Hell on Guadalcanal

  August of 1942, Imperial Japanese leaders were under the impression people of the United States could not handle and much less mount any large-scale force to capture, reinforce and hold a tropical island by the name of Guadalcanal.  Real estate barely 90 miles long.  About 25 miles wide.

    Japan had not lost a war in 2,600 years, and the tide of war was still victorious. 

    Americans are too soft and diverse, so thought the Imperial Japanese.  Japan had amassed over 180,000 prisoners, and the Empire was still intact.  Although Midway was a turning point, nobody knew it thenand most of Japan's people were never publicly told about it in 1942and America's war plants were thousands of miles away and it seemed at the end of the other side of the world.

   What's the deal on Guadalcanal?

   Primary intelligence in July picked up Japanese activity on Guadalcanal, and double-checked by Australian reports, it was true that an airbase was being constructed on the island.  It meant it could expose Australia and New Zealandour Allies to more danger and darkness.  (Australia had already been bombed as described in vol 2.)  The time lag between the Fall of Bataan and Corregidor was just about 3 months when some action was seen in world history, on August 7, 1942.

  The story of Guadalcanal is herewith presented in PDF as a special section taken from the actual book A Toast For You And Me, America’s Participation, Sacrifice and Victory vol 2 augmented by a few videos helping to tell the actual story.   In America's first year of war,  the Philippines fell.  The British were constantly pushed back in North Africa.  The Eastern Front had more Allied defeats than victories.  The year was bleak.  True account of the dark gloomy days of 1942, when Japan had not lost a war in 2,600 years, and when and what happened around the world is the fulcrum of vol. 2.   U.S. Marines encountered the cockatoo-tarantula jungles of Guadalcanal.  

   The participation began with the U.S. 1st Marine Division, who landed with hand-drawn sketches based on air reconnaissance for maps.  They were wearing the new-style helmet, and within 48 hours of the initial amphibious invasion were left alone to fiercely engage the foe.  A foe led by officers of the Bushida code and sheer arrogance that they were invincible. A Toast For You And Me, America’s Participation, Sacrifice and Victory vol 2 indeed covers the Solomons campaign. The book, a Finalist in the History United States category of the National Best Books 2009 Awards, is 296 pages.   We begin with something remarkable I found on the internet, a drone shot over present-day Guadalcanal.   Mat McLachlan took the aerial with his drone and published it in March of 2017.

Air Transport Command ATC and Solomons

Tulagi

    With the Marines was war correspondent Richard Tregaskiswho wrote a first-hand account of the early months in Guadalcanal, up to late September.  He was quite tall, 6 ft 7 in, and wore size 14 shoes.   Tregaskis' job was for INS, International News Service. 

Jungle waterways

JN-25 penetrated Chicago Times leaked news

Seabees

photos of Ichiki's troops, Marines, Admiral Yamamoto

    "I get the awful feeling of being pitifully small, just a tiny particle caught up in the gigantic whirlpool of war," wrote Tregaskis.  He wrote Guadalcanal Diary published first by Random House on Jan. 1,  1943.  It was well received, and he did it without resorting to hyperbole.  Speaking of writings of Guadalcanal, if interested in further reading, nothing can be complete without those of Sgt. John Basilone who survived Guadalcanal but got it at Iwo Jima and Robert Leckie. Both were at Guadalcanal from the start. There was a feature Hollywood movie titled Guadalcanal Diary that came out of that era that was pretty good.  Released late October 1943, it starred Preston Foster, William Bendix, Lloyd Nolan and Anthony Quinn.

young Anthony Quinn

Tokyo Express and Radio Tokyo

  Anatomy of a decisive victory over at Guadalcanal.

October 1942

Pilot ace Joe Foss

Everlasting ceremony

    The Battle of Guadalcanal in color, from historical Battlefront, part 1.  The original was in b-w.  These scenes you see are colorized, and not too shabby.

     Excellent historical look at the campaign of Guadalcanal from The History Channel's The Lost Evidence.  A television series using state-of-the-art technology composed of fifty episodes using recon photos, 3-d landscapes of places and eyewitness accounts.

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