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    Rice Anchorage Western Province Solomon Islands
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USMC July 5, 1943
Justin Taylan 2003
Rice Anchorage is located on the northern coast of New Georgia Island. To the north is Kula Gulf and further to the southwest along the north coast is Enogai Inlet, Enogai, Leland Lagoon and Dragons Peninsula. Prewar and during the Pacific War part of the British Solomon Islands. Today located in Western Province in the Solomon Islands.

Wartime History
On July 5, 1943 after midnight in heavy rain, the U.S. "Northern Landing Force" (NLG) under the command of Colonel Harry B. Liversedge "Harry the Horse" lands at Rice Anchorage including the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) 1st Raider Battalion, 1st Marine Raider Regiment reinforced by the U.S. Army 37th Infantry Division, 145 Infantry Regiment and 148th Infantry Regiment 3d Battalion. The shore was not defended as the Japanese did not anticipate a landing at this location due to the dense jungle and swamps.

At roughly 1:15am despite pouring rain, Japanese lookouts at Enogai spot U.S. transports off Rice Anchorage and at least two 140mm Naval Guns at Enogai (likely the two emplaced on Enogai Inlet Gun No. 3 and Gun No. 4) open fire on the vessels then fired on the landing area but their fire was inaccurate and long. The only damaged infliced was USS Waters (DD-115) that had her main truck (rigging at the top of her mast) shot away.

Ashore, the Americans met USMC Captain Clay A. Boyd leading a group of amphibious scouts that marched overland from Roviana Lagoon along a prewar walking trails Rice Anchorage to help guide the force ashore and help the ships to negotiated the difficult passage between the two shallow sand bars partly blocking the Pundakona mouth. Previously, in June 1943 Boyd's small force with the aid of Coastwatcher F/L J. A. Corrigan, RAAF and Solomon Island scouts. Once ashore, the Americans begin advancing westward towards Enogai Inlet.

On July 11, 1943 after the capture of Enogai, three PBY Catalinas from VP-24 piloted by Lt. R. F. Wadsworth, Lt (jg) R. B. Blodgett and Lt (jg) A.M. Caldwell took off from Halavo Seaplane Base at 3:05pm evacuate wounded of the First Marine Raiders in the Rice Anchorage-Enogai Inlet areas and survivors from the sinking of USS Strong DD-467. They first landed in Rice Anchorage at 4:45pm and took off again at 5:15pm then landed in Enogai Inlet at 5:25pm where more wounded were loaded. While transfer was taking place at about 6:20pm, attacked by 2 or possibly 3 F1M2 Petes that strafed and dropped bombs but missed. About 6:45pm the Petes withdrew and the PBYs airborne by 6:55pm and returned to Halavo Seaplane Base landing by 9:05pm. During this mission, a total of 71 wounded were evacuated.

Marines in the Central Solomons - Chapter 4: From Rice to Bairoko pages 96-98, 102, 104, 107-111, 116, 120

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Last Updated
July 10, 2022


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