November 1, 1943 – The Landings at Cape Torokina were the beginning of the Bougainville campaign in World War II, between the military forces of the Empire of Japan and the Allied powers. The amphibious landings by the United States Marine Corps commenced on November 1, 1943 on Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands of the South Pacific. The 3rd and 9th Marines of the 3rd Marine Division assaulted Cape Torokina along an 8,000-yard front at 0710. Because of the possibility of an immediate Japanese counterattack by air units, the initial assault wave landed 7,500 Marines by 0730. These seized the lightly defended area by 1100, suffering 78 killed in action while virtually annihilating the 270 troops of the Japanese 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment. Marine Raiders also seized Puruata Island just offshore. Sgt. Robert A. Owens was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for singlehandedly seizing the sole Japanese artillery emplacement shelling the landing force, at the cost of his life, after it had destroyed four landing craft and damaged ten others.