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Between late 1942 and early 1944, the Marines took part in a series of major campaigns in and around the Solomons--including New Georgia, Bougainville, and Cape Gloucester--all part of the effort to reach the Japanese at Rabaul. Eric Hammel has scoured the National Archives to unearth every extant combat photo of these campaigns that paved the way to victory in the Pacific.
Although the 1st Marine Division had broken the back of the Japanese on Guadalcanal in furious combat in October and November of 1942, there was still much hard fighting up the "slot" in the Solomons first in New Georgia, then Bouganville, and finally Cape Goucester on the west end of New Britain, where the 1st Marine Divsion returned to battle at the end of 1943 after being restored following its grueling fight for Guadalcanal.
The Marines campaigns in the Solomons and onto New Britain resulted in the mighty Japanese fortress at Rabaul on the northeast coast of New Britain being isolated and the flank of the continuing army campaign for New Guinea under MacArthur being secured from attacks from Fortress Rabaul. The high watermark of the Japanese in the South and Southwest Pacific had now passed, and the Marines would continue their island hopping in the Central Pacific all the way to Japan.