The Imperial Japanese needed Guadalcanal to expand its empire. The United States needed it to win the war. After the U.S. Navy's successes in both the Coral Sea and at Midway, a search plane takes a photo of a Japanese airfield on the island of Guadalcanal. There, Admiral Nimitz and his Marines see their first real action in the Pacific. Many Americans lost their lives to both war and disease. But in the end, the Americans won the airfield, now called Henderson Field, a vital part of the American offensive.