Guadalcanal Campaign: August 1942-February 1943
(Codename: Operation Watchtower)
The Guadalcanal Campaign began on August 7, 1942, when the armada led by Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner, USN, landed U.S. Marines on Guadalcanal and seized a nearly-complete airfield at Guadalcanal's Lunga Point in the first U.S. land offensive of World War II for the Americans. To the north, Tulagi Island, and a few miles to the east Tanambogo and Gavutu Islands, Marines also landed and fought bitter battles, concluding a few days after. Nonetheless, the campaign's final outcome was in doubt for nearly four months and was not certain until the Japanese evacuated their surviving troops at Guadalcanal on February 8, 1943.
Image: 80-G-20683: U.S. Marines rest in the field on Guadalcanal, August-December 1942. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.