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Features

The Filson Historical Society
Lt. Col. Ron Van Stockum (seated, third from left) Executive Officer, 1st Battalion, 21st Marines, with the officers of his headquarters company at Tetere Cocoanut Grove, Guadalcanal, while training for the Guam campaign in early 1944.

 

Planning and Training on Guadalcanal

In January 1944, having returned from a successful Bougainville campaign, we began intense training for our next campaign, planned initially as an invasion of Kavieng, New Ireland, in Papua, New Guinea, 300 miles north of Bougainville.

However, in February, the outer screen of Japanese island defenses had been penetrated by the seizure of bases in the Marshall Islands, including Kwajalein and Eniwetok. In March and April, landings in the Admiralty Islands and Hollandia established additional shore bases.

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