When Guadalcanal was secured, the Solomons were still largely held in Japanese hands or deserted. To the north, the major Japanese base on New Britain, Rabaul, could control the entire area with its large complement of aircraft and its excellent naval anchorage.
The Battle of the Philippine Sea in the Marianas in June 1944 was marked by the destruction of huge numbers of Japanese aircraft with low losses to the United States Navy.
On May 7, 1942, Rear Admiral Frank Fletcher stood on the bridge of his flagship, and looked at the radiogram the combat information center had just handed him. Wainwright had surrendered, the Philippines were held by the Japanese.