By Martin Clemens
This awesome memoir tells the compelling tale of the near-mythic British district officer who contributed to shaping the 1st nice Allied counteroffensive. Scottish-born and Cambridge-educated, Martin Clemens controlled to outlive months at the back of jap strains in a single of the main unfriendly climates and terrains on the planet. After numerous partisan and undercover agent missions, in 1942 he emerged from the jungle and built-in his Melanesian commando strength into the center of the first Marine Division's operations, incomes the unfettered admiration of such mythical Marine officials as Vandegrift, Thomas, Twining, Edson, and Pate.
This booklet relies on a magazine Clemens stored through the conflict and may good be the final serious resource of research of the Solomon's crusade. His eyewitness money owed of harrowing long-distance patrols and lifestyles at the run from shadowy eastern intelligence operatives and treacherous islanders are unrivaled within the literature of the Pacific conflict. First released in 1998, the tale, with an creation by way of Allan R. Millett, is vital and relaxing reading.
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Extra resources for Alone on Guadalcanal: A Coastwatcher's Story (Bluejacket Books)
By contrast, the Solomon Islander had little respect for the Japanese. Their pearl fishermen used to steal, between the wars, the shells off his family reefs before they had properly matured, thereby not only filching his means of livelihood but destroying it for years to come. Here they were, in force, and the British were running before them. This was baffling and unsettling, and many were the natives who, now that anxious times were upon us, begged me to tell them what was to happen. All that I could say was that, someday, someone would rescue us from our sorry plight, and that, until that happy day, I intended to stay with them.
Control of the sea lanes to Australia, however, was Navy business, and King had no desire to give MacArthur or any other general permanent control of any major portion of the Pacific Fleet, commanded from Honolulu by Adm. Chester W. Nimitz and a new hero after Midway. The South Pacific theater, which included the southern Solomons, remained under Nimitz, who also held the joint command of commander-in-chief, Pacific Ocean Areas. Nimitz’s regional commander was Vice Adm. Robert L. Ghormley, USN, who regarded the King-MacArthur offensive plan as near-madness.
The two other teams watched and reported, too. All three teams faced a common problem, a shortage of supplies and a growing sense that the Melanesian population, much of it impressed as laborers on the airfield, was shifting its loyalty to the Japanese. Outdoor living on the run wore the coastwatchers down, including Clemens, who bore the official responsibility for keeping the peace with his native constables. There were still Europeans on the island, priests and nuns of several Catholic missions, some gold miners, and people who had simply missed an opportunity to leave Guadalcanal.