Then-Lieutenant Colonel “Chesty” Puller (center) on Guadalcanal in 1942. His career would span four decades and two world wars and earn him a place as one of the great historical figures in the Marine Corps. (Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections)
Through the years, many of those who served with and admired legendary Marine Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller have reminisced in their Naval Institute oral histories. At Guadalcanal, Navy Vice Admiral Roland N. Smoot was a commander, skipper of the destroyer USS Monssen (DD-436) escorting the USS Alhena (AKA-9), which was bringing supplies to the Marines in fierce fighting ashore and taking on board the wounded. Smoot also was answering calls for gunfire support from the units ashore.