On November 1, 1943, the 3rd Battalion landed at Cape Torokina with the rest of 3rd Marines, just east of the Koromokina River. While resistance was extremely light, the rough surf and dense jungle (which in many places extended all the way to the water) resulted in numerous landing craft being lost or damaged beyond repair. For the next two weeks, the battalion helped construct a series of trails that linked the beachhead with the advancing units, and made supply much easier. On November 16 the battalion reached the Numa Numa Trail and began probing for Japanese units On November 18 after a sharp firefight near a Japanese roadblock the battalion recovered a Japanese map with valuable intelligence on Japanese defenses. From November 19–21 the battalion continued probing for the Japanese, now identified as the 23rd Infantry Regiment, and engaging in sporadic firefights. In the lead-up to the Battle of Piva Forks, 3rd Battalion was able to seize critical high terrain that would give the Marines the advantage in the upcoming fight. The actual battle, from November 22–26, saw some of the most vicious close combat experienced in the Pacific War as of that date. 3rd Battalion additionally suffered many casualties from unusually accurate Japanese mortar and artillery fire. Two days later, after 27 days of continuous action, 3rd Battalion was moved to a relatively quiet sector on the 3rd Division's flank where it remained for the remainder of the operation.
Victims Of Crime