Subscribe to USNI Monthly Newsletter and Announcements

The Pacific - Show Overview

Naval History's Guide to “The Pacific”

Episode 1 - Part 1

In the immediate aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Marine Sergeant John Basilone prepares to ship out and confront the enemy in the Pacific while budding journalist Robert Leckie enlists in the Corps. Eugene Sledge, unable to enlist because of a heart murmur, says farewell to his best friend, Sidney Phillips, who is about to leave for boot camp. Exactly eight months after Pearl Harbor, the 1st Marine Division, including Leckie and Phillips, lands on Guadalcanal to secure its strategically vital airfield.

The Pacific Image

Real Marines behind HBO’s the Pacific

A look at the biographical information of the real people behind the main characters featured in the HBO miniseries "The Pacific." John Basilone is described by Colonel Jon T. Hoffman, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (Retired). Robert Leckie is described by Lieutenant Colonel Brendan Greeley Jr., U.S. Marine Corps (Retired). Eugene Sledge is described by Colonel Joseph H. Alexander, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired). Basilone is a Medal of Honor recipient, Leckie war experience were captured in Helmet for my Pillow and Sledge's written accounts of his war experiences were the foundation for the book With the Old Breed.

The Pacific Image

First Contact with the Enemy

Richard B. Frank describes the events and highlights of the Guadalcanal campaign in the Pacific Theater of World War II. He features the 1st Marine Division led by Major General Alexander Archer Vandegrift, the same unit focused on by the new HBO series "The Pacific." He looks at both sides of the battle, the U.S. and Japanese forces, and the precipitating factors that resulting in the final outcome, to include the Battle of Midway.

The Pacific Image

The Link Between Leckie and Sledge

Richard B. Frank tells the story of Sydney Phillips, a member of 1st Marine Division in World War II, how be came to enlist, his experiences during the war, and life after it. Phillips recalls how seeing 25 stretcher cases at Cape Gloucester and not being able to do anything caused him to become a doctor, and how morale during Guadalcanal was better than could be expected because nobody knew quite what to expect.

The Pacific Image

'The Japs Kept Charging'

An interview with Platoon Sergeant John Basilone of 1st Marine Division, after the Battle of Henderson Field where he earned the Medal of Honor. He describes his experiences during the battle, and the men that he served alongside.

The Pacific Image

The Melbourne Interlude

Following the battle at Guadalcanal, General Vandegrift sent scouts to find a place where the 1st Marine Division could go to recover and unwind, and further their training & preparedness. He picked Melbourne, Australia. When the Marines arrived, they were greeted as heroes. They bonded with the Australians, many moving in with locals during their stay, and some getting engaged or married. Many of the relationships forged during the visit lasted a lifetime. Richard B. Frank tells a compelling story of peacefulness during a very violent time in our history.

The Pacific Image

Savo Island: The Worst Defeat

An officer on board the cruiser Chicago recalls an August night 60 years ago, when the Japanese sink four Allied ships and damage his severely.

The Pacific Image

Gatefold: Guadalcanal Guide

Naval History's guide to the campaign for Guadalcanal.

The Pacific Image

A Name that Endures with Honor

While the U.S. victory at Midway put the Japanese Navy on the defensive, it took the long, grueling Guadalcanal campaign to stop its army.

The Pacific Image

Guadalcanal Slideshow

The Guadalcanal slideshow is from the Naval Institute Photo Archive Collection. The Naval Institute preserves the world's largest private military photo collection, with more than 450,000 photos.

The Pacific Image

Guadalcanal Photo Gallery

The Guadalcanal gallery contains photographs from the Naval Institute Photo Archive Collection, the largest private military collection of its kind.


Benjamin Carson USMC

Benjamin Carson has been to hell and back. He fought in some of WWII's bloodiest battles including Midway, Guadalcanal, Bougainville and Iwo Jima. His riveting story is about what it was like to be on the "point" at Guadalcanal.

The Pacific Image

Guadalcanal Oral History Collection

The Guadalcanal Collection is from the U.S. Naval Institute's Oral History program. The program captures and preserves the reminiscences of key Navy and Coast Guard personnel and contains over 230 bound volumes.


The Pacific Preview

Watch a preview of HBO's new miniseries, The Pacific.



Conferences and Events

WEST 2019

Wed, 2019-02-13 - Fri, 2019-02-15

Sharpening the Competitive Edge: Are We Ready to Compete, Deter, and Win Globally? Wednesday, 13 February - Friday, 15 February...

2019 U.S. Naval Institute Member Event

View All

From the Press

17 January - Book Talk

Thu, 2019-01-17

18 January - Presentation

Fri, 2019-01-18

Why Become a Member of the U.S. Naval Institute?

As an independent forum for over 140 years, the Naval Institute has been nurturing creative thinkers who responsibly raise their voices on matters relating to national defense.

Become a Member Renew Membership