On a continuing road trip, and had some time to spare between meetings yesterday, so I stopped by the National Park Service museum at the front gate of the Navy base at Guam… link HERE.
Thankfully, this one failed it’s task and ended up on the beach too…
I didn’t have time to drive to the various sites, but the interactive museum is excellent!
And the Guamanian’s are dead set on NOT forgetting the history…
The kids had viewed a 10 minute video and each had a set of questions they had to search the museum displays to find the answers for. They were fourth graders, and they do this every year up through sixth grade according to the teacher.
The Chamorro people were supportive of the Americans, and had always been; but were caught in the middle. The Insular Guard started with a little over 100 men who were trained as defenders…
And defend they did, setting up a defensive position during the Japanese invasion with three Lewis machine guns and six .45s (and a few 03A3 Springfields) to attempt to slow the invasion. Link HERE.
The museum has a fascinating led/laser interactive map that shows an 8 minute multi-media presentation of the battle for Guam, and shows the attacks/battle lines as moving laser colors on a large map of Guam. Considering the terrain here, it’s a miracle anyone could see much less fire accurately in the jungle. Even today, outside the main areas, the jungle is right down to the road and pretty much impenetrable…
And the Chamorros DON’T forget… In chatting with the lady running the gift shop, she says many of the ‘elderly’ locals absolutely will have nothing to do with any Japanese even today.
And one of the last holdouts of WWII was on Guam in the person of SGT Shoichi Yokoi, he was captured in 1972 and returned to Japan, but later came back and spent time on Guam. Link HERE.
It’s one thing to read the books; it’s another to actually see the land, look at the artifacts, and see the reality of what happened there.
And it’s a truly humbling experience…
The web belt on that dungaree uniform ain’t squared away, did you notice?
You mean because it is not brass?
I suspect that having your homeland invaded makes the memory more long lasting. We seem to forget things here so easily. We hardly teach history here any more, something that will bite us eventually I suspect.
Safe travels Jim!
It’s not just the Chamorros. My father-in-law was a Marine in the Pacific (Tarawa). He never bought anything Japanese in his life. When they were building the ’84 World’s Fair in NOLa, he was assigned to work on the Japanese Pavilion. He got his company to swap him so he could work on the Vatican Pavilion.
Several years ago, I was taking a tour of the Battle Box in Singapore. The tour was given by an ethnic Chinese man who was a child during the Japanese occupation. He told us that he tolerated the Japanese tourists but went out of his way to describe the atrocities committed by their ancestors. He was not going to let history be re-written for the sake of political correctness.
Fascinating stuff! Thank you for sharing that.
Robert- Actually I did, and mentioned it to the lady…
Bill- Good point!
PE- My cousin (WWII UDT vet) was the same way…
Glad somebody actually values the lessons of history. I think Bill is right – and it’s already biting us in the arse.
I find it fascinating when working with a lot of the description/to reach information for survey marks on Pacific islands like Guam. They often are referenced to the remains of WWII military debris that were just left to rust away – crashed planes, gun emplacements, etc.
PH- Excellent point! And they used what they ‘had’… Gotta remember that!
You need to go to the Nimitz Pacific War Museum in Fredericksburg, TX if you’re ever in the Austin or San Antonio areas. While not right on the sites of history, it’s Nimitz’ birthplace and the museum is amazing. They even do a reenactment with massive amounts of blanks that are good enough to require ear protection.
Very jealous of visiting Guam, though. 🙁 Did the island tip over?
Very Good question??? I remember that idiot telling us all it would tip over if a lot of people got on the Island!! Almost happens to us on my littleIsland when all the summer tourists start arriving at the dock!!
There was and may still be a small museum on the SRF grounds that was worth seeing.
That two man sub used to be on display next to the Naval Station barracks pool.
Way back when there was a good tins story about some Seabees and a crane with the sub ending up in the pool.
“And the Guamanian’s are dead set on NOT forgetting the history…”
Contrast that with Chicago,
which won’t even let historic firearms – unloaded, and locked in glass cases – be displayed in military museums.
MINOR point. We didn’t get Flapped Pockets on the Dungaree Shirts until the late 70’s/early 80s if I recall. But close enough for Gooberment Work.
I also understand that the only reason Guam isn’t a State is because the DemaCommies don’t WANT another “Red State” until they can get a “Blue State” to “Balance it out.” And Puerto Rico is keeps dragging their feet.
I visited a museum at Changsha, China a few years ago when I had some time to kill, and my hosts were member of the Public Security Bureau. While we were there, a tour bus full of Japanese came through. The PSB guys said, “We will never forget the AVG (Flying Tigers) who were here here when all others turned their backs on China. We will also never forget–or forgive the Japanese.”
Food for thought.
Glad you got some ‘down time’ and found an interesting place to visit. Stay safe.
Haven’t been to Guam, but saw the mini-sub at Pearl. I won’t forget, and made sure my daughters know about it, too.
Not on my watch!
ummmm, when empty the freshly painted and empty minisub can be moved with a forklift. with matting over the grass and the fence poles cut with a powersaw the fence can be driven over. right up to the pool on Nimitz hill.
don’t ask me how i know this.
Mr. Smith- Ve know nozzink… 🙂 And thank you for confirming that event that never happened… ;-D
Lots of WWII history written; little or no mention of the indigenous populations. Thank you for pointing that out.
I’ve always wanted to visit some of the places in the Pacific where my Dad was stationed during WWII.
Who knows, one of those Quonset Huts he built as a SeaBee might still be standing!
Tango- That one IS on my list! And no, it didn’t LOL…
Jon- I didn’t get over to SRF, but I ‘think’ most of the stuff has been transferred.
Tim- GOOD point! sigh…
Les- Good catch, I missed that but you are correct on all counts.
LL- Yep, LONG memories in this part of the world…
WSF- Lots of them were instrumental in helping us throughout the Pacific, and it seems the small museums remember that!
drjim- It probably is, and is now probably a bar!!! 😀
Wow, that was utterly fascinating. Being that close to history. . .