- Gregory, Mackenzie J.
- Naval Intelligence, History - WW2
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- April 1993 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
This service drew its members from many sources; Officers and Ratings from the Royal Australian Navy, New Zealand Naval Ratings, Honorary Chief Petty Officers R.A.N.V.R., from the Amalgamated Wireless Association, Mrs. Boye and Honorary Third Officer W.R.A.N.S, officers and other ranks from the Australian Army, officers from the Royal Australian Air Force, from the British Solomon Island Protectorate Defence Force, the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Army, and civilians.
The Final Count
When one looks at those who served, and the number who survived; the final count shows seventeen killed by the enemy, another fifteen missing, two were wounded, one died in service and one became a prisoner of war.
Recognition of Service
The quite incredible service of many of these brave people was recognised by decorations from the United States, and from the United Kingdom.
The real value of the Coast Watching Service to the Allied cause was summed up by the appreciative words spoken by Admiral “Bull” Halsey U.S.N, who said: “…the intelligence signalled from Bougainville by Read and Mason had saved Guadalcanal, and Guadalcanal had saved the South Pacific“.
The Last Verse
In August 1992, on the 50th anniversary of the landings at Guadalcanal, perhaps the last words of the fierce and bloody battles on sea, in the air, and on the land that took place in this area in 1942 will be written.
A memorial, set high on the ridge of Guadalcanal overlooking “Iron Bottom Sound”, the graveyard of many Allied and Japanese Naval ships, will be unveiled. This granite monument manufactured in Australia, and transported to the Solomons, will honour the sacrifice and service of all those personnel drawn from both sides of the Pacific Ocean who fought in this arena in those momentous days of 1942.
CLEMENS, W.F.M., The Battle of Savo Island – 9th August, 1942. Transcript of an address by Major Clemens to the Naval Historical Society of Australia, Victorian Chapter, Melbourne, 1974.
FELDT, E.A., The Coast Watchers, Oxford University Press, New York, 1946.
LECKIE, R., Challenge for the Pacific – Guadalcanal – The Turning Point of the War, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1966.