Guadalcanal at 75 – A name, an emotion

RAdm Richmond Kelly Turner, USN (left), reviewing plans for the Battle for Guadalcanal with MGen Alexander A. Vandegrift, USMC (right). July/August 1942. (Courtesy Naval Institute Press)

August 2017 marks the 75th Anniversary of the Battle for Guadalcanal… a major turning point in the Pacific war. 

On the morning of 7 August 1942, eight months to the day after the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. 1st Marine Division, under MGen Alexander A. Vandegrift, landed on the islands of Tulagi and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. This was the beginning of the bloody and brutal six month Battle for Guadalcanal.

For those who were there, Guadalcanal is not only a name; it is an emotion, recalling desperate fights in the air, furious night naval battles, frantic work at supply or construction, savage fighting in the sodden jungle, nights broken by screaming bombs, and deafening explosions of naval shells. When the battles were over in February 1943, the campaigns in the Solomon Islands had cost the Allies approximately 1,592 Marine Corps and Army lives, several score of fliers, 5,041 Navy, plus 24 ships (excluding transports and cargo ships) and 615 aircraft.

CoverTheSolomonsCampaigns,Vol II

In The Solomons Campaigns, 1942-1943 by William L. McGee all the campaigns – from Guadalcanal to Bougainville – are covered in concise detail, followed by an analysis of the valuable lessons learned.

“As a Marine who landed on Guadalcanal on 7 August 1942,  Bill McGee’s The Solomons Campaigns, 1942-1943 is the most comprehensive book I’ve read on the subject. It covers all the campaigns — Southern, Central and Northern — and brings back memories of those very dark days. Semper Fi.”
– William J. Carroll, President, Guadalcanal Campaign Veterans

“Enough gripping drama, heroism, and heartbreak in McGee’s almost encyclopedic The Solomons Campaigns to supply Hollywood with material for a century.”
Marine Corps League Magazine

“The result is a masterpiece.”
Leatherneck, Magazine of the Marines

Available on Amazon.

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