LOA Members –

American Airmen may pause to reflect on the anniversary of the first raid flown against occupied Europe (17 August 1942) or the dropping of the atomic weapon on Japan (6 August 1945)—both flown by Paul Tibbets, commander of the Enola Gay—but I think the most value to any logistician is to study the joint campaign on Guadalcanal.

Conditions were primitive for almost the entire campaign (August 1942 to February 1943) with much of the fighting and fixing done dodging Japanese air raids or incoming shells from Imperial Japanese ships sailing the slot (see the pock marked photo of Henderson Field at left). Facing extreme supply difficulties and initial reliance on Japanese materiel, rations, and fuel.

As our forces continue to serve in expeditionary locations with all the creature comforts of home (including Wi-Fi, sim cards, and the expensive Exchange logistics tail) let us recall all the maintenance and munitions professionals who persevered on the Pacific Islands gained at great cost in lives and treasure.

Col Decker
LOA Historian

The Battle for Guadalcanal, Chapter 2, The Army Air Forces in World War II: Vol. IV, The Pacific: Guadalcanal to Saipan, August 1942 to July 1944 p 37-44 The Battle for the Ridge, excerpt, Chapter 5, The Guadalcanal Campaign, Official Marine Corps History, p 73