Special Topics

Battle of Guadalcanal

The Battle of Guadalcanal started August 7, 1942 beginning the first U.S. offensive of World War Two.  Within 24 hours, more than 11,000 Marines had landed on Guadalcanal and began moving inland to secure Henderson Field.  After months of bitter fighting, the Japanese suffered 25,000 casualties leading to their evacuation of the island in February 1943.  6,300 Marines died or were wounded during the seven month long battle.  New Jersey residents, such as Vincent Kramer, fought to secure victory during this first, crucial offensive.  The Rutgers Oral History Archives has interviewed Rutgers Alum and New Jersey residents who took part in this early battle.  Click name to read more.  Also look for Rutgers Alum or New Jersey residents who gave their lives during the Battle of Guadalcanal at this link:

  • Francis S. Gentile

    Military Branch & Unit: Marine Corps
    Marine Corps Other: VMTB 232
    Battle of Guadalcanal: Quote: "Well, [on] every island we were bombed by Japs. The first time had to be Guadalcanal"
  • Edward S. Hoe III

    Military Branch & Unit: Army
    US Army Division: 43rd Infantry
    US Army Regiment: 103rd Infantry
    US Army Battalion: 1st Battalion
    US Army Company: C Company
    Battle of Guadalcanal: Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
    Battle of Guadalcanal: Quote: "On the way over we had to stop at Guadalcanal. They needed some replacements. One of our ships had been sunk and there was a whole team that was going to Guadalcanal ... I think they only lost one man, he drowned, but the whole team ... they lost all their equipment and everything. So, they called us..."
  • Vincent Kramer

    Military Branch & Unit: Marine Corps
    Marine Corps Other: CIA
    Battle of Guadalcanal: Highest Rank: Major
    Battle of Guadalcanal: Quote: "[With Malaria] You ran a fever of 106 degrees. And you still had to try to stay, and stay with your position. You had dengue fever, which is even worse than malaria. Men that were scratched with coral became infected with a rundown condition. It was a war of attrition, mostly, for the Marines"
  • Frederick Wesche III

    Military Branch & Unit: Army Air Forces
    Battle of Guadalcanal: Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
    Battle of Guadalcanal: Quote: "We did a lot of our bombing... at night for the very reason that I mentioned, the Japanese never did develop an efficient night fighter."