Political map of Australia, New Zealand & the Southwest Pacific 15 November 1942 (Guadalcanal Campaign): The Americans had landed in Guadalcanal (Guadalcanal Campaign) to prevent the construction of a strategic Japanese airbase there (Henderson Field (Guadalcanal)). The Japanese responded with repeated attacks on the American positions by land, air and sea from August to December. Unable to prevail, Japan withdrew over the first months of 1943.