Chapter 5
Other Parts of the Team

The effective support given IIIAC units throughout the Guam campaign drew unqualified praise from the ranking survivor of the Japanese garrison, Lieutenant Colonel Hideyuki Takeda. After witnessing the overwhelming power of the air and naval units of the Southern Attack Force he concluded that it was no longer possible to defend an island properly with isolated ground troops. This tribute by the operations officer of the main defensive force on Guam adds emphasis to American reports that all supporting arms available to corps functioned with precision and produced excellent results.

Naval Gunfire Support

The continuous 13-day bombardment of Guam prior to W-Day by the battleships, cruisers, and destroyers under Admiral Conolly has been cited as the most systematically conducted "shoot" in the Pacific up to that time. The proximity of the Saipan task groups with additional gunfire support vessels made a greater supply of ammunition available to TF 53. An indication of the volume of fire delivered during this period is shown by the following table of ammunition expenditure:
836 rounds of 16-inch
5,422 rounds of 14-inch
3,862 rounds of 8-inch
2,430 rounds of 6-inch
16,214 rounds of 5-inch1

As to the effect of the continuous pounding, in the opinion of the naval gunfire officer for IIIAC, Major William M. Gilliam:

The extended period for bombardment plus a system for keeping target damage reports accounted for practically every known Japanese gun that could seriously endanger our landings. When the morning of the landing arrived, it was known that the assault troops would meet little resistance.2

At the next higher command level, Admiral Conolly's staff believed "that not one fixed gun was left in commission on the west coast that was of greater size than a machine gun."3 The above estimates of the damage already done to the enemy installations did not lessen the W-Day scheduled fires which let loose with a barrage that lasted until 90 minutes after H-Hour. Originally scheduled fires had been set to last until H-plus 30 minutes but after studying the results of naval gunfire at Saipan Admiral Conolly decided to lengthen that part of the gunfire plan. This covered the period between the landing and the establishment of fire control agencies ashore.4 During the day, 21 July, 342 rounds of 16-inch, 1,152 rounds of 14-inch, 1,332 rounds of 8-inch; 2,430 rounds of 6-inch, 13,130 rounds of 5-inch, and 9,000 rounds of 4.5-inch rockets were hurled into the landing areas.5


From the Japanese viewpoint naval gunfire had been effective but not as completely destructive as the above reports indicate. One Marine officer who landed five minutes after H-Hour later wrote:

I was particularly impressed to see Japanese soldiers still alive right on the landing beaches after almost 24 hours of incessant bombardment by naval gunfire . . .6

Of even more significance is the enemy analysis of damage done:


  1. Construction consisting of ordinary simple buildings reinforced on an emergency basis which received direct hits were completely destroyed.

  2. Field positions hit by shells were completely destroyed. Over 50% of all installations built in the seashore area of the landing beaches were demolished. (Since there was much use of sand, they offered little resistance.)

  3. Half permanent positions in which the hard agent cascajo7 was used and which were reinforced with concrete about 50cm thick remained in good condition except in cases of direct hits. Positions receiving direct hits were more than half destroyed.

  4. Permanent construction (concrete over one meter thick) positions which received direct hits without exception remained perfectly sound.

Defense Installations

  1. All naval gun emplacements in the open were completely demolished before the landings. About half of the guns emplaced in caves with limited fields of fire remained operational, but soon after opening fire at the time of the landings the cave entrances were demolished and the guns could fire little.

  2. Antiaircraft artillery sustained damage from naval gunfire only once.

  3. Communications installations were not damaged, since they were constructed in dead spaces where they could not receive direct hits.

  4. Harbor installations received almost no damage.

  5. Only once did water pipes receive a direct hit.

  6. Power installations were not damaged because generating was done in caves.

  7. Most boats in military use were sunk, but by strafing rather than by naval gunfire.

Cases Where Naval Gunfire Had No Effect

  1. Antiaircraft gun positions were operational until the very last.

LCI GUNBOAT fires rocket barrage against Japanese positions behind Agana holding up the advance of the 3d Marine Division. (Navy Photograph.)
  1. There was no effect against construction in valleys or in the jungle. Also there was very little effect against the interior of the island over four kilometers from the shore line.

  2. Incendiary shells started fires in grassy areas and exposed our positions but had almost no demolition or antipersonnel effect.8

Whatever the exact extent of the damage caused by naval gunfire, its success is best measured by the fact that most enemy guns were silenced during the critical period that Marines were first establishing themselves ashore. In addition, naval gunfire contributed considerably to the demoralization of the Japanese. A staff officer for the 29th Division reports:

After several days there were scattered outbreaks of serious loss of spirit. After another week of bombardment, as in the period before the landings, there were some whose spirit deteriorated so that they could not perform their duties in a positive manner. This was especially true of the units on the landing fronts. However, in contrast to such personnel whose courage fell, there was a minority who were just as though insane with the remarkable power of their spiritual strength.9


Probably the best over-all opinion that the enemy had of naval gunfire was expressed by one of the prisoners of war captured on Guam:

We had been thinking that the Japanese might win through a night counterattack, but when the star shells came over one after the other we would only use our men as human bullets and there were many useless casualties and no chance of success . . . I was horrified by the number of deaths on our side due to the naval gunfire which continued every day.10

There is one thing on which both the Americans and Japanese did agree: that night illumination, using star shells, was an important factor in Phase I operations. The procedure of assigning each front line battalion a ship for illumination and other fires furnished that unit with the means of sighting and stopping any counterattack that might develop. In addition, it provided light for organizing positions when it was impossible to accomplish the task prior to darkness. Star shells proved so beneficial to infantry commanders that almost all recommended that a more adequate supply be made available in the future.11

Shore fire control parties not only conducted illumination firing but also effectively employed naval gunfire on call, preparation, and harassing missions. The split landing resulted in there being no single control agency either ashore or afloat. As a consequence, different agencies directed fire support activities and there was some loss of control, coordination, and flexibility. Call fire was good but limited by the lack of training in the Shore Fire Control Section of the 3d JASCO (Joint Assault Signal Company).12 Nevertheless, within the limitations indicated naval gunfire rendered very effective support whenever ground troops requested fire.13

Air Support

Until noon nothing unusual occurred, but a formation of about 30 planes strafed and bombed the airfield and other places throughout the afternoon. I realized that finally the enemy striking force was closing in.

This entry on 30 April 1944 in the diary of Lieutenant Kanemitsu Kurokawa was the first of many indicating the unwelcome visits of Admiral Mitscher's carrier planes over Guam. A month later so frustrated had the lieutenant become by the unceasing air bombardment that he wrote he now understood, in view of the lack of friendly planes overhead, the meaning of constant requests in the Japanese press for increased aircraft production to send even one extra plane to the front lines.14

Higher ranking Japanese officers, however, concerned themselves more with how the air strikes delayed defense preparations. According to the 29th's operations officer:

[Before the landing] The fact that Japanese air forces were as nothing against American air power (in quantity) certainly had its effect on morale. But this effect was not great because casualties were avoided through use of every inch of the terrain. However, a very heavy blow was the fact that transportation and work on positions could not be conducted in the daytime because ground movements were severely restricted. Daylight movements [after the landing] could not be carried out in cases such as advancing reserves for changing operational maneuvers, causing situations disadvantageous for the direction of combat to arise everywhere. Because of this we could not employ effective strength quickly, and [attempts to] recover the situation and counterattacks made at opportune times ended in complete failure.15

Confirmation of the telling effect on both personnel and emplacements of continual air strikes is pointed out by the following extracts from Japanese diaries and prisoner of war interrogations:

. . . The enemy, circling overhead, bombed our airfield the whole day long. When evening came our carriers bombers returned, [airgroups from carriers returning to Guam to refuel and rearm during the Battle of the Philippine Sea] but the airfield had just been destroyed by the enemy and they could not land. Having neither fuel nor ammunition the 15 or 16 planes were unable to land and had to crash on [Orote Airfield]. It was certainly a shame. I was unable to


watch dry-eyed. "The tragedy of war" was never so real. . . . Towards evening enemy planes appeared and halted our construction. . . . As usual, the enemy planes attacked furiously, so we could not venture out. . . . Our position demolished today by bombs.

On the other hand, the Joint Expeditionary Force Commander considered the close air support given front line troops on Guam "not very good."16 In the early stages of the landing there appeared to be a reluctance on the part of Commander Support Aircraft (CSA) to turn over aircraft to the control of battalion air liaison parties. In the later days of Phase I, when it was demonstrated that by so doing no time was lost in carrying out the mission, pilots conducted closer and more accurate strikes.17 Even with this increased precision, the 3d Marine Division's operations officer wrote that "pilot error, resulting in strafing or bombing of our own troops, did not improve the troops' confidence in close air support."18

The same unit reported that it had been necessary to cancel some missions because of the lapse of time between requests and the execution of strikes. This lag varied from nine minutes to five hours and 30 minutes, with the average for 31 missions being one hour and a half. Similar complaints came from the brigade, which added that delays were also caused by radio nets being overcrowded. Use of the same frequency by both the brigade and the division, separated by a hill mass which prevented them from hearing each other, made it extremely difficult to coordinate requests.19

To General Geiger, the answer lay in employing Marine aviation to a greater extent. He cited the fact that "the use of Marine Bombing Squadrons for close (100 to 500 yds) air support of ground troops has been clearly demonstrated on several occasions,"20 as his main argument. This opinion was supported by the repeated requests of his troop commanders for Marine aviation to furnish the close support. General

TORPEDO BOMBERS move in formation toward the Agat Beach to support the landing of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade. (Navy Photograph.)

Holland Smith made the same recommendation after the operation and set down specific details of his plan. He suggested that "sufficient air groups be designated and trained as direct support groups and be assigned to CVE-type carriers." For this specialized task, General Smith concluded that Marines should be used:

The troop experience of senior Marine pilots combined with the indoctrination of new pilots in infantry tactics should insure greater cooperation and coordination between air and ground units.21

Artillery in the Fight

The Guam operation was memorable as the first campaign in which the Marines placed a sizable corps artillery unit of their own in the field.22 Of equal importance is the fact that during this operation the forerunner of the present FSCC (Fire Support Coordination Center) was used extensively. The corps NGF officer and air officer worked together in the same tent, using a common situation map. In turn, a direct telephone line connected them to the corps artillery fire direction center. In this way the three major supporting arms achieved close cooperation and coordination.23


GUN CREW swabs the bore of No. 4 Gun, Battery C, 7th 155mm Gun Battalion after firing in support of the 3d Division beachhead.

Within the artillery set-up itself, General Geiger assigned operational control over all artillery on the island to the Commanding General, IIIAC Artillery. This tied all units together, enabling fires to be massed quickly and reinforcing missions assigned with dispatch. In addition, priorities on ammunition, transportation, and position areas were easily controlled. However, as a result of the piecemeal unloading and landing of the 155mm units of corps, the artillery commander felt the maximum efficiency was not obtained from the big guns and howitzers during the first two days on Guam.24 Of this situation General del Valle later wrote:

The unloading of Corps Arty was completely out of control of the Commanding General, Corps Arty and at variance with the planned scheme of unloading and entry into action. . . . The loading and unloading must be under control of the Corps Arty Commander and in accordance with the projected employment. . . . As long as this control is vested in other officers, not especially concerned with, nor interested in, the operation of Corps Arty, satisfactory results will not be achieved.25

On the other hand, even though loaded in many ships of the convoy,26 the 12th Marines and the brigade's artillery did not meet with such difficulties. The DUKW's and LVT's, loaded with the howitzers and sufficient men and ammunition to start firing, moved ashore soon after H-Hour. Although both the division and the brigade had some of their amphibious


trucks stranded on the reefs during the landing, commanders were unanimous in their praise of the vehicle. As soon as the "A-frame" unloaded the howitzers, the vehicles returned to the ships to get more shells to bring into the battery positions.

In addition to solving the problem of maintaining an adequate supply of ammunition around the firing pieces during the early phases of the amphibious assault, the DUKW also supplied the solution to another difficulty. Previous thinking on equipping the artillery regiment with 105mm howitzers had been tempered by the lack of a suitable vehicle to get such weapons into the fight early. However, as a result of the DUKW's satisfactory performance at Guam, Colonel John B. Wilson, commanding officer of the 12th Marines, recommended that the remaining 75mm pack howitzer units be given 105mm weapons. This would not only give the regiment more power and flexibility, but would do away with the necessity for handling both 105mm and 75mm shells.27

Communications between forward observers and the fire direction centers proved to be adequate, with the SCR 300 once more giving reliable radio service. As usual, most of the traffic was carried over telephone lines, and the use of the forward switching central28 proved to be the answer to keeping artillery fire missions coming through from front line observers.

Inasmuch as no Japanese planes penetrated the air cover over Saipan to get to Guam,29 the anti-aircraft batteries of the 9th and 14th Defense Battalions and the Army's 7th AAA (AW) Battalion were not tested. Nevertheless, commanders employed all weapons in support of ground troops. On the left flank of the corps the 3d Marine Division made full use of the fire power of the 20mms and 40mms in reducing the Fonte position. Shells from guns emplaced on the shore near Agat and on Cabras

CAMOUFLAGE NETTING covers the gun pit of a 105mm howitzer as a 12th Marines crew prepares to place high-angle fire on Japanese positions.

Island pounded both faces of Orote Peninsula, while searchlights of the 14th enabled night surveillance of possible water routes of withdrawal.

The over-all effectiveness of artillery during the assault phase is found in General Shepherd's remarks at the conclusion of the campaign:

It is the opinion of the Commanding General that artillery was the most effective weapon employed during the operation. Close support was given to the infantry in both attack and defense and harassing fires at night were particularly effective. The troops have great confidence in the power of our own artillery. . . . The groupment of battalions and massing of fires in vital zones of action greatly assisted the advance of the assault troops against strong enemy resistance from well-prepared emplacements. The 105mm Howitzers were particularly effective. Reports from prisoners of war indicate that artillery fire has a great demoralizing effect on their troops.30

Engineer Operations

As was usual throughout the Pacific theater campaigns, engineers on Guam carried out with precision their endless and dangerous duties during the assault phase. The unspectacular nature of this work did not lessen its value to the corps mission. The absolute necessity of


SEABEES on bulldozers prepare the bed of a new road linking the Agat Bay area with the IIIAC front lines.

maintaining supply routes, disarming mines, clearing road blocks, and establishing water points can leave little doubt of the engineer's important role in any tactical scheme of maneuver.

If any one job assigned to the engineer units can be considered more important than another during Phase I, it was maintaining an adequate network of roads. The existing improved roads disintegrated in one day under the traffic of a single division. When of necessity both the 3d and 77th Divisions used the same highway, the situation became critical at times. To add to the difficulties, several factors hindered construction of new supply roads. First, the restriction of cargo space limited the amount of engineering equipment lifted to the target area. Second, the addition of the Army division without adding heavy construction equipment increased the demands on existing graders beyond their capacity. Finally, engineers found it difficult to place new coral surfacing during the many rainy days. The mixing of relatively small amounts of mud prevented the coral from binding together, resulting in an increased depth of muck on the road.31

Even the versatility of the bulldozer could not supply the answer to road maintenance and drainage. As a result the corps engineer recommended that in the future:

. . . a minimum of one engineer battalion with heavy grading equipment (a Naval Construction Battalion, a Marine Separate Engineer Battalion, or an Army Aviation Engineer Battalion) be included in the assault echelon of each Marine or Army division, or fraction thereof, in the assault forces.32

The bulldozers, however, proved so valuable that corps artillery was requested to turn over most of its organic dozers33 until gun emplacements had to be dug. This enabled the


POLE AND SATCHEL CHARGES are carried by a 19th Marines patrol moving forward to investigate a cave reported by 21st Marines scouts in the vicinity of the Japanese division command post.

engineers to complete work on the brigade beaches expeditiously, and as soon as the 155mm units landed, their equipment was returned.34

During the initial phase all units of the 19th Marines (engineers, pioneers, and attached Seabees) except the Headquarters and Service Company were assigned to combat teams. Brigade carried out a similar plan and both units employed personnel in the same fashion. The Seabee units worked the beach areas, being charged with the responsibility of maintaining the main supply road. Marine engineers supported the infantry regiments to which attached, and in addition occupied defensive positions at night to back up weak spots in the thinly-held front lines.

In the 3d Division's zone, the 19th Marines formed the backbone of the Division Shore Party. Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Fojt, the engineer's commanding officer, also served as Division Shore Party commander while his battalion commanders headed the regimental shore parties in addition to their regular duties. Each infantry regiment had as part of its task organization a pioneer company and a Seabee company; these two units furnished the elements around which the three regimental shore parties were organized and operated.35

In the 77th Division, the 302d Engineer (Combat) Battalion regained control of its companies upon the landing of division headquarters. The 302d then assigned missions according to the needs of the infantry regiments in assault. Three other combat engineer battalions (132d, 233d, and 242d) were attached to the division solely for shore party activities.36

To say that the engineers and pioneers were wholly responsible for the smooth flow of supplies during the first phase of the Guam campaign would be somewhat exaggerated. It cannot be questioned, however, that their work greatly facilitated this tremendous task.

Shore Party Activities

The other part of the combat-service team came in for its share of acclaim, too. General Geiger commented that "both the division and brigade not only kept assault troops constantly

DYNAMITE STICKS tossed by Marine engineers explode as they seal another cave in the continuous task of silencing bypassed enemy positions.


supplied but unloaded the entire assault echelon of shipping over assault beaches prior to W-plus 7."37

The accomplishment of this task was in the main the result of the ingenuity of the shore party personnel from assault and garrison units. Since the 25 cranes, mounted on pontoon barges offshore, assigned for transferring supplies at the reef's edge were not sufficient, other means of doing the job had to be devised. Piers were improvised by tying ship's life rafts and rubber boats together, anchoring them and laying dunnage on top. Landing craft then approached the piers, dropped their ramps, and had their cargo manhandled onto rafts which troops floated ashore. By this and other such improvisations an average of 6,650 tons per day passed over the corps beaches during the first eight days.38

In order to expedite unloading activity in the brigade zone, General Geiger had included a replacement unit with the assault force. This organization, the 1st Provisional Replacement Company (11 officers, 383 enlisted men), was the forerunner of the replacement battalions that accompanied other combat units in later Pacific operations. The men operated as part of the shore party in the vital first stages of the compaign and then were fed into front line companies as replacements for casualties.39

Another reason why unloading progressed so

MEN OF THE SHORE PARTY roll gasoline drums through the water over the reef toward a temporary dump on the beach.


WAR DOGS and their handlers accompany advancing troops of the 3d Division as they move forward from the northern beachhead.

rapidly was that Admiral Conolly permitted some of his ships to continue discharging cargo throughout the first night.40 Thereafter, when commanders assured Conolly that sufficient materials were ashore for any emergency, unloading activities ceased between midnight and 0530. This did not affect the shore party personnel on the beach, however. Work continued on an around-the-clock basis except when the tactical situation required the men to occupy defensive positions.

Initially, because of the restricted beachhead and the many rice paddies, it was difficult to find suitable dump areas. Moreover, the number of available vehicles of all types did not meet requirements. The high casualties of LVT's during the assault landing reduced the original inadequate allotment. And with only 64 of the assigned 100 DUKW's in operation at the end of the assault phase, a similar situation existed with these vehicles.41 When the 77th Infantry Division moved ashore without amphibious vehicles, an additional burden had to be carried by those already on the scene. Of this particular situation, the operations officer of the 4th Amphibian Tractor Battalion recalls:

. . . I can remember long lines of GI's from the reef to the beach trying to bring in even a bare minimum of supplies for their troops. Our CO noticed this


condition and immediately contacted their Shore Party Commander who literally wept over the offer of part of our LVT's to help him out. (As our supply problem was well licked we could divert LVT's to aid the Army with no loss of efficiency to our main effort.) This diverting of LVT's for Army use was a godsend to their supply problem for soon sufficient quantities were moving ashore to bring their dumps up to safe levels.42

This type of cooperation by all hands helped to overcome the transportation situation and surmount all other supply problems that arose during the landing. As a result, one author wrote, "As in other phases of the operation, unloading of supplies was conducted in general more expeditiously on Guam than on Saipan." He adequately summed up the over-all logistics activities by concluding that, "with . . . few exceptions, the supply system on Guam worked smoothly and efficiently."43

War Dogs, Military Police, and Communicators

There were conflicting opinions as to the usefulness of the war dogs during the initial phases of the campaign. The 4th Marines, the only unit in the brigade zone having a platoon of dogs attached, found little use for the animals. When brigade initiated patrolling a squad or a fire team had one dog and his handler attached; used in this manner the canines proved of some help. They were not infallible, however, and in several instances enemy troops went undetected and surprised the patrols.44

In the northern sector the 3d Division had a provisional war dog company of two platoons. It found the dogs a welcome addition to protective forces and particularly effective when used for night security. During the early stages of the fighting the dogs were nervous and inclined to bark if the enemy came too close, but handlers quickly overcame this habit by teaching the animals to alert silently. Even before this fault was corrected, their mere presence on the front lines had a good effect on troop morale. Men felt secure and could spend more restful nights when not actually on watch.

WIREMEN close behind assault troops lay a line to a forward command post.

Because of the excellent communications, only one messenger dog was used, and it carried word to an isolated outpost. But troops found a new use for the animals when Marines encountered enemy caves near the beach. A Doberman was sent into a cave and if it met no resistance a scout followed to investigate more thoroughly. Even though the animals had not been trained for this duty the most vicious ones proved reliable.45

Another task assigned to the four-footed fighters was working with the military police companies to patrol areas, protect supply dumps, guard trails, and insure protection of other installations. This released regular MP personnel, permitting them to carry out other duties.

Initially the most important work of the MP's was to maintain traffic discipline in the beach areas and guard supplies on shore. Later their efforts were turned toward keeping vehicles moving on the crowded main road. As


usual, MP's guarded all prisoner of war stockades and also maintained a protective watch over civilian camps.

In addition to all other services during Phase I, the MP's rendered invaluable aid to communications personnel by constantly warning vehicle drivers of vital telephone wires that had not yet been overheaded. Generally, communications functioned well after W-Day, but at times there was some delay in wire repairs because of the shortage of wiremen.46

The only other complaint was that the long voyage had caused idle storage batteries to lose their charges. At first this created some concern, but the situation was quickly rectified and thereafter radio communications proved reliable. The use of Navajo talkers47 kept radio transmission interception at a minimum, but the Japanese attempts at jamming were more successful. However, this interference proved more of a harassment to operators than a stumbling block to the accomplishment of their mission.

BANDSMEN in their combat role of stretcher bearers carry a wounded Marine down out of the hills.

USS SOLACE bringing the first ship borne whole blood bank into a combat area, as it arrived off Guam on 24 July to begin evacuation of casualties. (Navy Photograph.)

The system of having division wire teams work with infantry regiments paid high dividends. Formerly these teams would advance along hastily laid ground wires of the battalions. These lines then became circuits between regiment and division and presented a maintenance problem that lowered efficiency of wire communications. On Guam division teams moved with the regiments and kept two overhead lines close behind the front in the direction of anticipated CP displacements. In this manner wire communications were usable more quickly and once established more easily maintained. Corps wiremen advanced with division CP's in the same fashion to keep overhead lines constantly ready for use.48 As a result of having both radio and wire transmission available most of the time, commanders had few complaints about communication breakdowns during Phase I activities.

Medical Evacuation

"Too much praise cannot be heaped upon these units for the marvelous performance in the evacuation of casualties."49 This was the opinion of the 3d Medical Battalion commander


CABLE LIFT built by the 19th Marines used to evacuate casualties from the top of the steep ciiff in the 21st Marines zone of action.

when he commented on the activities of the shore party medical sections at Guam. So effective were these units that less than an hour after the first troops landed, casualties had been received aboard the APA's.50

As in other Pacific campaigns, naval corpsmen and army aidmen with the assault infantry units forged the first link in the chain of evacuation. After treatment by these front line medical personnel, the wounded moved to the rear as rapidly as possible. Ambulance jeeps carried much of the load, but when the terrain proved impassable for vehicles, manpower was employed. Marine bandsmen who put aside their instruments to perform their combat mission as stretcher bearers bore the brunt of this assignment.

On reaching the beach, casualties were loaded into LVT's and DUKW's and then dispatched by beach medical parties to APA's and LVT's which had been equipped and staffed to handle them. Although the LVT proved adequate, the DUKW gave smoother handling to the more seriously wounded. In spite of the fact that neither the LST nor the APA is designed for handling many casualties, 2,552 were on board these ships on W-plus 8 when they left the area.51

In addition to these ship evacuees, two hospital ships carried 1,132 wounded to rear areas during Phase I operations.52 The USS Solace arrived on W-plus 3 and brought the first known blood bank to be waterborne to a fighting front.53 She departed two days later with


approximately 428 litter and 153 ambulatory cases. The USS Bountiful steamed into the area on W-plus 7 (28 July) and received orders to anchor off the southern beaches. The next day she moved to the vicinity of the 3d Marine Division's beaches to complete loading the 551 patients she would carry to the Marshalls.54

The stark whiteness of the hospital ships lying off shore, with their distinctive red cross, was a great comfort to the man in the front lines. To him they were a symbol of cleanliness and reassurance that casualties would receive the best medical treatment in the world. Coupled with this was his faith in the corpsmen and aidmen whom he had seen day after day saving many a life at the risk of their own. Much credit must be given to the medical services for the high morale of the men on Guam and the aggressiveness they showed in securing the FBL.


Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (4) * Next Chapter (6)


1. TF 56 NGF Rpt, 71.

2. IIIAC SAR, NGF Rpt, 3.

3. CTF 53, OpRpt, NGF Comments, 11b.

4. Gilliam.

5. TF 56 NGF Rpt, 72.

6. Kunz.

7. A type of coral used as gravel in concrete construction.

8. Takeda Letter.

9. Ibid.

10. CominCh P-007, Chap 3, 13-14.

11. Ibid., Chap 3, 11.

12. The 3d JASCO was not scheduled to complete training at AmphibTraComd, PacFlt until too late to be employed on Guam. Such a need was felt for the JASCO, however, that it was made available in a state of limited training and attached to the 3d MarDiv for the operation. TF 56 NGF Rpt, 67.

13. Ibid., 138.

14. CinCPac-CinCPOA Item 11,943--Diary of Lt Kanemitsu Kurokawa, IJA.

15. Takeda Letter.

16. Ltr Adm R. K. Turner to Maj C. W. Hoffman, 13Mar52.

17. Ltr Col J. R. Spooner to author, 12Aug52.

18. 3d MarDiv SAR, Air Support Comments, 1.

19. 1st ProvMarBrig OpRpt, 14.

20. IIIAC SAR, Air Rpt, 5.

21. TF 56 Air Rpt, 6.

22. VAC artillery battalions participated in the Saipan operation, but were attached to the 10th and 14th Mar. Corps artillery support was supplied by battalions of the Army's XXIV Corps Arty.

23. Henderson.

24. IIIAC Arty SAR, Enclosure B.

25. Ibid., 18.

26. LtCol A. L. Bowser's 3d Bn, 12th Mar landed from nine LST's, two AP's, and one AK. Bowser.

27. 12th Mar SAR, 5.

28. This system established a switching central in the vicinity of the infantry regimental CP from which wire was laid forward to observers and trunk lines run back to the fire direction center. Forward observers and liaison wire teams were able to maintain the shorter line much more easily, which resulted in better wire communications to the firing elements.

29. Ltr Col E. O. Price to CMC, 26Aug52.

30. 1st ProvMarBrig OpRpt, 18. As an indication of the effect of artillery on the Japanese, a POW from an infantry company of 2/38 stated that his unit was nearly wiped out by artillery after the landing. IIIAC POW Interrogation 24.

31. IIIAC SAR, SerGruRpt, 5B.

32. Ibid., 6B.

33.These dozers were prime mover tractors equipped with angle dozer blades and could be used for the dual purpose of moving artillery pieces and digging gun pits.

34. Henderson.

35. Williams.

36. 77th InfDiv OpRpt, DivEngRpt, 1.

37. IIIAC SAR, SerGruRpt, 1C.

38. TF 56 TQM Rpt, 26.

39. IIIAC SAR, Personnel Rpt, 1; Scheyer.

40. CTF 53 OpRpt, OpLog, 35A.

41. IIIAC SAR, SerGruRpt, 6.

42. Ltr Maj R. J. Parker to author, 6Feb52.

43. J. A. Isley and P. A. Crowl, The U. S. Marines And Amphibious War, (Princeton, 1951), 387-389.

44. 1st ProvMarBrig OpRpt, 13.

45. 2d and 3d War Dog Plats SAR, 1-4.

46. IIIAC SAR, SigCommRpt, 1.

47. These were Indians of the Navajo tribe especially recruited and trained by the Marine Corps to operate voice radio nets. They used their own language, completely incomprehensible to the Japanese, to transmit vital messages.

48. Ltr Col A Sutter to CMC, 25Sept52.

49. Callaway Study.

50. IIIAC SAR, MedRpt, 3.

51. TF 56 MedRpt, 2A.

52. Ibid.

53. At Eniwetok, Capt John T. Bennet, (MC), USN, the Solace's Medical Officer, decided to attempt to take whole blood into the combat area on board the ship. Success of the experiment depended on the ability of the living blood to survive the disturbance created by the engines and the pitching and rolling of the ship. On 21 July volunteers were requested from the Marine garrison and over 300 men from the 10th AAA Bn (Reinf) came forward. Of this number, 100 were chosen and the following morning, 22 July, the ship set sail for Guam with a 100-pint blood bank. The experiment was a success and at Guam there was ample whole blood for required transfusions. 10th AAA Bn (Reinf) WD, July 1944, 3.

54. CTF 53 OpRpt, MedComments, 21.

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