The men of 1st U.S. Marine Raider Battalion, known by the name of its legendary commander Merritt Edson, provided the vanguard of an experiment with special lightly armed commando units in the Pacific.
On August 7, 1942, together with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, they landed on Tulagi, British Solomon Islands. Two days of severe fighting secured this strategic island in the Battle of Tulagi. After relocating to Guadalcanal they conducted raids on Savo Island and at Tasimboko, on Guadalcanal.
From 1942 to 1943, they fought seven critical battles in the Solomon Islands against some of Japan's most experienced jungle fighters. Twenty-four Raiders had ships named in their honour, all but one posthumously.
Joseph Alexander's book presents an abundance of first-person accounts of the conflicts, from Edson himself to such hard-nosed NCOs as Angus Goss, Walter Burak and Anthony Palonis.
About the Author
Col. Joseph H. Alexander, a Marine combat veteran, is the award-winning author of six books and helps produce documentaries about Marines. He lives in Asheville, NC.