Accession Number : ADA313107

Title :   CACTUS Airpower at Guadalcanal.

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis 2 Aug 95-7 Jun 96,

Corporate Author : ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS

Personal Author(s) : Clubb, Timothy L.

PDF Url : ADA313107

Report Date : 07 JUN 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 155

Abstract : This study examines the role of the CACTUS Air Force during the battle for Guadalcanal. Hurriedly planned and executed, Guadalcanal was the first U.S. ground offensive in the Pacific. Starting as an unopposed amphibious assault, the operation turned into a six-month-long air, land, and sea battle to secure the island. Operating from an expeditionary airfield, the U.S. Marine Corps employed air power as its primary means of defending the island. The CACTUS Air Force conducted the campaign with limited air assets and was plagued by a variety of critical shortages, yet it managed to play a key role in the U.S. victory. This study focuses on the specific contributions of air power during this campaign. It examines the role of air power in reconnaissance, deep, close, and rear area air operations. It also examines the factors that influenced how air assets were employed and the changes in U.S. concepts about air operations that were made to conduct the air campaign. CACTUS planes assisted in defeating several major Japanese attacks. However, the daily presence and routine operations of the CACTUS Air Force were its key contributions. CACTUS Air's most important contribution was its ability to deny the Japanese air superiority and disrupt their freedom of action in the lower Solomon Islands.

Descriptors :   *MILITARY HISTORY, *AMPHIBIOUS OPERATIONS, *MILITARY CAPABILITIES, *AIR LOGISTICS SUPPORT, *AIR POWER, *MARINE CORPS OPERATIONS, MILITARY STRATEGY, LESSONS LEARNED, MILITARY DOCTRINE, ASSAULT, THESES, JAPAN, LIMITATIONS, MILITARY TACTICS, RECONNAISSANCE, SHORTAGES, STRATEGIC AREAS.

Subject Categories : Humanities and History
      Military Forces and Organizations
      Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE