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Searching: 96-year-old veteran wants to talk to a fellow vet who fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal

Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus and U.S. Ambassador to the Solomon Islands Teddy Taylor conduct a wreath laying ceremony in 2012 at the American Memorial to the Battle of Guadalcanal to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the U.S. Marine landing and to pay tribute to military personnel lost in the Battle of Guadalcanal. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Sam Shavers/Released)
April 20, 2018

A 96-year-old veteran who served in the Battle of Guadalcanal is seeking to speak with another veteran who served during the battle.

The 96-year-old unnamed veteran in United Hospice of Rockland, New York, is looking to speak with another Battle of Guadalcanal veteran who wants to share their experience.

“The patient is fixated on talking to someone that has this specific shared experience,” a Facebook post from Saugerties American Legion Post 72 read.

The post also listed contact information if anyone knows of such a veteran.

While the New York hospice recognizes that the chances of finding a World War II veteran who served in the Battle of Guadalcanal is slim, as the battle took place roughly 75 years ago, they are hoping at least one veteran would be willing to share their experiences.

The Battle of Guadalcanal was fought between August 1942 and February 1943 in the Pacific Theater, and was the first major Allied offensive against Japan.

On July 6, 1942, the Japanese landed on Guadalcanal Island, part of the Solomon Islands chain, and began constructing an airfield.

In response, the U.S. launched Operation Watchtower, in which American troops landed on five islands within the Solomon chain, including Guadalcanal.

The landings on Florida, Tulagi, Gavutu, and Tananbogo were initially met with opposition from the Japanese defenders, despite the fact that the landings took the Japanese by surprise due to bad weather that had grounded their scouting aircraft.

By the end of the battle, more than 20,000 Japanese troops were killed compared to less than 2,000 U.S. troops.