The War in the Pacific
Table of Contents

A grateful Guam remembers


Guam in midst of Japan's ocean empire

The Land of the Rising Sun seizes Guam

Symbol of hope, controversy

The strength of Agueda Johnston

In Tai, the death of a hero

"Uncle Sam, won't you please come back to Guam?"

The Pastor Sablan and his flock

Chamorros caught in Wake invasion

Captain endures POW camp

The march to Manengon

A witness to tragedy

A voyage to freedom

List of liberating forces

Liberating Guam

Maps of invasion beaches

The way of the Japanese warrior

The beachhead the night of the banzai

50 years later, a liberator is remembered

"He gallantly gave his life"

The high command

Guam scouts assist liberators

All men bleed red

Old Glory sways proudly once again

Liberators meet the liberated

Combat Patrol hunts for stragglers

The Last Soldier

Adolfo C. Sgambelluri's secret life

War crimes and justice

Military buildup on Guam

Chamorros still yearn for freedom

The War in the Pacific ends

Thank You

LIBERATION — Guam Remembers
A Golden Salute for the 50th anniversary of the Liberation of Guam


Agana, Guam
August 10, 1944

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
Commander in Chief of U.S. Pacific Fleet
Pacific Ocean Areas, and
Military Governor of Guam

Dear Sir:

In behalf of the people of Guam, we take this opportunity to express to you and our common nation our heartfelt thanks for the recapture of Guam by the strong and invincible forces under your command.

The recapture of Guam was opportune. Had it been delayed longer the native inhabitants would have barely withstood the ill-treatments and atrocities received from the Japanese. What kept us up throughout the thirty-two months of Japanese oppression was our determined reliance upon our mother country's power, sense of justice, and national brotherhood.

We rejoice the recapture of Guam and are extremely grateful for the timely relief we are now getting.

In closing we request of you that should you deem it expedient that this our note of appreciation be transmitted to the Honorable President, and to the people of the United States of America.

Gratefully yours,

Gov. Ada Lt. Gov. Blas


On behalf of the people of Guam, it is our privilege to greet you on this most special occasion for the island of Guam and our people - the 50th anniversary of the Liberation of our island in World War II.

Fifty years ago, Guam and its people were liberated from an enemy's occupation of the island. From 1941 to 1945, war had come to Guam, and enemy force was occupying the island, its soldiers brutalizing and virtually enslaving our people. That horrible time ended July 21, 1944.

The courage and sacrifice of the members of the U.S. armed forces who came to these shores on July 21, 1944, have not been in vain. In the 50 years since that first Liberation, the people of Guam have stood tall with the people of the United States in fighting those around the world who hinder the way to freedom. Our people, in that July of 1944, learned a precious lesson - that freedom is worth fighting for, worth any sacrifice, worth any amount of work.

The last 50 years have seen Guam rebuild from war's devastation, the island's society mature in democracy, and its people glow in prosperity. Those blessings have come from God and our people's determination and enduring nature to overcome adversity. The Liberators of July 21, 1944 gave the people of Guam the torch of freedom, and we have earnestly taken it. Even now, the fight for Commonwealth status continues on as Guam's people stand ready to join the Pacific community and the world as a truly free people.

Before we conclude, we ask you that sometime in this observance of the 50th anniversary of the Liberation to say a prayer for those who cannot be with us - the men and women of Guam who died in the occupation and the members of the U.S. armed forces who gave their lives for the sake of freedom on these shores. The people of Guam are forever blessed by their ultimate sacrifice.

May God bless the Liberators of Guam, and may God continue to bless the people of our beautiful island.


Governor's Seal, Guam

Lieutenant Governor

PSC 489
FPO AP 96538-0051

Rear Adm. Kristensen

The fiftieth commemoration of the Liberation of Guam is a time of pride for many people. Those of us in uniform feel pride as we reflect on the heroic accomplishments of our predecessors. The people of Guam feel pride as they recall courageous stories of the Liberation and share those stories with their children and grandchildren.

This period during the month of July is a special time every year. On this occasion in particular, with the great number of veterans returning to see how time has changed the island that holds so many memories for them, it is a chance for military and civilians alike to offer a Golden Salute to these Sailors, Soldiers and Marines, and remind them of the friends they made here and the comrades they left behind.

I encourage everyone to come out and take part in this special event to help celebrate and reflect on this important time in our nation's history.

Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy

Seal of U.S. Congress
Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515-5301j

Congressman Underwood


Hafa Adai todus hamyo! Liberation Day is always a dignified time of remembrance, deliberation and celebration for the people of Guam. The courage and strength of our people during the brutal occupation, followed by the bravery and heroism of Guam's liberators are the legacies of World War II on Guahan.

It is the supreme sacrifice of our people to the principles of freedom, and of the U. S. armed forces to Guam which we are called upon to remember on this day. Our island suffered the only sustained occupation of U.S. territory during World War II. Thirty-two months of Japanese domination were ended by the simultaneous landings of the American liberators on the shores of Agat and Asan, and finally by the battles of Yigo and Finegayan. This was amongst the longest Pacific battles of the entire war, leaving thousands dead, both military and civilian.

We now gaze upon the invasion beaches, the ocean bottom and into the hearts and faces of our 'manamko' and the veterans for the stories of World War II. The cost of freedom is buried there, as it is entombed in the cliffs of Asan, Red Beach and the caves near Malesso.

Let us recall the past, as together, we forge our way into the future. And, above all, let us remember as we celebrate our liberation in 1944 and our march toward freedom.


Robert A. Underwood
Member of Congress


Lt. Gov. Blas

On behalf of the members of the Golden Salute Committee, I would like to extend my personal appreciation and thanks to those Liberators of Guam who have come to the island for this special 50th anniversary celebration of the Liberation of Guam. Our island and people are forever blessed by your demonstration on July 21, 1944, of courage and sacrifice in the name of freedom.

It was just 31 months before the arrival of Liberation forces that Guamanians too fought for the sake of freedom. The Insular Force Guard, despite facing a force of greater numbers that invaded the island, challenged and then confronted the enemy, but were ordered to stand down by their commanders. During the occupation, many members of the Insular Guard Force suffered from the enemy's brutality and even died through execution because of their association with America through the Guard. They too are Liberators as all who died and suffered in defying the enemy on these shores. We honor those who lived in Guam during those trying times, those who came to the island as part of the Liberation force, the civilian Scouts, the Guam Combat Patrol - we honor all of them for their courage and sacrifice in the spirit of Liberation and their desire to fight for freedom.

In closing, I thank the many members of the Golden Salute Committee - from the private sector, the Government of Guam, the federal government, and the military community - for your hard work and dedication to make this 50 th anniversary of the Liberation a tremendous success. To all of you, thank you and gof dankulu na si Yu'os ma'ase.

Lieutenant Governor,
Committee Co-chairman

Kenneth Jones

Perhaps the most tumultuous period in Guam's history was the decade of the 1940s when the island was seized by a foreign enemy. Its good people, the Chamorros, suffered miserably during the 31 months of brutal occupation and the eventual confrontation between American and enemy forces in the struggle to liberate the island and people of Guam.

As we commemorate the golden anniversary of the Liberation of Guam, let us pay tribute to those thousands of Liberators who paid the supreme sacrifice on the bloody shores and jungles of our island, and to the hundreds of our own people who perished in this tragic period.

It is my own personal prayer that the blessings of peace, freedom and goodwill shall prevail forever, and that the causes of war will be erased from the face of the earth.

It has been my fortune to have been among the Liberators, as a member of the 25th Seabees, and to have spent most of my life in Guam, my home.

Committee Co-Chairman

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