Marines in World War II Commemorative Series
The Munda Drive and the Fighting Ninth
Milk Runs and Black Sheep
A Joint Pattern for Victory
Special Subjects
Troop List
Individual Combat Clothing and Equipment
The 'Green Dragon' Landing Ship, Tank
The 'Long Tom' 155mm M1A1 Gun
Field Medicine
Flight Clothing and Equipment
The Douglas R4D 'Skytrain'

UP THE SLOT: Marines in the Central Solomons
by Major Charles D. Melson, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret)


The basic sources for this pamphlet were the second volume in the series History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II, Isolation of Rabaul, written by Henry I. Shaw, Jr. and Maj Douglas T. Kane, USMC (Washington: Historical Branch, G-3 Division, HQMC, 1963), and Maj John T. Rentz, USMCR, Marines in the Central Solomons (Washington: Historical Branch, HQMC, 1952). Other books used in this narrative were: Adm William F. Halsey and J. Bryan III, Admiral Halsey's Story (New York, McGraw Hill, 1947); Saburo Hayashi and Alvin D. Coox, Kogun, The Japanese Army in the Pacific (Quantico: Marine Corps Association, 1959); RAdm Samuel F. Morison, Breaking the Bismarcks Barrier: History of U.S. Naval Operations in World War II, vol VI (Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1950); Robert L. Sherrod, History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War ii (Washington: Combat Forces Press, 1952); Charles A. Updegraph, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps Special Units of World War II (Washington: History and Museums Division, HQMC, 1972); Col Joseph E. Zimmer, The History of the 43d Infantry Division (Baton Rouge, LA: Army and Navy Publishing Co., 1947); John Miller, Jr., Cartwheel: The Reduction of Rabaul (Washington: Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, 1959). In addition, in the Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., are the Marine Corps Archives, which contain much primary source material produced by the Marine Corps units in the fighting in the Central Solomons. Also in the Center are the Oral History and Personal Papers Collections, containing many first-hand accounts of the operation.

Major Charles D. Melson

The author wishes to thank members of the raider, aviation, and defense battalion reunion groups and associations which provided letters, manuscripts, and recollections to aid in the writing of this history.

About the Author

Major Charles D. Melson, USMC (Retired) is originally from the San Francisco Bay area. He is married to Janet Ann Pope, a former Navy Nurse, Major Melson completed graduate education at St. John's College in Annapolis. He is a coauthor of The War that Would Not End, a volume in the official history of Marine Corps operations in Vietnam, and is the author of Vietnam Marines. He served as a historian in the Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard, for six years and continues to deal with the past as the director of The Queen Anne's Museum of Eastern Shore Life in Maryland. Major Melson was a Marine for 25 years, 1967 to 1992, and served in Vietnam in a variety of Fleet Marine Force positions. He was a history instructor at the United States Naval Academy, and served also at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.

insignias from 50th Anniversary

THIS PAMPHLET HISTORY, one in a series devoted to U.S. Marines in the World War II era, is published for the education and training of Marines by the History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., as a part of the U.S. Department of Defense observance of the 50th anniversary of victory in that war.

Printing costs for this pamphlet have been defrayed in part by the Defense Department World War II Commemoration Committee. Editorial costs of preparing this pamphlet have been defrayed in part by a bequest from the estate of Emilie H. Watts, in memory of her late husband, Thomas M. Watts, who served as a Marine and was the recipient of a Purple Heart.


Brigadier General Edwin H. Simmons, USMC (Ret)


Benis M. Frank

George C. MacGillivray

Robert E. Struder, Senior Editor; W. Stephen Hill, Visual Information Specialist;
Catherine A. Kerns, Composition Services Technician, R.D. Payne, Volunteer—Web Edition

Marine Corps Historical Center
Building 58, Washington Navy Yard
Washington, D.C. 20374-5040


PCN 190 003121 00

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Commemorative Series produced by the Marine Corps History and Museums Division