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"Guadalcanal's 75th is today!" Topic

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Tgunner07 Aug 2017 10:42 a.m. PST

On August 7, 1942, the US launched it first offensive action of WWII with its invasion of Guadalcanal. The resulting action began a grueling six month campaign that was fought on the land, sea, and air and resulted in some of the bitterest actions of the war. Some of the world's bloodiest naval surface actions were fought in the waters off Guadalcanal with the nearby stretch of sea being infamously called "Iron Bottom Sound". Two US admirals lost their lives in these actions.


A fascinating and brutal battle with lots of wargaming potential in all three media. So who's gaming it?

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2017 11:40 a.m. PST

I'm finishing up the planes to play the dogfights within range of Henderson Field as a CY6 campaign.

Those planes will double for the 1942 carrier actions if I ever get around to playing them, but carrier actions are tough to do right with miniatures.

I have a lot of the ships for the naval actions around the Solomons in boxes, but I always seem to get distracted by WWI before I get them on the table. :-) That said, I've played actions in the Slot put on by other people many times. A lot of those battles were real nail-biters.

I've always wanted to play an air/sea mini-campaign of the Solomons. Soon I should finally have the miniatures to do it. I think it would be an awesome see-saw game.

- Ix

randy51 Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2017 2:03 p.m. PST

My father saw action there in the infantry with the Americal Division. I believe his unit came ashore in November of 1942 and their hardest action was at Mt Austen in December-January. I used to pester him for war stories back in the late 50's and early 60's and at the time didn't realize that it was probably painful for him to drag up old memories. But now I'm glad I did as no one else in the family seemed to be interested. Some of the memories I recall:

listening to the Japs yelling at them at night and his buddies cussing at them back (I wonder if any of them realized that this was probably a ploy by them to pinpoint the American positions?)

losing their captain to sniper fire on Mt Austen,…..Dad said this captain had given a lecture on the troop ship on the way over about how ineffective Japanese rifles were

being pinned down by machine gun fire which kicked up dust closely in front of him and right next to his head

he said the nightly naval and air actions lit up the skies and shook the ground so much that at times they couldn't sleep

being talked into going for a plane ride in a bomber by one of the crewmen and being scared to the point he crapped his pants,………I think this was later on (after the island had been secured) when his unit was camped close to Henderson Field

peering out of his fox hole in the morning only to discover his best friend one hole over had been killed during the night during an artillery/mortar barrage,……….both he and my Dad (as everyone else was in his company) were from the same area in northwest Illinois,…..they had all either been members of the Illinois National Guard or had been drafted in early 1941. My father had been drafted at the age of 32 because he was single,………he had been dating my Mom then but hadn't felt the need to get too serious until AFTER being sent over seas :)

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2017 2:42 p.m. PST

Has anyone tried CoC for Pacific island battles?

I'm not a fan of WWII tactical land games, but that would seem to be the best scale for Guadalcanal (max unit size should probably be the company). I really enjoyed CoC in spite of the its tactical approach.

- Ix

Personal logo herkybird Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2017 3:02 p.m. PST

Thanks Randy51, Its nice to hear real memories of campaigns.

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2017 3:14 p.m. PST

My best buddy in high schools father was wounded at Tarawa. This was written by his B-I-L as he never talked about it.

"My Brother-in Law, D. M. Libby, was a PFC in the 2nd Div. USMC and was in the first wave on the landing in Tarawa. He was a gunner on an Amtrac and they took a direct hit from a mortor. Don was a sole survivor of that action. Severely wounded he was ordered on another Amtrac and was again blown off of the 2nd Amtrac. He laid in the water with multiple shrapnel and bullet wounds overnight, hiding be hind a sunken Amtrac to protect himself from sniper fire from under the mile long pier. A Japanese Marine called out "Hey Marine", Don thinking it was a U.S. Marine answered and the Japanese approached and attempted to bayonet Don. Don was able to subdue the Japanese Marine after receiving a wound from the bayonet. Don then became unconcious, floated out to sea, was picked up by a U.S. Destroyer and was taken to a hospital ship. He was then taken to San Diego and hospitalized for a year or more."

He was a very quiet and unassuming person who never explained why he walked with a limp.

Mobius07 Aug 2017 7:46 p.m. PST

One of my uncles is 95 and still hanging on. He was at Guadalcanal in the 1st Marine Division. I asked him what guns he used. He got trained on the 03 rifle but received the M1 around the time he was deployed. Later in the war he was a radio man and carried a Thompson when he worked with code talkers.

ScottS07 Aug 2017 8:39 p.m. PST

Semper Fi' to the 1st Mar Div.

dagc54 Inactive Member08 Aug 2017 11:30 a.m. PST

My father-in-law was at Guadalcanal. Not sure of his US Army Division, but they landed sometime in Nov 1942. He never talked about it and he still had a hatred for the Japanese all those years later. One thing i remember about him was that he would never eat rice. He did say that was because he had he eat whatever he could find off of the dead Japanese.

randy51 Supporting Member of TMP09 Aug 2017 8:39 a.m. PST

One other memory: once he and I were watching a WWII movie (this was early 60's) and one of the GI's threw a grenade into a MG nest and when it exploded the force of the explosion blew the japs end over end into the air. My Dad gaffawed loudly "baloney, that wouldn't happen".

Haitiansoldier Inactive Member11 Aug 2017 6:28 p.m. PST

I'd love to visit the battlefield there. My favourites in the Pacific are Okinawa and then Iwo Jima but Guadalcanal is pretty interesting to read about.

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