Land Battle of Vella Lavella

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Battle of Vella Lavella
Part of the Pacific Theater of World War II
NZ 3rd Division (USMC photo).jpg
New Zealand soldiers land at Baka Baka, Vella Lavella to relieve the U.S. 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Division, on 17 September 1943.
Date 15 August – 9 October 1943
Location Vella Lavella in the Solomon Islands
Result Allied victory
 United States
 New Zealand
Commanders and leaders
Theodore S. Wilkinson
Oscar Griswold
H. E. Barrowclough
9,588[1] 700[2]
Casualties and losses
150 killed[3] 200 killed[4]

Coordinates: 7°44′S 156°38′E / 7.733°S 156.633°E / -7.733; 156.633 The Battle of Vella Lavella was fought from 15 August – 9 October 1943 between Japan and the Allied forces from New Zealand and the United States. Vella Lavella is an island located in the Solomon Islands that had been occupied by Japanese forces. The Allies successfully recaptured the island. Barakoma Airfield on Vella Lavella was later the homebase of VMF-214 "Blacksheep" and its CO Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington. The main New Zealand combat elements were drawn from the 14th Brigade.[5]


  1. ^ Miller, Cartwheel, p. 176 & Gillespie, Official History, p. 128. Ground forces included 5,888 U.S. and 3,700 New Zealanders.
  2. ^ Gillespie, Official History, p. 128 & 139.
  3. ^ Gillespie, Official History, p. 142. Includes ground force and naval support personnel.
  4. ^ Gillespie, Official History, p. 139.
  5. ^ Crawford, Kia Kaha, p. 150.


  • Crawford, John (2000). "A Campaign on Two Fronts: Barrowclough in the Pacific". In Crawford, John. Kia Kaha: New Zealand in the Second World War. Auckland: Oxford University Press. pp. 140–162. 
  • McGee, William L. (2002). "Occupation of Vella Lavella". The Solomons Campaigns, 1942–1943: From Guadalcanal to Bougainville—Pacific War Turning Point, Volume 2 (Amphibious Operations in the South Pacific in WWII). BMC Publications. ISBN 0-9701678-7-3. 
  • Morison, Samuel Eliot (1958). "Chapter XIII: Vella Lavella". Breaking the Bismarcks Barrier, vol. 6 of History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Castle Books. ISBN 0-7858-1307-1. 
  • Rottman, Gordon L. (2005). Duncan Anderson, ed. Japanese Army in World War II: The South Pacific and New Guinea, 1942–43. Oxford and New York: Osprey. ISBN 1-84176-870-7. 

External links

  • "The Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War, 1939–1945: I: Vella Lavella". 
  • Craven, Wesley Frank; James Lea Cate. "Vol. IV, The Pacific: Guadalcanal to Saipan, August 1942 to July 1944". The Army Air Forces in World War II. U.S. Office of Air Force History. Retrieved October 20, 2006. 
  • Hughes, Warwick; Ray Munro. "3rd NZ Division in the Pacific". Archived from the original on 2006-10-15. Retrieved 2006-10-18. 
  • Lofgren, Stephen J. Northern Solomons. The U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II. United States Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 72-10. Retrieved October 18, 2006. 
  • Melson, Charles D. (1993). "UP THE SLOT: Marines in the Central Solomons". WORLD WAR II COMMEMORATIVE SERIES. History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. p. 36. Retrieved September 26, 2006. 
  • Miller, John, Jr. (1959). "CARTWHEEL: The Reduction of Rabaul". United States Army in World War II: The War in the Pacific. Office of the Chief of Military History, U.S. Department of the Army. p. 418. Retrieved October 20, 2006. 
  • Rentz, John (1952). "Marines in the Central Solomons: CHAPTER 5, Central Solomons Mop Up". Historical Branch, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. Retrieved May 30, 2006. 
  • Shaw, Henry I.; Douglas T. Kane (1963). "Volume II: Isolation of Rabaul". History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II. Retrieved 2006-10-18. 
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