RETURN FOR THE "CANAL’S" 78TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR! GO BACK WITH JOE MUELLER FOR THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE TOUR OF “THE CANAL” AND GET IT & TARAWA OFF YOUR “BUCKET LIST!”
Guadalcanal in 1942 was the little known island that allowed the U.S. to turn the tide of the Pacific War and stop the advance of Imperial Japan in WWII. MHT returns to commemorate the soldiers, sailors, and Marines who won on the ground and water for the 77th Anniversary of this decisive battle.
Guadalcanal. For the Marines of the First and Second Marine Divisions, this battle, remain as the landmark of their history, the first combatant actions for both in WWII plus the U.S. Army’s 23rd & 25th Infantry Divisions participated in the liberation of “The Canal.” This year we return to this epic struggle as part of our Pacific Battlefield Legacies for Guadalcanal’s 77th Anniversary Tour. Fly through Fiji to Guadalcanal where we spend the next ten days, before we start we offer a pre-tour to Tarawa to commemorate this bloody campaign a precursor to costly future landings against entrenched fanatical Japanese resistance.
The unique Military Historical Tours in-depth approach includes extensive pre-departure research, utilizing a vast resource of maps and other source material, ensuring the finest possible experience. Our Tour Leaders for this program are among the most knowledgeable on this subject. In-depth, but easily understood, briefings are conducted on each battle and other historic sites. For those wanting to go into more detail, the onsite staff is always available. We will visit interesting sites unseen and unknown to the vast majority of battlefield tourists.
Participants are invited to contribute by sharing their personal knowledge and expertise as we walk the battlefields. Ample time is allowed for personal exploration and sightseeing.
All of these things, along with the most experienced staff of Tour Leaders, Battlefield Guides, and Historians will combine to make your trip the most enjoyable, relaxing, entertaining and educational experience possible. We welcome your phone calls, letters or e-mails to discuss this expedition with one of our Battlefield Specialists. Call us M-F 9:30AM-5:30PM or e-mail us. We look forward to hearing from you.
Guadalcanal Tour Price: $ 2,895
Based on Double Occupancy (BoDO)
Single Room Supplement: $ 695
Tarawa Pre-Tour (BoDO) $ 1,595
Pre-Tour Single Supplement $ 375
Post-Tours Call Office
Tour Price Includes:
- All breakfasts, departure taxes, & tips are included (not hidden costs)
- 3-Star (Pacific Island) Hotel Accommodations
- Air-conditioned motorcoach
- Trip Kit: tour ball cap, bag tags & name badge
- MHT “FieldBook” information map packet
- All Admission fees to all sites, museums, and special attractions listed
- Services of experienced MHT Tour Leaders & English--speaking local guides.
AIR NOT INCLUDED OPTIONAL DISCOUNT AIRFARE AVAILABLE: MHT can book you round trip from your home city to Guadalcanal via MHT’s Airline Partners and save you domestic baggage fees! MHT’s discount airfare is available upon request. Business Class upgrade is also available upon request.
Post Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Mon 17 Aug-We depart Honiara and arrive Munda by mid-day, ready for a one half day boat tour to Rendova Island. We will also visit the site of PT Boat base at Lumbaria.
Day 2: Tue 18 Aug-Today we follow the path of the U.S. Forces towards the Japanese at Munda Field. Boat trip to Honavisa/Sasavele Passage where U.S. forces passed through en route to New Georgia island. Visit Sasavele to view WW II artifacts and the U.S. built road. Visit Vangana whereU.S. forces first landed on New Georgia. Travel the "Munda Trail" betweenZangana and Ilangana. (B),(L),(D)
Day 3: Wed 19 Aug-Visit WW II sites around Munda including Horshoe and Bartley Ridges, Munda Field, WW II 'Dump" with equipment and vehicles as well as a WW II museum. We finish the day at the old U.S. cemetary and see the Kindu Guns.(B), (L),(D)
Day 4: Thur 20 Aug-Boat tour to Odango Field. We visit the Raider battlefields at Barioko Harbor and Enogai Bay with their Japanese naval guns knocked out by the Raiders. We then travel via Kula Gulf and Kolombangara to Kohinggo Island to see a knocked out USMC M3A1 tank. (B),(L), (D)
Day 5: Fri 21 Aug-Boat tour to Gizo via Blacket Straitto visit "Kennedy Island". We return via Fergueson Passage site of the sinking of PT 109 which was commanded by President John F. Kennedy. We finish the day by by returning through Vona Vena Lagoon and "Skull Island". (B),(L),(D)
Day 6: Sat 22 Aug-Return flight from Munda to Guadalcanal. Depart on your afternoon departure from Guadalcanal to Fiji. Transfer to your flight back to the USA. Cross the International Dateline and arrive back in Los Angeles (LAX) on the same afternoon. (B)
2 Aug Sun (Day 1) DEPARTURE
Check in at the Fiji Airways counter in the International Terminal, Los Angeles Int’l Airport no later than 8:30pm for your 11:00pm FJ #811. Meet your tour director at the departure gate.
3 Aug Mon (Day 2) ENROUTE
In-flight entertainment, friendly Fiji Airways staff and breakfast pass the time pleasantly on this non-stop flight to Nadi, Fiji Islands. Cross International Dateline lose a day.
4 Aug Tue (Day 3) ARRIVE GUADALCANAL
Arrive Nadi, Fiji Islands in the morning. Layover until departure on Fiji Airways (FJ5503) at 9:30AM arriving at historic "Henderson Field" by 12:45PM. We transfer to our hotel for the next week, with time to settle in and refresh. Hotel: Solomon Kitano Mendana
5 Aug Wed (Day 4) GUADALCANAL
After a late breakfast, we head out for our battlefield briefing and orientation of the eastern battle sites from a vantage point atop Mount Austen. Sites pointed out will be "Red Beach," the site of the landing; Henderson Field, the amphibious force objective; Edson's Ridge, the Tenaru River (Alligator Creek); Lunga Point, and other pertinent sites. We continue on for a tour of the "Gifu" area of Mount Austen, one of the best preserved battlefields on the island. We walk the battlefield, seeing the foxholes and remnants of the battle, visit the Japanese War Memorial, as well as a Solomon Island village. We continue our tour with a visit to the east and west banks of the Matanikau River, scene of some of the bloodiest fighting of the battle. Later we will tour the U.S. Memorial on Skyline Ridge for another panoramic view of the island and the western battle sites from this vantage point. Sites pointed out will be Tulagi, Gavutu -Tanambogo, and the Florida Islands. Also, we will orient on Savo Island, "Iron Bottom Sound": as well as key terrain features ashore. We will see Point Cruz, the Matanikau River, Cape Esperance, and other key sites that played significant roles in this landmark battle. (B/Breakfast)
6 Aug Thur - (Day 5) GUADALCANAL
This morning we will depart to pick-up the Tarawa Post-Tour arrivals and travel east to Tetere, site of a Japanese bivouac and current home to a massive Amtrac “Boneyard” left behind at the end of the war. We visit Red Beach, site of the initial landing of the 1st Marine Division and explore the area around Henderson Field, see Pagoda Hill, the plane revetments & control tower, and Gen Vandergrift's command post. Crossing the Lunga River we will see “Fighter Two”, the strip where the planes for the "Yamamoto Mission" took off. We will view the site of Carney Airfield & the Army logistics base as we return west. (B)
7 Aug Fri (Day 6) GUADALCANAL
Today we commemorate the 78th Anniversary of the Battle as we visit the American War Memorial, site of the wreath laying and remarks by the all the participating countries. Further individual ceremonies will be conducted such as wreath laying at the Solomon Island Coast Watchers Statue. One highlight is the wreath laying for Signalman First Class Douglas Munro, USCG who was the only coast guard recipient of the Medal of Honor for his heroic efforts in evacuating a battalion of Marines trapped near Point Cruz. Lunch to follow after the ceremony. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (B)
8 Aug Sat – (Day 7) GUADALCANAL
Today we spend time on Bloody Ridge, known from a previous battle as Edson’s Ridge, where the Japanese were halted in their attempts to reach Henderson Field, in one of the pivotal battles of the Pacific War. It is here that we will see the Machinegun Positions used by “Manila John” Basilone to stem the Japanese attacks. From here we view “Fighter One,” the field from which the Cactus Air Force and famous aviators like Joe Foss, Bob Galer, Jeff DeBlanc, John Smith, Marion Carl, and others flew. (B)
9 Aug Sun - (Day 8) GUADALCANAL
Following breakfast we will explore battle sites around the Ilu, Tenaru and Lunga Rivers. Stops will include Pvt Al Schmid’s machine gun position along “Alligator Creek” (Ilu River), which he continued to defend even after being blinded by a Japanese grenade. It is here that we will see the Machinegun Positions used by “Manila John” Basilone to stem the Japanese attacks. After lunch we drive west to Cape Esperance to visit the site of the Japanese evacuation of the island. From Honiara west, the battle was prosecuted by the 2nd Marine Division and the 25th Infantry Division of the US Army. We will view these battlefields, as well as the opportunity to visit the Vila War Museum to view relics from the battles, including an F4F Wildcat and an SBD Dauntless dive-bomber. Along the coast are the remains of Japanese freighters, which were beached after coming under attack by U.S. aircraft. From here we view “Fighter One”, the field from which the Cactus Air Force and famous aviators like Joe Foss, Bob Galer, Jeff DeBlanc, John Smith, Marion Carl, and others flew. Return to Hotel for Farewell Dinner. (B/Dinner)
10 Aug Mon - (Day 9) GUADALCANAL DEPARTURE
Leisurely morning check-out before our afternoon departure by air from Guadalcanal to Fiji. Transfer to your flight back to the USA. Cross the International Dateline and arrive back in Los Angeles (LAX) on the same afternoon (B & D provided on plane) or…Remain on Guadalcanal for further exploration or experience diving Iron Bottom Sound wrecks see website for itinerary!
Tarawa Daily Itinerary
(Day 1-2, Sat & Sun 1-2 Aug) Depart LAX
Depart Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) aboard an Fiji Airways flight (FJ811) at 11:30PM for Fiji. Cross International Dateline and lose a day.
(Day 3, Mon 3 Aug) Arrive FIJI/Transfer to TARAWA
4:40am Arrive Nadi, Fiji Islands. You have a short layover before your 7:30am departure from Nadi International Airport via FJ 231 for your three hour flight to the island of Tarawa. Upon arrival, 11:00am we transfer to our hotel for lunch and check-in. Day free to enjoy the varied resort activities and relax after our flight. Meals: (L)
The Restaurant is open air. Nice Bar/Lounge. Each room has individually controlled air-conditioning units, private bathrooms and a refrigerator. Rooms are simple but adequate.
(Day 4, Tue 4 Aug) TARAWA
Following breakfast, we head south along the causeway road to Betio, for our first view and orientation of the island. We have a full day walking tour of the battlefield at Betio. We begin our exploration with a walk out to the site of the main pier - the target for the initial landing by Lieutenants Hawkins and Leslie and their combined assault platoon. After lunch, we continue our walking tour with visits starting on the left flank and Red Beach 3 and the Burns-Philp Wharf, continuing west to Red Beach 1 & 2, and Green Beach. Overnight Hotel: George Meals: (B & L)
(Day 5, Wed 5 Aug) TARAWA
After breakfast we continue with our walking tour making it the most comprehensive exploration of the island you could experience We explore each phase of the battlefield, visiting sites such as Admiral Shibasaki’s headquarters, the well-known 8-inch Vickers Guns on the “Bird’s Beak”, and the remains from the battle all over the island. Overnight. Hotel: George Meals: (B & L)
(Day 6, Thur 6 Aug) Depart TARAWA
After a leisurely morning checkout we transfer to the airport for our 12:00pm departure via FJ 230. Arrive Nadi 3:00pm. Meals: (B)
For those heading home: Catch Fiji Airways FJ230 at 11:50am to arrive at LAX at 1:25pm same day.
For those heading on to Guadalcanal:
Transfer to the airport to catch Solomons Airline (SA721) arriving at historic "Henderson Field" mid-morning. Note We join the tour on Day 2 but save two room nights on Fiji. We meet the main body group before transfering to our hotel for the next week,
Hotel: Solomon Kitano Mendana
Extended Exploration of Guadalcanal Battlefields 10-17 Aug
Day 1: Mon 10 Aug – Today we travel by boat to Tulagi to explore Haleta and Halavo where elements of the 2nd Marine Division first landed. We will also see "Beach Blue" where the 1st Raider Bn and 2nd Bn 5th Marines landed. We will then tour the battle sites on Tulagi as well as Gavutu and Tanambogo.
Day 2: Tue 11 Aug - Today we will tour Tulagi Harbor by boat seeing a PT Boat Base, a japanese destroyer and the bow portion of an LST. We will then return to Guadalcanal. (B)
Day 3: Wed 12 Aug – Today is a walking tour of the 23rd & 25th Infantry Divisions and 2nd Marine Division’s efforts in the Battle of Mount Austen.
Day 4: Thur 13 Aug - Today is a walking tour of the Galloping Horse and the Sea Horse. This battle in the hills near the Matanikau River is famously depicted in James Jone’s book The Thin Red Line & two movies. This month-long battle was in Dec ‘42—Jan ‘43. (B)
Day 5: Fri 14 Aug – Today we do a detailed study of the Battle of the Sea Horse where the 35th Infantry Regiment fought (B)
Day 6: Sat 15 Aug - Today we will cover the eastern battle sights and the "Second Battle of The Ridge" where LtCol "Chesty Puller's 1st Battalion 7th Marines fought. (B)
Day 7: Sun 16 Aug - Recovery Day
Day 8: Sat 17 Aug - Depart on your afternoon departure from Guadalcanal to Fiji. Transfer to your flight back to the USA. Cross the International Dateline and arrive back in Los Angeles (LAX) on the same afternoon. (B) Note: To effectively particiapte in the post tour you should be able to hike 1/2 mile up steep and uneven slopes.
Iron Bottom Sound Dive Adventure 10–17 Aug
Day 1; Mon 10 Aug – Dive orientation and First Dive: "Iron Bottom Sound" contains a variety of wrecks including troop carriers, transport ships, submarines and planes.
Day 2; 11 Aug—Day 6; 15 Aug —Some of the popular dive sites “Hirokawa Maru” (Bonegi I) : Japanese transport ship. 6,860 tons, length 155 metres. Dive starts at 3m plunging to 55m. “Kinugawa Maru” (Bonegi II) : Japanese transport ship. Length 132 metres, resting partly above water with the stern in 27m. USS John Penn : An American troop ship covered in black coral lying on the sand at 60 metres. Tulagi: Aaron Ward: Discovered in 1995, is the only dive-able destroyer in the Solomon Islands. Depth 58 - 70m. Sandfly Passage: A beautiful coral garden studded with big red and yellow fans. An amazing diversity of coral and marine life. Depth 3-40m. Kanawha: The 14,500 ton American oil tanker was sunk on 7 April 1943, the same day as the Aaron Ward. Sitting upright on a flat bottom the deck is strewn with artifacts. Depth 40-60m.
Day 7; 16 Aug—Recovery Day
Day 8; 17 Aug—Depart on your afternoon departure from Guadalcanal to Fiji. Transfer to your flight back to the USA. Cross the International Dateline and arrive back at LAX in the same afternoon. (B)
Guadalcanal 78th Anniversary "Turning the Tide" (2 - 10 Aug 2020)
- Product Code: 2008-PAC-GUAD
- Availability: In Stock