BOUGAINVILLE, site of U.S. landing in Pacific during World War II. With the objective of gaining air-fields for a strike on New Britain Island, Lieutenant General A. A. Vandegrift's First U.S. Marine Amphibious Corps landed on the western coast of Bougainville, the largest of the Solomon Islands, on 1 November 1943. The marines faced a scarcity of amphibious shipping, a swampy terrain, and worthless naval gunfire support. Nevertheless, this was at the time the best-planned and best-executed amphibious operation of World War II. By 13 November 33,861 marines had been put ashore to face a Japanese contingent of approximately 58,000. By 15 December the American perimeter was defended by a well-anchored defense. The objective had been achieved at a cost to the U.S. Marines of 423 killed and 1,418 wounded; 2,500 Japanese were killed.
Dyer, George Carroll. The Amphibians Came to Conquer. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Marine Corps, 1991.
Gailey, Harry A. Bougainville, 1943–1945. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1991.
W. M.Darden/a. r.
See alsoGuadalcanal Campaign .