ROAD TO TOKYO COUNTDOWN: GUADALCANAL
As we continue traveling on the Road to Tokyo, we stop next at our second immersive gallery space, Guadalcanal.
Guadalcanal represents the Allies’ transition from defending against Japanese attacks to planning strategic offensive ground operations against the enemy. The resolve of the U.S. military was tested throughout the campaign, as the American forces struggled against a lack of supplies, enemy reinforcements, brutal naval combat, treacherous jungle warfare, and a fanatical enemy. However, the ending victory was the first step in blunting Japanese expansion across the islands and pushing back on the long road to Tokyo.
The Guadalcanal Gallery will employ rare artifacts, exhibits and interactive elements as it explores the first major campaign by American forces against Japanese targets in the Pacific. In addition to covering a pivotal point in the War in the Pacific, the Guadalcanal Gallery offers a special opportunity for observing the growth and development of the U.S. military as they became more confident in their ability to defeat the Japanese military through a series of successful offensive and defensive operations.
All exhibits are set in a thematic environment with a jungle landscape and overhead canopy of trees. Visitors will pass through a weathered, wooden clapboard hut with a pitched roof and under camouflage netting hanging from above. Personal story panels located throughout the gallery provide opportunities for introspection. An introductory artifact case titled “Weapons of Guadalcanal” will be located near the entrance. The gallery will include four exhibits–Initial Operations, The Siege, Turning Point, and Fighting in the Jungle.
Visitors will take away why the US Military chose this Solomon Island as their first offensive campaign and explore the ruthless nature of the Japanese enemy and their fighting tactics in an unforgiving jungle environment.
The Guadalcanal Gallery has been made possible through a generous gift by Mr. and Mrs. Robert T. Hayes.