Except for scholars of the battle, October 9, 1942 is not a particularly noteworthy day in the history of Guadalcanal. American presence on the island, while not exactly secure, was at least not as tenuous as it had been. The Cactus Air Force was developing a daily routine, and Japanese raids came in like clockwork. The battles of the Tenaru, Savo Island, and Edson’s Ridge were in the past; Battleship Sunday, the attack on Henderson Field, the Matanikau Offensive and the Long Patrol had not yet occurred. The main activities on October 9 were the arrival of the First Battalion, Second Marines from garrison duty on Tulagi, and the successful conclusion of a flanking attack along the far bank of the Matanikau River that removed a thorn in the side of the Marine perimeter. Both of these actions resulted in men killed, wounded, and missing.
The remains of at least twenty-five Marines lost on this date were declared non-recoverable after the war.* This, sadly, is not terribly unusual. What is interesting about October 9, 1942 is how many of the men who went “missing” that day have been recovered.