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South and Southwestern Pacific, January 1943-May 1944

Following the Casablanca Conference in January 1943, the Allied leaders determined that the Pacific operations were to be on the offensive rather than the defensive, following the gains met by the Battle of Midway and the Guadalcanal Campaign.   Leading the operations in the South and Southwestern Pacific areas were General Douglas A. MacArthur, USA, and Admiral William F. Halsey, USN, assisted in the amphibious operations by Rear Admiral Theodore S. Wilkinson, USN, and Rear Admiral Daniel E. Barbey, USN.  In these areas of Papau-New Guinea; Central Solomons; Bougainville, North Solomons; and Rabaul, New Britain, the Japanese bitterly fought the Allied forces as they halted the Japanese with any plans for expansion and began to push the enemy towards their homeland.   

Image:  80-G-44089:  Admiral F. Halsey, Jr., USN, Commander, South Pacific Force (center) at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, November 1943.   Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.