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    Guadalcanal Province  Solomon Islands

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

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. It was this island, and Henderson Field that was the focal point of the six month Guadalcanal campaign, and a turning point of the Pacific War. 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.

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 73 (Guadalcanal American Memorial)  feature near the Matanikau River on Guadalcanal, U. S. Memorial

Honiara Area (American Perimeter / Marine Perimeter)
Honiara  provincial capital of Guadalcanal Province and national capital of Solomon Islands
Lunga (Lunga Point)  located on the northern coast of Guadalcanal, Lunga River near Henderson Field

  Lunga River near Henderson Field
  Site of initial USMC landing August 7, 1942
  Located on the north coast of Guadalcanal
  Site of initial USMC landing August 7, 1942
 River at western edge of perimeter
  SDA School with WWII relics on display
  Site of initial Japanese landing
    Guadalcanal Airfields
  Built by the Japanese, expanded still in use today
  Fighter 1 (Lunga) airfield and base area
  Fighter 2 (Kukum) airfield and base area
  Fighter 3 (Emergency Field)
  Emergency strip between Carney and Koli
  Located near Koli Point and the Metapona River
  Crash strip between Carney and Koli
  Located near the Metapona River
    Battlefield Areas Guadalcanal
 "Raider Ridge" attack September 12-14, 1942
  Dominant feature of Bloody Ridge, memorial
  Located at the southern end of the Bloody Ridge
 South-west of Bloody Ridge and crash strip
 (Ilu, Alligator) Repulsed Japanese attack
 Mountain overlooking Honiara area
 Defensive positions between Hills 31 and 27
  Located at "The Gifu" battle site and memorial
  Near Mount Austen, Japanese memorial
  near the Matanikau River on Guadalcanal, U. S. Memorial
 Battlefield area, Hill 43, Hill 44

 'Thin Red Line' Exton and Sims ridges

    Eastern Guadalcanal
  Located on the northern coast, AMTRAC dump
  Located on the northern coast of Guadalcanal
  Located west of Taivu Point
  Prewar Catholic mission, executions
  Fifteen miles inland from the coast
  Carney Field, Crash Strip & Koli Fields
  located in eastern Guadalcanal, borders Aola Bay
  borders Aola on the northeast coast of Guadalcanal
    Western Guadalcanal
 Floating crane, plaque at Tanganai Church
 River on the coast west of Kokumbona
  Japanese landing on August 18, 1942
  Liberated January 30, 1943
  Cove and village west of Honiara
 Vilu War Museum
   Northwestern Guadalcanal, Cape Esperence Area
 Located at the northwestern tip of Guadalcanal
  Borders Visale Bay site of prewar Visale Catholic Mission
  Yamazuki Maru beached November 15, 1942
  Located to the west of Cape Esperence
 Visale Catholic Mission
 Village located near Cape Esperence
 Japanese mini-sub base  I-1 wreckage
 Village where US Army linked up Feb 9, 1943
 Village to the south-west of Cape Esperence
    Southern Guadalcanal
  Located on the western coast of Guadalcanal
  Located on the southwest coast of Guadalcanal
    Bodies of Water off Guadalcanal
 Naval battles during Guadalcanal campaign
  Lunga River near Henderson Field
 Located in Iron Bottom Sound bordering Florida Island
 Located in Iron Bottom Sound between Negllo and Lengo
 Located in Iron Bottom Sound borders Guadalcanal

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Last Updated
July 23, 2017

 

Map
Map
Aug 7, 1942

Map
Map 1942

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