Recently I was reading Ron Browns A FEW GOOD MEN, THE FIGHTING FIFTH MARINES and found on page 138 that during the Cape Gloucester Campaign to clear Rabaul, the CO and XO of 3rd Bn 5thMars were wounded on the same day, and LtCol Chesty Puller, CO of 3rd Bn 7th Mars took command of 3rd Bn 5th Marines as well during the fight. Although Chesty was CO of 3/5 for only a day, he
probably picked up some valuable leadership hints from the Battalion.
The following day Lew Walt took command of 3rd Bn 5th Mars for the attack on the mysterous Aogiri Ridge, a land feature not found on our maps but identified as a key defensive position of the Japanese on the island. After tenacious fighting, 3rd Bn 5th Mars took the Aogiri Ridge, thereafter renamed WALTS RIDGE, to honor the 3rd Bn 5th Mar commander. General
Shephard, the Division Commander, said that this was the critical battle of the Cape Gloucester campaign because Aogiri Ridge controlled the primary supply route through which all Japanese supplies and reinforcements flowed.
This information is verified in HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS OPERATIONS IN WW11, ISOLATION OF RABAUL, PG. 382.
Thought this piece of lore, i.e., Both Chesty Puller, and Lew Walt as COs, 3rd Bn 5th Mar, and the fight for the ridge, should be known to our Marines.
Submitted by J.D. Murray