Segment 2


[Annotators Note: Robert Addison was a member of the US Marine Corps 1st Raider Battalion.]They went to New Caledonia on one ship. They had no escort. They stopped in Samoa to pick up the rest of their outfit then continued on to New Caledonia.They had trained in the Potomac aboard six old World War 1 destroyers that had been outfitted to carry a company of troops. Those six destroyers were assigned to their battalion. They went overseas on a transport but once they were there they operated off of the destroyers.They knew they were going somewhere but did not know where until they were aboard ship.Their first landing was on the island of Tulagi. They did not know what was ahead of them. There were caves on Tulagi where the Japanese hid during the day and came out at night to attack the Marines.During Addisons first action his squad leader and gunner had both been hit and his squad was down to five men from an original strength of eight.Addison had been trained as a mortar man but they were not able to use their mortars on Tulagi.They were on Tulagi for about three weeks when it was decided they were going to go to Guadalcanal. They went over to Guadalcanal on a ship called the Colhoun [Annotators Note: USS Colhoun, APD2]. No sooner had they gone ashore than the Colhoun was hit by a bomb and sunk.Addison though Guadalcanal was beautiful from afar but stunk because of all the vegetation.The first mission Addison went on was to destroy enemy artillery pieces at Tasimboko. They destroyed the artillery, an ammunition dump, and all the food and supplies they could not take back with them. They were excited to get out and carry out missions they had been training so hard to do. Combat is an experience that cannot be explained to people.After the Battle of Savo Island all of the ships took off and went back to New Caledonia with all of the Raiders supplies leaving them with nothing but Japanese rice. They ate rice once a day but never at noon because that is when the Japanese would fly over and bomb them.In the channel between Tulagi and Guadalcanal there are about 50 ships. They called the area Iron Bottom Sound. After the navy left with their supplies they felt marooned.


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