Looking back on Phase I operations, the men of the III Amphibious Corps could view their accomplishments with satisfaction. They had executed a difficult landing across a wide, dangerous reef in the face of a well-organized Japanese force concentrated, as expected, in the Asan, Orote, and Agat areas. The costly, bitter, often hand-to-hand struggle that ensued dealt a death blow to any hopes that General Takashina had of driving the Americans off Guam.1 There now remained little for the surviving half of the original Imperial garrison to do but fight a futile delaying action to the north.
Marines and soldiers now held the entire southern half of the island. Apra Harbor was once more in American possession and already in the process of being developed into a forward fleet anchorage. The airfield on Orote Peninsula had been made operational for light planes, and would shortly be ready for planes from MAG-21 to fly close support strikes over the front lines.
To date the operation had been one of fighting an uphill struggle over some of the most rugged and densely wooded terrain in the Pacific. It had been a campaign of maneuver with units being shifted from one front to the other. Each tactical situation was met with the number of battalions required for the job, regardless of the unit's parent organizations. The flexibility of General Geiger's plans had paid off well.
The turning point of the campaign, securing the FBL, saw the Guamanians beginning to flock to the protection of the Americans. Corps estimated that military agencies had 1,331 civilians under their care by 31 July. The number had swelled to 5,530 by 2 August and two days later it had leaped to 12,100.2 Unfortunately, the combat units were ill prepared to handle this tremendous civilian problem. However, after the treatment the Japanese had given the Guamanians, they appreciated any help offered. Before long civil affairs sections took over and brought the situation under control.
General Turnage sent a message to his troops on 30 July commending them for their fine work during the past fighting, but at the same time he pointed out the possibility of heavy resistance in and north of Agana.3 From positions on the commanding ground of Fonte-Chachao-Alutom-Tenjo, men of the 3d Marine Division and the Army's 77th Division could
get a bird's-eye view of the terrain they would soon be fighting over. (See Map 21, Map Section)
Across the Fonte Ravine, immediately to their front, lay the rubble of the capital, Agana. Behind it stretched a marsh area covered with cogon grass and weeds 15-20 feet high. From these lowlands a broad limestone plateau rose from an elevation of 100 feet in the center to 600 feet near the end of the island.
Dense jungle consisting of a maze of tree-like plants and undergrowth covered this sloping terrain. Fields and roads left idle had become overgrown with weeds, trailing vines, and underbrush that had grown to a height of six to eight feet. Troop movements away from the established roads or trails would be next to impossible. Jutting above the landscape were the bare slopes of Mt. Santa Rosa and the thickly covered crests of Mt. Barrigada and northernmost Mt. Machanao. It was quite evident that the terrain would continue to hinder military activities during the second phase of the operation.4
Road & Trail Network
The period 29-30 July was spent in resting, reorganizing, and preparing for the coming attack. The 3d Marine Division and the Army's 77th sent patrols far to their front in an effort to determine the strength of the enemy and get a first-hand look at the terrain. Individual Marines and soldiers improved their positions and gave weapons a much needed going over. For the first time since-W-Day, Marines stopped to wash, shave, and get into fresh clothes.
During this rest on Fonte Plateau the men witnessed one of the most unusual sights of the Pacific War. There can be little question that the unstable situation of the Japanese called for some master stroke to restore organization and morale. It is questionable, however, if the full dress parade in Agana, staged in full view of the Marines, was the answer. Decked in full combat regalia, the unpredictable Nipponese marching with militant precision made an impressive sight. But the brilliantly polished bayonets and Samurai swords did not bewilder the alert fighting men on the ridge to the point
GUAMANIANS, guided by an MP, move down a road outside of Agana to the temporary refugee camp where they will be fed and housed.
of inactivity. Forward observers quickly called for an artillery concentration, but it fell too late to hit the formation that dispersed as rapidly as it had appeared.5
On the more serious side, during these two days (29-30 July) unloading had progressed so satisfactorily that the Division Shore Party was deactivated at 1600 on 30 July.6 All men from division and the garrison forces assigned to unloading operations returned to their parent organizations. The 19th Marines now assumed control of shore party activities. This release of riflemen to the 3d Marines enabled the regiment to rebuild its badly depleted assault units.
In an effort to obtain a last minute check on terrain and enemy, the 3d Division's Reconnaissance Company sent two patrols well forward of front lines on 30 July. The only enemy activity observed was some movement on the airstrip east of Agana. After being over the ground, the patrols reported it would be impossible to build supply roads behind the 9th and 21st Marines.7 As a result, the coast highway would have to carry the entire supply load in addition to necessary troop traffic.
With heavy foliage concealing enemy movements, the exact location of their next stand was unknown. Intelligence reports indicated Japanese concentrations in the Sinajana-Yona area and suggested the advance probably would encounter defensive positions near the Agana-Pago Bay Road. Of the 8,500 troops now estimated to be available to Japanese commanders to defend northern Guam, only 6,000 were believed to be combat troops, the remainder being labor personnel.8
This figure later proved to be very accurate; the actual location of enemy defenses was somewhat different. After machine-gun fire killed General Takashina on 28 July (about 1400) as he tried to leave his Fonte CP, General Obata, the 31st Army commander, took direct control of the remaining forces.9 Still following Takashina's plan of fighting a war of maneuver, Obata ordered a general withdrawal to the Mt. Santa Rosa area for the final defensive stand on Guam. To protect this area by fighting a delay action, he established two strong positions about six miles forward of his main defenses. By daybreak of 31 July the right sector unit was deployed in the vicinity of Finegayan, the other in the left sector near Mt. Barrigada.10
During the move of the 29th Division to its new defensive area around Mt. Santa Rosa, men of the unit celebrated the anniversary of its organization: "In an environment how different from last year," wrote one of the Imperial officers. "I was deeply moved. There was only a little sake to drink each other's health. The American . . . shelling is awful and a wounded man, Corporal Nakaji, committed suicide."11
With General Geiger not certain of just where the corps would encounter the main enemy defenses, his operation order of 30 July outlined a plan to meet with any contingency. The over-all scheme of maneuver called for cutting the island in half on the general line Agana-Famja-Pago Bay (O-1 line), and then a swinging to the northeast for the continuation of the attack. To seize O-1, the 3d Marine Division would swing to the left, capture Agana, also that portion of the Agana-Pago Bay Road in zone, and maintain contact with the Army division on the right. From its present positions along the Tenjo-Alifan Range the 77th would have to move nearly ten miles to take its part of the O-1 line.
The boundary between the divisions extended from Mt. Alutom, along the Sigua River to Lonfit at the O-1 line; from there to Road Crossing 120 on the Agana-Pago Bay Road, and then to Chochogo Village at the O-2. This divided the island approximately in half, putting Agana and the important Tiyan Airfield in the 3d Division's zone of action and Mt. Barrigada and Mt. Santa Rosa in the 77th Division's. (See Map 21, Map Section) Corps set the jump-off time at 0630, 31 July.12
To make the 77th available for the operation to the north, corps ordered the 1st Marine Brigade to take over the southern part of the FBL. General Shepherd's units were to protect the force from any Japanese that might be in the south and to make further reconnaissance to determine the presence or absence of the enemy in that area.
Aware of corps' future plans for his 77th Division, General Bruce had started to get his units into position on 29 July in anticipation of the move. The 3d Battalion, 305th went into corps reserve in an assembly area 1,200-1,400 yards northeast of RJ 5 and just south of the old Agat Road. Upon completion of its mission with the 3d Marine Division, 3/307 returned to control of its parent organization but remained in the same defensive positions. By nightfall all of the 307th had reverted to division control, and the 302d Engineer Combat Battalion had started construction of a supply road through the gap between Mt. Tenjo and Mt. Alifan.13 (See Map 22)
The next day warning orders went out to all units. The 77th's plan called for the 307th to
advance eastward and turn north across the Pago River; the 305th would follow, protecting the division's south flank, cross the river, and extend to the east coast. The 306th, reinforced, would pass to the control of the Marine brigade on 31 July. This Army unit would then shift its strength to the left of its sector, and when relieved move east behind the 305th. To round out the plan, the 902d Field Artillery Battalion was assigned as direct support of the 307th; all other artillery would be general support.14 (See Map 23, Map Section)
77th Infantry Div
Plan of Attack
On the left flank of the corps, the 3d Marine Division's operation plan called for the advance with three regiments abreast: 9th, 21st, and 3d, from right to left. The mission called for seizing the important cross-island Agana-Pago Bay Road and being prepared to continue the attack on order. Initially all air, naval gunfire, and artillery support would be on call. Division reserve would be made up of the depleted 2/9 and the tank battalion which now had all of its tanks back under operational control.15
Agana and its Airfield
While infantry units made their preparations for the attack to the north, artillery and naval gunfire did their share by two days of intense and well-placed interdiction and harassing fires. All road junctions, known and possible
LIEUTENANT GENERAL TAKESHI TAKASHINA, Japanese commander on Guam killed on 28 July while directing the evacuation of the Fonte defensive position.
assembly areas, observation points, and other selected targets were kept under constant fire. As a last minute effort to limit Japanese movements,
Construction of New Road
302d Engineer Combat Battalion
naval guns fired over 1,600 rounds and artillery nearly 500 rounds during the night before the 31 July advance.16
Capture of Tiyan Airfield
31 July-2 August
The III Corps launched its attack to seize the northern portion of Guam at 0630, as scheduled. On the left the 3d Marines moved out with three battalions abreast. The 3d Battalion, along the coast highway, headed generally north; 2/3, in the center, having been on a line with part of the unit facing north and the remainder east, started northeast. To complicate further the regiment's maneuver, the 1st Battalion was in position along the east lip of Fonte Ravine and tied in with the 21st Marines, which would move to the north. This advance would cause the 21st to cross in front of 1/3, which would soon be pinched out and go into regimental reserve.17 (See Map 24, Map Section)
Little opposition met the forward movement of Colonel Stuart's forces. Although the thickly mined roads into Agana caused some casualties, Marines were in the Plaza of the former capital by 1045. The enemy did not defend the razed town, and the only Japanese encountered were wounded hiding in huts in the 2d Battalion's sector.
By noon the remainder of Agana had been occupied and assault units of the 3d Marines had seized their portion of the O-1 line. They immediately reorganized and occupied positions along the Agana-Pago Bay Road and awaited orders to continue the advance.18
The 21st Marines left its line of departure on 31 July with two battalions in assault, the 2d on the left, which quickly pinched out 1/3 and then extended to contact 2/3 and 3/21. The latter unit, coming down from the slopes of Mt. Macajna, passed through an area where the Japanese had large supplies of food and equipment stored and pushed on against little or no opposition. Following orders to bypass any small enemy groups, the assault elements moved through the heavy underbrush as rapidly as possible. Contact was difficult but was maintained with the 3d Marines throughout the morning; none was made with the 9th.
Even though the rugged terrain had slowed the advance somewhat, the 21st Marines reported its front line elements on O-1 at 1340.19 Only the 3d Battalion encountered organized resistance. In attempting to establish the right limiting point near Famja, this unit found it necessary to reduce a small opposing force centered around a concrete pillbox. As soon as the regiment reached the day's objective, 1/21, which had been in reserve, was put into the line on the left to cover the assigned frontage adequately.
When Lieutenant Colonel Duplantis (3/21) brought his command post forward, a curious incident occurred which illustrated the confusion of the Japanese. Someone in the battalion command group sighted one of the by-passed enemy groups, estimated to be about 15-20, led by an officer, moving toward the new CP area. The Marines held their fire, and when the small unit got to within 150 yards of the waiting men, an interpreter called to the Nipponese to surrender. Apparently thinking they had finally reached friendly lines, they started forward, then stopped to hold a hurried conference. The chattering was interrupted by the interpreter urging them forward, but by this time the aggregation had decided they were in unfriendly territory. They broke and ran in all directions; the Marines opened fire, killing and wounding about half of the intruders. Those still alive escaped into the protecting foliage.20
With 2/9 still division reserve, Colonel Craig ordered his remaining two battalions to make the attack to the north. Forward elements had moved 2,500 yards ahead of the line of departure 40 minutes after the regiment began its advance. For the remainder of the morning, terrain and not the enemy turned out to be the time-consuming factor. The only real fight took place near Ordot where a detachment of Japanese had been left behind in defense of dumps containing hundreds of tons of equipment and supplies.
Overwhelming this opposition, the attack continued to make progress until two Japanese tanks halted the drive at 1415. The 3d Tank
Battalion, now under division control, could not send armor to help because of mines and congestion on the cross-island road. However, a bazooka man attached to one of the assault squads of 1/9 took the matter in his own hands and knocked out both tanks. The regiment met no further resistance, and at 1510 Colonel Craig had his units on the O-1 line.21 Contact during the day had been an intermittent affair because of the rough terrain, and as the units arrived at the day's objective there was physical contact with the 77th Division but none with the 21st Marines.
The 9th sent patrols out beyond its limiting point in an effort to contact the 21st, but had no success until about 1800 when patrols met approximately 300 yards to the left of the 9th's boundary. A readjustment of lines then took place. Colonel Craig filled the gap with Company C (1/9), and the troops began to dig in for the night. By this time a platoon of Company B tanks, which had been dispatched to the 9th earlier, arrived to strengthen the defense and guard against any possible enemy tank attack on the flank.22
General Turnage and his ADC, General Noble, had been well forward all day to keep abreast of the situation. When the left and center of the division had reached the O-1 line, a message was sent to corps requesting permission to continue the advance. At 1400 General Geiger authorized this move but ordered that particular attention be paid to contact between units.23
About 1500 the 3d Marines sent its 3d Battalion along the coast road north of Agana, and the 1st passed through the 2d to enter the swamp beyond the city. The passage of the swampland with its streams and 15-foot reeds was not completed until dusk. Emerging on the north side, 1/3 set up all-around security and established roadblocks on the trail forward of the position. That night, 31 July-1 August, both assault units of the 3d Marines set up perimeter defenses north of Agana a mile and a half apart with the rest of the division echeloned to the right rear.
RUINS OF AGANA surround the first troops of the 3d Division to reach the island's capital.
When division ordered the renewal of the attack on the afternoon of 31 July, it also alerted the Reconnaissance Company to send two motorized patrols forward at about 1700; one to check the road to Tumon Bay, the other to go to the vicinity of the airfield. The unit heading up the coast road stopped short of its objective when it encountered a roadblock; the other, after making the only enemy contact, completed its mission. Three Japanese were fired on in a house near the airfield with undetermined results.24
The first day's advance to the north had been almost unopposed, and the division's front lines surged forward more than 5,000 yards. The former capital of Guam had been occupied, and 4,000 yards of the important cross-island road had been opened for traffic. With the rapid advance came the necessity to move supply distribution points closer to the front. Trucks began to roll over the already crowded coast highway to establish an advanced division dump in the Agana Central Plaza area. Artillery units
COLUMN OF MARINES moving up the Agana-Piti Road on the first day of the attack to capture the northern end of Guam.
started to displace forward so that continuous direct support would be available to the assault units.
This added traffic, plus the fact that the 77th Division would have to move supplies over the same road, presented a problem to the engineers. In an effort to alleviate the situation, the 25th Naval Construction Battalion and the 19th Marines put all available men to work improving existing roads and trails.25
There had been little need for artillery and naval gunfire during daylight of 31 July, but that night both took up where they had left off in the morning. Artillery fired 753 rounds and NGF 1,028 on harassing and interdiction missions from 1900 to 0530.26
Not a unit reported any enemy activity during the night. Nor did the 3d Division meet any opposition when it renewed the attack at 0700, 1 August. The advance started with three regiments abreast, having the mission of seizing Tiyan airfield and continuing to the north east. On the left, 1/3 and 3/3 regained contact and moved forward to the D-2a line, where they held up until the situation on their right developed.
The planned maneuver called for the 3d and 9th Marines to pinch out the 21st at the D-2a
line across the narrow waist of the island.27 As the two regiments advanced, they would close toward the center of the division zone of action, gradually converging in front of Colonel Butler's unit. In the 21st's zone, the 1st Battalion remained on line as the 2d and 3d advanced abreast; near the Agana Pumping Station the 2d halted until covered by the forward movement of the 3d, and then pulled out of the line. At 0910 the 3d Battalion was ordered to pivot on its right flank and occupy the boundary between the 3d and 9th Marines, establishing contact with each.
The 9th, plagued by the dense vegetation, had moved up more slowly, with a resultant widening gap between the 3d and 9th Marines. It was this gap that 3/21 would cover until the 9th moved abreast of the 3d Marines on the D-2a line; 3/21 would then be attached to the 3d Regiment. The Marines completed this maneuver by 1300 against negligible opposition and the 21st (less 3d Battalion) replaced 2/9 as division reserve;28 2/9 then reverted to regimental control.
General Turnage ordered resumption of the attack at 1500 and alerted the Reconnaissance Company for an afternoon mission. The two assault regiments pushed steadily ahead toward the airfield against slight enemy resistance and at 1745 began preparing positions for the night.29 The 3d Marines stopped 300 yards beyond D-2 with 1/3 strung out across the southwest end of the runway without cover or concealment; the remainder of the division tied in along a line just short of the Tiyan landing strip.30
The problem of getting supplies forward was becoming more serious. The main coast road over which all traffic had to move had been heavily mined. The Japanese had placed aerial bombs and single-horned mines at road junctions and intersections in and around Agana. The 3d Marines suffered at least three serious accidents involving the loss of life and equipment by 1000, 1 August. Among those killed were Major John A. Ptak and Lieutenant Arthur C. Vivian, Jr., respectively the executive officer and the intelligence officer of 1/3.31 Later in the day the 19th Marines attached additional bomb-disposal sections to the regiment in order to cope with the increasing menace.
Mines also hindered the motorized patrol led by Lieutenant Donald S. Floyd which scouted the beach road. When it had to turn back because of the mines, the tank-led unit went to the airfield area to reconnoiter for a route to the north. The nine tanks and one half-track checked the entire western side, finding little in the way of usable roads. However, one uncharted trail, later developed into a passable route, was found half-way up the airstrip. Floyd continued on and covered three-quarters of the length of Tiyan field before being forced back by enemy fire.32
With the apparent lack of Japanese strength to the immediate front of the corps, General Geiger ordered the advance to continue with all possible speed. He wanted to contact the enemy before strong defensive positions could be prepared in the Mt. Santa Rosa-Mt. Barrigada area. In an effort to harass the enemy while they went about their work, III Corps Artillery shifted the positions and normal zones of several units to enable them to take the Japanese under fire. At the same time Admiral Conolly sent eight ships around to the east side of the island to give Mt. Santa Rosa a working over.33
The remainder of the fleet continued its mission
AGANA AIRFIELD less than two months after its capture is the scene of bustling activity as planes of MAG-21 line both sides of the runway. (Air Force Photograph.)
of interdiction and harassing, with most of the fire delivered at night. Artillery also kept up the constant pounding of road junctions and known or suspected enemy assembly areas. Everything possible was being done to press the attack as rapidly as practicable.
The 3d Division jumped off at 0630, 2 August, with two regiments abreast to secure the airfield and continue to the D-3 line. The attack progressed slowly but steadily. The terrain remained the biggest obstacle, with heavy underbrush making the advance difficult and tedious. The 9th Marines took the airfield by 0910. Instead of the stubborn fighting that had been expected, the Japanese offered only minor resistance.
On arriving at the D-3b line, Colonel Craig's regiment received instructions to hold up until it could gain contact on both the right (77th Division) and left (3d Marines).34 Colonel Stuart's 3d Marines had run into almost impenetrable jungle that slowed its advance to a snail-like pace. Not until 1400 could that unit move up adjacent to the 9th Marines.
The 3d Division spent the remainder of the afternoon trying to make an advance that was hampered by unsuccessful attempts to keep contact. The 3d Marines pushed ahead 1,800 yards on the left, but Colonel Stuart and his executive officer (Colonel James Snedeker) had to tie in battalions by the light of the moon. The 3d and 9th Marines had contact but the 77th Division had been retarded by the jungle growth; General Turnage attached 2/21 to the 9th to fill the gap between the Marines and the Army.35 Meanwhile, the 3d Battalion, 21st had
cleared the Saupon Point-Ypao Point area of small enemy groups, and at 1630 reverted to control of its own regiment.
Earlier in the day one enterprising Japanese tank crew had taken advantage of the Marines' extended lines and had driven through a gap near the airstrip, then sped down the road. As the vehicle raced toward the CP of 1/3, the assistant battalion surgeon looked up and remarked, "Look at the Japanese tank we must have captured." About that time one of the crew opened the turret and brandished a pistol, firing wildly at anything in sight. A few hundred yards farther and the tank ran into a ditch, whereupon the crewmen jumped to the ground and fled into the jungle. Just prior to darkness two tanks from Company B, 3d Tank Battalion destroyed the enemy vehicle.36
With the Tiyan airfield secured, the Marines now controlled the area that would be developed into one of the finest fighter strips in the Pacific. On Orote, work on that airstrip had been on a 24-hour basis, and the runways would soon be ready for MAG-21. The entire peninsula had been cleared of all but isolated Japanese, and the garrison force had taken over its defense, as well as that of Cabras Island, at 0800, 2 August.37
In contrast to the deepest penetration of 5,000 yards during the first eight days on Guam, the 3d Division as a whole had surged ahead 8,000-9,000 yards with the 9th Marines taking over 12,000 yards in just three days (31 July-2 August) since starting the drive to the north. Casualty figures for this phase of the operation showed 44 KIA, 52 WIA, and none MIA for the division.38 The fact that of the 96 casualties listed, nearly 50 percent were killed in action reflects the character of the fighting during those few days. Enemy resistance had been light and contact with the main force of the retreating Japanese could not be made. But the rear guard units were so posted that the advancing Marines came upon them unexpectedly. At close quarters the point-blank fire could not miss and resulted in the disproportionate death toll. The dense jungle growth and rugged terrain provided cover and concealment that added to the effectiveness of this delaying action.
During this period, the rapid advance began to tax the inadequate transportation of the division. The reduced number of organic vehicles brought ashore increased the burden of keeping supplies forward. There had been combat losses and operational defects, and with the necessity of keeping the already old trucks on the road most of the time, preventive maintenance had to be neglected.39
With the cut in the efficiency of the transportation, and the lack of an adequate road net to carry the heavy supply load, corps began a search for an alternate solution to the situation. General Geiger on 2 August requested that a harbor reconnaissance be made of Pago Bay and the Agana Bay channel to determine the feasibility of their use as unloading points.40 This would bring the supply origination closer to the using arms and shorten the haul to dumps, particularly in the case of the 77th Division, which had been unable to get a road cut through the mountainous country behind its units.
The 302d Engineer Battalion had made a gallant effort to construct a passable road, but by nightfall of 31 July the jungle had won, and the project had to be abandoned.41 From that point on, supply would be by hand-carry until the Agana-Pago Bay Road could be opened.
"Water at Last"--Barrigada Village
With the Reconnaissance Troop protecting the south flank, General Bruce's 77th Infantry Division started toward the east coast of Guam at 0700, 31 July. Elements of the 307th, with 3/305 attached, led the way in a column of battalions. Lack of enemy resistance permitted battalions to move with companies in column; even so, the march proved most difficult. The troops initially scaled steep slopes, slid down into narrow gorges, and followed along the foothills southwest of the central mountain range of Guam.
SOLDIERS OF THE 77th DIVISION reach the end of the road bulldozed by the 302d Engineer Combat Battalion. Forward elements strike out cross country in the advance on 31 July. (Army Photograph.)
For a time, vehicles followed, but soon the terrain became so rough that even jeeps could not traverse it. As one infantryman later wrote:
The distance across the island is not far, as the crow flies, but unluckily we can't fly. The nearest I came to flying was while descending the slippery side of a mountain in a sitting position. . . . After advancing a few yards you find that the [bolt] handle of the machine gun on your shoulder, your pack and shovel, canteens, knife, and machete all stick out at right angles and are as tenacious in their grip on the surrounding underbrush as a dozen grappling hooks. . . . The flies and mosquitos have discovered your route of march and have called up all the reinforcements including the underfed and undernourished who regard us as nothing but walking blood banks. We continue to push on. . . .42
The rapid movement of the infantry despite the rough terrain prompted General Bruce to decide to push on to the Pago River before stopping for the night. A liaison plane dropped orders to the 307th to this effect at about 1200.43 The assault elements continued moving and kept small units forward to report any enemy activity while the main force followed in column.
One of these patrols from Company L, 3/307 had the distinction of liberating the first large group of Guamanians. Late in the afternoon of 31 July scouts met several natives who told of a concentration camp near Asinan which was guarded by only a few Japanese civilians. When the unit reached the compound, 2,000 Guamanians were found and immediately freed. Soldiers willingly gave their rations and cigarettes to the undernourished men and women who were almost overcome with joy at once again seeing Americans. Men of the 77th Division soon forgot the long, tiresome cross-island march as the full realization of the expression, "liberation of enslaved peoples," came to the troops.44
Earlier in the day (1150) 3/305 had reverted to control of its parent regiment which had been ordered to move to the Pago River with two battalions. The remaining unit (2/305) after connecting with the northern flank of the brigade had orders to guard the MSR (main supply route) as far as possible to the east. Company I (3/305) made the only enemy contact on 31 July. As the unit moved up the road leading into Yona late in the afternoon, several Japanese opened fire on the advance elements. Platoons deployed and the soldiers quickly overran the former Japanese supply center; five enemy were killed.45
The 307th had occupied the high ground on the southwest bank of the Pago River by 1700, but a wide gap existed between it and 3/305, which had set up a perimeter defense after its skirmish at Yona. Colonel Tanzola echeloned the remainder of the 305th to the right rear to protect the south flank of the corps. Colonel Smith's 306th still remained in position on the FBL.46
At daybreak, 1 August, 2/306 went into corps
reserve, and the remainder of the regiment started the march to the vicinity of Pago Bay to join the division. About an hour later, 0700, with the 307th on the left and the 305th next to the coast, the 77th attacked to gain the O-2 line. The 305th had secured the bridge across the Pago River by 0800, but the 307th made slower progress as the men hacked their way through jungle near the river.
The 307th captured the all-important Agana-Pago Bay Road shortly after noon, thus making it available for the movement of equipment and supplies. The 77th immediately requested permission to use the coast road in the 3d Marine Division's zone to enable it to get supplies forward. It was an unusual thing indeed for two divisions to utilize the same supply route but as General Bruce so aptly put it, "The books would say it can't be done, but on Guam it was done--it had to be."47
Little or no opposition met the advancing Army troops as they pushed on toward the O-2 line and Barrigada. The route of march led the soldiers cross country over rough terrain covered with heavy undergrowth that made the going slow and tiresome. Individuals began running low on food and canteens were almost dry. Lacking pure water, the troops started drinking coconut milk or creek water made usable with halazone tablets. Captured Japanese canned salmon and gum drops added variety to K-rations, the only food that had been carried on the long trek across the island.
Fortunately some relief would arrive when the O-2 line was secured. Sufficient roads could be cleared to permit some traffic to bring forward the urgently needed food, reserve ammunition, and water. However, as the advance moved farther to the north, the sources of water became scarcer. The northern half of the island had few streams and the sub-surface coral quickly absorbed even the heaviest rainfall. This necessitated the speedy capture of Barrigada with its deep well that could provide 30,000 gallons of pure water daily.48 But the
INFANTRYMEN of Company B, 305th Infantry send out flankers as they move from the FBL toward Barrigada. (Army Photograph.)
task was expected to be a difficult one since intelligence estimates indicated the enemy had established defenses in this area to block the American advance to the Japanese battle position which aerial observers reported under construction at Mt. Santa Rosa.
On the evening of 1 August, the 305th dug in for the night near Manguilao, a mile and a half northeast of RJ 171 where the 306th had halted at 1900. The 307th, under its new commander, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas B. Manuel,49 extended its left northward to make contact with the Marines on the O-2 line.
The newly captured Agana-Pago Bay Road was soon a scene of bumper-to-bumper traffic as direct support field artillery battalions moved forward and supply trucks began to roll to newly established dumps. The absence of enemy aircraft and the improper employment of Japanese artillery permitted the use of lights
FORWARD OBSERVERS check the progress of assault units of the 307th Infantry as they reach jungle growth near the Pago River. (Army Photograph.)
as supply trains continued to grind throughout the night.50
Late in the afternoon of 1 August commanders decided that after the 307th Infantry had captured the Price Road within its zone of action the next morning, the regiment would be permitted to halt temporarily. This would allow trucks to bring much needed rations forward to resupply units before they launched a concerted effort to seize Barrigada. At 0700 on 2 August, the 77th jumped off to accomplish this mission.
A half-hour earlier 14 light tanks from Company D, 706th Tank Battalion had moved out on a reconnaissance of the Barrigada area. When the column reached a point 800 yards beyond the road junction at San Antonio it drew moderate fire. After spraying the underbrush with machine guns, the force withdrew and returned to regimental headquarters with the report of having seen only eight enemy soldiers. The same unit was ordered out at 0800 to complete its mission of scouting as far as the O-3 line.51
Retracing its previous route along the Agana Road, the patrol passed through Barrigada, turned at RJ 306, and proceeded up the Finegayan Road toward Mt. Barrigada. An empty pillbox at the junction and an unmanned roadblock were the only enemy positions seen. When the tanks were almost abreast of the hill mass, Japanese soldiers opened fire from behind three enemy trucks stalled in the road. The leading tanks killed an estimated 35 defenders and then turned their guns on the trucks to demolish them.
Returning to the road junction at Barrigada, the tankmen started up the road toward the O-3 line. The way became rougher and narrower, and the dense jungle closed in around the tanks as they plowed forward. About 1,000 yards from the junction the platoon leader's tank got hung up on a stump and blocked the rest of the column. The Japanese had been waiting for this and the jungle immediately came alive with enemy soldiers. They swarmed over the lead tanks, and 20mm cannon and heavy machine guns commenced firing on the vehicles that followed. The Army tank crews recovered from their surprise immediately and drove the attackers back into the protective cover of the heavy foliage. Some of the Japanese were shot from their exposed positions on the tanks and others picked off as they scrambled into the jungle. After the tank on the stump had worked itself loose, the reconnaissance commander received permission to return to the regimental lines. The patrol accomplished this without further incident by 1100.52
The 14 tanks arrived back at their assembly area shortly after the 307th had jumped off from Price Road. The regiment had secured the road by 0830, and immediately issued the rations and supplies that had been rushed forward. Two hours later the general advance to capture Barrigada got under way.
The 305th, with its 1st and 3d Battalions in assault, met little resistance initially. The 3d, which encountered less troublesome terrain and jungle, pushed almost a mile ahead of its flanking units. As the battalion approached Barrigada enemy opposition from outposts increased,
and at 1020 a Company I patrol was hit by withering fire from concealed machine-gun positions near the Barrigada Well, 100 yards northwest of RJ 306. The company deployed and initiated an attack supported by battalion mortars, but the effort gained only 100 yards. Japanese troops, well dug in and excellently camouflaged, held their fire until Army units endangered their positions. These tactics stopped any attempt at a flanking movement, and allowed the enemy to take full advantage of the terrain around Barrigada.
A platoon of light tanks from the 706th Tank Battalion, requested earlier, arrived about noon and plans got under way for a coordinated battalion attack at 1230 to be supported by tanks and artillery. Radio difficulties with the supporting artillery and word of the expected arrival of a platoon of medium tanks caused the jump-off time to be delayed until 1330.
Lieutenant Colonel Chalgren took advantage of the extra time to make a more detailed reconnaisance and to contact the commanders of the flanking battalions to assure coordination of all units. Chalgren's men jumped off on time but even with the strong artillery and tank support the battalion gained less than 200 yards.53 It now become apparent that the Japanese planned to put up a determined resistance in this area.
On the left, the 307th's plan for 2 August called for its 1st Battalion (Lieutenant Colonel Joseph B. Coolidge) to maintain contact with the 3d Marine Division flanking units, reach the Finegayan Road north of the town, and seize the western slopes of Mt. Barrigada. Major John W. Lovell's 3d Battalion was to keep abreast of the 305th, push directly through Barrigada, and take the mountain's southern slopes. Directional control would be by compass on an azimuth of 45 degrees.54
The regiment moved out anticipating little or no opposition, but within the hour small arms and machine-gun fire hit both assault battalions. Immediately after leaving the line of departure Company A met scattered resistance which forced it to veer to the right. The change in
ARMY SHERMANS of the 706th Tank Battalion grind through the rubble of Agana before taking the cross island road to join the 77th Division prior to the Barrigada action. (Army Photograph.)
direction brought the company out on the Agana Road so that its advance was now in the zone of action of the 3d Battalion. The latter unit had been moving steadily ahead on the prescribed axis of attack. The inevitable happened as the units approached Barrigada; Company A collided with L, which in turn forced K into the 305th's sector.
As a result of crowding three companies into an area not wide enough for two, the possibilities for a balanced attack no longer existed. The resultant 1,000-yard gap on the left of Company A reduced the chances of any flanking pressure on the enemy entrenched around the village. Furthermore, only one platoon of Company A could be used effectively, and K had almost no front at all.55
Major Gerald G. Cooney, executive officer of the 1st Battalion, quickly took command in his zone and ordered Company B into the gap in an effort to adjust the front lines.56 As men of that unit tried to get into position, a Japanese tank shot out of a burning grass shack and headed down the Agana Road toward the thinly-held lines. Crashing blindly into buildings,
Capture of Barrigada
including a temple in the village, the enemy tankmen whose vision slit was covered by the temple roof, whirled and churned their vehicle in every direction. The thatch-roofed tank overran Army machine-gun positions and continued down the road, wildly firing at everything in its path.57 Curiously enough, no available records show how, or when, this tank was destroyed, but at any rate it did not return to the Barrigada action.
Repeated attempts by the 307th failed to dislodge the enemy. Finally, Company G (2/307) launched a tank-supported attack at 1500 which penetrated the Japanese line but did not lessen the gap on the left. Lieutenant Colonel Charles F. Learner committed Company E at 1630, and with light tanks leading the way the unit successfully filled the breach and gained contact with the 1st Battalion. Darkness halted any further advance, and the regiment dug in just beyond the road junction at Barrigada.58 (See Map 25)
Meanwhile, on the right, the 305th had moved up and consolidated its lines with the 307th, destroying an enemy tank in the process. Both regiments prepared all-around defensive positions on the night of 2-3 August to ensure against enemy infiltration attempts.
It had been a day of frustration for men of the 77th Division. The intense fire from Japanese weapons could be felt as the attacking troops tried to move forward, but locating the concealed soldiers was another matter. Positions were so well camouflaged that the size of the force opposing the Americans could not be intelligently estimated. In any case, the enemy had sufficient strength to kill 29 and wound 98 Army officers and men during the day.59
Before the advance got under way on 3 August, General Bruce ordered a regrouping of battalions. Regimental boundaries stayed the same, but in the 307th's zone the 2d Battalion replaced the 1st, and the 3d shifted back to cover its normal frontage. The 1st Battalion, 305th relieved the 3d on the left, and the 2d remained in the assault on the right. This realigned the regiments so that the division covered its assigned sector, and it also assured a coordinated attack against the enemy positions around Barrigada.60
The assault started at 0630, and much to the surprise of everyone, encountered only a few snipers as units went forward. By 0930 the regiments had advanced through the Barrigada clearing, and the all-important well had been secured. Five hours later a water point had been rushed into service and thirsty troops could once more be assured of a good supply.61
In conjunction with the attack plans for 3 August, artillery had been ordered to fire an hour-long preparation on Mt. Barrigada, starting at 0630. The 304th and 306th Field Artillery Battalions were assigned the mission, completing it on schedule. Again at 1330 Mt. Barrigada received a going over when all of the division's artillery opened up with a five-minute barrage prior to the 307th's main effort against the hill. After the regiment started
TERRAIN photograph taken from Mt. Santa Rosa shows the zone of action of the 77th Division in the advance to the north. (Army Photograph.)
to move, the barrage would be lifted 100 yards every two minutes until the infantry reached the summit.62
Securing Mt. Barrigada
With tanks spearheading the drive, the 307th beat a path through the jungle, meeting only scattered opposition on the lower slopes of the hill mass. As the troops neared the top, enemy resistance diminished to only occasional sniper shots. The 3d Battalion reached the summit at 1500, but its advance had been more rapid than the 2d's on the left. The 2d Battalion's attack on Mt. Barrigada tended to pull it to the right, and when the zone became too wide to cover, contact was lost with the 3d Marine Division. (See Map 26, Map Section)
About 1,000 yards to the right of the 307th, isolated pockets of Japanese slowed the 305th's attack. Also the trails that had provided the avenues of advance had dwindled to nothing, further hindering progress. In an attempt to maintain control within the regiment, Colonel Tanzola reduced the front and ordered patrols to cover the remainder of the zone to the coast.63
Although the day's advance had been limited to only about one mile by the dense jungle, the
expected heavy Japanese opposition had not materialized. This in part was due to the air, naval gunfire, and artillery harassment, but of more significance is the fact that the Japanese did not consider Mt. Barrigada a good defensive position. An enemy terrain appreciation study of the island contains these remarks concerning the area:
Mt. Barrigada is densely wooded. A single road over the summit is barely passable for foot troops. The level summit has no field of vision, and for a future military position a firing area must be cleared. [The Japanese did not see fit to do this.]64
Further attempts late in the afternoon of 3 August failed to close the existing gaps in the line. As the division dug in for the night across the summit of Mt. Barrigada, there was no contact between regiments and none with the Marines.65 Again the men of the division had seen few of the enemy but plenty of the thick jungle that would plague them for the remainder of the Guam campaign. During the day they had also seen the first Army fighters and bombers over the island. Sixteen P-47's and three B-25's of the Seventh Air Force, based at Saipan, flew deep support missions in the afternoon. One of the P-47 pilots, Lieutenant Howard H. Barret, USA, had the dubious honor of being the first Air Force pilot to land on Guam when he made a forced landing on Orote Airfield.66
Following a five-minute artillery preparation at 0655 on 4 August, the 77th Division pushed forward to capture the day's objective. General Bruce ordered that contact should be made with the Marines as soon as possible and that the O-3 line be secured. There the advance would be temporarily halted for consolidation and reorganization.
To accomplish the first mission, a reinforced platoon of 2/307, with two tanks attached, started toward the division's left flank. The tanks reduced two enemy roadblocks and proceeded on down the road. As they neared a third barrier they opened fire for a quick destruction of the obstacle in their path.
Unfortunately, men of Company G, 2/9 of the 3d Marine Division occupied this position. The hail of bullets and 75mm shells quickly drove the Marines to cover. Before the fire fight was halted by Captain Fagan, company commander of the 9th Marines unit, who stood up and waved his helmet at the onrushing tanks, seven Marines had been wounded. Later investigation revealed that the Army patrol had been told that friendly troops would identify themselves by firing red smoke grenades. The Marines had not been informed, and when the soldiers started to throw colored grenades after the action had gone on for some time, it meant nothing to them. Fortunately, Captain Fagan stopped the skirmish before further casualties and loss of equipment took place.67
Earlier in the morning the 307th's commander had ordered his 1st Battalion to pass through the 2d (Major Thomas R. Mackin)68 and secure the road near the O-3 line; the latter unit would then pass to regimental reserve. The 1st completed the passage of lines at 0915, but did not move abreast of the 3d Battalion (Major Joseph W. Hanna)69 until 1245. Bruce ordered the general advance to start about the
same time division headquarters received the following message from General Geiger:
Corps commander is sorry but he feels he will have to hold up advance of 3d MarDiv until 77th Div lines are a little better organized and gap between divisions is closed. Orders to Turnage are being issued accordingly.70
Major Hanna's battalion (3/307) had taken its objective without meeting any enemy resistance, and shortly thereafter the 1st moved up on line. But the contact that had been gained in the morning had once more been lost because of heavy underbrush. Patrols from both the Army and the Marines failed to meet, and preparations had to be made to try again at daylight.
On the right flank of the division the 305th's progress had been slow because of the narrow and indistinct paths. Tanks broke trail for the two assault battalions, 1st and 2d, but the heavy foliage still retarded the advance. Nevertheless, by nightfall the regiment had been able to reduce an ambush, overcome other scattered resistance, and move 500-1,000 yards beyond the O-3 line.71
The movement from the O-2 to O-3 line was ended by the night of 4 August. The 77th Division had captured the town of Barrigada with its important water supply and had secured the mountain north of the town. It had been an advance opposed not only by a well-concealed enemy but also by difficult terrain which made contact within the division difficult and practically nonexistent with the Marine division throughout the drive to the north. Although during the five days of fighting 46 were killed, 228 wounded, and 18 reported MIA, the 77th Division was in good condition to continue the push northward.72
Fight for Finegayan
Fight for Finegayan
The officers and men of the 3d Marine Division had been hearing the word "contact" as often as those of the 77th Division since the start of Phase II operations. The difficulty of maintaining contact is indicative of the effect that the close-knit vegetation had on the advance of both divisions. Fortunately, the Japanese had not been encountered in any organized strength the first three days the Marines were in the jungle. But this was not to be the case during the next three.
All artillery battalions of the 12th Marines had displaced forward by 2 August in order to be in position to provide continuous support to regiments of the division. Corps artillery had also moved, so that its longer range guns could now be used more effectively. By nightfall, units had brought forward a good supply of ammunition in anticipation of the increased need for artillery support in the Finegayan area. During the night 2-3 August, the 12th Marines delivered 777 rounds of harassing and interdictory fires on roads and trails within the division's zone of action.73
The division renewed its advance at 0700, 3 August, with two regiments in assault. The 3d Marines, on the left, moved ahead against little opposition, but the 9th did not meet with such good fortune. (See Map 27, Map Section) As its 1st Battalion approached RJ 177 just west of Finegayan village at 0910, an estimated platoon of Japanese opened fire on Company B. The enemy was dug in on either side of the road across an open area that gave excellent fields of fire to the defenders. This well-organized position, according to the commanding officer of 1/9, Lieutenant Colonel Randall, constituted one of the strongest his battalion hit during the Guam campaign.74 Nevertheless, a platoon of infantry supported by two tanks and the fire of company weapons, overran the stronghold, disclosing it to have been held by a force of about company instead of platoon size. After the half-hour action Randall's men counted 105 enemy dead.75
At RJ 177 about 500 yards farther up the Finegayan-Mt. Santa Rosa Road, Company B ran into more enemy soldiers. This force consisted of riflemen with machine guns dug into positions taking full advantage of the ravines and ditches in the area. Heavy brush and palm
PRIVATE FIRST CLASS FRANK P. WITEK, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for action on 3 August during the advance on Finegayan when he covered the temporary withdrawal of his platoon, exposed himself to safeguard a wounded comrade, and then led an attack, personally accounting for 16 Japanese and a machine-gun position before he was struck down by an enemy rifleman.
groves provided concealment that made individual Japanese hard to discover. The light opposition at the road junction, however, made it apparent that the Imperial troops planned to fight only a delaying action in this vicinity.
After RJ 177 was secured at 1300, Companies A and C passed through B and received orders to prepare to spend the night in the vicinity of Finegayan. Company B pulled back and set up in the open area it had cleared earlier in the day.76 As the advance elements of 1/9 dug in for the night of 3-4 August, a column of jeeps, half-tracks, tanks, and trucks came speeding up the road and continued on past the road junction toward Yigo. But 400 yards farther the column pulled up short when 75mm guns, automatic weapons, small arms, and one tank fired on the leading vehicle of the convoy.
This reconnaissance unit had been in a state of uncertainty all day. As early as 0750 the 21st Marines had been alerted to furnish one company for a motorized reconnaissance patrol to Ritidian Point. Throughout the remainder of the morning other units were dispatched to RJ 125. When the complete patrol assembled, its makeup consisted of:
One section of Reconnaissance Company (2 half-tracks and 4 radio jeeps).
Company A and staff tanks of 3d Tank Battalion.
One squad of mine detection and demolition men from 19th Marines.
Company I, 3/21 mounted in 6 trucks.
Over-all commander of the Armored Reconnaissance Group was Lieutenant Colonel Hartnoll J. Withers (Commanding Officer, 3d Tank Battalion), with the reinforced infantry unit being under command of Major Edward A. Clark (Executive Officer, 3/21).77
Unfortunately, the haste with which some units had to organize their part of the patrol resulted in trucks reporting to haul troops without sufficient gas to make the entire trip. Nor were drivers properly equipped or oriented for their mission which caused confusion as to the route to be followed. The drivers had been engaged in hauling rations to a forward dump, and the first six trucks unloaded had been pressed into service on short notice. Lack of time prevented correction of all the inadequacies, and at 1245 commanders received the word to proceed on the mission.78 At 1455 Lieutenant Colonel Withers sent the following message to division headquarters:
Patrol is held up at front lines where firefight is going on. Recommend patrol remain together behind front lines tonight and clear at 0730 tomorrow. Insufficient time remains today to accomplish mission . . . 79
A half-hour later headquarters directed Withers to proceed on the assigned mission at once, but to return by 1800. That part of the route not covered would be checked the next morning, 4 August.
2d Marine Division Advance
When Marines had cleared the way the column continued along the road. But the limited vision from the lead half-track caused it to miss the left fork at RJ 177, its assigned route, and continue in an easterly direction. It was this patrol which sped through the lines of 1/9 and was stopped at 1610 by heavy enemy fire. Only the point had advanced beyond the road junction, but before these elements could break contact one half-track had been destroyed, one 6 x 6 truck damaged and abandoned,80 and one tank slightly damaged.
Two hours later remaining units had returned to the front lines, and a check of casualties showed one KIA and 14 WIA in addition to the vehicles destroyed or abandoned. Japanese equipment put out of action included two 75mm guns, one tank, and several machine guns. An undetermined number of enemy soldiers were killed.81
With the exception of the action around RJ 177, the 3d Division had advanced against only moderate resistance throughout the day. The left flank had moved about 3,000 yards ahead of the right, which had been stopped at noon because of lack of contact with the 77th Division. As a consequence, on the night of 3 August the Marine front lines extended eastward from Naton Beach to the coastal highway. From there they ran along the road through Dededo and Finegayan, joining the division boundary at a road junction 1,000 yards west of Mt. Barrigada.82 (See Map 28, Map Section)
The early hours of darkness were quiet, but at 2100 the 3d Marines started receiving mortar fire. An hour later the same unit reported killing an eight-man Japanese patrol led by an officer; all had been wearing white arm bands, and as they neared the front lines the last member of the group fired a red rocket. This evidently signaled two enemy medium tanks to go into action. They cruised down the road into the lines held by the 9th Marines, passed through RJ 177, and continued on their way, impervious to the fire of several 37mm guns. After crushing the trail of one of the 37's, the tanks turned west into the rear of the 3d Marines, fired a 57mm projectile at a Marine tank, and then withdrew. Fortunately, the 57mm round failed to explode, though it did penetrate the armor on the right sponson.83
During this tank action an enemy force of undetermined size made an attack, supported by 90mm mortars, in the area of the boundary between the 3d and 9th Marines. Division headquarters warned the 21st Marines and the 3d Tank Battalion about 2330 to be prepared to repel the counterattack. Twenty minutes later, after artillery had broken up the Japanese effort, the alerted units were secured.84 The remainder of the night passed without incident.
Earlier in the day the 4th Marines of the 1st Brigade had moved into an area northeast of Agana near Toto. This was in compliance with a corps order issued the previous day, 2 August, placing that regiment in force reserve. The first indication that General Geiger intended to use General Shepherd's brigade in the north had come the day before (1 August), in the form of a warning order, issued at 1900.85 This decision had been made after one day's extensive patrolling by units of the brigade, which reported seeing few Japanese soldiers or installations.
These patrols, consisting of platoons or larger units from both regiments, had started their search mission at daylight on 1 August. The largest, Company A (1/22) Reinforced, departed from Magpo Point and was to proceed along the south coast via Facpi to Umatac, Port Merizo, Port Ajayan, Agfayan Bay, Inarajan, Talofofo Bay, and Togcha Bay to Ylig Bay and then return overland, reentering the brigade's lines at Maanot Pass. It had the mission of determining enemy strength and movements, destroying or capturing all Japanese
encountered, and assisting friendly natives to enter the Marine lines. Corps authorized the sending of two DUKW's with the patrol to carry seven days' ration and two units of fire, and to be available for evacuation of casualties if needed.86 LCM's were to meet the DUKW's at Umatac with additional supplies consisting mostly of fuel.
The patrol arrived at Umatac at 1400 that afternoon (1 August) without encountering resistance other than two stragglers. It also arrived minus rations. About one mile south of Bangi Point one of the DUKW's became mired in the sand, obliging the crews to redistribute the supplies and reload the remaining vehicle. This then put to sea but did not arrive at Umatac until after dark.
Meanwhile, the reconnaissance flight that had been assigned to locate the unit each day learned of the patrol's plight. The brigade observer in the plane, Captain William R. Norton, returned to Orote Airfield and loaded 90 pounds of rations and dropped them to Company A at 1800. The supplies scheduled to arrive at Umatac by LCM had failed to do so when the sea became too rough for small boat operations, but brigade headquarters directed the patrol to continue its mission. Supply would be by OY airdrop.87
To search the southern portion of the island more thoroughly, brigade ordered the 22d Marines, which had completed the relief of the 306th Infantry by 1000, 1 August, to send one company with three days supplies to Umatac. After establishing a base camp there, it would comb the western half of the brigade zone. The 4th Marines was to set up a base at Point Agfayan and check the eastern half of the zone south of the Maanot-Talofofo Road. The northern part of the eastern zone would be patrolled by a unit from the 4th, operating from a position near Togcha Point.88 (See Map 2, Map Section)
At 1030 the following morning (2 August), in accordance with verbal instructions from corps directing the brigade to be prepared to move to the vicinity of Toto in corps reserve, General Shepherd issued his operation order. The 4th Marines, less the two companies (A and F) on distant patrol, received orders to assemble in the vicinity of Maanot Pass and be prepared to move to the north at 0800 the next morning. The 22d Marines, less the 1st Battalion, would continue on its present mission of patrolling and be ready to move on 5 August.89
Shortly after noon, however, corps directed that the 4th get under way at 0630, 3 August, and pass to force reserve at that time. Late in the afternoon when reports started coming in from the day's patrols few enemy contacts were noted. Marines had sighted only one organized group and that consisted of 12 soldiers who had holed up in a cave in the heights south of Mt. Lamlam. All were destroyed, but not until one Marine had been killed and two others wounded.
At daylight on 3 August, the 4th Marines began the move to Toto. Upon departure of that regiment from the south, the 22d received the responsibility of evacuating the wounded of the two 4th Marine companies remaining in the area. Other units assigned the searching mission continued their patrol activities. To assist in the mopping up of the Japanese stragglers, Guamanians in the Talofofo area were armed, at their own request.90
At 1415 General Shepherd received dispatch orders from corps directing the movement of the brigade (less 1/22, 9th Defense Battalion, and 7th AAA (AW) Battalion) to join the 4th Marines at Toto. The order would be effective at 0700, 4 August, at which time the detached units would become a task force under command of Lieutenant Colonel Archie E. O'Neil, Commanding Officer, 9th Defense Battalion. The mission of this newly-activated unit would be to protect the force south flank from a point in the vicinity of Inalas along the FBL to the west coast opposite Anae Island. (See Map 15) In addition it would defend the Agat-Dadi Beach area and patrol the island south of the general line Pago Bay-Agat Bay.91
At 0700,4 August, Headquarters, 1st Marine
Brigade and the 22d Marines, less the 1st Battalion, commenced the move to get into position to support the corps in its seizure of the remainder of Guam. At the same time the 3d Division jumped off to straighten its lines so that the 21st Marines could move into position as planned. The operation order called for that regiment (less 3d Battalion) to go into the center of the division's zone between the 3d and 9th Marines as soon as those two assault units secured the O-3 line. The division's widening sector north of RJ 358 made this maneuver necessary.92
As the 9th's right flank went forward, the breach between the Marines and the Army kept widening. At 0800, when the gap continued to widen, the right flank was halted 1,000 yards short of the O-3 line. Division headquarters directed 2/9 and 3/21 to fill the gap and protect the right flank of the division. In carrying out this directive, 2/9 established a roadblock on the Finegayan-Barrigada Road. It was this position that the tank-led patrol of the 77th Division fired on at about 1045.93
The 1st Battalion, 9th tried to push on to the O-3 line, but moderate resistance slowed the advance. When it became apparent that the day's objective could not be reached without exposing the division's right flank even more, a change of plans occurred. At 1450 the 21st Marines was directed to take over its zone of action immediately, and in compliance with General Geiger's instructions the division would hold up until contact could be gained with the 77th Division.
While this maneuver took place, another incident occurred that showed the need for closer liaison between adjacent units. As 2/9 and 3/21 prepared their positions on the boundary between the 3d and 77th Divisions, friendly planes hit the Marines. Two B-25's flying support missions for Army units opened up on the CP area of 3/21 and also strafed troops moving along the road toward the front lines.94
Elements of the 21st had completed the relief of Companies B and C, 1/9 by 1730. The remaining units of the 1st Battalion, 9th, held the area around the Japanese-manned roadblock that had stopped the armored reconnaissance patrol on 3 August. From this position the enemy had successfully delayed the advance throughout the day by the use of antitank (AT) weapons, 75 mm guns, machine guns, and riflemen, concealed in the 10-20 foot high brush. (See Map 27, Map Section)
When intelligence reports indicated the possibility of a counterattack from this position during the night of 4-5 August, Lieutenant Colonel Randall sent reinforcements to his advance company. Before dark two platoons of infantry and a machine-gun platoon had gone forward and were dug in for the night.95 Contact had not been made with the 77th Division, but the Marines did have a solid line extending from Naton Beach along the O-3 line north of Dededo. From there it bent back to a point 1,000 yards short of O-3 along the division boundary.
During the afternoon of 4 August the 22d Marines started to move into its assembly area, and by nightfall the entire regiment and brigade headquarters group were set up in force reserve. General Shepherd's CP officially opened in the vicinity of San Antonio at 1200, and at 1400 the 4th Marines reverted to brigade control.96
In the south, patrols of the 4th Marines had returned from Togcha Bay and Port Inarajan, reporting no enemy contact. Other units, under Lieutenant Colonel O'Neil's new task force, also failed to find any organized resistance, further strengthening the intelligence that the Japanese would only defend in the north. As the units of the 4th completed their mission in the south, they immediately joined their parent organization at Toto.
The 3d Division renewed its attack at 0630, 5 August, with orders for the 9th and 21st Marines to seize the O-3 line. The 3d Marines, which had been meeting little or no resistance, was directed to move its left flank forward 1,000 yards to Bijia Point but to maintain contact with the 21st on the right.
The 9th Marines' plan of attack called for Company A to be attached to the 3d Battalion until the regiment reached O-3. At that time 1/9 would regain control of its unit and the 2d Battalion would pass through the 3d. The regiment would then make the assault with two battalions abreast. Meeting only light resistance, units completed the first phase by 0830 and the 1st and 2d Battalions were in position to carry out the second phase.
On the left Lieutenant Colonel Randall sent Company B back into the line and attached a platoon of tanks to each of the assaulting units. They encountered heavy opposition immediately, and thick brush made the enemy difficult to locate and destroy. It became a blind fight with visibility limited to a few feet on either side of the road. The nature of the fighting and the density of the foliage can be illustrated by an incident that occurred to one of the tanks with 1/9. When it became impossible to proceed farther without checking the road, the tank commander directed one of his men to scout the immediate area. Only 15 yards from his own vehicle, the Marine discovered a camouflaged Japanese medium tank that had been abandoned.97
At noon Company C passed through the right unit in an attempt to flank the strongly defended area. Accompanying tanks received heavy AT fire, and the general advance was slow, but by 1800 the two assault companies had crossed the road. A half-track that had been attached late in the afternoon destroyed the one remaining 75mm gun, and Lieutenant Colonel Randall recommitted Company A on the right to close the gap with the 2d Battalion. The latter unit had not met such stiff resistance in its assault, and by 1600 it had reached the road junction in the vicinity of Liguan. Here the battalion received orders to prepare a perimeter defense for the night.98
Neither the 3d nor 21st Marines encountered organized opposition during the day. Isolated pockets of resistance had slowed the advance, but organic weapons quickly silenced these. Before nightfall both regiments had gained their objectives, and by using one company of 3/9 between the 9th and 21st, contact had been obtained throughout the division. No contact existed, however, between the Marines and the Army.
The day's activities had sufficiently uncovered RJ 177 to permit supply trains to move to the forward dump at Dededo. It had been planned to open this distribution point on 4 August, but continuous fighting around Finegayan delayed the move for one day. To help shorten the over-all route, Agana Beach was now ready for use, and UDT's had begun clearing an LVT channel to the shore at Tumon Bay. The opening of these two beaches would give the division close access to incoming supply ships.
In keeping with General Turnage's policy of having service elements well forward, division hospital displaced from the vicinity of Asan to the site of the old U. S. Naval Hospital in Agana on 5 August. About the time this move was complete, 1700, the engineers reported the opening of a water point at Dededo. Its 35,000 gallons per day would be welcomed by those infantry units now making the long run to Agana.99
The brigade remained in bivouac in force reserve throughout the day, but General Shepherd received verbal instructions for the employment of his command in the near future. The corps commander intended to pass the brigade through the 3d Marines to attack north along the west coast of Guam. At 1205 Shepherd sent the Reconnaissance Platoon, 4th Marines to reconnoiter routes for the movement of troops and supplies to assembly areas near Dededo. At 1630 the corps' operation plan was received directing the brigade to attack on order, seize successive objectives, and then by aggressive patrolling to clear the enemy from the northern tip of the island.100
Although air, naval gunfire, and artillery had been keeping Mt. Santa Rosa under constant
105MM HOWITZER hastily emplaced to support the northern drive of the 3d Division.
bombardment, the Japanese still maintained artillery positions in the area. At least seven guns continued to harass the Americans, and during the night of 5-6 August the weapons increased their activities.101 The enemy had been firing intermittently throughout the day, but only when rain squalls occurred. This had made detection almost impossible, and when darkness came the guns opened up with the most severe artillery fire encountered during the drive to the north.
Road junctions seemed to be the primary targets and Marine installations located in their vicinity received considerable harassment. The 9th Marines' units near RJ 177 reported the heaviest concentrations. Both division and corps artillery brought fire to bear on the suspected enemy 75mm and 105mm gun positions, but only silenced them temporarily. When the fire shifted to other targets, the Japanese guns immediately resumed their interdiction missions. With the coming of daylight the enemy weapons became silent.102
The 3d Division renewed its attack with three regiments abreast at 0630, 6 August. On the right the 9th Marines continued meeting scattered resistance from the remaining Japanese defenders of the Finegayan position. When an enemy patrol led by a tank hit a 2/9 roadblock which had been set up on the division boundary, the tank was destroyed and the infantry scattered. Two platoons of Company G, supported by tanks, pursued the enemy
BEER AND SAKE DUMP overrun near Finegayan is checked by Marine supplymen and tallied for eventual issue to troops of III Corps.
soldiers and killed 15 before breaking off the action at a road junction 1,000 yards inside the 77th Division's zone.103
With intelligence agencies indicating the Japanese were establishing delaying forces of infantry and antitank units along the trails and roads only, the division commander decided on a change of tactics. At 0900, General Turnage issued his operation order directing the resumption of the attack by advancing columns along all roads and trails. Each column would search out and mop up enemy resistance for a distance of 200 yards on each side of the road in close country. In open terrain, the edges of the first cover were to be checked. Contact would only be necessary at indicated objectives.104
After the remaining enemy positions in the Finegayen defense area had been reduced, the 3d Division encountered little opposition as it moved rapidly forward. At 1155 Marines finally made contact with the 77th Division near RJ 363 when a patrol from the 306th Infantry met a similar patrol of the 9th Marines. By 1300 the head of the 2/9 column had reached RJ 358. Using yellow smoke to mark its position, 2/9 pushed ahead until artillery shells began to fall in the vicinity of the advancing Marines. Commanders later discovered the fire was in support of a 77th Division unit approaching the same road junction on a different trail.105
As a result of all units taking to the roads, by nightfall of 6 August the 3d Division had advanced 4,500-5,000 yards all along the front. On the left flank the line extended from Ague along the road to RJ 366; from there it followed the trail to the road that led to RJ 358 where a 300-yard gap existed between the flanking Marine and Army battalions' defense perimeters. (See Map 28, Map Section)
The elimination of 737 Japanese around the Finegayan positions broke the outer ring of the Mt. Santa Rosa defense.106 The action also cleared the key road junction connecting the highway and trail network to the northeast. This would now permit the movement of equipment and supplies to all corps units with less difficulty. The four days of close, almost hand-to-hand combat, however, had resulted in 18 Marines being killed and 141 wounded.107
Of more importance to the individual Marine than the tactical accomplishments, the battle of Finegayan had uncovered a cache of 100 cases of Japanese beer. Division placed guards on the discovery and later moved the supply to dumps for safekeeping until the Guam campaign ended; it was then distributed to units of the division. The presence of the beer in the locality no doubt accounted for the large number of drunken enemy soldiers encountered throughout the action.
Although the Japanese could still harass the Americans with artillery, antitank, and automatic weapons, the effect of the air strikes and
naval gunfire on these positions was being felt by the enemy. One Japanese officer later wrote:
The enemy airforce seeking our units during the daylight hours in the forest, bombed and strafed even a single soldier. During the night, the enemy naval units attempting to cut our communications were shelling our position from all points of the perimeter of the island, thus impeding our operation activities to a great extent.108
While the 3d Division had been moving steadily ahead, the brigade displaced to previously designated assembly areas in the vicinity of Dededo. General Shepherd's forward CP opened at 1410, 6 August, and both regiments were in bivouac prior to darkness. Shepherd received verbal instructions at 1445 ordering his units into the line on 7 August, and when confirmation arrived by dispatch at 1700 the brigade had completed arrangements for the attack.109 With the commitment of the brigade on the left flank of the corps, General Geiger directed the 3d division to continue the attack and assist the 77th Division on the right.
77th's Prelude to Mt. Santa Rosa
The apparent movement of the Japanese to their main defenses around Mt. Santa Rosa prompted the 77th Division commander to start maneuvering his units into attack position as early as 5 August. At 0700 on that day the 306th Infantry started its move to pass by the right flank of the 307th and extend northwest toward the division boundary. This would pinch out the 307th, allowing it to go into division reserve for a day's rest. (See Map 29)
Although the 306th encountered little resistance, jungle terrain, poor trails, and inaccurate maps slowed the maneuver. Colonel Smith's regiment had covered the 307th by 1600, but the unit was still 1,000 yards short of its objective. Nevertheless, General Bruce instructed the battalions to consolidate their positions for the night, paying particular attention to all-around security.110
On the right flank of the 77th Division, the
MOUNT SANTA ROSA, target of the final corps drive, dominated the 77th division zone of action. (Army Photograph.)
305th had continued hacking its way through the dense jungle. With tanks and self-propelled guns beating a trail, the day's activities netted 2,000 yards and put the 2d Battalion on the O-4 line by nightfall. The 1st, about 1,000 yards to the rear, bivouacked in a more or less isolated position. Hard coral underlay about six to nine inches of earth, making the preparation of proper slit trenches and weapons' positions virtually impossible in the time allotted. About 0200 the most destructive Japanese night raid the 77th Division experienced on Guam hit this battalion.
Two Japanese medium tanks with approximately one platoon of infantry broke through Company A, guarding the northern sector of the battalion's defensive area. Troops immediately opened fire all along the line. The enemy infantry scattered, but the vehicles continued on into the rear installations. Once inside the perimeter the tanks separated as if according to plan and sprayed either side of the trail, covering the bivouac area with murderous fire.
77th Infantry Division Advance
SOLDIERS of the 307th Infantry advancing past Army tanks as they move up the road from Yigo to Mt. Santa Rosa.
In the excitement that followed, men turned their rifles and automatic weapons on the tanks, but the fire only ricocheted into friendly troops who were shifting to alternate positions. One of the tanks, in trying to rejoin its partner, collided with an Army Sherman, then backed off, smashed a jeep, and continued on its way firing continuously. Joining, the two Japanese mediums charged north toward the perimeter, leaving behind a trail of devastation including 16 killed and 32 wounded. Most of these casualties resulted from the battalion's inability to prepare adequate trenches prior to darkness.111
Several hours later men of the 305th encountered these same two tanks again. The 2d Battalion came upon them at 0630 as it retraced its course of the previous day in an effort to find a better route of advance. This time the Japanese in hull defilade covered the narrow trail leading through the dense jungle undergrowth. The ensuing fire fight was a confusing one, involving American medium tanks, heavy machine guns, mortars, and riflemen, all trying to knock out the tank-held position. Finally, when infantry squads pushed through the jungle on either side and moved up on the enemy's rear, they found three dead soldiers; both vehicles had been abandoned. To their previously inflicted casualties the Japanese tankmen added 15 killed and 31 wounded.112
Units of the 77th spent most of 6 August in getting into position for the well-planned attack on Mt. Santa Rosa. By nightfall the 306th had reached the division boundary, the 305th had its battalions on the O-4 line, and the 307th was ready to move back into the center of the line. These positions resulted from planning started on 3 August.
77th Infantry Division Plan
to Isolate Mt. Santa Rosa
Early on the morning of 5 August General Bruce received the corps operation plan ordering the capture of Mt. Santa Rosa and the remainder
of the island to the north. It would be a corps assault with the main effort being made by the 77th Division.113 Tentative plans had already been worked out by Bruce's staff for the capture of the tactically important Mt. Santa Rosa area, and at 1250 an overlay showing the proposed scheme of maneuver went out to each unit involved. Essentially, the operation would surround the dominating hill, thus cutting off all avenues of escape for the enemy except by the sea (See Map 30, Map Section)
The sweep would be to the left, with the 306th's objective the high ground to the north extending from Lulog to Anao on the coast. Since this regiment would have to cover twice as much ground as the others in the division, it would advance without regard to contact. It would, however, send patrols forward to the division boundary to secure that area. The 307th, supported by the 706th Tank Battalion (less Companies A and B), was to capture Yigo with its important road junction, then turn to the east toward the slopes of the objective. The 305th (less the 3d Battalion which would be in corps reserve) was to continue along the same general avenue of advance the regiment had been following and secure the high ground south of Mt. Santa Rosa. Each regiment would keep one battalion in reserve, to be committed only on authority of the division commander.114
Corps had made plans to continue the shelling of the area by warships and further soften enemy positions with air strikes by P-47's and B-25's. In addition, corps artillery would give priority of fires to the 77th on the designated day of the attack. Including the division's own organic artillery, there would not be a shortage of support for the big push.
In the afternoon of 6 August (1720) corps ordered the attack for 0730 the following morning. In anticipation of this move General Bruce had sent his chief of staff forward to reconnoiter for an advance CP earlier in the afternoon. Colonel McNair had selected an area about 600 yards south of Ipapao and was making a last minute check of the position at 1645 when a sniper fired from a hut and killed him instantly.115
After the reconnaissance party detected more Japanese, the division reserve (3/305) received instructions to scour the area. Only 500 yards from the proposed site of the CP, Company I encountered an estimated 150 enemy soldiers in well-prepared positions. Many of the individual foxholes were located in the roots of ironwood trees which made them almost impervious to small-arms fire. The job of completely liquidating this pocket took more than six hours and required the major strength of Companies I and K, supported by a platoon of medium tanks.116
The Final Drive
At 0730 on 7 August all three regiments of the 77th Division left the O-4 line with orders to be in position for the attack at H-Hour, which would be announced later. At about the same time General Bruce authorized the 307th's commander to employ all three of his battalions in the attack on Yigo. In the center of the division zone, 3/307 led the advance toward Yigo, moving in a column toward the line of departure,117 a road junction 600 yards southwest of the village. On the left, the 306th started cross country to by-pass Yigo on the west. The lead company of 3/307 reached the LD by 0900 without meeting any resistance and halted. As the unit posted its security, sporadic fire started to hit the column. An hour later the snipers had been silenced and the battalion reported its position secure.
The 307th received a message at 1038 fixing H-Hour at 1200, and Colonel Manuel sent for the 706th Tank Battalion commander. But not until 1145, after the artillery preparation had started, did Lieutenant Colonel Charles W. Stokes receive the summons. When he reached the 307th's CP, Manuel informed him of
H-Hour and directed Stokes to follow the prepared plan of attack. The tank commander immediately radioed for the battalion to come forward from its assembly area a mile to the rear. Hundreds of rounds of 105mm and 155mm shells from seven artillery battalions rumbled overhead as the tanks tried to move on the congested, narrow trail leading into Yigo.118
The Final Drive
Exactly on schedule, the devastating artillery barrage lifted at 1200, but the tanks and infantry were not yet in position to move into the shelled area. Fifteen minutes later the light tanks reached the head of the 3/307 column that had jumped off from the LD at H-minus three minutes in an attempt to take full advantage of the artillery fire.119 At this point, 400 yards short of Yigo, the tanks rapidly outdistanced the infantry and fanned out to the right. Overrunning several Japanese machine-gun positions at the edge of the road, the vehicles roared on across the open ground, which rose to a slight crest only 200 yards ahead.
As the tanks swept over the small rise, enemy fire spurted from the left. A call for assistance went out to the mediums. These moved in under an increasing deluge of Japanese machine-gun and antitank fire. Before they could bring their fire to bear on the enemy position, two light tanks were knocked out and one medium set afire. Another stalled and had to be abandoned.
While the tanks continued their searching fires, the infantry tried to make progress through the positions along the road, but it was slow going. On the left, 3/306 led by Lieutenant Colonel Gordon T. Kimbrell met little opposition as it moved through the jungle. On hearing the firing from the vicinity of Yigo, Kimbrell detached the 1st Platoon of Company K and led it toward the action. He located the enemy strong point and proceeded through the underbrush to the rear of the area. The soldiers rushed the unsuspecting Japanese and killed them without loss to the Army unit. Other elements of Company K cleared the enemy from their supporting positions along the edge of the woods further to the north, and the major defense of Yigo was reduced. The
SMASHED JAPANESE TANK near Yigo, one of two that were part of a defensive position that slowed the 307th Infantry advance on 7 August.
enemy position, so skillfully concealed from the front but vulnerable from the rear, was built around two light tanks. Two antitank guns, two 20mm guns, six light and two heavy machine guns, plus about a makeshift battalion of infantry added their fire to make the Yigo defense formidable.120
This tank action had been fast and furious, and by 1325 leading elements of the 307th had reached the high ground northeast of the village. There was little sign of the enemy the rest of the afternoon as the three battalions of the 307th jockeyed into their respective positions for the attack on Mt. Santa Rosa. But by the time this had been completed, it was too late to renew the assault, and the regiment dug in along the road from Yigo to a point a half mile east of the village. (See Map 31, Map Section) The 306th prepared a defense 1,000 yards to the north of RJ 415; the forward battalion of the 305th had beaten its way through the jungle to within 600-800 yards of the day's objective.
In the center of the corps zone the 3d Marine Division, now attacking to the northeast, had jumped off on time the morning of 7 August
MARINE CORSAIRS of MAG-21 lined up on Orote Airfield in readiness to fly close support missions during the last days of organized fighting on Guam.
and moved ahead against light resistance. However, the dwarf jungle terrain made progress slow, and bulldozers had to be employed to clear roads for the advance. On the left flank the 3d Marines encountered antitank guns at a roadblock in the vicinity of RJ 390, but the regiment quickly destroyed the weapons without suffering a casualty. Of great assistance in reducing any strong point encountered was the immediate action taken by the now mobile command post.121 This system of having the CP mounted permitted commanders to keep abreast of the fighting and to employ the necessary weapons without delay.
Elements of the Marine division, inspired by the enemy's apparent disorganization, pushed through 6,000 yards of dense vegetation to the corps' objective (O-5) by 1530. The only halt during the day had been at the O-4 line, and that to enable all units to coordinate and make contact. So well had the attack progressed throughout the day that General Turnage sent instructions at 1515 to prepare to advance the center and left of the line another 1,000-1,500 yards. However, 45 minutes later Turnage rescinded the order, and the division prepared defensive positions for the night along the O-5 line.122
The 1st Brigade had started its advance along the coast at 0730 on 7 August by passing the 4th Marines through the 1st and 2d Battalions of the 3d Marines. When the maneuver was complete, 1/3 passed to corps reserve and the 4th Marines surged ahead toward the O-4 line. Progress had been so rapid by 0910 that General Shepherd ordered his reserve regiment, the 22d Marines, to move forward to a new assembly area in the vicinity of Ague. He also directed the assault unit to continue the attack to a new objective approximately 1,000 yards beyond the O-4.
An hour later, with the first objective secured, Lieutenant Colonel Shapley's 4th Marines made preparations to push forward as rapidly as possible. Shortly after noon Shepherd issued another operation order which directed the seizure of O-5. This plan called for the 22d Marines to pass through the left battalion of the 4th Regiment and continue the attack in conjunction with Shapley's unit.123 By 1600 the 4th Marines had reached its objective and the 22d was in position to carry out the passage of lines, but General Shepherd decided not to execute the maneuver until 0730 the following morning.124
During the day the corps lines had moved ahead as much as 6,000 yards in some zones and the Yigo area had been reduced without too much delay. The 77th Division was ready to attack Mt. Santa Rosa. while the 1st Provisional Brigade and the 3d Division were in position to drive to the end of the island. The day had also seen the first Marine planes (VMF-225 ) based on Orote airfield flying combat missions over Guam.125 In the south, patrols of 1/22 continued to cover their zones while troops not so engaged started regular camp routine under their new battalion commander, Major Crawford B. Lawton.126
During the night of 7-8 August, the Japanese tried another of the tank-infantry raids that had proved so successful against the 305th Infantry only two nights before. This time they chose to hit the 306th. Before midnight two infantry infiltration attempts had been repulsed, and all front line troops alerted for further
action. At 0300 outposts heard tanks approaching from the north. The lead tank, followed closely by a second, opened fire as it drew near, but as the Japanese infantry tried to move in small-arms and machine-gun fire forced them to withdraw. Rifle grenades destroyed one tank and heavy machine guns halted the second, but a third appeared and pulled the disabled tank away. In the morning 18 dead Japanese, including three officers, lay in front of the 3d Battalion, 306th, which had suffered six killed and 13 wounded during the night's activities.127
All units were organized to renew the attack on Mt. Santa Rosa by 0730. The 305th and the 307th were to close in on the objective while the 306th captured Lulog to the north. This would put pressure on the defenders from the south and west and at the same time cut off the escape route to the north.
In its drive toward Lulog, 3/306 led the regiment and met only slight opposition from scattered enemy troops, many still too dazed from the artillery and air bombardment to fight. The battalion continued to press rapidly forward, and as it neared its objective new orders directed a change in the regiment's mission. The 3d Battalion would take the previously assigned objective and continue on to the east coast; the 2d would go to Pati Point in the extreme northeast corner of the division's zone; the 1st was to proceed on the trail leading to Salisbury and set up a blocking position in the vicinity of the junction of that trail and the one going to Chaguian.128 (See Map 31, Map Section)
By 1040, 3/306 had taken its objective and the 307th had captured Mt. Santa Rosa, having killed 35 Japanese on the approaches to the mountain. Soldiers did not encounter any opposition on the bare slopes of the hill mass itself, and by 1400 a line had been consolidated across the summit. Patrols were sent to the sea with instructions to investigate all caves and other possible hiding places.
Meanwhile, in attempting to execute its part of the new plan, 2/306 converged on the 9th Marines near the Salisbury Road. During the movement, Marine artillery shells fired in support of the 9th fell on the Army column causing several casualties.129 This incident grew out of a misunderstanding of the division boundary along the Salisbury Road.130
The corps order of 5 August established the boundary from the trail junction near Mataguac to the junction of the roads leading to Salisbury and Chaguian and thence along the Salisbury Road. Responsibility for this road was given to the 77th Division, but both the Army and Marine divisions had equal priority on movement over the road. The 77th Division overlay of 5 August being used by lower units of the Army, however, gave the boundary as running from the trail junction near Mataguac along the trail to the road leading to Chaguian and then cross country to the Salisbury Road at that village.131 (See Map 30) When units discovered the difference, the respective regimental commanders soon took the necessary measures to prevent further confusion.132
When a POW report indicated the presence of 3,000 Japanese in the area, General Bruce issued another change of orders to the 306th. One company of the 1st Battalion received instructions to follow behind the 9th Marines to maintain contact while the rest of the battalion moved to Lulog to join the 3d Battalion. The 2d would be held in reserve about 1,200 yards northeast of Yigo, with the possibility of being committed on the left flank of the 307th.
Shortly thereafter Colonel Smith decided to commit the 2d Battalion as a precaution against the possibility of the 3,000 enemy being an actuality. He ordered the unit to move to the north of Mt. Santa Rosa and tie in with the 3d. Later in the afternoon the 1st marched cross country and made contact with the rest of the regiment near Lulog.
That night (8 August), as units began to take up defensive positions, the difficulties of coordination in jungle terrain were once again demonstrated.
Men of the 306th and 307th mistook each other for the enemy, and a heavy fire fight ensued. Mortars and tanks added to the confusion, and before the fracas could be halted at least ten men had been wounded.133
With the end of the battle for Mt. Santa Rosa, all effective resistance ceased in the zone of action of the 77th Division. In the two-day engagement Army infantry and tank units sufferred 30 KIA, 104 WIA, and 11 MIA,134 but these casualties proved to be somewhat lighter than had been anticipated because of the lack of determined resistance on the objective. The terrific shelling from artillery and naval gunfire, along with air strikes accounted for this light opposition in reducing what had been the enemy's last strong defensive position on the island. Japanese sources indicate their strength in the vicinity of Mt. Santa Rosa at the start of action at 1,500 Army troops, 1,000 Navy, and 2,500 laborers. Seven medium caliber guns and ten medium and three light tanks supported the rifles, machine guns, and other automatic weapons in the position.135 Only 528 enemy bodies were counted during the two-day period of the action. Elements of the 77th Division either captured or destroyed all guns, but put only five of the 13 tanks out of action.136 It was now evident that the maneuver had failed to seal the Japanese in the Mt. Santa Rosa area, and other steps would have to be taken to ferret them from their hiding places.
Small groups of the enemy, trying to escape through the jungle, drifted into the zone of action of the 9th Marines, and slowed that unit's advance on 8 August. Opposition had been encountered immediately after the regiment started its drive at 0730 to capture the remainder of the island in its sector. After reducing these scattered pockets of resistance, which took most of the day, elements reached the intermediate objective at 1615. Here units dug in for the night with the most forward battalion (3/9) set up in a perimeter defense 1,000 yards northwest of the 2d Battalion, located around Salisbury. The 1st, in reserve, during the day, continued patrolling around the road junction near Mataguac and contributed 25 enemy killed to the 128 total reported by the regiment.137
Although Colonel Craig did not know it at the time, his CP was set up approximately 300 yards from General Obata's headquarters. Patrols from the 9th Marines had noticed a small jungle-covered hill within the zone of action of the 77th Division and when scouts tried to investigate the area they immediately drew fire. Craig notified Army units charged with the responsibility of the sector and withdrew his patrols so the 77th's battalion could operate against the strong point.138
The 3d Marines, on the division's left flank, fought thick, tangled jungle instead of the Japanese as Colonel Stuart's regiment pushed northeast toward the sea. The 2d Battalion had passed through the 3d Battalion at 0730 and proceeded on an unimproved road that was the axis of advance. At about noon the trail ended abruptly, and a search started for a road extending from Salisbury northwest across the regimental front and over the cliff to the sea, which the map indicated lay only a short distance to the front. Actually it was found 1,300 yards away and with no approaches from the direction of advance.139
The battalion did not get on the road until 1700, and since it had to cut its way through the dense jungle, arrived without its supporting weapons. These followed behind tanks and bulldozers, which had to cut a usable road. Meanwhile, in an effort to contact the 9th Marines, 2/3 extended to the right along the trail. While carrying out this mission, the Marines encountered a Japanese roadblock held by 19 enemy soldiers. All were killed in the action that followed but the fight delayed 2/3 so that a juncture could not be made with the 9th before
DENSE JUNGLE crowds in on men of the 3d Marines moving up the Salisbury-Tarague Trail, scene of the last tank action on Guam.
darkness. Colonel Stuart then ordered the battalion to set up a perimeter defense two miles north of Salisbury along the road to Tarague.
The rest of the 3d Marines, less 1/3 in corps reserve, had followed behind the 2d Battalion meeting little or no resistance during the day. When these elements reached a point 1,500 yards beyond RJ 462, they started to prepare night defense positions. Patrols examined the low ground below the cliffs overlooking the sea, but made no contact with the enemy.140
The 21st Marines, placed in division reserve prior to the start of the attack in the morning, had spent the day (8 August) patrolling. This regiment had been assigned the mission of searching the area between the 3d and 9th Marines, at the same time being prepared to support the division if so ordered. It had regained control of its 2d Battalion at 0730, but at 1800 it lost the 1st to the 3d Marines.141 Patrols returned late in the afternoon and reported few enemy contacts, but one such unit from 3/21 had discovered a Japanese truck containing the bodies of 30 native men who had been beheaded. According to the official account of the incident, the Guamanians, found near Chaguian, had not been dead more than 24 hours. The next morning another patrol found an additional 21 bodies in the jungle near the same village.142
General Shepherd's brigade had started its advance along the west coast at 0730 to seize the O-5 line. The 22d Marines had moved into the
RITIDIAN POINT served as the patrol base of one of the many small units spread out through Northern Guam when the mopping up of Japanese survivors began.
line on the left of the 4th, and the two regiments began the coordinated attack designed to carry them to the end of the island. The infantry encountered only moderate resistance, but when an air strike hit Mt. Machanao and Ritidian Point pilots reported receiving enemy antiaircraft and small-arms fire.143 Corps artillery and naval gunfire soon neutralized this Japanese activity. Nevertheless, corps requested that surface craft make a search of the beach area during daylight hours to observe any Japanese movements. As an added precaution, General Shepherd directed the 2d Battalion, 22d Marines to send a patrol to Ritidian Light.
After leaving a roadblock at RJ 530, 2/22 advanced in column of companies toward the northern coast of Guam. Air strikes hit each road junction to the front, and by 1500 that unit had reached Ritidian Point. A patrol of Company F that had been sent down a trail leading to the beach encountered the only enemy resistance. The Marines, easily overcame the opposition, an ambush, and accomplished the mission without further incident.144 This gave General Shepherd's units the distinction of being the first to reach both the northernmost (Ritidian Point) and southernmost (Liguan Point) parts of Guam.145
The 4th Marines had secured O-5 in its zone and had contact with the 22d along that line at RJ 470 by 1600. The regiment had also sent units along the road toward Tarague to tie in with the 3d Battalion, 3d Marines. After locating 3/3, the 2d Battalion, 4th set up for the night about 700-800 yards east of RJ 462. To the north 800-1,000 yards along the trail, 3/4 prepared a perimeter defense, paying particular attention to the northeast sector. (See Map 31, Map Section)
The 22d Marines had also taken its objective easily, and after the 2d Battalion had returned
from Ritidian Point it established a roadblock at RJ 580. The remainder of the unit organized positions that could counter any threat from Mt. Machanao. The 3d Battalion set up two roadblocks, one at RJ 530 and another at RJ 470, with its main elements on O-5 between the two junctions.
Fighting on the corps front during the day had not been spectacular, but the enemy had been driven into the extreme northeastern part of the island. In addition, the thrust in the center of the line by the 3d and 4th Marines had divided the enemy remnant into two groups. It was now evident, even to the Japanese, that their remaining strength had little fighting power, and Radio Tokyo began preparing the population of the homeland for the inevitable announcement of the fall of Guam. On the evening of 8 August an enemy announcer stated that the Americans now held nine-tenths of the island and that the enemy was patrolling the area still held by the Japanese.146
About the time Tokyo released this news, corps issued its operation order directing all units to continue the pursuit with utmost vigor. General Geiger set the time for the attack to capture the remainder of Guam for 0730 the following morning (9 August).147
During the night, only one corps unit reported organized enemy activity. At about 0130, the 2d Battalion, 3d Marines, still without its antitank guns and other supporting weapons, notified division headquarters that it was under attack. (See Map 32) Five Japanese medium tanks followed by an undetermined force of infantry ran headlong into the Marines' perimeter. By 0330 the men of 2/3 had destroyed or dispersed the enemy foot soldiers but the armor still remained a threat. The battalion commander ordered a withdrawal into the jungle and 15 minutes later all companies had pulled out without the tanks firing a shot. Whether the tankmen ran out of ammunition and fuel is purely speculative, but in any case 2/3 after completing its reorganization found to everyone's amazement that the battalion had not suffered a single casualty during the night's activity.148
When daylight came, regiment directed all efforts toward getting tanks and antitank guns through the jungle to close with the Japanese. By noon, bulldozers, closely followed by tanks, had broken through to the trail to Salisbury. Hoping to trap the enemy armor before it escaped to the north, a task force composed of 3/3 and supporting elements turned down the trail toward Salisbury, after leaving a blocking force at the new trail junction.
Meanwhile, 2/3 was extricating itself from a dangerous situation. Scouts had located the Japanese tanks near the battalion's night perimeter, but Major Culpepper still had no weapons suitable to cope with the enemy tanks. Under cover of a rear guard Culpepper ordered his men to withdraw. They cut their way through the jungle undetected and eventually reached the area occupied the night before by 3/3 near RJ 462. Men of the rear guard were the last Marines to see the enemy tanks on 9 August. Before the 3d Battalion task force could block the trail, the Japanese had escaped unseen toward the coast.
At 1500 the 1st Battalion, 21st, still attached to the 3d Marines, followed 3/3 over the newly cut track to the Salisbury-Tarague trail and turned to the north. When division headquarters passed the word to dig in for the night, 1/21 had moved to within 1,500 yards of the northeast coast.149
During the day's activities, the 3d Marines had killed an estimated 55-60 Japanese stragglers and destroyed a 37mm gun, but the whereabouts of the five tanks was now unknown. Although there had been much maneuvering and a somewhat confused situation throughout the night and day, the evening of 9 August found Colonel Stuart's units in position to continue the search for the elusive enemy the following morning.
Even though there had been little opportunity for the 3d Marines to use artillery support during the day, such was not the case in the 9th's zone. The attack toward the northeastern
Schematic Sketch of
Japanese Tank Action
in 3d Marine Zone
coast started on time and made rapid progress until 0935 when Colonel Craig received orders to stop the main effort and send patrols to Savana Grande. Investigation showed that a native telling of 2,000-3,000 Japanese located in the northern cliff area had caused the sudden halt.150 Corps artillery was notified to place all fire possible in that region. With the 7th 155mm Gun Battalion being the only corps unit that could reach the suspected enemy concentration, it received orders to cover the densely forested terrain. In two and a half hours of uninterrupted firing, the 7th hurled an unprecedented 1,000 rounds into the area from the 12 guns of its battalion.151 Division artillery batteries added 2,280 75mm and 105mm shells to the same target.
No resistance met the 9th Marines when it moved in, but neither were there many Japanese bodies. As the Corps Artillery A-3 later wrote:
The intelligence information on which all the firing had been based was wrong, and we had made this great effort for nothing. However, it did provide a bang-up end to the campaign.152
By 1800, the company from 3/9 which had been assigned the mission of protecting the right flank of the regiment reached Pati Point. Farther to the north, advance elements of the 9th had passed through the heavy vegetation to the cliff overlooking the beach.
Units from both the other major components of the corps also gained the northern beaches on 9 August. Patrols from the 22d Marines descended the cliffs in the vicinity of Ritidian Point while those from the 4th reached the coastal plain just south of Mergagan Point. Only scattered opposition met these mopping-up details, and at 1800 General Shepherd announced that all organized resistance had ceased in the brigade zone.153
Infantrymen of the 77th Division continued their mission of searching out individual
LIEUTENANT GENERAL HIDEYOSHI OBATA, 31st Army Commander, who took command of the defense of Guam after General Takashina's death, was killed by men of the 306th Infantry who overran the Mataguac command post on 11 August.
Japanese, and early in the day the 306th reported it had hit the coast in its zone. With resistance lacking, General Bruce felt there was need for only one regiment north of Mt. Santa Rosa. He selected the 306th to remain in position and continue patrolling and directed the 305th (less 3d Battalion) to move to the vicinity of Barrigada. This would leave the 307th on Mt. Santa Rosa with the additional responsibility of clearing the snipers from along the supply route to Yigo.
By nightfall of 9 August the end of the Guam campaign was in sight, and all units of the corps prepared to comply with General Geiger's directive to "Push all Japanese from Guam."154 With both the 77th Division and
the Marine brigade declaring their zones cleared of organized resistance, the only potential source of enemy trouble seemed to be the five tanks last seen by the 3d Division.
In an attempt to keep the tanks from operating during the night, the 12th Marines fired 1,239 rounds on possible bivouac areas and along trails leading into the division's defenses.155 On 10 August the 2d Battalion, 3d Marines passed through 1/21 at 0730 in a renewal of the previous day's efforts and made the desired contact only 400 yards up the trail. Two tanks opened fire, but the platoon of Marine armor following directly behind the infantry point quickly disposed of the opposition. The advance continued, and by 1030 seven more medium tanks, which had been abandoned, were within friendly lines.156 The destruction and capture of these, the last reported on Guam, brought the total number of Japanese tanks claimed to have been put out of action by IIIAC units to 59.157
Recapture of Guam
Daily Progress Lines
At about the same time as this last important action in the north, the USS Indianapolis steamed into Apra Harbor with Admiral Spruance and General Holland Smith on board. Although the expected arrival of Admiral Nimitz and General Vandegrift prompted the visit, it coincided with another event of 10 August 1944 of even greater importance. As if the occasion had been planned for all the dignitaries, General Geiger announced at 1131 that organized resistance on Guam had ended.158 (See Map 33, Map Section)
This information was welcome news to the Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas and the Commandant of the Marine Corps, who landed at Orote Airfield at 1635. After a night on the USS Indianapolis, they spent the next day inspecting front line units and installations on Guam. Also, before leaving, commanders held top-level conferences concerning the future role the island would play in the advance to Tokyo.
Even though officially the island had been secured, corps issued an operation order at 1423 on 10 August outlining the future activities of the units. General Geiger directed the 77th and 3d Divisions to establish a line across the island from Fadian Point to a point northwest of Tumon Bay. Emphasis was then to be placed on mopping up the estimated 7,500 Japanese still remaining on the island and to prevent them from moving south of the straggler line.159
With the message sent at 1324 on 10 August to Fifth Fleet confirming the announcement of the fall of Guam went a casualty summarization for the 20-days' fighting. Totals for all corps units showed 1,214 KIA, 5,704 WIA, and 329 MIA. For the same period, 10,971 Japanese dead had been counted.160
The Japanese considered they still maintained an organization until 11 August when the Mt. Mataguac command post fell to units of the 306th Infantry. (See Map 30, Map Section) On 8 August, after the 9th Marines substantiated civilian reports of the enemy underground headquarters, a unit from the 77th Reconnaisance Troop moved in to check the area. The patrol encountered numerous ambushes and concluded the job required a stronger force. Two days later, 10 August, 1/306 reconnoitered the sector and found a brush-covered hollow about 100 yards long and 40 feet deep. As a patrol tried to get into position to
MAJOR GENERAL GEIGER'S HEADQUARTERS was the scene of a top level conference on 11 August attended by leaders of the Pacific War. Left to right: General Geiger, Admiral Spruance, General Smith, Admiral Nimitz, General Vandergrift.
cover a flame thrower attempting to fire into the caves that lined the depression, enemy soldiers opened up with rifles and machine guns. The battalion lost eight men killed and 17 wounded in the fight that followed before 1/306 withdrew for the night.
In the morning the same unit launched a carefully prepared attack behind tanks and a mortar barrage. The Japanese were momentarily stunned, but as Army troops started to investigate the various entrances into the caves the defenders once more began firing. Soldiers tossed pole charges and white phosphorus hand grenades into the openings and later in the day 400-pound blocks of TNT, placed in the entrances, closed the underground cavern. Four days later, when demolition men reopened the caves, over 60 bodies filled the inside of the elaborately constructed command post.161
The fighting around this installation took the life of the top enemy commander, Lieutenant General Obata. After this engagement the enemy considered his defensive power on the island broken.162 But, even with both the Americans and the Japanese declaring organized resistance at an end, intensive patrolling by the garrison forces on Guam continued through the rest of the year under the close scrutiny of Island Command.
Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (5) * Next Chapter (7)
1. Units of IIIAC reported 989 KIA, 4,836 WIA, and 302 MIA from H-Hour to 2400, 30Jul44. During the same period counted enemy dead totaled 6,205; there were 50 POW's and several thousand enemy were estimated to be sealed in caves. Also, an undetermined number still lay unburied in areas recently captured. IIIAC C-1 and C-2 Jnls; 3d Mar Div WD, July 1944, 12.
2. IIIAC C-1 Jnl.
3. 3d MarDiv D-1 Jnl.
4. WD Survey, 3-12.
5. 3d MarDiv History, 157.
6. 3d MarDiv Jnl.
7. 3d MarDiv SAR, IntelRpt, Patrol Rpts 1 and 2.
8. IIIAC C-2 Periodic Rpt 12.
9. MajGen Toyashi Shigematsu, commander of the Tumon-Agana-Asan defense sector, next in line to assume division command, was killed during the Fonte action (probably on 26 July). With all of the higher unit commanders killed, General Obata felt he should assume command. Takeda Letter.
10. Japanese Defense of Guam; Takeda.
11. F. Pratt, The Marine's War, (New York, 1948), 286.
12. IIIAC OpOrder 7-44, 30Jul44.
13. 77th InfDiv OpRpt, 4.
14. 77th InfDiv OpOrder 4, 30Jul44.
15. 3d MarDiv OpOrder 8, 30Jul44.
16. 3d MarDiv D-3 Jnl; 12th Mar OpSummaries.
17. 3d Mar Jnl.
18. 3d Mar SAR, 4.
19. 3d MarDiv D-3 Jnl.
21. 3d MarDiv D-3 Jnl; Craig 1952.
22. 3d TkBn SAR, 10.
23. 3d MarDiv D-3 Jnl.
24. 3d MarDiv SAR, IntelRpt, Patrol Rpt 3.
25. 19th Mar SAR, 2.
26. 3d MarDiv D-3 Periodic Rpt 13.
27. 3d MarDiv OpOrder 9, 31Aug44.
28. 21st Mar SAR, 7.
29. On this day (1 Aug) at 1855 Marines of the VAC (elements of 2d and 4th Marine Divisions) secured the island of Tinian after a bitter nine-day battle. For a complete story of the Tinian operation see Maj C. W. Hoffman, The Seizure of Tinian, MC Historical Monograph, (Washington, 1951), hereinafter cited as Tinian.
30. 3d MarDiv D-3 Jnl.
32. 3d MarDiv SAR, IntelRpt, Patrol Rpt 4.
33. At 0800 on 2 August the NGF support was reorganized to cover the advance up both coasts. TU 53.5.2 (RAdm W. L. Ainsworth) with the battleship Colorado, cruisers Honolulu and New Orleans, and five destroyers took position off the east coast to support the 77th InfDiv. TU 53.5.3 (RAdm C. T. Joy) with the battleship Pennsylvania, cruisers Wichita, Cleveland, and Minneapolis, five destroyers, and four LCI(G)'s supported the 3d MarDiv on the west coast. CTF 53 OpRpt, OpLog, 61A.
34. 9th Mar R-2 Jnl.
35. 3d MarDiv D-3 Jnl.
37. IIIAC SAR, OpRpt, 6.
38. 3d MarDiv WD, July 1944, 13; August 1944, 2-3.
39. 3d MT Bn SAR, 1-7.
40. IIIAC C-3 Jnl.
41. 77th InfDiv OpRpt, 4.
42. Guam, 77th Div, 65.
43. 307th Inf S-2, S-3 Jnl.
44. Guam, 77th Div, 68-69.
45. IIIAC C-2 Periodic Rpt 11.
46. 77th InfDiv G-3 Jnl.
47. MajGen A. D. Bruce, "Administration, Supply, and Evacuation of the 77th Infantry Division on Guam," Military Review, December 1944, 8.
48. Ibid., 4.
49. Col. Stephen S. Hamilton, the former CO, was evacuated because of illness at 1600 on 1 August. 307th Inf OpRpt, 2-3.
50. 77th InfDiv OpRpt, 4.
51. 77th InfDiv G-3 Jnl.
52. 706th TkBn OpRpt, 5.
54. 307th Inf OpRpt, 3.
55. Guam, 77th Div, 85-86.
56. The battalion commander, LtCol Coolidge, had gone with Co C along the division boundary and was now out of contact with the remainder of his battalion. Later in the day Col Coolidge was wounded and evacuated. Maj Cooney took over full command at about 1600. 307th Inf OpRpt, 3.
57. Guam, 77th Div, 88.
58. Ltr LtCol C. F. Learner to author, 26Nov52.
59. 77th InfDiv G-1 Jnl.
60. 77th InfDiv G-3 Jnl.
61. 77th Inf Div OpRpt, 5.
62. 77th InfDivArty Action Rpt, 9.
63. 305th Inf Action Rpt, 3.
64. JICPOA Item 9174-Guam; Military Terrain and Beach Conditions. Translation of Japanese map dated February 1944.
65. 77th Inf Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 11. It should be pointed out that some officers feel it is not necessary to maintain a solid line across the entire front in this type of terrain against scattered opposition. The advocates of this method of jungle fighting advance in columns, make contact only on certain favorable terrain features, and establish perimeter defenses to provide all-around security. Still another group of officers push through the jungle on existing roads and trails but maintain contact by the use of connecting files and patrols throughout the advance. Strong points, roadblocks, and patrols keep visual contact between perimeter defenses at night. No attempt is made in this monograph to evaluate the different methods of jungle warfare but only to present the facts as they existed during the campaign.
66. 318th FtrGru, VII FtrComd, Seventh AF, Organization History, August 1944; 48th BomGru(M), VII BomComd, Seventh AF, Organization History, August 1944.
67. Guam, 77th Div, 104-105; Glass.
68. Assumed command on 3 August replacing LtCol Learner who was wounded and evacuated. Guam, 77th Div, 102.
69. Assumed command on 3 August replacing LtCol Lovell who was hospitalized because of illness. Lovell resumed command of 3/307 on 6 August. Ltr LtCol J. W. Lovell to author, 15Dec52.
70. 77th InfDiv G-3 Jnl.
71. 305th Inf Action Rpt, 3.
72. 77th InfDiv G-1 Jnl.
73. 12th Mar OpSummaries.
74. Interview with Col. C. A. Randall, 27Mar52.
75. 9th Mar R-2 Jnl.
76. 1/9 SAR, 1.
77. 3d TkBn SAR, 11.
79. 3d MarDiv D-3 Jnl.
80. The damaged truck was subsequently recovered and the only damage evident was a large hole in the left front door. Ltr LtCol T. R. Stokes to CMC, 25Nov52.
81. 3d MarDiv D-3 Jnl; 3d TkBn SAR, 11.
82. MarDiv D-3 Jnl.
83. A sponson is the hollow enlargement on the side of the hull of a tank, used for storing ammunition, or as a space for radio equipment or guns.
84. 3d MarDiv D-3 Jnl.
85. 1st ProvMarBrig WD, 1Jul-10Aug44, 16.
86. 1st ProvMarBrig OpOrder 30, 31Jul44.
87. 1st ProvMarBrig Jnl.
88. 1st ProvMarBrig WD, 1Jul-10Aug44, 16.
89. 1st ProvMarBrig OpOrder 33, 2Aug44.
90. 1st ProvMarBrig WD, 1Jul-10Aug44, 18.
91. 1st ProvMarBrig Jnl.
92. 3d MarDiv OpOrder 11, 3Aug44.
93. 2/9 SAR, 6.
94. 3d MarDiv D-3 Jnl; Tinsley.
95. 1/9 SAR, 2.
96. 1st ProvMarBrig WD, 1 July-10Aug44, 18.
97. 1/9 SAR, 2. This is no doubt the tank that had been reported knocked out by the armored reconnaissance patrol on the evening of 3 August.
98. Ibid.; 2/9 SAR, 7.
99. 3d MarDiv D-4 Jnl.
100. 1st ProvMarBrig WD, 1Jul-10Aug44, 19.
101. Japanese Defense of Guam.
102. 3d MarDiv D-2 Periodic Rpt 83.
103. 2/9 SAR, 7.
104. 3d MarDiv OpOrder 16, 6Aug44.
105. 3d MarDiv D-3 Jnl.
106. 3d MarDiv D-2 Periodic Rpts 80-84.
107. 3d MarDiv WD, August 1944, 3-4.
108. Japanese Defense of Guam.
109. 1st ProvMarBrig WD, 1Jul-10Aug44, 19.
110. 306th Inf Unit Rpts.
112. Guam, 77th Div, 111-113. Official G-1 casualty reports for 6Aug44 do not completely confirm the listed KIA of the Army's monograph account. Only 19 KIA are listed by G-1 for the 305th Inf during the 24-hour period 0001-2400, 6Aug44. 77th InfDiv G-1 Jnl.
113. IIIAC OpPlan 8-44, 5Aug44.
114. 77th InfDiv OpOverlay, 5Aug44.
115. 77th InfDiv OpRpt, 5-6. Colonel McNair's father, LtGen Leslie J. McNair, former Commanding General, Army Ground Forces, had been killed only 12 days earlier by an American bomb while watching a battalion in the attack during the St.-Lo breakout in France.
117. In the true definition of the term, this was not a line of departure, but more of a control point for the column of the 307th.
118. 77th InfDiv G-3 Jnl.
119. 307th Inf S-2, S-3 Jnl.
120. Guam, 77th Div, 124-125.
121. 3d MarDiv D-3 Jnl.
123. 1st ProvMarBrig OpOrder 38, 7Aug44.
124. 1st ProvMarBrig WD, 1Jul-10Aug44, 19.
125. MAG-21 WD, August 1944, 4.
126. LtCol Walfried H. Fromhold was evacuated on 6Aug44 with filariasis.
127. 306th Inf OpRpt, 4.
128. 77th InfDiv G-3 Jnl.
129. Ltr Col J. A. Remus to CMC, 4Dec52; 77th InfDiv G-3 Jnl.
130. 9th Mar R-2 Jnl.
131. IIIAC OpOrder 8-44, 5Aug44; 77th InfDiv OpOverlay, 5Aug44.
132. Ltr BrigGen W. A. Wachtler to author, 24Apr52; Craig 1952.
133. 77th InfDiv G-3 Jnl.
134. 77th InfDiv G-1 Casualty Rpts for 7-8Aug44.
135. Japanese Defense of Guam.
136. IIIAC C-2 Periodic Rpts 17-19.
137. 3d MarDiv D-2 Periodic Rpt 86.
138. Craig 1952.
139. 3d Mar SAR, 4. The map, with corrections up to April 1944, shows this road as a trail and, if little used, the fast-growing vegetation indigenous to this part of the island would completely cover it in a few months.
140. Ibid., 5.
141. 21st Mar SAR, 9.
142. 3/21 Bn-2 Jnl. Investigators from corps and division were able to identify the bodies and concluded that the men were among those who had been brought from the Yona concentration camp to work on the Yigo defense area. IIIAC C-2 Jnl.
143. 1st ProvMarBrig Jnl.
144. 2/22 Jnl.
145. The 6th MarDiv under Gen Shepherd accomplished the same feat on Okinawa by securing both ends of that island.
146. IIIAC C-2 Periodic Rpt 19.
147. IIIAC OpOrder 10-44, 8Aug44.
148. 2/3 Jnl.
149. 3d Mar SAR, 5.
150. 9th Mar R-2 Jnl.
151. Each gun crew in this mission would be required to handle approximately four tons of shells and a ton of propelling charges.
153. 1st ProvMarBrig Jnl.
154. 77th InfDiv G-3 Jnl.
155. 3dMarDiv D-3 Periodic Rpt 22.
156. 2/3 Jnl. Capt Hideo Sato, IJA, Commanding Officer, 24th TkCo, 29th InfDiv, reported these tanks as being "scuttled" rather than abandoned because of lack of fuel or mechanical failure. 3d MarDiv POW Interrogation Rpt 396, 7Oct44.
157. IIIAC C-2 Periodic Rpt 21. The interrogation of Capt Sato mentioned above indicates a much lower figure. CinCPac-CinCPOA Item 9956, translation of the notebook of a Japanese staff officer found on Saipan, lists 38 Japanese tanks on Guam as of 29May44. This agrees with the figure listed in CinCPac-CinCPOA Item 9304 giving the order of battle of the 9th TkRegt on 15May44. This discrepancy between Japanese and American figures is no doubt due to the duplication of units claiming tank "kills" plus the reporting of hit or damaged tanks as being destroyed
158. ComFifthFlt WD, August 1944, 11-12.
159. IIIAC SAR, OpRpt, 8.
160. CTF 53 dispatch to ComFifthFlt, dtd 10Aug44. The above figures include only those casualties suffered during the period from the initial landing to the time that the island was declared secure. For a complete, corrected tabulation of the Guam campaign casualties see Appendix III.
161. Guam, 77th Div, 131; 77th InfDiv History.