Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks   Donate Now  
Search Chronology Locations Aircraft Vessels Missing In Action (MIA)
Pacific World War II Book Review  
Order Book
by Walter Lord
Viking Press, Inc  1977
322 pages
Index, photos, maps
ISBN: 0670437654

Language: English

In Association with
Order this book online

Return to
Book Reviews
Main Menu

Lonely Vigil
Coastwatchers of the Solomons
Originally published in 1977, this book tells the story of Coastwatchers in the Solomon Islands - that remarkable band of individualists who operated deep behind Japanese lines in the dark days of 1942-43. Living by their wits, with the help of friendly natives, they passed along critical intelligence, rescued downed flyers, and saved men from their sinking ships - including John F. Kennedy’s PT-109. In Admiral Halsey’s words, "The Coastwatchers saved Guadalcanal and Guadalcanal saved the Pacific."

It is also the story of the natives who helped them, the missionaries they worked with, the downed flyers and castaways they rescued, the Marine patrols they guided, the pilots and submariners who serviced them, and even the Japanese who chased them.

To piece the story together, Lord traveled 40,000 miles to interview the participants, pore through archives, and examine private letters and diaries. He even made a three-day hike through the Guadalcanal jungle to inspect the coastwatcher hideout on Gold Ridge, to put readers in their shoes. The result is a major contribution to the history of World War II told by a master storyteller.

In 2006, this classic was reprinted in 2006 by the US Naval Institute Press with a new cover art, ISBN: 1591144663

Review by Justin Taylan

Return to Book Reviews | Add a review or submit for review

Last Updated
May 23, 2017

    All rights reserved.  
  Pacific Wrecks Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to bringing home those Missing In Action (MIA) and leveraging new technologies in the study of World War II Pacific and the Korean War.  
Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus Instagram
Forum Updates People Museums Reviews Submit Info How You Can Help