A side note before the AAR, the Marine Commander is set at 'one below hero' for this operation. It has proven to be a very tough struggle!
Guadalcanal Phase 1 Map 2 day 8, Misfits Marines vs. Samurai Dill
This is a segment of the actions that occurred during phase one of Guadalcanal as the Marines advanced inland meeting stiff Japanese resistance.
Pfc. Fuger wipes the sweat away from his eyes, the salty sting making it hard to see as he peers through the thick jungle foliage. His team leader Cpl. Vermazen lays beside him abreast a large tree root that broke the surface of moist jungle soil. The BAR team lay in wait; their mission is to cover the avenue of approach to their units 2cm AA gun dug into the jungles edge. Off to the west a heavy firefight was taking place as First Squad was in a bitter struggle near hill 135. The small arms fire and whooping crack of the M3 support track could be heard echoing through the jungle.
Then, faintly at first, a small rustle of jungle leaves could be heard; “Stay sharp Fuger, get me a Mag ready if I go empty.” Cpl. Vermazen whispered. Pfc. Fuger firmly gripped his Winchester 12guage and pressed the butt stock into his shoulder. His fingers began to tingle from gripping the weapon so tightly then his legs began to quiver in anticipation. Without moving Cpl. Vermazen again whispered “take it easy, relax.” The rustling noises grew louder and broader in scope. To the right of the BAR team 2nd Squad lay in ambush to the left 3rd squad was at the ready. Pfc. Fuger could not see more than 2 feet in any direction and wondered how he would ever be able to pick out a target. Suddenly the jungle erupted, 2nd squad was unleashing a wall of fire an eerie sulphurous smoke cloud filtered among the noise, heat, and green confusion. Bells and whistles were sounding in the jungle ahead and the odd sounding voices of the Japanese shouting orders and moaning from the wounded could be heard. Then as if in slow motion the jungle leaves before the BAR team parted and three Japanese soldiers stood in front of them only feet away; Cpl.Vermazen let loose with his BAR and two of the Japanese slumped to the ground as his rounds tore through their mid sections, Pfc. Fuger pulled the trigger on his Winchester and when the smoke cleared the third soldier was gone. The jungle began to rip apart all around as grenades burst and rounds impacted every where. Pfc. Fuger quickly emptied his shotgun and tossed a fresh BAR magazine to Cpl. Vermazen as the team reloaded. Enemy soldiers where everywhere and the firing was so intense that neither member could hear the other over the commotion of the raging battle. Pfc. Fuger emptied his shotgun time and again into the jungle firing wildly to prevent the Japanese from breaking through. Grenades burst all around throwing dirt and debris over the team. The chaos lasted for only a few minutes but it seemed to have lasted a whole day. As the firing eased to just a few sporadic rounds cracking here and there both Cpl. Vermazen and Pfc.Fuger checked each other for wounds. The fire fight was short but intense and the aftermath was a brutal glimpse into the reality of jungle ware fare. Each squad sounded off, both reporting a few casualties, the BAR team was intact. The battle for the bunker to the west continued to rage on and each explosion brought a shiver up the spine of the BAR team. After a short while laying in wait and listening to the moans of the dying Japanese soldier’s unseen, yet scattered just feet away in the jungle before them the teams began receiving new orders. With a parting glimpse at the pile of Japanese corpses piled before their hasty position, Pfc. Fuger and Cpl. Vermazen moved out to accomplish their next mission.
The attached photo is the only recon photo captured by the US PV2 'Harpoon' USN recon plane on day four of the operation as the Marines battled fiercely to gain key positions on “T-Bone” ridge.