Road to War:
After Midway and Death:Despite the heavy losses at Midway, Yamamoto sought to press forward with operations to take Samoa and Fiji. As a steppingstone for this move Japanese forces landed on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands and commenced building an airfield. This was countered by American landings on the island in August 1942. Forced to fight for the island, Yamamoto was pulled into a battle of attrition that his fleet could not afford.
Having lost face due the defeat at Midway, Yamamoto was forced to assume the defensive posture preferred by the Naval General Staff. Through the fall he fought a pair of carrier battles (Eastern Solomons & Santa Cruz) as well as numerous surface engagements in support of the troops on Guadalcanal. Following the fall of Guadalcanal in February 1943, Yamamoto decided to make an inspection tour through the South Pacific to boost morale. Using radio intercepts, American forces were able to isolate the route of the admiral's plane. On the morning of April 18, 1943, P-38 Lightnings from the 339th Fighter Squadron ambushed Yamamoto's plane and its escorts near Bougainville. In the fight that ensued, Yamamoto's plane was hit and went down killing all on board. The kill is generally credited to 1st Lt. Rex T. Barber.