In the 1940s, the Japanese invaded the island of New Britain, capturing it and Cape Gloucester. The Japanese created two airfields on the cape. During the American invasion of the Solomons, they decided to capture New Britain, for its airfields to capture the rest of New Giunea. Among these airfields were the ones on Cape Gloucester. The main reasons for capture were to help in the bombing of the major Japanese base of Rabaul on New Britain and to allow free passage from New Britain and New Guinea. The U.S. Marines 1st Marine Division landed under the command of Major General William H. Rupertus. The 1st Marine Regiment was attacked by a wild banzai charge from 100 Japanese troops under the 65th Independent Infantry Brigade, commanded by Lieutenant General Iwao Matsuda. Private Robert Leckie was forced to stay in a tent while his friends annhilated the Japanese. Fighting would continue until Iwao finally surrendered, and Cape Gloucester was declared secured.