Located inland to the south of Henderson
Field, forming the southern edge of the Marine perimeter. This ridge was known by a number of names: Edsons Ridge,
Marine Ridge, Lunga
Ridge, Raider Ridge and Bloody Ridge. The Japanese referred to
it as 'The Centipede', for the ridge line's shape from the air. The northern edge of the ridge is only 1,700 yards from the airfield.
Martin Clemens recalled in 1998:
thing that I should like to correct the term Bloody Ridge is a journalists
invention. To those of us who were there it is Edsons Ridge or Raider Ridge. War is bloody enough without naming a ridge like that. It should be named after
Edson, the fellow who defended it. I organized to put the Pyramid memorial up
there and was also involved in the memorial near the [Henderson Field] control tower that was dedicated
Battle of Bloody Ridge
After the Marines established their perimeter and defeated the Japanese Army attacks at the Teneru (Ilu, Alligator Creek) and Matanikau River. The Japanese Army 35th Infantry Brigade, 124th Infantry Regiment (reinforced) led by General Kawaguchi planned to attack from the inland side of Henderson Field. The logistics of moving his forces in position to attack was hampered by the dense jungle.
Prior to the Japanese attack, the Marines had reinforced the ridge line prior to the attack, and registered artillery on likely approaches. The ridge was defended by several US Marine units, including the 1st Raider Battalion and 1st Parachute Battalions under U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Merritt A. Edson.
The Japanese probed the Marine positions on September 12, 1942, and ferociously attacked on
the night of September 13 occupying Hill 1 and pushing to positions on Hill 2. The battle continued until the September 14. The Marine line held, with
heavy casualties on both sides.
New Zealand Army Encampment
After the battle, New Zealand Army troops were camped near the ridge in 1944. Their camp included quonset huts and tents. Today, one of the quonset huts they is still standing on the ridge.
Hill 123 (Hill 2)
Dominant feature of the ridge, located at the northern end of the ridge line with 123' elevation. Col. Edson's command post, Bloody Ridge Memorial and barbed wire.
Hill 80 (Hill 1)
Located at the southern end of the ridge surrounded by jungle on three sides, nearest to the perimeter and attacking Japanese.
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
January 8, 2014