The battle for Rendova, like many other small island engagements in the Pacific, is now forgotten. But it deserves to be remembered just as much as major battles like Guadalcanal and Okinawa for the sacrifices made there. The Japanese held island was a stepping stone for seizing the strategically vital airbase on nearby Munda Point, on New Georgia in the Solomons. The objective was setting up a secure heavy artillery firebase on Rendova that could shell Japanese forces across the narrow strait. After sailing from Guadalcanal on June 29 Allied Task Force 31 arrived in the early morning hours of June 30th, covered by rain and fog. Major General John H. Hester's 43rd Infantry Division led the assault in landing craft. The small Japanese garrison was overwhelmed by US troops, but the island was subsequently subjected to heavy attack by Japanese aircraft from nearby airfields causing many casualties. Troops from the 103rd Field Artillery Battalion, along with Marines from the 9th Defense Battalion and Seebees from the 24th Naval Construction Battalion secured the beach and moved inland with soldiers from the 43rd. Patches of muddy jungle were cleared for 155 mm “Long Toms” & other artillery and soon began firing.
Munda Point and its airfield were then attacked and seized by Allied forces in fighting from 22 July to the 4th of August 1943.
This version of “The Price of Rendova” was part of the restricted “Film Communique” series that was shown only to the Armed Forces and shows the price paid in graphic detail. A sanitized version was shown to the general public.-