War in the Pacific
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D. Agat Unit and Mt. Alifan Unit

The Japanese defenders of the Agat area consisted principally of the 39th infantry Regiment. On W-Day, the First Provisional Marine Brigade landed on Agat Beach: one battalion of the 22d Marines landed on beach Yellow 1 just south of Agat village, and another battalion of the 22d landed on Beach Yellow 2 to the right (south). The 4th U.S. Marines landed on Beaches White 1 and 2 on the right flank, just short of Bangi Point. The 22d U.S. Marines entered ruined Agat village in the afternoon. That regiment's tank company landed on the 4th U.S. Marines' beaches then rolled northward along the shore to join the 22d. En route these tanks encountered Japanese defenses at Gaan Point which had survived the pre-invasion bombardment. These reinforced-concrete pillboxes had delivered heavy fire against the 22nd U.S. Marines landing on Beach Yellow 2. The tanks quickly knocked out the two 75mm guns and smaller weapons on this rocky knoll between Beaches Yellow 2 and White 1. By nightfall the 22nd Marines had fought inland to reach the lower portion of Harmon Road that led from Agat to Maanot Pass.

On the south, the 4th U.S. Marines advanced inland against moderate resistance. Little Japanese fire came from Bangi Paint on the regiment's right flank. Elements of the 4th turned south and easily captured Bangi Point but ran into heavy enemy machine gun fire from Hill 40, a small mound inland from Bangi Point. The hill was taken in a sharp firefight, as were the fortifications on Bangi Island and undefended Alutom Island, both off Bangi Point. By night, the 4th U.S. Marines had reached the foot of Mt Alifan, the dominant peak in the Agat area and where the Japanese command post was located.

Brig. Gen. Lemeul C, Shepherd, Jr, in command of the southern forces, opened his command post in the afternoon 200 yards southeast of Gaan Point, about where the Agat Cemetery is now. Also on shore in the afternoon were the first elements of the U.S. Army's 77th infantry Division.

Agat landing beaches, July 31, 1944.

During the night of July 21-22, the Japanese mounted the standard counterattacks on the beachhead. One of these attacks hit Company K, 4th Marines on Hill 40. Twice, the Japanese drove the Marines off the mount; and twice, the Marines recovered their ground. Other Japanese infiltrated all the way to the beaches and Japanese tanks attempted to move down Harmon Road. The attacks failed in the end and the Japanese 38th Regiment was practically finished as a fighting unit.

On July 22, 4th U.S. Marines received the task of assaulting the steep, grassy slopes of Mt. Alifan, while the Army's 305th Infantry Regiment was assigned the lower foothills of Mt. Alifan to the north. Overcoming log bunkers and caves on the lower slopes, marines climbed the mountain, one patrol reaching the peak. The 77th Infantry Division troops replaced the 4th Marines on Mount Alifan on July 24. On the left flank, the 22nd Marines advanced north along the Agat-Sumay Road heading for Orote Peninsula, wiping up the enemy on Apaca and Rizal points.

Following the massive Japanese counterattack against the 3d Marine Division on the night of July 25-26 and the securing of the Fonte area by marines, the American forces easily achieved the Final Beachhead Line by July 28. As a part of this activity, elements of the 77th Infantry Division seized all of Mt. Tenjo and beyond to join up with the Third Marine Division which had taken the heights of Mt. Chachao.

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Last Updated: 07-Mar-2005