Tag: dwight dexter

The Long Blue Line: The “Gold Dust Twins” and the battle of Guadalcanal (Part 2)

The Guadalcanal campaign began on Thursday, August 7, 1942, exactly eight months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. With its lush jungle cover and tropical waters, Guadalcanal was a picturesque contrast of deep green and azure blue. But for all its natural beauty, Guadalcanal was also a fearful place to fight a war. This is Part Two of the story of Coast Guardsmen fighting in the battle of Guadalcanal during WWII.

The Long Blue Line: The “Gold Dust Twins” and the battle of Guadalcanal (Part 1)

The Guadalcanal campaign began on Thursday, August 7, 1942, exactly eight months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. With its lush jungle cover and tropical waters, Guadalcanal was a picturesque contrast of deep green and azure blue. But for all its natural beauty, Guadalcanal was also a fearful place to fight a war. This is Part One of the story of Coast Guardsmen fighting in the battle of Guadalcanal during WWII.

The Long Blue Line: Dwight Dexter with the first Marines at Guadalcanal

Dexter’s men and landing craft kept critically needed supplies flowing to the First Marine Division on Guadalcanal. U.S. Navy photo.

If any battle marked the turning point of World War II in the Pacific, most experts agree that the six-month land, sea and air battle for Guadalcanal was the one. American naval strategists drew a line in the sand at Guadalcanal because enemy aircraft flying from that island could cut-off Allied supply lines to Australia. During the Guadalcanal offensive, the U.S. Coast Guard served an important role through its specialties in maritime transport, amphibious landing and small boat operations. On ‘the Canal,’ the Coast Guard worked seamlessly with its U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps counterparts and, for the first time in its history, commanded and manned a U.S. Naval Operating Base, or NOB. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Dwight Hodge Dexter commanded NOB “Cactus,” the code name for Guadalcanal’s naval base.