Guadalcanal Marines receive their orders
14th December 1942: The First Marine Division get news that they are moving out - to prepare for another attack
On Guadalcanal the First Marine Division were now veterans. They had secured Henderson Field back in August and had hung on tenaciously since then, surviving not only the tropical jungle with all its discomforts but bombardment from Japanese ships offshore and massed assaults on their lines by suicidal Japanese infantry.
In early December they began to hear rumours that they were due to be relieved - but they were to be disappointed. Robert Leckie1 records how they heard the news:
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