Aired: September 6, 2008

The Lost Patrol of Guadalcanal

On the 12th of August 1942, Lt. Col. Frank Goettge and 24 Marines under his command landed in the dark on the wrong beach on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands and came under withering fire from Japanese soldiers, killing Goettge and 21 of his men.  Sixty-six years later, Cliff and Donna Boyd (Radford University) and Rhett Herman (Radford University) led a mission to use state of the art techniques to search for the missing in action Americans.

Also featured: Don Cunningham (Radford University) had a job that took him to Japan where he became fascinated with the culture of the Japanese samurais. He recently published Samurai Weapons: Tools of a Warrior, detailing the daily lives of the samurai and the weapons that made up the storied warriors’ arsenal.


8 Comments on “The Lost Patrol of Guadalcanal”

  1. Bill Gilbert

    My Uncle was Virgil Caltrider was a Sgt. with the Goettge Patrol.
    My Mom read all the articles from Leatherneck magazine and wrote to Marines about the patrol. She always hoped that their remains could be fould and returned to their families. she has passed, but there a sisters still living.
    Thanks for your effort to find the final resting place of these Mariens.

  2. David W.

    Bill, My great uncle was also killed on the patrol. In 2006 I visited with and interviewed Sgt. Charles Arndt (the last living Marine from that conflict) who was the first man sent back for help. If you find this response you may contact me. You and I might be able to exchange some useful information.

  3. Joseph Mueller


    You may want to contact me. I’ve done a lot of research over the pat 30 years on the Goettge Patrol, to include written articles, participate in a MIA recovery mission. I think we should compare notes.

    Joe Mueller

  4. David Miller

    Talking to me, Joe? My Dad is the one to talk to–served on Guadalacanal from the first day then on to New Brit. At 94 he’s doing well.

  5. David Wollschlager

    Joe, I am (Goettge Patrol) USMC Sgt. Robert Stanfill’s grand nephew. I contacted you a few years back and apparently you were busy at the time. If you wish to contact me to compare notes my mail is
    [email protected]

    please note the q in embarqmail is a Q lower case not a g

  6. David Wollschlager

    Sorry Mr. Mueller my error, we haven’t cooresponded before. I had mistaken you with Doug Drumheller.

    David Wollschlager

    1. Joe Mueller


      Sorry I did not check this site sooner. I would like to talk to you about your grand uncle.



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