Lagoon 40
  Piva Road Block 47
  Coconut Grove 53
  Piva Forks 60
  Koiari Beach 71
  The 37th Division 77
3. Defense of the Beachhead 80
  Expansion of the Perimeter 80
  Hellzapoppin Ridge 83
  The Fight for Hill 600A 85
  Relief of IMAC and the 3d Division 88
  Air Activity During Expansion of the Perimeter 88
  XIV Corps Defends the Beachhead 91
4. Subsidiary Operations 92
  The Treasury Islands Operation 92
  Choiseul Diversion 104
  A Step Upward--Green Islands 114
  The Last Step--Emirau 117
5. Conclusions 120
  Strategic Conclusions 120
  Tactical Conclusions 122
  Technical Conclusions 124
  General Conclusions 129
I. Bibliography 132
II. Casualties 140
III. Chronology 141
IV. Abbreviations 146
V. Geography and History 148
VI. Task Organization 156
VII. Japanese Task Organization 159
VIII. Naval Unit Commendation, Signal Battalion 160
IX. Naval Unit Commendation, 12th Marines 161
X. Command and Staff 162


Transcribed and formatted by Jerry Holden for the HyperWar Foundation