Departing Beach

Figure 1
The site chosen for the pick up point for the 1st Raiders on September 4, 1942 was at Reko on Savo’s South Eastern shores. [Excerpt from AESOP Map, Guadalcanal and Florida Islands with a portion of Malaita Island, 1943. (S847-E15926), NZ NA].  

9º 9.730’ S, 159º 49.060’E approx.  

The selection of this departure beach was probably not the best considering the season for South East trade winds was in force. In the morning, the SE trade wind has not yet got up and when the Raiders landed at 0815 hours on the North end of Savo, the seas would have been calm. By late afternoon, when they were picked up, the SE trade wind would have been in action, and the seas choppy. This evidently accounted for the abandonment of one of the four of USS Gregory’s Higgins landing boats in the area (See Site SAVO10). A departure from Savo’s South-western side probably could have been made in calm seas.  

If the Gregory’s Higgins boat remains are still on Savo a 1000 yards East of Reko, this is the only archaeological evidence of the 1st Raiders patrol.  

Reko is also spelt Reka.  

Ewan M. Stevenson, 14 April 2013

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