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Battle of the Green Islands
Part of the Pacific Theater of World War II
Troops from New Zealand disembark from U.S. Landing Craft Infantry ship LCI-444 to occupy Green Island on 16 February 1944.
Date29 January – 27 February 1944
LocationGreen Islands in the South Pacific
Result Allied victory
New Zealand New Zealand
United StatesUnited States
Japan Empire of Japan
Commanders and leaders
New Zealand H.E. Barrowclough Japan Hitoshi Imamura
5,806[1] 120–150[2]
Casualties and losses
13 killed[3] 120 killed,
12 aircraft destroyed[4]

The Battle of the Green Islands was fought from 29 January – 27 February 1944, between Japan and Allied forces from the New Zealand 3rd Division and the United States. The Green Islands—located between Bougainville and New Ireland—were part of the Australian Territory of New Guinea. The Allied forces invaded several islands and recaptured them from heavily outnumbered Japanese forces.

Once secured, the Green Islands became a forward base for the U.S. South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command (SCAT), which supplied material and mail to combat soldiers and evacuated the wounded. It also became home to United States Marine Corps fighters and bombers which participated in the allied effort to isolate the Japanese bases on Rabaul and Kavieng.[5] The base's first commander was Lt. Richard M. Nixon, later President of the United States.[6]


  1. Gillespie, Official History, p. 173. Troops included 4,242 New Zealanders and 1,564 U.S.
  2. Gillespie, Official History, p. 178.
  3. Gillespie, Official History, p. 188. Breakdown of deaths: New Zealand- 10, U.S.- 3.
  4. Gillespie, Official History, p. 188. A few members of the Japanese garrison may have escaped to Rabaul.
  5. Tillman, Corsair, p. 67.


  • Morison, Samuel Eliot (1958). Breaking the Bismarcks Barrier, vol. 6 of History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Castle Books. ISBN 0-7858-1307-1. 
  • Tillman, Barrett (2001). Corsair: The F4U in World War II and Korea. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-994-8. 

External links

Coordinates: 4°30′S 154°10′E / 4.5°S 154.167°E / -4.5; 154.167

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