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To General Douglas MacArthur
October 25, 1942 Radio No. 3039 Washington, D.C.
For your personal information, Admiral Halsey COMSOPAC1 reports 3 Japanese Naval Forces estimated to include 3 carriers 300 miles to east of Solomon Islands moving South on Espiritu Santo on October 24. An additional Force including battleships and transports located North of Santa Isabel on October 25. Heavy attack being pressed by Japanese along Matanikau River western limit of our Guadalcanal position.
Our Naval Forces preparing to intercept these Japanese Forces.2
In this situation heavy attrition due to losses and fatigues is to be expected in both our fighter and bomber aircraft working from fields in Guadalcanal Espiritu Santo and Efate. It is desired that you make plans to meet possible necessity for quick reenforcement of Halsey with Bomber Squadrons and especially with attrition replacements for his 15 P-38 planes.
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Operations Division (OPD), Top Secret Message File CM-OUT-08583, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. Vice Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., had replaced Robert L. Ghormley as commander, South Pacific Forces on October 18. He was promoted to full admiral a month later.
2. The ground phase of the Japanese October counteroffensive in Guadalcanal ended in defeat by United States forces on the night of October 25-26. The naval phase was concluded with the battle of the Santa Cruz Islands on October 26, a battle in which both sides were damaged, but United States forces gained time to reinforce Guadalcanal. The naval forces engaged in the battle are listed in Morison, Struggle for Guadalcanal, pp. 204-7.
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), p. 410.