Skip to main content

Russell Islands Occupation:   February 21, 1943

(Codename:  Operation Cleanslate)

In this unopposed landing, useful as a dress rehearsal for the invasion of the Central Solomon islands, Captain Ingolf N. Kiland, USN, commanding Task Unit 76.7.2, landed the U.S. Marines Third Raider Battalion and 10th Defensive Battalion detachment along with the U.S. Army 43rd Division on Russell Islands.   The islands became an important staging point for the invasion of New Georgia, Northern Solomons Islands, Bismarck Islands, and even for the invasion of Okinawa in April 1945. 

Image:  USMC 54768:  Russell Islands Occupation, February 1943.   U.S. Marine Raiders head ashore from USS Sands (APD-13), February 23, 1943.  Official U.S. Marine Corps Photographs, now in the collections of the National Archives.