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

Song of hope, song of faith

I used to listen to my auntie's stories about the invasion, occupation, liberation and other things concerning the Japanese on Guam back then. She told me all about the "Uncle Sam" song and used to sing different versions of it, all the while a smile upon her face.

Both children and adults learned and sang the song throughout the occupation period though forbidden by Japanese authorities. It was a ditty urging the return of the Americans.

One version of the song, not so silly to the Japanese occupying authorities went like this:

"Eighth of December, 1941
People went crazy
right here in Guam.
Oh, Mr. Sam, Sam
My dear Uncle Sam,
won't you please
come back to Guam."

Other versions included a stanza telling the Americans to "Hurry up and come back with Camels and Chesterfields, because we're tired of smoking the (Japanese cigarettes)."

She said that "Pete Rosario and his gangs" invented the song, and that printed versions of it nowadays aren't always the same as the ones she knew. Additional verses, as written in the Carano-Sanchez "History of Guam" follow:

Early Monday morning
The action came to Guam,
Eighth of December,
Nineteen forty-one.

Oh, Mr. Sam, my dear Uncle Sam,
Won't you please come back to Guam?

Our lives are in danger
You better come
And kill all the Japanese
Right here on Guam.

The flag of the Rising Sun sways in the wind above the Marine Barracks in Sumay. Though reminded every day of the Japanese presence in Guam, Chamorros never lost hope that America would return to liberate the island.

Part of the ditty's popularity was that one could make up anything about the Japanese, and no matter how silly, it would still be appropriate.

The song got so popular, she said, that even humming the tune around the Japanese infuriated them, and they would "binta" (slap) you or dole out some other kind of punishment.

Rosario and his friends sang a little concert to some of the first Marines on island in the area of the Agana cemetery, and after that, it became a hit with the liberators.

It wasn't the only song in the psychological fight with the Japanese occupying authorities. One other song, or saying by the Chamorros that made a mockery of the Japanese propaganda effort was about the flag which depicts a sun on a white field.

Chamorros took advantage of the language barrier for a song that they were taught about Japan's flag, the one with the red ball as the sun.

But instead of using the given lyrics, which used the word "apaka" which means white in Chamorro, Chamorros hid a devious smile and sang instead the word, "aplacha," which means dirty in Chamorro. Apparently no one ever caught on.

My auntie insisted that she remain anonymous, but our thanks still go out to her for sharing her enjoyment of that old, that silly, but oh, so precious song.

It may be old and may be silly, but even now the song sings loud of the Chamorro faith in those times, of the hope that kept people's spirits high in a time of despair.

Thank you Uncle Sam.

10 January 1942

In Guam, American military and civilian personnel, Navy nurses, as well as American and Spanish priests are forced to march to Piti and board the ship Argentina Maru. Their destination: Prisoner-of-war camps in Japan.

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