First Battle Of Matanikau

In response to the August 12th ambush, on August 19, Major General Alexander A. Vandegrift sent three companies of the U.S. 5th Marine Regiment to attack the Japanese troop concentration west of the Matanikau.

In what became known as the First Battle of the Matanikau, B Company (1st Battalion, 5th Marines) would approach Matanikau village by the coastal road, L Company (3rd Battalion, 5th Marines) would move around and attack from the south after crossing the river while I Company (3rd Battalion, 5th Marines) would conduct a seaborne assault up the coast on Kokumbona village. One company attacked across the sandbar at the mouth of the Matanikau river while another crossed the river 1,000 metres (1,100 yd) inland and attacked the Japanese forces located in Matanikau village. The third landed by boat further west and attacked Kokumbuna village.

After briefly occupying the two villages, the three Marine companies returned to the Lunga perimeter, having killed about 65 Japanese soldiers while losing four. The operation proceeded as planned and the small Japanese garrison in the area was destroyed.

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