With Guadalcanal firmly in American control by October 1943, the Allies decided to invade Bougainville, another island in the Soloman chain, to tighten their stranglehold on the Japanese in the area. To divert the enemy's attention, a raid was ordered on the nearby island of Choiseul. Success relied on making the Japanese think that a Marine division had landed on Choiseul so that they would rush reinforcements there, while a much larger American Marine force would land on Bougainville.
However, Allied resources were scarce, so the Choiseul raid fell to the 2nd Marine Parachute Battalion. An aggressive unit of paratroopers under the command of the legendary"Brute" Krulak, they were well trained in guerilla warfare and night fighting. This is the story of the paratrooper's courageous fight, told from their unique perspective.
The Marines were instructed to make the noise of an entire division, and they knew that if they found themselves in trouble, there would be no reinforcements. For seven days they raised hell, bringing the fight to the Japanese along the coastline and deep into the jungle. Then, on 3 November, as a large Japanese force closed in, the Marines slipped off the island, mission accomplished. Bougainville had been secured. This hour-by-hour account of what happened is based on an exhaustive gathering of all possible eyewitness accounts and includes the story of the rescue by John F. Kennedy's PT boat.
James F. Christ, a resident of Phoenix, Arizona, has travelled extensively, visiting World War II battle sites in Europe, Africa and Asia, and he has interviewed more than two hundred veterans.
James F.Christ, has travelled throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia visiting battle sites and talking to American veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf Wars. He has interviewed more than 200 Marines from World War II and dozens of other U.S. servicemen from more recent wars. His first book, Mission Raise Hell: The U.S. Marines on Choiseul, October-November 1943, was published 2006.