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Appendix A: Bibliographical Notes

This history is based principally upon official Marine Corps records: the reports, diaries, journals, orders, etc., of the units and commands involved in the operations described. Records of the other armed services have been consulted where they are pertinent. On matters pertaining to activities at high strategic levels, the authors have drawn on the records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In order to cover gaps and inadequacies that occur in the sources consulted, extensive use has been made of the knowledge of key participants in the actions described. These men have been generous with their time in answering specific and general queries, in making themselves available for interviews, and in commenting on draft manuscripts. The military historical offices of the other services, of the New Zealand Government and of the Japanese Government have read and commented upon those draft chapters bearing upon the activities of their own units.

Because this volume deals with the whole of the Allied campaign to neutralize Rabaul, many of the records used relate to more than one of the component operations. Such sources have been fully cited in the text and are discussed in relation to the particular operation where they have the most pertinency. All records cited, except as otherwise noted, are on file at, or obtainable through, the Archives of the Historical Branch, G-3 Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.

A number of published works of general interest have been consulted frequently in the writing of this volume. The more important of these are listed below.


Wesley Frank Craven and James Lee Cate, eds. The Pacific: Guadalcanal to Saipan—August 1942 to July 1944—The Army Air Forces in World War II, v. 4. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1950. This is the Air Force’s official history for the period of the Rabaul neutralization campaign. Well documented, the book is a reliable source for the actions of Fifth Air Force and Thirteenth Air Force units and the attitudes and decisions of their commanders.

FAdm William F. Halsey and LCdr J. Bryan, III. Admiral Halsey’s Story. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1947. This popular treatment of one of the most spectacular figures of the Pacific war presents a fascinating and useful picture of South Pacific command planning and decisions.

John Miller, Jr. CARTWHEEL: The Reduction of Rabaul—The War in the Pacific—United States Army in World War II. Washington: Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, 1959. A basic military source work, this volume of the Army’s official history presents a comprehensive view of the CARTWHEEL campaign with particularly good coverage on the planning aspects.

Samuel Eliot Morison. Breaking the Bismarcks Barrier—History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, v. VI. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1950. Rear Admiral Morison’s history was written with every cooperation from the Navy and can be considered its official history, even though the author disclaims this evaluation. Morison is at his best in describing action at sea and in analyzing Japanese moves and motives.

Robert Sherrod. History of Marine Corps Aviation in World War II. Washington: Combat Forces Press, 1952. This is a highly readable account of Marine air activities which was written with substantial Marine Corps research support; its text includes the results of many interviews and eyewitness accounts no longer available for study.

United States Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific), Naval Analysis Division. The Campaigns of the Pacific War. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1946. This report attempts to present the broad picture of the war from the

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Japanese viewpoint through brief descriptions of the various campaigns, but, unfortunately, it was prepared too soon after the event to gain deep perspective. The text contains many inaccuracies. The book is of great value, however, in presenting translations of many enemy documents that reveal Japanese wartime thinking.

United States Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific), Naval Analysis Division. Interrogations of Japanese Officials. 2 vols. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1946. This is a companion report to Campaigns (above) and similarly of value in telling the Japanese side of the story.

Part I: Strategic Situation, Spring 1943

Official Documents

The JCS records, especially those of the Pacific Military Conference in March 1943, were particularly helpful in developing the course of the ELKTON plans as they fared in Washington. The transcripts and summaries give considerable useful background information on the state of U.S. and Allied forces in the South and Southwest Pacific. The war diaries of Commander, South Pacific furnish an excellent chronological narrative with emphasis on important messages sent and received.

Intelligence surveys by various higher headquarters were used extensively to build a picture of the state of Allied knowledge of enemy troops and terrain. In the case of the Russell Islands operation, action reports and war diaries of the units concerned furnished the narrative base. The main sources for the status report on the FMF were a study of Marine Corps ground training in World War II prepared in the Historical Branch and a history of FMFPac prepared at Pearl Harbor about 1951.

Japanese Sources

In the years immediately following the end of the war, former Japanese officials working under the auspices of General MacArthur’s headquarters prepared a series of monographs detailing Japanese actions in many Pacific and Asian campaigns and at the various headquarters in the home islands. In the middle 50s, a number of these original studies were revised and expanded, again by knowledgeable Japanese. The monographs vary considerably in their value, but, on the whole, they are honestly presented and useful in gaining an insight into Japanese actions. The Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, which has a complete file of these studies, has prepared an annotated guide and index, Guide to Japanese Monographs and Japanese Studies on Manchuria 1945-1960 (Washington, 1961), which is an excellent aid in evaluating the individual items.

Among the several Japanese monographs of the series that were used with this part, No. 45, the 382-page history of the Imperial General Headquarters, Army Section, was particularly helpful. It provides an overall view of the progress of the war as seen from Tokyo and contains appendices of Army orders. The operations record of the Seventeenth Army (No. 35 of the series) is valuable for its development of the Army’s early actions in the central and northern Solomons campaigns. Similarly, the Japanese account (No. 99 of the series) of Southeast Area naval operations from February through October 1943 gives the Navy’s view of the beginnings of joint defensive measures.


Cdr Eric A. Feldt, RAN. The Coastwatchers. Melbourne and New York: Oxford University Press, 1946. This is a personalized account of the coastwatchers by one of their leaders which gives a good picture of individual exploits and of the overall contribution of these valiant men to the success of operations in the South and Southwest Pacific Areas.

Richard M. Leighton and Robert W. Coakley. Global Logistics and Strategy, 1940-1943—The War Department—United States Army in World War II. Washington: Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, 1955. This book is an excellent, objective examination of the background of Allied action in the early years of the war.

John Miller, Jr. Guadalcanal: The First Offensive—The War in the Pacific—United States Army in World War II. Washington: Historical Division, Department of the Army, 1949. This work is one of the first Army official histories written; it is also one of the best, and gives adequate, objective coverage to Marine actions in the first offensive of the war.

Samuel Milner. Victory in Papua—The War in the Pacific—United States Army in World

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War II. Washington: Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, 1957. This is the basic source for any narrative of the fighting in New Guinea that paralleled the action on Guadalcanal.

Part II: TOENAILS Operation

Official Records

Discussions of the operations at New Georgia are based on the records of the units concerned. Included in the documents are special action reports, war diaries, and informal combat reports of the tactical units involved as well as the journals and special reports of the various staff sections. It must be remembered that the New Georgia operation was conducted by a composite force of Navy, Marine Corps, and Army units and that few arrangements for submission of action reports had been made. Accordingly, the various units reported either to the next senior echelon or to their own service, whichever they deemed proper. As a result, the reports of some Army units are in Marine Corps archives and vice versa. In general, however, most reports of tactical units are held by the service concerned. It must also be remembered that the desirability of maintaining official records was not fully recognized at this point of the war and that most commanders were naturally more interested in accomplishment of the combat mission than they were in keeping records. Consequently, most existing records are incomplete. The exceptions are the postoperation reports of the New Georgia Occupation Force (XIV Corps) and the 37th Infantry Division. These records are invaluable for a comprehensive account of the drawn-out Munda campaign.

One great assistance to the study of the New Georgia operation was the mid-1943 order by the Marine Corps which directed the preparation and submission of war diaries by tactical units. This resulted in the preparation of a number of organizational histories and postoperation reports which filled several large gaps in the general account of the campaign.

At the conclusion of the war, the Historical Section of the South Pacific Base Command prepared a manuscript of the history of the New Georgia campaign. This account includes a large number of well-drawn maps. This manuscript, held by the Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, is helpful as a guide to obscure documents and memoranda which might not otherwise be encountered by researchers. The base command’s manuscript forms the basis for many of the later histories of the New Georgia fighting.

Other official records which were informative included the combat narratives published during 1944 by the Office of Naval Intelligence. Two of these once-classified booklets used in this portion of the book were No. IX: Bombardments of Munda and Vila-Stanmore, January-May, 1943 and No. X: Operations in the New Georgia Area, 21 June-5 August 1943. Taken from action reports of the commands and ships involved, these narrative accounts were helpful in synthesizing naval actions and coordinating the Navy’s contributions to the combat action ashore.

Unofficial Sources

During the writing of the Marine Corps monograph on the New Georgia campaign, Major John N. Rentz of the Historical Division obtained a number of written comments from participants of all services, and these letters and memoranda, together with a number of personal interviews, form the basis for many of the personal recollections which augment the operational reports of the tactical units. Certain key individuals, who also commented on the draft of this book, helped clarify command problems encountered during the fighting. Valuable, in addition, were a number of articles and vignettes by combat correspondents in the Marine Corps Gazette and Leatherneck magazine of late 1943 and early 1944. These unofficial sources are helpful in filling in the background to combat operations.

Japanese Sources

Japanese records used in this account, in addition to the three monographs mentioned previously, were obtained mainly from captured documents interpreted by South Pacific Forces during the campaign and may be procured from either the Naval History Division or Marine Corps Historical Branch archives. A fourth monograph used in this account, No. 34 of the series held by the Office of the Chief of Military History, was the account of Seventeenth Army operations from May 1942 to January 1943, which provides useful background information on units that were engaged during the New Georgia fighting.

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Books and Periodicals

A number of biographies and memoirs of ranking officers were consulted for information for this part of the book, but the most informative was Admiral Halsey’s. Other published sources from which information was obtained include:

Oliver A. Gillespie. The Pacific—The Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War, 1939-1945. Wellington: War History Branch, Department of Internal Affairs, 1952. This is a useful study which describes the course of employment of New Zealand forces as seen from the New Zealand viewpoint.

Col Samuel B. Griffith, II. “Corry’s Boys,” Marine Corps Gazette, v. 36, no. 3 (Mar 52), and “Action at Enogai,” Marine Corps Gazette, v. 38, no. 3 (Mar 54). These are personal experience stories by the former commanding officer of the 1st Raider Battalion during the fighting on New Georgia.

Jeter A. Isley and Philip A. Crowl. The U.S. Marines and Amphibious War. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1951. This book deals more with the development of amphibious doctrine and equipment than with operational history. The authors, however, have a number of pertinent conclusions relative to the campaign.

Maj John N. Rentz. Marines in the Central Solomons. Washington: Historical Branch, HQMC, 1952. This monograph forms the basis for this account. It is well written and contains considerable detail of Marine Corps small unit activities in the New Georgia Group.

Col Joseph E. Zimmer. The History of the 43rd Infantry Division, 1941-1945. Baton Rouge, La.: Army and Navy Publishing Company, 1947. This is a perceptive history of the unit that did most of the fighting on New Georgia by the former commanding officer of 1/169.

Part III: Northern Solomons Operations

Official Records

In contrast to the Guadalcanal and New Georgia operations, the Northern Solomons campaign is fully documented from its earliest planning stages through the completion of the fighting. Most of the material in this section of the book was derived from the records of the tactical units and staff sections which participated in the three landings which comprised the Northern Solomons venture—the Treasurys, Choiseul, and Empress Augusta Bay. The III Amphibious Force war diaries for the months of October and November and the action report prepared after the Cape Torokina landings are valuable for information on the Navy’s participation in the planning and execution of these operations. These documents are held by the Classified Operational Archives, Naval History Division.

The most informative account of the entire Northern Solomons campaign from its inception to its conclusion, however, is contained in the action report of I Marine Amphibious Corps. This account, in three parts, provides a day-by-day narrative of the three operations as well as a discussion of the planning difficulties, logistics preparations, and administrative problems of the campaign. Included are a number of overlays and maps plus special reports by various staff sections and tactical units. Also valuable are the separate administrative, intelligence, operational, and supply and evacuation journals of the corps which accompany the overall report.

The 3rd Marine Division, which made the initial landings at Cape Torokina, provided a complete resume of the entire operation in the combat report written after the division’s return to Guadalcanal. In addition to a narrative account of the campaign, the combat report includes a special report by each staff section of the division and action reports by each of the tactical units of the division as well as attached units. The three records—III Amphibious Force, I Marine Amphibious Corps, and the 3rd Marine Division—provide a complete and comprehensive assessment of the entire campaign.

A contemporary account of the Bougainville operation, written prior to the end of the war by the Historical Section, Headquarters, Marine Corps, was of great assistance in outlining the campaign. This mimeographed study uses the above-mentioned records as the basis for the narrative. It is well written and quite descriptive in a number of instances. Equally as useful in maintaining the thread of action in the whole campaign was the Third Fleet Narrative Report prepared in the late summer of 1944.

Another once-classified account of the Solomon islands campaign prepared by the Office of Naval Intelligence was also of value. This booklet, No. XII- The Bougainville Landing and the

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Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, 27 October-2 November 1943, was published in 1945. It describes the naval battles which were part of the Northern Solomons campaign.

Unofficial Documents

The comments and interviews obtained by Major Rentz in the writing of the monograph on Bougainville were also helpful in the preparation of this book. A number of the staff officers of IMAC as well as the 3rd Marine Division submitted lengthy comments regarding the planning, preparations, and execution of the campaign, and all of these were of great value in filling in several gaps in the records. The various accounts were consulted and compared so that an accurate presentation could be made. As might be expected, recollections of one event may start a chain reaction which results in further recollections and remembrances. All of these were helpful, although not all could be used.

An account on the development of naval gunfire support during this period was also informative. This manuscript, “Naval Gunfire Support in the Solomon Islands Campaign,” was written by Colonel Frederick P. Henderson in 1954 and traces the growth of fire support by naval vessels through the various South Pacific operations. It was especially valuable in regard to the Bougainville operation which was the proving ground for many gunfire support theories developed as a result of experience gained in earlier actions.

Among the comments received in regard to the draft of this book, those of Lieutenant General Edward A. Craig, Major General Victor A. Krulak, and Colonel Robert T. Vance were particularly helpful. General Craig was able to add considerably to the story of the 9th Marines, in particular during the Piva Trail battle. General Krulak’s suggested corrections and additions to the narrative of the Choiseul raid were carefully based on contemporary records and clarified a number of points on which there had been conflicting or incomplete information. Colonel Vance’s comments and sketch maps helped fix many details of the action of the 3rd Parachute Battalion.

Japanese Sources

The intelligence journals and reports of various IMAC headquarters contain numerous partial translations which give a running picture of the Japanese situation. In addition to those Japanese monographs of the series previously mentioned, No. 100, covering the activities of Southeast Area naval forces from October 1943 to February 1944, was consulted frequently. It contains a daily operations log of naval air activities and is more concerned with naval aviation than other naval forces.


The following books, in addition to those already mentioned, were used extensively in the preparation of the Bougainville chapters.

1st Lts Robert A. Aurthur and Kenneth Cohlmia. The Third Marine Division. LtCol Robert T. Vance, ed. Washington: Infantry Journal Press, 1948. This volume includes a colorful description of all the combat operations of the division in World War II.

John Monks, Jr. A Ribbon and a Star, The Third Marines at Bougainville. Illustrated by John Falter. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1945. Although this book deals principally with the 3rd Marines, it is, undoubtedly, the favorite of every Marine who fought at Bougainville because of its descriptive passages and sketches. The author and illustrator have captured the feeling of combat and the island.

Maj John N. Rentz. Bougainville and the Northern Solomons. Washington: Historical Section, Division of Information, HQMC, 1948. This official monograph contains a highly informative account of the entire campaign with great detail on the combat at Cape Torokina. Especially helpful was an outstanding descriptive appendix on the Northern Solomons islands.

Part IV: The New Britain Campaign

Official Documents

By far the most useful records of the CARTWHEEL operations on New Britain are the daily journals and message files of General Headquarters, SWPA and of ALAMO Force. These voluminous documents include memoranda of staff conversations, orders, plans, special reports, and just about every conceivable type of message bearing on military operations. They must be searched carefully, however, as documents that bear on a common topic are occasionally filed together out of chronological order. Like General Krueger’s DEXTERITY Operation report,

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which provides a good summary of New Britain actions, these reports are available from the World War II Records Division, Federal Records Center, Alexandria, Va.

The 1st Marine Division’s action report for the Cape Gloucester operation, which was prepared in large part by one of the authors of the later campaign monograph, is well written and often exciting reading. The narrative, organized around phases of the fighting, is sometimes shaky on details, but subsequent comment by participants in the actions described clarified many points. The corrected narrative was the basis of the monographic account. The division’s Talasea action report is not as complete, relatively speaking, as that covering Cape Gloucester, but it furnishes an adequate basis for a narrative when supplemented by contemporary documents of other commands.

The plans, orders, and reports of naval elements of Admiral Barbey’s amphibious forces are particularly good for the earlier part of the campaign. The basic report and historical account of General Cunningham’s command, supplemented by the messages contained in the ALAMO G-3 File, give a clear picture of the situation at Arawe. On the whole, the documentation of the operations in western New Britain is excellent at the higher levels and complete enough at lower echelons to insure that careful research will produce a reliable account.

Unofficial Documents

The letters and interviews resulting from the preparation of the New Britain campaign monograph are unusually complete and detailed. The comments, based on draft narratives and questions circulated by the Marine Corps Historical Branch, were used extensively in the writing of that narrative and have been consulted often in the preparation of this shorter account. Frequently, different aspects of the comments have been emphasized in this book.

Through the generosity of General Vandegrift, his personal correspondence when he was Commandant was made available for Historical Branch use. The letters that he received from General Rupertus are valuable in following the course of the preparations for the operation, the fighting itself, and the various aspects of the 1st Division’s employment in the Southwest Pacific Area. Extracts from this correspondence, together with copies of some of the letters, are available in the Marine Corps Historical Branch Archives for use by qualified researchers.

Among the letters received in comment upon the draft narrative of this part, those from the other service historical agencies have been very effective in clarifying some of the language used and pointing the way to a more accurate account. General Shepherd and Admiral Barbey, who provided the most useful critical readings of the draft chapters, elaborated on their comments in later conversation with the author. Admiral Barbey’s comprehensive remarks on the organization and philosophy of employment of amphibious forces in the SWPA were valuable in analyzing the separate development of amphibious techniques in the Central and Southwest Pacific.

Japanese Sources

The Allied Translation and Intelligence Section of General MacArthur’s headquarters maintained forward echelons with the 1st Marine Division on Cape Gloucester which screened Japanese documents as they were picked up. Working closely with the language personnel of the division’s own intelligence section, these ATIS translators were partially responsible for the effective flow of enemy intelligence to combat troops. The later full translation of such Japanese material in ATIS bulletins and other publications made the reconstruction of the actions of the Matsuda Force relatively easy. There is a wealth of Japanese material available from the Cape Gloucester operation, and credit for its recovery can be traced directly to the indoctrination the troops received in the importance of turning in any documents they found.

Two further Japanese monographs of the series held at the Office of the Chief of Military History were used extensively with this part. They are complementary, one (No. 127) deals with the operations of the Eighth Area Army and the other (No. 128) covers the activities of the 17th Division. Together, the two studies give a good picture of operations in western New Britain as seen from Rabaul.

A manuscript translation of the book put out by the Matsu Publishing Company in Tokyo in 1955, Dai Toa Senso Zenshi [The Complete History of the Greater East Asia War], was made available by the Office of the Chief of Military History. This excellent study, written by Takushiro Hattori, who was a ranking staff officer

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during the war and an historian afterwards, was very helpful in understanding Japanese actions during the fighting on New Britain. The book contains enough detail, based in part upon the studies for the Japanese monographs mentioned above, to be a useful strategic review for every major campaign in the war.

The War History Office, Defense Agency of Japan, very kindly consented to read the draft manuscripts of the Marine Corps operational history and began its welcome review with this part. The task, which involved a considerable amount of translation and research, was time consuming but worthwhile. The comments received, while not voluminous, have been excellent and have helped to clarify several heretofore moot points.

Books and Periodicals

Col Robert Amory, Jr., AUS, and Capt Ruben M. Waterman, AUS, eds. Surf and Sand, The Saga of the 533rd Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment and the 1461st Engineer Maintenance Company 1942-1945. Andover, Mass.: The Andover Press, Ltd., 1947. This is the unit history of the Army amphibian engineers who were attached to the 1st Marine Division on New Britain.

General Headquarters, Army Forces, Pacific, Office of the Chief Engineer. Amphibian Engineer Operations—Engineers in the Southwest Pacific 1941-1945, v. IV. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1950. Although a good source for the activities of the Army small boat units that supported the Marines, this work contains some minor inaccuracies.

LtCol Frank O. Hough and Maj John A. Crown. The Campaign on New Britain. Washington: Historical Branch, HQMC, 1952. The basic source for the narrative of Marine actions on New Britain, this monograph contains numerous quotes from the draft chapter comments of participants. Among the several informative appendices is an outstanding one on the vegetation of the island and its effect on military operations, prepared by Captain Levi T. Burcham.

LtCol Robert B. Luckey. “Cannon, Mud, and Japs,” Marine Corps Gazette, v. 28, no. 10 (Oct 44). This is an interesting and very readable account of the employment of artillery at Cape Gloucester by the former executive officer of the 11th Marines.

George McMillan. The Old Breed: A History of the First Marine Division in World War II. Washington: Infantry Journal Press, 1949. This unit history, which concerns itself more with the spirit of the 1st Division than with a recital of details of its combat actions, is generally accorded to be one of the finest books of its type written after the war.

United States Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific), Military Analysis Division. Employment of Forces Under the Southwest Pacific Command. Washington: Government Printing Office, Feb 47. Based closely upon studies prepared by historians with General MacArthur’s headquarters, this booklet is a useful summary of actions in the SWPA.

Part V: Marine Air Against Rabaul

Official Documents

The terrain studies of Rabaul prepared by various intelligence agencies were an important factor in understanding Rabaul as a target complex. The South Pacific air combat intelligence reports provided the best running account of air action and a good picture of the steady deterioration of Japanese airfield and aircraft strength. The archives of the Marine Corps Historical Branch contain enough material on various South Pacific air commands, including the all-important Strike Command, to develop a good picture of air action. There are voluminous Marine squadron and group reports of varying quality which can be exploited for a more detailed story than space allowed in this book.

The USAF Historical Archives at the Air University, Maxwell Field, Alabama, furnished the reports of Fifth and Thirteenth Air Force actions which supplement the material available in Navy and Marine records. Since ComAirSols was always a joint command, its activities lend themselves to treatment as an integrated whole. It is difficult to separate Marine air’s contributions to the reduction of Rabaul from those of other services and our Allies. In order to present a balanced picture of the situation, this part was written with the joint aspect of the air offensive always in mind.

The sections concerning characteristics of major Japanese and Allied combat aircraft were taken primarily from Army Air Force and Navy intelligence publications. These booklets, plus

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published interviews with pilots and operations officers with experience in the South Pacific area, provide a good means for assessing relative plane performance. Material on Japanese air crew training and experience levels was also found in intelligence reports as well as in the publications of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey.

Unofficial Documents

There is no body of letters and interviews in the Marine Corps Historical Branch archives relating to the air campaign against Rabaul as there is in the case of other campaigns which have been covered by monographic studies. Although there are a few pertinent letters among the papers acquired from the Sherrod aviation history project, these have limited value to a history of broad scope. Comments on the draft of this part from key commanders and staff officers, from the historical agencies of other services, particularly that of the Air Force, and from the New Zealand War History Office have been a useful check on the coverage and treatment of the aerial campaign.

Japanese Sources

Two more Japanese monographs of the highly useful series prepared for General MacArthur’s headquarters were consulted frequently in the writing of this part. Both cover the activities of naval air during the period when Admiral Kusaka’s Eleventh Air Fleet, with reinforcements from the Combined Fleet’s carrier air groups, defended Rabaul. Monograph No. 140, Southeast Area Naval Air Operations (July-November 1943) is written in journal form with missions, claims, and losses featured and little discussion of combat operations. No. 142 which covers naval air operations from December 1943 to May 1944, provides a general review of the period when the Japanese lost the air battle over Rabaul. Included as an appendix to this last study is an analysis by a former staff officer of the 25th Air Flotilla of Japanese air operations in the Southeast Area throughout the Allied advance on Rabaul and its subsequent isolation.

The difficult problem of assessing Japanese aircraft losses was eased considerably by the careful analysis of the draft manuscript made by the War History Office of the Defense Agency of Japan. The Japanese comments have been utilized as appropriate throughout the finished narrative.


The fourth volume of the official history of the Army Air Forces, edited by Craven and Cate, and Sherrod’s history of Marine Corps aviation have been the most important source works used for this part. In addition to these two books, both already cited as overall sources for this volume, the following were referred to frequently:

Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate, eds. Men and Planes—The Army Air Forces in World War II, v. 6. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955. An excellent volume in this basic reference series, this book provides considerable information on the aircraft used by the Army Air Forces and the training of its aircrews.

Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air), Aviation History Unit, OP-519B. The Navy’s Air War, A Mission Accomplished. Lt A. R. Buchanan, USNR, ed. New York and London: Harper and Brothers [1946]. A summary of naval aviation’s contribution to the war, this book is useful because of its information on aircrew training and aircraft development.

George C. Kenney. General Kenney Reports, A Personal History of the Pacific War. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1949. An interesting memoir that sheds some light on command decisions in the SWPA, this work has the fault, however, of relying on the damage statistics and claims of the time written about rather than those which have been proved more accurate by later research.

George Odgers. Air War Against Japan 1943-1945—Australia in the War of 1939-1945 (Air). Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1957. This work is the prime source for information about the activities of the RAAF in the Southwest Pacific.

Masutake Okumiya and Jiro Horikoshi with Martin Caidin. Zero! New York: E. P. Dutton and Co., Inc., 1956. A fascinating book written by the designer of the Zero and an experienced Japanese naval pilot with the help of a veteran American writer on aviation matters. This account provides an exciting and informative history of the most formidable fighter used by the Japanese during the war.

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SqnLdr J. M. S. Ross, RNZAF. Royal New Zealand Air Force—Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War. Wellington War History Branch, Department of Internal Affairs, 1955. An objective and useful study of the RNZAF actions in the South and Southwest Pacific, this work merits close scrutiny.

United States Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific), Naval Analysis Division. Marshalls-Gilberts-New Britain Party. The Allied Campaign Against Rabaul. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1946. More than half of this study is taken up with appendices, which include extensive interviews with General Imamura, Admiral Kusaka, and principal subordinates. The narrative is particularly good in its summation of the effects of the Allied air campaign on the Japanese stronghold.

Part VI: Conclusion

Official Documents

The basic sources for the narrative of the seizure of the Green Islands and Emirau were the action reports of the III Amphibious Force. The account of fighting in the Admiralties was based upon the description in the official Army history. The story of the aerial attacks that obliterated the town of Rabaul and destroyed the supplies that the Japanese were unable to disperse or move underground is well covered in the SoPac study, The Reduction of Rabaul, which covers the period 19 February-15 May 1944.

The narrative of the 18 months of Allied aerial attacks on Rabaul and Kavieng, which followed the Japanese evacuation of all flyable aircraft from the bastion, was found in the reports and war diaries of ComAirSols and ComAirNorSols. Once Marine Mitchells bore the brunt of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing’s interdiction attacks, the reports of MAG-61 and ComAirEmirau became the basic sources.

In summing up the period covered by this volume, the most useful documents were the action reports prepared by principal commands for each operation covered and the narrative account of Third Fleet activities prepared by Admiral Halsey’s staff and submitted to CinCPOA in September 1944. Much of the material already cited was reviewed again before the last chapter was written.

Unofficial Documents

Many of the senior officers who commented upon pertinent draft parts of this volume made significant observations on the course of the war in the South and Southwest Pacific Areas. These comments were carefully considered and, in many cases, are incorporated in the evaluations made in the summary chapter.

Japanese Sources

No one can read the monographs prepared by Japanese historians for the use of American military forces or follow the comments that they made on the draft of this volume without tremendous respect for their honesty and lack of subterfuge. The study made by Takushiro Hattori, previously mentioned, reflects this objective and analytical approach throughout its pages. The manuscript translation of Hattori’s work, together with material derived from Japanese sources in the relevant volumes of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey’s works, have been used to review the Japanese part in the Rabaul campaign.


The basic published sources that underlie the narrative of this book were used again in preparing the concluding chapters. In addition to these volumes, listed in the opening section of these notes, the following were of particular use:

Maj Charles W. Boggs, Jr. Marine Aviation in the Philippines. Washington: Historical Division, HQMC, 1951. This official monograph was useful in developing the story of the deployment of 1st Wing squadrons from the Bismarcks and Solomons to the Philippines.

Kenneth W. Condit and Edwin T. Turnbladh. Hold High the Torch, A History of the 4th Marines. Washington: Historical Branch, G-3 Division, HQMC, 1960. This regimental history provided a useful source of information regarding the employment of the newly formed 4th Marines in the Emirau operation.

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Appendix B: Guide to Abbreviations (omitted)

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Appendix C: Military Map Symbols (omitted)