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"Solomon Islands"


The road to Tokyo began on an Island in the Pacific that few Americans had ever heard of and none of the military planners knew much about. But on Guadalcanal, one of the Solomons, the Japanese were building an airbase from which to strike at American convoys to Australia. The Island had to be taken, and quickly. The landing was America's first big amphibious assault. On August 7, 1942, some 10,000 Marines went ashore almost unopposed. By sundown the next day they had secured their major objective, which they renamed Henderson field, as well as great quantities of gasoline ,ammunition, tents, and rice. The Japanese, it seemed, had fled in a panic. But on the night of August 8-9, the United States Navy took one of its worst whippings ever near Salvo Island, just off Guadalcanal, and withdrew, leaving the Marines all alone. Then began the enemy counterattack. "The Tokyo Express," the name the Marines gave the fast Japanese ships that came down "the Slot" between the Solomon Islands, began pouring in fresh troops and supplies. The fighting was fierce and kept up for six months. For a long while there was doubt as to which way it would go.

From ashore, Guadalcanal looked like the South Seas "Isle of Enchantment" in the color travelogues. Onshore, it was pure hell. The heat was terrible; there were drenching rains, rats, and bugs of every description; men were struck down by malaria and dysentery and their skin broke out in jungle rot. But the worst of all was the enemy. He came out of the jungle at night in wild suicide charges. He fought according to no code an American could understand; he was tricky and deadly. He seemed to live in the jungle like an animal. By the time the last enemy sniper was silenced, there were 24,000 dead Japanese. The dead Americans totaled 1,752. This was the first time the Japanese had been defeated on land since they went to war. It was also the first time the Americans fully realized what sort of foe they were up against and the kind of country they would have to fight him in. This was no clean, modern campaign decided by advanced technology, no recruiting poster sort of war. And in February, 1943, when the Japanese evacuated what was left of their forces ( about 12,000 men ) Tokyo was still 3,000 miles away.

Major General Alexander Vandegrift  U.S.M.C.

In command of the operation was Major General Alexander Vandegrift, a soft spoken professional fighting man. The Marines under him were young ( the average age was nineteen ) and green, and they had been told next to nothing about the 92 - mile - long Island. In the next six months they would learn very fast. It was an awesome moment for the young Leathernecks.

"Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone" was the only the Marine in WW2 to recieve the Medal of honor and the Navy cross

Medal of honor winner on Guadalcanal, Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone

Lewis "Chesty" Puller 

The 7th Regiment rejoined the 1st Marine Division in September 1942, and Puller, still commanding its 1st  Battalion, went on to win his third Navy Cross at Guadalcanal .

The action that brought him that medal occurred on the night of October 24-25 1942. For a desperate three hours his battalion, stretched over a mile-long front, it was the only defense between vital Henderson Airfield and a regiment of seasoned Japanese troops.  In pouring jungle rain the Japanese smashed repeatedly at his thin line, as Chesty moved up and down its length to encourage his men and direct the defense. After reinforcements arrived he commanded the augmented until late the next afternoon. The defending Marines suffered less than 70 casualties in the engagement while 1400 of the enemy were killed and 17 truckloads of Japanese equipment were recovered by the Americans


My Dad, "Gunnery Sgt Charles Urbino", who slashed his way through the Pacific, the epitome of a combat Marine, May your soul rest in peace Dad"Semper Fi"

My Dad, Gunnery Sgt Charles Urbino

The Marine

Author Unknown

You can have your Army Khaki,

You can have your Navy blue,

But there's still another fighter

I will introduce to you.

The uniform is different,

The best you've ever seen

The Huns, they called him Devil Dog,

But the real name is Marine.

He is trained at Parris Island,

The land that God forgot,

Where the sand is fourteen inches deep,

And the sun is scorching hot.

He has set many a table,

Many a dish he had dried,

He is taught to make a bed

And a broom he sure can guide.

He has peeled a million onions,

Twice as many spuds,

And spends his spare time

 Washing out his duds.

When he gets to heaven,

To Saint Peter he will tell,

"Another Marine reporting, Sir

I've served my time in hell."

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