Guadalcanal is the largest Island in the Solomons. It is well known for its history especially among Americans, because of the fierce fighting that went on there in 1942-43 against the Japanese.
When an allied reconnaissance mission spotted construction of a Japanese airfield at Lunga Point on the north coast of Guadalcanal, the situation became critical. This new Japanese airfield represented a threat to Australia itself, and so the United States as a matter of urgency, conducted the first amphibious landing of the war.
The initial landings of US Marines on August 7, 1942 secured the airfield without too much difficulty, but holding the airfield for the next six months was one of the most hotly contested campaigns in the entire war for the control of ground, sea and skies. Guadalcanal became a major turning point in the war as it stopped Japanese expansion. After six months of fighting the Japanese ceased trying to contest the control of the island. They finally evacuated the island at Cape Esperance on the north-west coast in February 1943.
Guadalcanal has a very interesting history, A Spanish expedition from Peru discovered the Island in 1568. European settlers began to arrive in the 18th century, in 1893 the British Solomon Islands Protectorate was proclaimed which included the island of Guadalcanal. In 1932, the British confirmed the name Guadalcanal in line with the town in Andalusia, Spain.
The picture above of the Phalanger is a native animal of the Island, there is also a type of centipede which gives a very nasty sting. The American Marines during the second World War called these “the stinging insects”. The map above shows “iron bottom sound” the stretch of water between Guadalcanal, and Florida Island. Dozens of ships, and planes were sunk there during the Battle of Guadalcanal.
More information about the war on Guadalcanal in Wikipedia.
Guadalcanal – behind The Pacific. The real story behind Tom Hanks’ Pacific series – we visit Guadalcanal in The Solomon Islands. Click on the picture to watch the video.