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    Guadalcanal Province  Solomon Islands

Location
Guadalcanal Province is comprised of Guadalcanal Island, known as simply as Guadalcanal in the southeastern Solomon Islands. The island is known as "Isatabu" in the local language. Guadalcanal has an area of 2,047 square miles. The island's highest elevation is Mount Popomanaseu with a peak at 7,661'. During the Pacific War, the Japanese sometimes referred to Guadalcanal as "Moth Island" due to the island's shape.

To the north, Guadalcanal Province borders Iron Bottom Sound including Lengo Channel, Sealark Channel and Ngello Channel and Central Province including Savo Island, Florida Island Group and Tulagi. To the northeast is the Indispensable Strait and Malaita Province. To the south is the Solomon Sea and southeast is Makira-Ulawa Province including San Cristobal (Makira).

Prewar
Discovered by Spanish explorer Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira who named the newly discovered island Guadalcanal after a crew member Pedro de Ortega Valencia's hometown of Guadalcanal, Province of Seville in Spain. During the 1800-1900s, European settlers and missionaries arrived on Guadalcanal and in 1893, the United Kingdom declared Guadalcanal part of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP).

Wartime History
On July 5, 1942, Japanese Army forces landed at Renadi and began developing Lunga Point Airfield (Henderson Field) as a forward airfield to menace the shipping lanes to Australia and New Zealand.

On August 7, 1942, the UY. S. Marine Corps (USMC) 1st Marine Division made an amphibious landing at Red Beach, prior to the airfield becoming operational. Guadalcanal then became a pivotal piece of island real estate that both sides wanted to control, and were willing to commit larger forces of soldiers and materials over the months following the Marine landing. US Army reinforcements landed, while the Japanese attempted to supply their forces by night via the "Tokyo Express" down the Slot of the Solomon islands. Guadalcanal and Henderson Field became the focal points of the six month Guadalcanal campaign. The Allied victory on Guadalcanal became a turning point of the Pacific War.

After the Battle of Guadalcanal, the island was developed into a major staging base and training ground for Allied operations elsewhere in the Solomon Islands. Even after Guadalcanal was secured, pockets of sporadic Japanese resistance remained. The island became a rear base and staging area. The last Japanese holdout surrendered on October 27, 1947. Munitions and occasional war wrecks are still discovered to this day.

Today
Guadalcanal contains the most historical sites, battlefields and relics of any island in the Pacific. Today, Honiara is both the provincial capital of Guadalcanal Province and the national capital of the Solomon Islands. Today, Honiara is part of the capital territory.

Honiara (American Perimeter Area)
Honiara  provincial capital of Guadalcanal Province and national capital of Solomon Islands
Renadi  located on the north coast, site of the initial Japanese landing on July 5, 1942
Red Beach  site of the initial USMC landing on August 7, 1942
Lunga (Lunga Point)  located at the Lunga River near Henderson Field
Lunga Point Anchorage (Lunga Anchorage)  located at Lunga on the north coast of Guadalcanal
Hell's Point  located on the north coast of Guadalcanal between Tenaru (Ilu) and Lunga Point
Point Cruz  located at the center of Honiara
Kukum  located on the north coast of Guadalcanal
Matanikau  located on the north coast of Guadalcanal, Matanikau River, western edge of Marine Perimeter
Betikama  located near Henderson Field, SDA School with war relics on display

Guadalcanal Airfields
Henderson Field (Lunga Point, Bomber 1, Honiara Airport)   located near the north coast of Guadalcanal.
Fighter 1 (Lunga)  located near the north coast of Guadalcanal, disused since the war.
Fighter 2 (Kukum)  located near the north coast of Guadalcanal, disused today.
Fighter 3 (Emergency Field)  located near the Tenaru River, disused since the war.
Crash Strip (The Grassy Strip)  located near Coffin Corner near the north coast of Guadalcanal
Carney Field (Bomber 2)  located near the north coast of Guadalcanal near Koli Point and the Metapona River.
Crash Strip (Koli Point)  located near the north coast of Guadalcanal between Carney Field and Koli Field.
Koli Field (Bomber 3)  located near the north coast of Guadalcanal near the Metapona River.

Guadalcanal Battlefields
Bloody Ridge (Edson's Ridge, Raider Ridge)  Japanese attack repulsed to the south of Henderson Field
Coffin Corner  located southwest of Bloody Ridge and Crash Strip
The Gifu  Japanese defensive position between Hill 31 and Hill 27 neutralized December to January 1943
Tenaru (Ilu, Alligator Creek)  Japanese attack repulsed at the eastern end of Henderson Field
Seahorse  battlefield area during January 8-11, 1943 includes Hill 43 and Hill 44
Galloping Horse  battlefield area during January 10-13, 1943 Exton Ridge, Sims Ridge depicted in "Thin Red Line".

Eastern Guadalcanal
Tetere  located on the north coast of Guadalcanal, LVT Amtrac dump area.
Taivu  located on the north coast of Guadalcanal, Japanese Army Regiment "Ichiki Regiment" landing.
Tasimboko  located on the north coast of Guadalcanal to the west of Taivu.
Ruavatu  located on the north coast of Guadalcanal, prewar Catholic mission, execution of four missionaries.
Asamana  located fifteen miles inland from the north coast of Guadalcanal, Carlson's "Long Patrol" Nov 1942.
Koli Point  located on the north coast of Guadalcanal, Carney Field, Crash Strip (Koli Point) and Koli Field
Aola (Aula, Tenaghau)  located on the north coast of Guadalcanal borders Aola Bay.
Aola Bay  borders Aola on the north coast of Guadalcanal.

Western Guadalcanal
Tetere  located on the north coast of Guadalcanal, LVT Amtrac dump.
Kokumbona  located on the north coast of Guadalcanal, floating crane, plaque at Tanganai Church.
Lela  located on the north coast of Guadalcanal near the Lela River.
Poha  located on the north coast of Guadalcanal and Poha River.
Tassafaronga Point (Tasivaronga, Areveu)  located on the north coast of Guadalcanal. Battle of Tassafaronga.
Bonegi (Mbonege)  located on the north coast of Guadalcanal, November 15, 1942 two transports beach.
Domo (Ndomo)  located on the north coast of Guadalcanal.
Vilu  located on the north coast of Guadalcanal, Vilu War Museum.

Cape Esperence area of Guadalcanal
Cape Esperence  located at the northwest tip of Guadalcanal, Japanese reinforcement and evacuation.
Battle of Cape Esperance  October 11-12, 1942 Second Battle of Savo / Sea Battle of Savo Island.
Visale  located on the northwest tip of Guadalcanal bordering Visale Bay, prewar Visale Catholic Mission.
Takolenduna  located on the northwest tip of Guadalcanal includes Nugu Point bordering Visale Bay and Visale.
Veuru  located at the northwest tip of Guadalcanal, Yamazuki Maru beached November 15, 1942.
Maravovo (Marovovo)  located to the west of Cape Esperence.
Chapuru (Tsapuru, Sapuru)  located near Cape Esperence.
Kamimbo Bay (Tambea)  located on the northwest coast of Guadalcanal west of Cape Esperence.
Tenaro  located on the north coast near Cape Esperence.
Verahue (Varhui, Verahui, Verabue)  located on the northwest corner of Guadalcanal southwest of Cape Esperence.

Southern Guadalcanal
Beaufort Bay  located at the center of the western coast of Guadalcanal.
Longu  located on the southwest "Weather Coast" of Guadalcanal.

Numbered Hills on Guadalcanal
Hill 1 (Hill 80)  feature on the southern end of Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal renumbered Hill 80 by U. S. Army.
Hill 2 (Hill 123)  feature on the northern end of Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal renumbered Hill 123 by U. S. Army.
Hill 27  part of "The Gifu" near the northern coast of Guadalcanal.
Hill 31  part of "The Gifu" near the northern coast of Guadalcanal.
Hill 35  part of "The Gifu" near the northern coast of Guadalcanal, Japanese memorial dedicated 1984.
Hill 43  part of "Seahorse" battlefield during January 8-11, 1943
Hill 44  part of "Seahorse" battlefield during January 8-11, 1943
Hill 50  part of "Galloping Horse" battlefield during January 10-13, 1943
Hill 51  part of "Galloping Horse" battlefield during January 10-13, 1943
Hill 52  part of "Galloping Horse" battlefield during January 10-13, 1943
Hill 53 (Knoll)  part of "Galloping Horse" battlefield during January 10-13, 1943
Hill 54  part of "Galloping Horse" battlefield during January 10-13, 1943
Hill 55  part of "Galloping Horse" battlefield during January 10-13, 1943
Hill 56  part of "Galloping Horse" battlefield during January 10-13, 1943
Hill 57  part of "Galloping Horse" battlefield during January 10-13, 1943
Hill 66  part of "Galloping Horse" battlefield during January 10-13, 1943
Hill 73 (American Memorial / U. S. Memorial)  feature near the Matanikau River on Guadalcanal, U. S. Memorial.
Hill 78  feature today with Solomon Islands Parliament.
Hill 80 (Hill 1)  feature on the southern end of Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal renumbered Hill 80 by U. S. Army.
Hill 84  located inland from Point Cruz, today the King Solomon Hotel is at this location.
Hill 123 (Hill 2)  feature on the northern end of Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal renumbered Hill 123 by U. S. Army.

Guadalcanal Mountains
Mount Austen (Mt. Austen, Grassy Knoll)  mountain overlooking the north coast of Guadalcanal
Gold Ridge  located fifteen miles inland from the north coast of Guadalcanal.

 

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Last Updated
September 10, 2017

 

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