n early August 1942, hoping to halt the expansion of the Japanese in the South Pacific, Allied forces landed on a small island in the Solomon Islands: Guadalcanal. It would take six long months of grueling battle before they would wrest control of the island from the enemy. The victory was of critical importance, the moment when the Allies put the Japanese on the defensive for the first time. It was also hard-won, involving intense combat in the skies above and the waters surrounding Guadalcanal, as well as on its muddy shores. The soldiers, sailors, and Marines fighting to hold Guadalcanal—many of whom had survived the attacks on Pearl Harbor eight months earlier—found themselves battling not only the enemy, but also suffocating heat, intense food shortages and tropical diseases such as dysentery and malaria.
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the campaign, the Veterans History Project presents this newest installment of Experiencing War, in which veterans of the “green hell” of Guadalcanal narrate their experiences in oral history interviews, letters, diaries, memoirs, and photographs.