Guadalcanal: Green Hell

Road to Tokyo: Pacific Theater Galleries
Guadalcanal: Green Hell Gallery in Road to Tokyo

The setting shifts from sea to land at Guadalcanal, the site of World War II’s first major amphibious landing and the first ground assault by US forces. Vividly rendered and viscerally impactful, this experiential gallery features an immersive environmental narrative that draws the visitor into a towering palm jungle, following in the footsteps of American GIs as they battled heat, mosquitoes, disease, dense vegetation, and unfamiliar terrain along with a ferocious enemy in an all-consuming, round-the-clock battle. Together with the discouragement of a string of defeats against the Japanese—including naval defeats that left Americans on the island effectually stranded—these seemingly overwhelming obstacles were an assault on both body and mind. Still, American troops, mainly Marines, fought on to capture and defend the first Allied foothold in the Pacific, notably at the Battle of Tenaru River. But although that battle was a victory for the Allies, it was also a chilling education in the nature of their enemy: injured Japanese soldiers fought without mercy and without any thought of surrender, refusing to yield even to their dying breaths.

Made possible through a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Robert Tucker Hayes

Additional funding provided by Devon and Jackson Anderson and Gustaf W. McIlhenny Foundation