2nd Marine Regiment on Guadalcanal

K Company Marines at Rest. Most of these Marines are armed with M1903 bolt-action rifles and carry M1905 bayonets and USMC 1941 type packs. Two men high on the hill at right wear mortar vests and one in center has a World War I type grenade vest. The Marine seated at far right has a Browning Automatic Rifle. K Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, on extended duty with the 1st Marine Division, landed in Tulagi on August 7, 1942 and held it until relieved by other elements of the 2nd Marines. They were then shipped to Guadalcanal on September 14 on USS Bellatrix (AK-20). Until they were returned to Tulagi on October 31, they served as the Division reserve. On October 23 they were witnesses to thr Battle of Henderson Field. Private Leonard E. Skinner wrote, "Our platoon was on another patrol and we had stopped for the night near the top of the mountain range that runs the length of Guadalcanal. We were probably seven or eight miles behind the Japanese lines on the night of October 23rd. From our elevation we could see Henderson Field and the entire portion of Guadalcanal held by the U.S. forces. Suddenly, in the darkness we could see gunfire erupt along the entire perimeter of the front lines. At the same time, Japanese aircraft appeared overhead and Japanese ships started bombarding our positions, especially the airport. We had a bird's-eye view of everything and it was readily apparent this was a major Japanese offensive. For once, being deep behind Japanese lines was good. There was no enemy around us and neither side was shooting our way. Although it was completely dark, the flashes of gunfire and the brilliance of explosions revealed everything clearly to us. The fighting lasted throughout the night and all the next day before dying down. The only problem was we were not sure who had won as we had no form of communication. We actually took a vote to decide whether to return to the lines or move deeper into the unexplored interior. By a slight margin the vote to return won. This we did the next day and to our great pleasure found victory had been ours."
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Naval Historical Center
Date Photographed: 
Tuesday, September 15, 1942
On Patrol Near Henderson Field