War in the Pacific
Historic Resource Study
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D. Agat Unit and Mt. Alifan Unit

I. Agat Unit (continued)

Gaan Point

Gaan Point is the most impressive or the Japanese fortifications remaining on the southern landing beaches. The role this stronghold played in the landings and its subsequent capture by U.S. Marines is well documented--which cannot be said of many other individual works. This rocky outcrop escaped destruction during pre-invasion bombardments. When the 22nd U.S. Marines approached the shore, the two casemated 75mm guns, a 37mm gun, and machine guns emplaced here created havoc on the marines and their landing craft. Not until later in the day did U.S. tanks knock out the stronghold. The area today is exceptionally well maintained. The casemated gun positions and concrete observation posts are extant, if battle scarred. Tunnels remain around the base of the position. Two Japanese weapons are displayed nearby: a single-barrel, dual-purpose 25mm machine cannon, and a 2Ocm, short-barrel naval gun. Three flagstaffs fly the flags of the United States, Guam, and Japan. Gaan Point is the key site for interpreting Japanese coastal defense and the landings of the Southern Landing Force.

Chamorro tent city, Agat, August 1944?

Nos. 23 and 24. No. 23 is the knoll and is described as the "Gaan Point Strongpoint" and No. 24 is called Japanese pillbox. No. 23 consists of casemates for a 75mm gun and a 37mm gun. Several caves, partially collapsed, are around the land side of the base of the knoll. The interior of the 75mm casemate has internal damage indicating it was fired upon from the rear, as the documentary evidence supports. Considerable damage also occurred to the wall that contained the embrasure. Ruins of a third probable emplacement (pillbox) are found on the ocean side of the knoll.

No. 23. Japanese strongpoint, Gaan Point, Agat 1984.

No. 23. 75mm emplacement, Gaan Point, Agat 1984.

No. 23. 37mm gun position, Gaan Point, Agat 1984.

No. 23. Japanese cave, Gaan Point Strongpoint, 1984.

No. 23. Japanese strongpoint, Gaan Point, Agat.

No. 23. Japanese strongpoint, Gaan Point, Agat, 75mm gun, October 1944.

No. 23. Japanese strongpoint, Gaan Point, Agat, 75mm gun, October 1944.

No. 24. Japanese pillbox, Gaan Point, Agat 1984.

No. 24. Japanese pillbox, Gaan Point, Agat.

Japanese 25mm dual-purpose gun, Gaan Point, 1984.

Pillbox No. 21 stands immediately to the north of No. 23. The large embrasure for the 75mm gun shows considerable battle damage, as does the embrasure on the concrete observation post on top. Photographs taken in 1944 show that these fortifications were more extensive than they are now.

No. 7, Latrine foundation. In shallow water off Gaan Point, it is owned by the Government of Guam. This humble, concrete structure measures 6 feet by 12.5 feet. Its historical significance far outweighs its original functions. Even while the battle for Guam continued to be fought, U.S. Forces began the rescue of Guamanians. Many of the island people were brought here to Agat where a large tent city was established. For sanitation purposes, the military constructed a line of concrete latrines in the water, each connected to the camp by a walkway. This latrine foundation is an important reminder of the days following the American invasion and the liberation of the people of Guam. (An aerial photo of the tent city shows six of these latrines along the shore.)

No. 7 Latrine foundation, Gaan Point, 1984.

No. 9. Japanese pillbox. This reinforced-concrete pillbox is on the beach 1,000 feet southwest of Gaan Point. It has two embrasures with fields of fire to both the north and south along the beach. The embrasures are of a baffle design which is rarely found on Guam. Access is impossible because the rear entrance has fallen in. Nearby private property results in trash in the area. Vegetation has grown around the pillbox to the extent it is difficult to spot and to photograph. Archeological excavation is recommended inasmuch as the pillbox is the only surviving Japanese fortification between Gaan and Bangi points.

No. 9. Japanese pillbox, Agat Beach, 1984.

No. 9. Japanese pillbox, Agat Beach.

No. 9. Japanese pillbox, Agat Beach.

No. 9. Japanese pillbox, Agat Beach, October 1944.

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Last Updated: 07-Mar-2005