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Solomons Air War Volume 2 (Paperback)

Guadalcanal & Santa Cruz October 1942

Aviation WWII

Imprint: Avonmore Books
Pages: 200
Illustrations: fully illustrated; colour
ISBN: 9780645700459
Published: 31st January 2024



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This second volume of Solomons Air War chronicles aerial warfare in the Solomon Islands theatre during the critical month of October 1942. It can be read alone or as part of the ongoing Solomons Air War series.


October 1942 saw an explosion of air activity in the Solomons. During the first three weeks of the month busy Tokyo Express runs landed thousands of IJA troops on Guadalcanal in advance of a new offensive to be launched against the Marine garrison. This was presaged by a battleship bombardment of Henderson Field and daily air raids against the same target.


Against this background Cactus Air Force was fighting for its life, and very nearly reached the level of exhaustion. Somehow just enough replacement F4Fs and SBDs were scraped together from the New Hebrides to keep it in business. Important support was provided by COMAIRSOPAC B-17s and PBYs operating from Espiritu Santo.


In the middle of the month an enormously powerful IJN force arrived in the theatre, based around five aircraft carriers. This force threatened to overwhelm the USN which at the time had only one carrier in the South Pacific, the USS Hornet. However, the timely arrival of the USS Enterprise evened the ledger and the fourth carrier battle of the Pacific War, the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, was fought over 25-27 October.


This chronicle has been written using both Allied and Japanese sources, to give a fresh, factual and highly detailed account of all aspects of the Solomons air campaign.

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