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    Rice Anchorage Western Province Solomon Islands
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USMC July 5, 1943

PacificWrecks.com
Justin Taylan 2003

Location
Rice Anchorage is located on the northern coast of New Georgia Island. To the north is Kula Gulf and further to the southwest along the north coast is Enogai Inlet, Enogai, Leland Lagoon and Dragons Peninsula. Prewar and during the Pacific War part of the British Solomon Islands. Today located in Western Province in the Solomon Islands.

Wartime History
On July 5, 1943 in the early morning the U. S. "Northern Landing Force" (NLG) including the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) 1st Raider Battalion and U. S. Army 145 Infantry and 148th Infantry, 3d Battalion landed at Rice Anchorage in pouring rain. The defending Japanese did not anticipate a landing at this location as dense jungle and swamps separated Rice Anchorage from the Japanese positions to the west. During the amphibious landing, the 140mm Naval Guns at Enogai fired at the landing area but their shells were inaccurate and too long.

On July 11, 1943 after the capture of Enogai, three PBY Catalinas from VP-24 piloted by Lt. R. F. Wadsworth, Lt (jg) R. B. Blodgett and Lt (jg) A.M.Caldwell took off from Halavo Seaplane Base at 3:05pm evacuate wounded of the First Marine Raiders in the Rice Anchorage-Enogai Inlet areas and survivors from the sinking of USS Strong DD-467. They first landed in Rice Anchorage at 4:45pm and took off again at 5:15pm then landed in Enogai Inlet at 5:25pm where more wounded were loaded. While transfer was taking place at about 6:20pm, attacked by 2 or possibly 3 F1M2 Petes that strafed and dropped bombs but missed. About 6:45pm the Petes withdrew and the PBYs airborne by 6:55pm and returned to Halavo Seaplane Base landing by 9:05pm. During this mission, a total of 71 wounded were evacuated.

References
Marines in the Central Solomons - Chapter 4: From Rice to Bairoko pages 96-98, 102, 104, 107-111, 116, 120

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019

 

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