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    Matanikau (Mataniko) Guadalcanal Solomon Islands

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October 24, 1942

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January 8, 1943

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January 17, 1943

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Peter Flahavin 2004

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Justin Taylan 2006

Location
Lat 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.

Goettge Patrol
(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.

Matanikau River
Important landmark during the battle of Guadalcanal. The Mataniko River was the western most edge of the American perimeter, the line between Japanese and Americans.

Matanikau Sandbar
The 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 dissapeared.

Type 97 Chi-Ha
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.

Matanikau Falls
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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Last Updated
August 5, 2017

 

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