9° 25' 60S Long 159° 58' 0E Matanikau wartime village is located at the mouth of the Matanikau River on the north coast of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Also known as Matanikao. Today, the area has expanded into a larger settlement and includes Chinatown to the south.
(Pronounced Gech-ee) Early int he Guadalcanal campagin, USMC Colonel Frank Goettge and his patrol went to the west bank of the Matanikau river on August 12, 1942. They landed with intelligence from a POW that Japanese at this
location were willing to surrender. Instead, they were ambushed and killed.
landmark during the battle of Guadalcanal. The Mataniko River was the
western most edge of the American perimeter, the line between
Japanese and Americans.
beach to the east of the river was the location of several Japanese
Type 97 tanks, all knocked out on October 24, 1942. Originally, there
were seven tanks. They were later blown up by American forces,
only one is present today, the others buried in the sand or otherwise
Destroyed October 24, 1942
Hill 73 (American Memorial, Skyline Ridge)
Hill near Matanikau River. During the night of August 18-19, 1942 the Marines bivouac on this hill for the night. and were attacked at dawn by the Japanese. Today, it is the site of the main American memorial on Guadalcanal.
Two hours by foot from Honiara on Guadalcanal is
the spectacular double-sided Mataniko Falls. The falls thunder into
a cave full of stalagmites and swooping swallows and bats. During WWII,
the cave was a hide-out for Japanese soldiers trying to avoid capture
by the Americans. Start out on the 1.5 mile road from Chinatown
to Tuvaruhu. Cross the river at Tuvaruhu, and proceed along the top
of the ridge. The trail is often steep, and you might do better with
a guide after Tuvaruhu.
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February 4, 2018