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While responsible for nearly fifteen thousand citizens and various other people on Guadalcanal, District Officer Clemens additionally served as a coastwatcher.

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The Japanese planned to cut off the United States' communications with New Zealand and Australia by building an airstrip on Guadalcanal. When they began landing infantry, support troops and engineers to begin the airstrip, Clemens reported such to the Allies by radio. Meanwhile, the managers of the coconut plantations had fled Guadalcanal in panic, abandoning the native workers from neighboring islands, who were left to be repatriated by Clemens.

National Geographic: The Lost Fleet of Guadalcanal (1993)

He then established his radio station and coastwatching activities. Though he was a commissioned officer, Clemens received no support from the military and had no uniform.


  • Events: World War II, Pacific Theater;
  • The Origins of the Tiandihui: The Chinese Triads in Legend and History;
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After the Japanese occupied the island of Tulagi in early May, they initiated searches for Clemens and other known colonial officers. In June, the Japanese commenced the construction of an airfield on Guadalcanal, further isolating Clemens and forcing him to conduct his activities from enclaves in the mountains.

Clemens, on his jungle-shielded mountain, played a dangerous game of hide and seek with the Japanese. He and his tiny coastwatcher contingent were running low on everything they needed: food, supplies, and most critically, radio batteries.

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Coastwatchers

Barefoot, Clemens shared the privations of his coastwatchers. His shoes had disintegrated. Guadalcanal became the site of the first major land offensive against the Japanese in the South Pacific. Cooperation between Clemens and the U. Marines made him a key operative on the island. Clemens and his scouts provided the U.

Lonely Vigil: Coastwatchers of the Solomons (Bluejacket Books) (English Edition)-Kindle商店-亚马逊中国

Marines much assistance with continuous raids on Japanese supplies and radio reports of the enemy's position. Legion of Merit. Following the war, Clemens served in Palestine in — and Cyprus in —, returning to Cyprus in — as District Commissioner, and was Defence Secretary during — Offered a furher colonial position variously reported as having been in Burma [ 1 ] or Sarawak , [ 5 ] he instead moved to Australia, which was home to his wife Anne.

Martin Clemens married Anne Turnbull in They had four children. Clemens became an Australian citizen in and was involved in numerous public service and charity efforts.