Thursday, January 25, 2007

Blood Is Thicker Than Water: September and the Ridge*6

Shortly after becoming Commander, South Pacific Area and Forces, VAdm William F. Halsey visited Guadalcanal and the 1st Marine Division. Here he is shown talking with Col Gerald C. Thomas, 1st Marine Division D-3 (Operations Officer).
Department of Defense (USMC) Photo 53523
The landing was made without incident and the 7th Marines' companies moved inland only to be ambushed and cut off from the sea by the Japanese. A rescue force of landing craft moved with difficulty through Japanese fire, urged on by Puller who accompanied the boats on the destroyer Ballard (DD-660) [sic: should be DD-267; DD-660 USS Ballard was not commissioned until the following year—ed.]. The Marines were evacuated after fighting their way to the beach covered by the destroyer's fire and the machine guns of a Marine SBD overhead. Once the 7th Marines companies got back to the perimeter, landing near Kukum, the raider and 5th Marines battalions pulled back from the Matanikau. The confirmation that the Japanese would strongly contest any westward advance cost the Marines 60 men killed and 100 wounded.

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