10-23 October: Guadalcanal: Wildcat pilot Joe Foss scores 11 kills in fourteen days.

11-12 October: Guadalcanal: The Battle of Cape Esperance. US surface naval victory but Japanese reinforcements get through to Guadalcanal.

13 October: Guadalcanal: 164th Infantry Regiment reinforces Marines on Guadalcanal.

14-17 October: Guadalcanal: Henderson Field bombarded by Japanese warships.

18 October: Noumea: Admiral Nimitz replaces Admiral Ghormley with Admiral ‘Bull’ Halsey.

24 October: Guadalcanal: The Battle of Henderson Field. General Maruyama makes a flanking movement through dense mountainous jungle to make attack Henderson Field from the south.

26 October: Guadalcanal: The Battle of Santa Cruz Island. Admiral Kinkaid loses USS Hornet in carrier battle to the east of the Solomon Islands but Japan loses 99 aircraft to 81 US aircraft lost.

31 October: Guadalcanal: Shattered remnants of Maruyama’s force get back to the coast.


1 November: Guadalcanal: General Vandegrift orders Lt. Col Carlson’s 2nd Raiders to pursue Shoji’s fleeing Japanese troops from Koli Point.

8 November: North Africa: Operation Torch begins US invasion of North Africa.

10-11 November: New Guinea: The Battle of Oivi and Gorari. Heavy defeat for General Horii on retreat over the Kokoda Trail.

13-15 November: Guadalcanal: The First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. After the most brutal surface engagement of the Pacific War, the US have lost two light cruisers, four destroyers as well as two heavy cruisers severely damaged. Japan have lost the Hiei, the first battleship ever lost by the Japanese Navy. The battle is a tactical victory for Japan but a strategic victory for the US because supplies failed to reach Japan’s troops on Guadalcanal.

Guadalcanal: Second Naval Battles of Guadalcanal. Another bruising surface encounter with both sides suffering heavy losses. Most reinforcements and supplies fail to reach the now starving Japanese troops on Guadalcanal. Overall the two battles are a strategic victory for the US. In a war of attrition Japan needed tactical and strategic victories. Nimitz and Halsey were confident that Guadalcanal was one of these two naval engagements.

20 November: New Guinea: General Harding leading the US 32nd Division is thwarted in his first attack on the heavily defend garrison at Buna. Faulty US intelligence on strength of Japanese forces and sophistication of bunker systems.

27 November: America: Soong Meiling arrives in New York for a 6-month propaganda tour during which she becomes the first private citizen and woman to speak to a joint session of the US Congress. She later speaks to a packed out Hollywood Bowl and treated as royalty by the Hollywood elite including Henry Fonda, Ingrid Bergman, Judy Garland and Spencer Tracey.

29 November: New Guinea: Frustrated and out of touch MacArthur sacks Harding and replaces him with General Eichelberger at Buna.

30 November: Solomons: Battle of Tassafaronga. 3 cruisers heavily damaged and 1 sunk in crushing defeat by Japanese destroyer torpedo attacks.


1 December: India: Generals Wavell (British) and Stilwell American agree to build the Ledo Road from Ledo in northeast India to Bhamo in central Burma to link up with the Burma Road to Kunming. The building would require 35,000 local workers and 15,000 American soldiers (60% of them Black).

2 December: America: Enrico Fermi, Italian Nobel prize-winning scientist achieves first nuclear chain reaction in test in a squash court at Chicago University.

9 December: New Guinea: Japanese garrison at Gona taken by Australian forces led by Lt. Colonel Honner.

17 December: India-Burma: Operation NIBBLE AND CANDY. General Irwin starts the First Arakan Campaign in southwest Burma.

30 December: America: First test flight of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress.

31 December: Japan: Emperor Hirohito agrees to withdrawal of troops from Guadalcanal.

The Battle of the Barents Sea between British and German ships.

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