CINCPAC NO. 6, AUGUST 8, 1942
Forces of the United States Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, assisted by units of the Southwest Pacific Area, launched offensive operations in the Tulagi area of the Solomon Islands on August 7th, East Longitude Date. These operations are progressing favorably in spite of opposition by enemy land based aircraft and garrisons.
On August 8th, East Longitude Date, a task force of the Pacific Fleet bombarded enemy ships and installations in Kiska Harbor.
No. 101 August 8, 1942
The following communiqué is based on reports received up to 1 p. m. (e. w. t.), Saturday, August 8, 1942:
North and South Pacific Areas.
1. U. S. naval and other forces have attacked enemy installations in the southeast part of the Solomon Islands in force and the attacks are continuing.
2. Simultaneously, U. S . naval forces bombarded enemy ships and shore establishments at Kiska.
3. No additional information is available at present.
No. 102 August 9, 1942
The following communiqué is based on reports received up to 4 p. m. (e. w. T.)
South Pacific Area.
1. Offensive operations against Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands are continuing.
2. Considerable enemy resistance has been encountered and it is still too early to announce results or to estimate either our own or enemy losses.
3. Australian units are participating with our forces.
August 10, 1942
A STATEMENT BY ADMIRAL ERNEST J. KING, COMMANDER IN CHIEF, U. S. FLEET
1. Offensive operations by U. S. naval and other forces, looking to the occupation of islands in the Tulagi area in the southeasterly Solomon Islands, have now been underway for about 3 days.
2. The operations are under the immediate command of Vice Admiral Ghormley and under the general control of Admiral Nimitz. Certain of the forces under General MacArthur are cooperating.
3. The objective of the current operations is to expel the Japanese from the Tulagi area and to make use of that area for our own purposes. The enemy have been in process of consolidating their positions, in which their purpose has been not only to deny them to us but to use them as a base of offensive operations against our positions which cover the line of communications to Australia and New Zealand.
4. An initial surprise was effected and planned landings accomplished. The enemy has counterattacked with rapidity and vigor. Heavy fighting is still in progress. Our operating forces are employing all available communications in the conduct of the operations, so that our information is incomplete but it appears that we have had at least one cruiser sunk and two cruisers, two destroyers and one transport damaged. Likewise, information as to the extent of damage inflicted on the enemy is incom-
plete but includes a large number of enemy planes that have been destroyed and surface units put out of action.
5. This operation in the Tulagi area is significant in that it marks our first assumption of the initiative and of the offensive. All of the previous operations in the Pacific, however successful, have been essentially defensive in character.
6. It should be understood that the operation now underway is one of the most complicated and difficult in warfare. Considerable losses, such as are inherent in any offensive operation, must be expected as the price to be paid for the hard-won experience which is essential to the attainment of far-reaching results.
/S/ E. J. King.
No. 103 August 11, 1942
The following communiqué is based on reports received up to 6 p. in. (e. w. t.) on August 11, 1942:
North Pacific Area.
1. Information received by the Navy Department now makes it possible to report the following incidents in the Aleutian Islands:
2. On July 22 Army bombers dropped bombs through the fog in the area of Kiska Harbor. Results were unobserved.
3. On July 29 Navy patrol planes conducted a night attack on Kiska and Army bombers attacked shore installations and ships in the same vicinity.
4. On August 3 Japanese aircraft attacked the U. S. destroyer Kane off Atka Island, about 305 miles east of Kiska. No damage was inflicted. Army bombers again attacked the Kiska Harbor area, with unobserved results.
5. On August 4 Army pursuit planes shot down two Kawanishi 97 seaplane bombers.
6. On August 8 a task force of the Pacific Fleet, protected by Navy patrol planes, heavily bombarded a group of enemy ships, camp facilities, and shore installations at Kiska. The attack was a complete surprise. The enemy, mistaking the first salvos of shells for bombs, opened fire with antiaircraft batteries on imagined planes. The intensive bombardment from cruiser and destroyer guns soon silenced short batteries, started fires and inflicted severe damage to the camp area. The only
enemy resistance encountered was from aircraft. Our loss was one observation plane.
7. On August 9 naval patrol planes followed up the bombardment by an attack on two cargo ships in Kiska Harbor. Two bomb hits were scored on each of the two ships, resulting in severe damage. On this flight, observers reported sighting a sunken cargo ship, which is believed to have been sunk near the beach during the previous day's bombardment by surface forces.
South Pacific Area.
8. While the action in the Tulagi area of the Solomon Islands continues, nothing further can be reported at this moment.
No. 104 August 12, 1942
1. Operations in the Solomons are still in progress.
2. It has been confirmed that the United States Marines have landed as scheduled on three islands in the vicinity of Tulagi. The Marines are engaged in consolidating their positions. Supporting naval forces have been engaged in bitter fighting, details of which are not yet available. United States Army and Australian aircraft are continuing attacks on enemy landing fields and shore-based aircraft.
3. There is substantial evidence that the Japanese had planned and had well underway the development of an enemy base in the Tulagi area.
4. Until more details are available it is impossible to elaborate further on these operations. All available communications facilities are overtaxed by urgent messages concerning operations.
No. 105 August 13, 1942
1. Operations are continuing in the Solomon Islands area.
2. There is nothing to report from other areas.
No. 106 August 14, 1942
1. The task of consolidating the shore positions now held by U. S. Marines in the Solomon Islands is progressing satisfactorily.
2. Naval units are engaged in protecting our lines of communication and escorting supply vessels to our occupying forces.
3. U. S. Army and Allied shore-based aircraft are continuing to attack Japanese air bases and ship concentrations in enemy-held harbors.
No. 107 August 17, 1942
South Pacific Area.
1. It is now possible to issue some details of the attacks and landing operations which have been in progress in the Solomon Islands since the early morning of August 7 (local time).
2. The attacks were a complete surprise to the enemy and 18 of their seaplanes were destroyed before they could get into action.
3. Transport-borne, amphibious forces of the U. S. Marine Corps made several landings on islands in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area. Vigorous enemy resistance was rapidly overcome and a number of Japanese prisoners were taken. The shore positions taken by U. S. forces have since been developed and are now well established.
During these landing operations, cruisers and destroyers were so disposed as to protect our transports and cargo ships as they unloaded troops and equipment. While thus engaged on August 7 and August 8, our forces were attacked by enemy land-based aircraft. These attacks were driven off and at least 18 more enemy planes destroyed, while only minor damage was suffered by our forces.
5. During the night of August 8-9 an enemy force of cruisers and destroyers attempted to attack our transports, cargo ships and supporting forces. This enemy force was intercepted and engaged by our cruisers and destroyers. The heavy fighting which followed resulted in the enemy being forced to retreat before reaching the vessels engaged in the landing operations. The close-range fighting during this night engagement resulted in damage both to the enemy and to our forces. This night action is the only engagement between surface forces which has been fought to date in the Solomon Islands.
6. It is impossible, in night engagements, to determine accurately the damage inflicted on the opposing force. No further statement is made at this time of the extent of damage to our forces because of the obvious value of such information to the enemy.
No. 108 August 19, 1942
North Pacific Area.
1. A U. S. submarine has reported the sinking of a Japanese cruiser or destroyer in the western Aleutian area. Conditions made impossible an exact identification of the type of ship.
2. This sinking has not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué.
No. 109 August 20, 1942
The following communiqué is based upon reports received up to 3:30 p. m. (e. w. t.) on August 20, 1942:
South Pacific Area.
1. U. S. Marines are engaged in "mopping up" remnants of the Japanese forces on the islands which were recently captured in the Solomon Archipelago.
2. Casual bombardments of our shore positions by enemy aircraft, destroyers, and submarines have inflicted only minor damage.
3. An enemy destroyer or cruiser was bombed and set afire by our aircraft.
4. There is nothing to report from other areas.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 7, AUGUST 21, 1942
A force of Marines of the U. S. Pacific Fleet made a successful landing on Japanese held Makin Island on August 17th. The purpose of the expedition was to destroy the installations of this enemy seaplane base. This purpose was accomplished in its entirety and the force has been withdrawn.
Known enemy losses inflicted by the Marines are: at least eighty Japanese killed; radio installation and stores destroyed; one large and one small seaplane destroyed on the water. Other losses were inflicted on the enemy forces by heavy bombing attacks of their own aircraft from other bases, which were attempting to assist them.
The ships of our expedition gunned and sank one small transport and one gunboat.
Considering the nature of this operation, our forces suffered only moderate losses.
The Naval officer commanding the expedition was Commander John M. Haines, U. S. Navy. The Marines were commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Evans F. Carlson, U. S. Marine Corps Reserve. Second in command of the Marines was Major James Roosevelt, U. S. Marine Corps Reserve. None of these officers was on the casualty list.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 8, AUGUST 21, 1943
Since the initial successful landings in the Solomon Islands by U. S. Forces under the command of Vice Admiral Ghormley, a period of mopping up in order to consolidate our positions has been in progress. Japanese defenders took to the hills and jungle to escape from our forces. There have been daily skirmishes between U. S. Marine patrols and enemy detachments. In these actions both sides have suffered casualties.
On August 19th the Marines with a loss of 6 killed and 13 wounded wiped out a Japanese detachment of 92 officers and men. Enemy resistance continued until the last man was killed.
On the night of August 20th the enemy landed a force of about 700 well equipped troops from high‑speed boats outside of the Marines' lines, and attempted to break through. During darkness only hand to hand fighting was possible but with the breaking of day the Marines were able to maneuver. While one battalion held the front line another battalion moved to a flank and
drove the then withdrawing Japanese to the beach. Action continued until late afternoon. Of the 700 Japanese, 070 are dead, the rest prisoners. Marine losses were 28 killed and 72 wounded.
The Marines in the Solomons, who are under the command of Major General Alexander A. Vandegrift, U. S. Marine Corps, have added another page to their history of outstanding achievement.
No. 110 August 22, 1942
The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué:
1. U. S. submarines have reported the following results of operations in Far Eastern waters:
(a) Two large cargo ships sunk.
(b) One large transport sunk.
(c) One destroyer damaged and possibly sunk.
(d) One medium-sized cargo ship damaged by one torpedo hit.
2. These actions were not related to the operations in the Solomon Islands.
3. A U. S. submarine has reported the sinking of a large Japanese merchant ship in the Aleutian area.
4. The above actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué.
No. 111 August 25, 1942
The following communiqué is based on reports received up to 11 a. m. (e. w. t.) on August 25, 1942:
1. U. S. naval and air forces are engaged in a large-scale battle at sea in an attempt to repel a strong Japanese striking force which has approached the southeastern group of the Solomon Islands from the northeastward.
2. It was expected that our occupation of the important enemy base at Tulagi would be countered by a violent attempt on the part of the enemy to recapture their shore bases in this area. This counterattack has developed and is now being met.
3. Preliminary reports indicate that the enemy striking force has been attacked by U. S. Army "Flying Fortresses" and that our carrier-based naval aircraft are in action.
4. Army bombers attacked a large Japanese carrier and reported four hits. U. S. carrier aircraft attacked and severely damaged the smaller Japanese carrier Ryuzyo. Several enemy cruisers and a battleship also have been hit by our carrier planes.
5. During the afternoon of August 23 (Washington date) a strong enemy air attack on Guadalcanal Island was intercepted by our fighters and at least 21 enemy aircraft were shot down. Our losses in this action were minor.
6. During the night of August 23-24 (Washington date) enemy destroyers shelled our shore positions on Guadalcanal.
7. On August 24 (Washington date) U. S. aircraft hit and damaged an enemy transport and a cruiser north of Guadalcanal and left both burning fiercely.
8. The action continues.
No. 112 August 26, 1942
The following communiqué is based on reports received up to 2 p. m., (e. w. t.), on August 26, 1942:
1. It is still too early to estimate the outcome of the battle at sea being fought off the Solomon Islands, but reports to date reveal that our forces at Guadalcanal are holding their positions in the face of strong enemy thrusts and in each action have inflicted heavy damage on the attacking Japanese forces.
2. During the previously reported shelling of Guadalcanal Island on the night of August 23-24 (Washington date) our dive bombers damaged an enemy destroyer.
3. The enemy force of transports, cruisers, and destroyers which approached Guadalcanal from the northward on August 24 (Washington date) was attacked by U. S. Marine and naval aircraft based on Guadalcanal. In addition to the cruiser which was previously reported burning fiercely, one destroyer and four additional ships were left burning and the transport which was reported to have been hit during this attack was later seen abandoned as the enemy force withdrew.
4. The performance of our fighter aircraft based at Guadalcanal has been outstanding. As previously reported, a strong enemy air attack on Guadalcanal, during the afternoon of August 23 (Washington date), was intercepted by these fighters. Twenty-one enemy planes were shot down. Our loss was 3 planes. On August 25 (Washington date) Guadalcanal was attacked by 16 two-motored bombers escorted by 12 "Zero" fighters. Our fighters met this force and shot down 7 bombers and 5 "Zero" fighters. Our loss was 1 fighter.
5. The results, to date, of the battle for the retention of our foothold in the southeastern Solomons are encouraging.
No. 113 August 27, 1942
1. Since the issuance of Navy Department Communiqué No. 112, there has been no further action in the sea battle off the Solomon Islands.
2. Japanese surface forces appear to have withdrawn from the vicinity of our positions in the Tulagi area.
3. The U. S. destroyer Ingraham has been sunk as a result of a collision in a fog in the Atlantic.
4. The next of kin of those lost have been notified.
No. 114 August 29, 1942
The following communiqué is based on reports received up to 12 noon(e. w. t.), on August 29,1942:
1. During the late afternoon of August 27 (Washington date) a U. S. aircraft patrol, based on Guadalcanal Island, in the Solomon Archipelago, sighted one small and three large Japanese destroyers. These ships appeared to be loaded with supplies and equipment for isolated Japanese patrols believed to be operating near the eastern end of Santa Isabel Island.
2. After reporting contact, the patrol planes attacked and secured one hit on the small destroyer.
3. A striking force of "Douglas" dive bombers from Guadalcanal answered the contact report by proceeding to attack the three large destroyers. The attack resulted in the following damage to the enemy:
(a) One large destroyer sunk as the result of a heavy explosion
following bomb hits.
(b) A second large destroyer severely damaged and probably sunk.
4. During this attack the striking force observed that the destroyer previously hit by the patrol planes was crippled and burning.
5. No further action has been reported in this area.
No. 115 August 29, 1942
South Pacific (All dates given are east longitude, one day later than Washington date).
1. The position of our forces in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area has been sufficiently well established to warrant the release of details of the action in the Solomon Islands, which has been in progress since the early morning of August 7.
2. The operation was carried out under the direction of the Commander Naval Forces, South Pacific, Vice Admiral R. L. Ghormley, and under the general direction of the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. The amphibious landing force of U. S. Marines was under the immediate command of Maj. Gen. A. A. Vandergrift, U. S. M. C. The transport force was commanded by Rear Admiral R. K. Turner and the supporting ships were under the command of Vice Admiral Frank J. Fletcher.
3. Our approach to the area of operations was accomplished under cover of an overcast which made aerial reconnaissance difficult. On the night of August 6-7 the weather cleared and our transports and screening forces proceeded unopposed to their assigned positions. During the early morning hours of August 7, under the strong protection of carrier-based aircraft and supporting fire from surface vessels, the actual landing operations were commenced. A complete surprise had been effected and 18 Japanese seaplanes and a small schooner were caught in the harbor and sunk, Our carrier-based planes covered the entire operation, dive-bombing shore batteries, supply stations and centers of enemy resistance while maintaining an alert against possible enemy air attack.
4. Specially trained and fully equipped Marine Corps troops were transported to the beaches in landing craft and beachheads were soon established. Varying degrees of resistance were encountered but by nightfall our troops were in possession of a strong beachhead in the Tenaru River region on Guadalcanal and had captured most of Tulagi, all of Gavutu, and had occupied a position at Halavo on Florida Island. During the night and early the following morning the island of Tanambogo, which is connected to Gavutu by a causeway, was taken in the face of strong opposition.
5. Before, during and after these attacks, long-range Army bombers, some under the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur and others under the command of Vice Admiral Ghormley, were engaged in coordinated search operations. These bombers, while so engaged, delivered heavy attacks on enemy ships and air bases in the New Britain, New Guinea, and Solomon Islands area.
6. The first enemy counterattack developed at about 3:20 p. m. on August 7 when 25 heavy bombers attacked the occupying forces. No hits were scored by the enemy and antiaircraft fire from our surface ships brought down two of these bombers and damaged two others. Shortly after 4:00 p. m., 10 enemy dive bombers attacked our ships. A bomb hit damaged one of our destroyers while 2 of the enemy planes were shot down by antiaircraft fire.
7. Our operations on August 7 resulted in heavy loss to the enemy in both men and aircraft, loss of control of all vital positions in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area, and the loss of large quantities of supplies when positions were surrendered. We suffered one destroyer damaged but
our losses in men and aircraft during the first day's operations were moderate.
8. During the night of August 7 and throughout the following morning, supplies and equipment were hurriedly unloaded from ships and sent ashore to assist our patrols in consolidating their gains.
This work was carried on in the face of sporadic attacks by scattered enemy troops against whom continued assaults were made.
9. At about noon on August 8, 40 or more enemy torpedo planes attacked our ships in the harbor. One destroyer and 1 unloaded transport were hit. Twelve enemy planes were shot down by ships' antiaircraft and fighters and 2 were destroyed by gunfire from shore batteries. During the enemy air attacks on August 7 and August 8 our carrier-based aircraft and antiaircraft batteries, in addition to dive-bombing enemy shore batteries and supply centers, shot down 47 enemy planes of different types.
10. By sundown on August 8, the area occupied by our troops on Guadalcanal Island had been expanded and the airfield, which the Japanese had nearly completed, was in our possession. Enemy resistance on the islands of Tulagi, Gavutu, and Tanambogo had been overcome and large quantities of ammunition and supplies were captured as well as equipment which the Japanese were using to develop a major naval base.
11. During the night of August 8-9 unloading from transports and cargo ships continued. The enemy attempted to disrupt these operations by a strong thrust with surface vessels. Our cruisers and destroyers, which were covering the operations, intercepted the attack and forced the enemy to retreat before reaching the vessels engaged in the landing operations. The close-range fighting in this action resulted in damage to the enemy and to our forces. By nightfall on August 9 unloading operations had been completed and our transports and cargo ships left the area.
12. By noon on August 10 the Marines had overcome all major opposition on the islands of Guadalcanal, Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanambogo, Makambo, and portions of Florida Island and were engaged in pursuing isolated patrols which had withdrawn to the interior.
13. "Mopping-up" operations have continued to date. Several small contingents of enemy troops have been landed on the islands which we hold, the largest landing having been made by 700 troops on Guadalcanal
on August 21. Our positions have been bombarded by surface craft and submarines and bombed by aircraft, but our losses as a result of these attacks have been small. Every attempt by the enemy to recapture his lost positions has resulted in the complete annihilation or capture by U. S. Marines of all troops that have landed.
14. On August 23 our reconnaissance aircraft observed several detachments of enemy ships approaching Guadalcanal Island from the north and northeastward. The presence of transports indicated that an attempt to recapture the shore positions in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area was intended. The action at sea which ended in the withdrawal of the enemy surface forces was described in Navy Department Communiqués Nos. 111 and 112. While this action was in progress enemy aircraft made three attacks in force on Guadalcanal. Naval and Marine fighters, based at the newly captured airfield at Guadalcanal met and repulsed these attacks.
No. 116 August 30, 1942
The following communiqué is based on reports received up to 4 p. m. (e. w. t.) on Aug. 30, 1942:
1. On August 29 (east longitude date) the Japanese conducted two bombing raids on our positions at Guadalcanal.
2. The first attack was made by 6 planes and was followed, about 8 hours later, by a flight of 18 bombers.
3. Three enemy bombers and 4 "Zero" fighters were shot down. Damage to our positions was minor and no U. S. planes were lost.