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"Forgotten Fights: The Battle for Guadalcanal's Mount" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2020 8:25 p.m. PST

… Austen, 1942.

"The Guadalcanal campaign was the first American amphibious invasion of World War II. From the moment US Marines set foot on the southwest Pacific island of Guadalcanal on August 7, 1942, American newspapers trumpeted the offensive. War correspondents Richard Tregaskis and John Hersey immortalized the 1st Marine Division's struggle to defend the small American beachhead against repeated Japanese infantry assaults and naval and air bombardments. Americans closely followed the desperate fights for Bloody Ridge and the Marine airfield dubbed Henderson Field. Tregaskis, however, concluded his famous Guadalcanal Diary in September 1942, and Hersey departed the island in October, long before the fighting ended. As a result, the latter stages of the campaign are often overlooked, despite the intense combat that continued until the island was secured in February 1943.

Although the 1st Marine Division and its attached Marine raider and parachute elements had successfully defeated Japanese attacks at the Battle of the Tenaru in August, the Battle of Bloody Ridge in September, and the Battle for Henderson Field in October, Japanese forces still held the high ground just six miles southwest of Henderson Field in the wake of these defeats. A hill known to Americans as Mount Austen was the biggest threat to the airfield. Japanese artillery situated on the hill harassed Henderson Field, and Japanese soldiers infiltrated American lines near Mount Austen on two occasions and destroyed several parked fighter planes. Mount Austen and its surrounding heights also threatened the left flank of any American attempt to advance west along the northern coast of Guadalcanal toward the Japanese-held village of Kokumbona…"
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randy51 Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2020 6:11 a.m. PST

I remember my Dad telling me about his units (132nd inf-Americal Div) combat on Mt Austen. His captain was killed by a sniper there. He also mentioned how the Japs would taunt the GI's at night in broken English and his buddies would yell back obscenities,…..until their officers told them to knock it off as it was revealing where their positions were located. My fathers company were all from northwest Illinois and most of them had been drafted pre Pearl Harbor into the Illinois state guard which was then incorporated into the US army.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2020 11:56 a.m. PST



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