Amazing that it is still there! I have read several books about Guadalcanal and just about all of them have photos of this Japanese transport beached and mostly blown up. This is probably the remains of the Japanese troopship Kyusyu Maru, one of three transports set afire by U.S. airplanes on October 15, 1942. The other two were Sasako Maru and the Azumasin Maru. One of the ships was rather amazingly torpedoed by a slow patrol plane, a Navy PBY which was under heavy fire, one was damaged by B-17's from the Army and the third was set afire by Navy dive bombers. There were 3 undamaged transports. All of the troops and most of the supplies from the undamaged ships were unloaded. With air attacks becoming more frequent Admiral Tanaka made the decision to withdraw the undamaged transports and return that night with destroyers to finish unloading the damaged transports.
This was "X Day" to the Japanese when plans called for the Americans on Guadalcanal to be overwhelmed. The sinking of the transports was just a small indication that the Japanese plans were not going to succeed. That night two Japanese cruisers bombarded the Henderson Field with over 1,500 8 inch shells, in what was probably the lowest point for the Americans as they had only a few gallons of av gas and fewer planes fit to fly. This is when Admiral Nimitz, the CINCPAC, made the decision to relieve Admiral Ghormley and replace him with Admiral Halsey.
Guadalcanal was a major turning point in the Pacific war as Japan's advances had been terminated and for the remainder of the war they would quite literally be fighting for their lives.
I have been in a war but what I experienced was nothing compared to what the US and Japanese troops were foreced to cope with. How anyone came off that island alive and with their health, and with their wits, is beyond me.
Thanks for posting this photo!