February 5, 2018 New VHP Web Feature Marks 75th Anniversary of Guadalcanal Battle

First Major U.S. Offensive in the Pacific Against the Japanese Empire

Press Contact: Benny Seda-Galarza (202) 707-8732
Public Contact: Megan Harris (202) 707-8205 | Lisa Taylor (202) 707-2333
Website: VHP Experiencing War: Guadalcanal, 75 Years Later

Garnett Moneymaker, a sailor aboard the U.S. ship Boise, ca. 1942

The Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project (VHP) today launched its new “Experiencing War” website feature, titled “Guadalcanal: 75 Years Later,” recognizing the anniversary of the end of the major World War II campaign known as the Battle of Guadalcanal.

The feature highlights 12 digitized collections found in the VHP archive, each of which includes the first-person narrative of a veteran who fought in this epic, six-month offensive in the South Pacific during 1942 and 1943.

One of the collections included is that of Garnett Moneymaker, a sailor aboard the U.S. ship Boise who used four government-issued notebooks to record his most intimate thoughts during his service. Among other events, he details his experiences in the Battle of Cape Esperance, part of the Guadalcanal campaign.

As an apparent morale booster, Moneymaker often utilized the front page of his diaries for inspirational thoughts or quotes. In one page he inscribed, “It is only when we become conscious of our part in life, however modest, that we shall be happy.”

In a handwritten, unpublished memoir, Joseph Lane Jr., a Marine Corps cook responsible for running his battalion’s mess hall, recalls the difficulty in feeding the Marines after they landed on the island of Guadalcanal.

Lane details the angst he experienced when they ran out of food and were forced to subsist solely on captured Japanese rice and coconuts.

A combat soldier with the Army’s Americal Division, former Sgt. William Caldwell was part of the first Army unit to be sent to Guadalcanal.

During his 41-minute audio interview, the sergeant provides a vivid account of this bloody battle that marked a turning point in the war in favor of the United States and allied forces.

Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000 to collect, preserve and make accessible the firsthand remembrances of America’s war veterans from World War I through the more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. For more information, visit loc.gov/vets or call the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848. Subscribe to the VHP RSS to receive periodic updates of VHP news. Follow VHP on Facebook @vetshistoryproject.

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PR 18-007
ISSN 0731-3527