In August 1942, U. S. Marines landed on Guadalcanal, the first stepping stone back toward the Japanese homeland. The bloody campaign, with three major battles on land and seven at sea, lasted six months. The Navy lost so many personnel that they ceased reporting actual numbers to the news media.
U.S. Marines battled in dense jungles, swamps, intense heat, mosquitoes, malaria and dengue against a battle-hardened foe determined not to give up the island. At night, hundreds of sake-stoked Japanese soldiers charged out of the jungle screaming Banzai into the blazing rifles and machine guns of Marines dug into the sand. In the morning, corpses lay stacked against the wire.
On the home front, all that was known came from censored news reports and hearsay.