War in the Pacific
Administrative History
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Chapter 9:


The death of Stell Newman in late December 1982 marked the end of a brief embryonic period of birth and early planning for War in the Pacific National Historical Park. During Newman's four-year era, when the number of personnel ranged from one to four and the park units were, at first, undifferentiated from everything around them, the persona of Stell Newman WAS the park. The Newman legacy continued during the eight-year superintendency of Rafael (Ralph) Reyes. Planning and early physical developments undertaken by Newman were continued. Development in the Reyes period, however, also slowly evolved to acquire its own unique character.

Rafael Reyes, a kind and understanding man, avoided controversy whenever possible; his years as superintendent were characterized by his non-confrontational management and public relations style. Reyes era developments included gradual expansion of park funding and park staff, increased effort to hire permanent and seasonal employees of Chamorro descent, and efforts to foster productive relationships with Japanese park personnel the Japanese tourist industry. Volunteers continued to contribute in significant ways to park development; but they were fewer in number and more focused in their activities than during Newman's superintendency. The Reyes years became a time when the protection and preservation of park cultural and natural resources became an important thrust of park management strategies. The physical development of the park as well as interpretive exhibits also continued to expand. Perhaps most notably, the 1980s witnessed the exploration, documentation, assessment, and interpretation of underwater resources at Asan, Agat, and elsewhere in the Pacific.

Park Staff

Following Stell Newman's death in late December 1982, Chief Ranger James Miculka became acting superintendent for four months. In early April 1983, Rafael (Ralph) J. M. Reyes assumed the post of superintendent of War in the Pacific National Historical Park and of the American Memorial Park on Saipan. Reyes became the first National Park superintendent of Chamorro descent.

Born in 1926 on Guam, Reyes was fifteen years old when the Japanese bombed Guam on December 8, 1941. During the two-and-one-half-year Japanese occupation of Guam, the Japanese used Reyes and many other Chamorros to construct some of the defensive structures that Reyes later would protect as superintendent of War in the Pacific National Historic Park. After the war, Reyes went to live with his brother in Vallejo, California, where he graduated from high school. Reyes then moved to Palm Springs, where he lived with and worked for his uncle in his uncle's cabinet shop for about two years. Reyes returned to Guam to attend the University of Guam, and, after two years training, received a certificate for proficiency in graphic arts. In 1948, at age twenty-two, Rafael Reyes enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at Anderson Air Force Base. Over the next twenty years, he worked as an illustrator at several different locations. Reyes retired from the air force in 1969 and returned to the University of Guam, where he completed his junior year, majoring in Fine Arts. [358] Reyes then worked as an urban planner with the San Bernardino, California Planning Department. In the early 1970s, Reyes returned to Guam and took a job as a park planner for the Guam Department of Parks and Recreation. Rafael Reyes became head of that department in 1975. Reyes was one of eighteen applicants who competed nationwide for the position of superintendent of War in the Pacific National Historical Park. After being hired, Rafael Reyes guided the park's development over the next eight years, except for a two-month period in 1985 when he went to Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park to study park operations there. Reyes retired from the National Park Service on June 30, 1991. [359]

Roque Borja, who had served as chief of the Maintenance Division under Stell Newman, continued working at at the park for another nine years, through the entire Reyes superintendency. Borja continued to oversee the physical development and maintenance of the park, often with a very limited number of seasonal staff and volunteers. Two to four seasonal employees were routinely hired to work several months (often six months) each year. Limited park funding in the late 1980s, however, required a drastic reduction in the hours of seasonal laborers. Local Boy Scout Troop 45 and Team 45 of Talisay volunteered to help with some maintenance activities in 1987. Borja also received occasional guidance with specific projects from other National Park Service offices. In 1988, for example, Denver Service Center structural engineer Richard Silva worked with Borja and the Maintenance Division on the emergency stabilization of the Gaan Point Japanese pillbox and other park structures. In May 1987, Borja received the "Professional Group Award" from the Government of Guam Soil and Conservation Resources Department. Roque Borja retired from NPS in November 1991, after eleven years of NPS employment and just four months after Superintendent Reyes' retired. [360]

James E. Miculka, after serving as acting superintendent for four months following Stell Newman's death, resumed his responsibilities as ranger and interpretive specialist when Reyes became superintendent. Miculka remained at the park through nearly the entire eight-year Reyes superintendency, except for one year (October 1985 to November 1986), when he completed a Masters of Science degree in natural resource management at the University of Scotland in Edinburgh. After a second permanent park ranger (Rose Manibusan) was hired in 1986, Miculka became chief ranger at the park. As a ranger he had many leadership roles: chief of the park dive team, head of the park's fire fighting team, and in charge of law enforcement. Miculka also continued as the chief of interpretation, and was primarily responsible for exhibits, curation of museum objects, making presentations to park visitors, coordinating special events and celebrations, and hiring and supervising seasonal park interpreters and volunteers. Chief Ranger Jim Miculka left Guam and transferred to Jean Lafitte National Park in New Orleans, where he took a position as the chief of Interpretation and Resource Management in August 1991, six months before Superintendent Reyes retires. [361]

Rose S. N. Manibusan began working for War in the Pacific National Historical Park just one month after Rafael Reyes became superintendent and she remained at the park throughout his eight-year superintendency (and into the twenty-first century). Manibusan worked first as a clerk typist for the park, then as a member of the NPS submerged cultural resources unit before she became a park ranger. Her 1986 promotion to a permanent ranger position made her the first female park ranger of Chamorro descent employed by the National Park Service, and the second permanent park ranger at the park.

Manibusan played many roles as park ranger, between 1983 and 1991. She served on NPS's first fire fighting team in the 1980s. She assisted Chief Ranger Jim Miculka with interpretive programs, and worked closely with the Marianas National Park Association to enhance visitor awareness and help fund interpretive programs, exhibits, and special projects at War in the Pacific National Historical Park and the American Memorial Park (AMME) in Saipan. Manibusan also took on resource management duties, helping especially to inventory and assess underwater sites. In October and November 1987, she was the first person selected from the park to attend a ranger skills course at the National Park Service's Albright Training Center at the Grand Canyon. In October 1989, Manibusan transferred to the Fire Management office in the Ranger Division at NPS's Western Regional Office. She returned one year later, soon after the departure of Chief Ranger James Miculka and assumed the position of chief of interpretation. [362]

In 1985, Nobuo Ichihara, chief ranger at Chubu-Sangaku National Park in Japan, worked at the park for an entire year as part of an exchange program between the National Park Service and Japanese parks. He participated in park development, operations, and interpretation projects, especially as they related to Japanese visitors. He helped increase Japanese visitor awareness of the park by opening lines of communication. He translated tourist and interpretive brochures for War in the Pacific and other NPS Pacific parks into Japanese. Ichihara also became involved in the assessment of World War II submerged resources on Saipan. He also took part in several NPS training programs dealing with resource management, fire control, park operations, and interpretation. Ichihara lived on Guam with his wife, Midori, and son, Kotaro, for ten months before completing the last two months of his yearlong exchange program by visiting other national parks. [363]

The number of permanent part-time and seasonal (usually 180 days) employees fluctuated during the 1980s, reflecting ebbs and flows in funding. The Ranger Division expanded slightly in the mid-1980s with the addition of Jimmy Garrido, hired as a temporary employee in 1985, which became a permanent part-time employee in 1986. Kevin Carter also began working for the the park's ranger division in the mid-1980s. Both men, just as Park Ranger Rose Manibusan, began their association with the park as members of the NPS Dive Team. David Arriola also worked for the park as a ranger in the mid-1980s. One seasonal interpreter, Vernon Kamiaz, began working at the park in 1988. In 1990, Masao Wada, Japanese consul general, worked in the interpretive division of the park, completing translations from English to Japanese and promoting the park to Japanese travel agencies. During the Reyes superintendency, the park's clerk typist administrative technician position was occupied by several individuals, including Esther Taitano and Joann Diego. [364]

Finally, NPS employee Ed Wood came to work at the park on several occasions in the 1980s. From November 1985 to May 1986, he came from Lehman Caves National Monument in Baker, Nevada, to work as acting interpretive specialist during Jim Miculka's one-year leave of absence to complete a graduate degree at the University of Edinburgh. Wood returned to the Marianas in January 1989 (from his position as visitor center supervisor at Grand Canyon National Park) after being selected as the supervisory park ranger-in-charge (replacing Gordon Joyce) at the American Memorial Park on Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. [365]

Volunteers, working as both individuals and associated with organizations, contributed countless hours to operations, development and maintenance, and interpretive programs during the 1980s. Several individuals associated with the non-profit Marianas National Park Association (1983-1989), including Anthony Ramirez, Gordon Tydingco, Dirk Ballendorf, John Weisenburger, David Lotz, Carlos Nieves, and Annette Donner, worked to improve visitor awareness of the park's existence and to improve its interpretive programs. When this organization dissolved, the Arizona Memorial Museum Association, based in Honolulu, extended its reach to the park in May 1990. Several individuals also volunteered to serve on the NPS Dive Team, formed in 1983 (Suzanne Hendricks, Joe Taitano, Time Rock, Greg Champion, and Bill Cooper) and NPS Fire Fighting Team, formed in 1984 (Kin Leon Guerrero, Lonnie Knudsen, Henry Conway, and Rick Sotomayor). On special occasions, such as the park's 10th anniversary celebration in 1988, David Lotz and Lonnie Knudsen led visitors on hikes to historic sites in the park and elsewhere on Guam. Lotz and Knudson led visitors on several "historic sties boonie stomps," one of which included several historic sites in the park, in August of that year. [366] Volunteers contributed hundreds of hours each year, mostly in curatorial services, interpretation, and resource management. Superintendent Reyes reported that volunteer hours in 1986 totaled 960 hours. In 1990, commercial airline pilot William Cooper, alone, donated over 500 hours to the NPS Dive Team project to explore and survey a shipwreck at Apra Harbor. [367]

The administrative offices for War in the Pacific National Historical Park personnel continued to be located in the leased Haloda Building at 115 Marine Drive, Asan, throughout the Reyes superintendency. Some alterations were made, however, to the park staff office space. In the summer of 1983, shortly after the arrival of Rafael Reyes, construction of office space on the second floor of the building allowed park staff to move there from the first floor, where a temporary wall separated offices from the visitor center and museum. [368]

By 1985, park staff had identified a long list of problems with the building, ranging from cracked or broken windows and deteriorated weather stripping around windows, to water seeping through the walls at several locations (behind the information desk and near the GI exhibit on the first floor as well as the west wall on the second floor). Although the owner, Ida Chang of Overseas Investment Corporation, had completed some repairs by May 1986, other items (such as water leakage in certain walls, inadequate water proofing on the roof, and disintegrating paint on exterior walls) had still not been addressed. [369] By then, the General Services Administration (GSA) had begun assessing the space requirements for the the staff so that a new headquarters could be located before the lease of the Haloda Building expired on December 14, 1987. Superintendent Reyes communicated with GSA over several months regarding space requirements, even though there was a growing resistance by the park to move from the Haloda Building, just as the park was approaching its tenth anniversary and the fiftieth anniversary of U.S. involvement in World War II. Chief of GSA contracting, John M. Ozanich, noted in a February 28, 1987, letter that the manager of the park desired to remain in the Haloda Building, since the facility was both a visitor center and park headquarters. "The park is now beginning to be developed and there will be significant development and preparation for activities in 1991-92 commemorating the 50th anniversary of World War II operations in the Pacific. It is essential that there is not an office relocation during the next five years." [370] Efforts to negotiate the purchase of the Haloda Building in the mid- and late 1980s also proved unsuccessful. By 1988, the National Park Service had concluded that:

Even if the Service succeeds in acquiring the Haloda building, this structure will eventually be demolished since:

(A) It intrudes directly upon the Asan invasion beach . . .

(B) It would not be cost effective to bring the building up to acceptable safety codes. Air conditioning is needed year round, full time in a structure of this design. This is very expensive. [371]

In 1988, the Haloda Building cost the National Park Service $116,000 a year to lease and pay for utilities and minimal maintenance. Despite NPS's failed efforts to buy or have the Haloda Building adequately maintained, War in the Pacific National Historical Park administrative offices remained in the building, renamed the "T. Stell Newman Visitor Center" in 1985, for the next sixteen years, until early 2003.

Planning and Resource Management

Planning for the future of the park and managing park resources–natural, cultural (both above and below water), and museum items–became more focused and refined in the 1980s, following final approval of the General Management Plan in May 1983, just around the time that Rafael Reyes became superintendent. Plans for managing the lands in War in the Pacific National Historical Park took final form in several documents produced in the 1980s: the Land Management Plan (completed in April 1983), the interpretive plan (interim completed in May 1983), the Natural and Cultural Resource Management Plan (revised and updated in January 1984), the Land Protection Plan (completed in April 1984), the Scope of Collections Statement (completed in February 1985), the Historic Resource Study (completed in July 1985), the Fire Management Plan (completed in March 1987), the Statement for Management (completed in August 1988), and the Micronesia Submerged Cultural Resource Assessment (completed in 1991). Each planning document helped clarify and advance management strategies for its varied resources. The development of each plan had its own history, unique to War in the Pacific National Historical Park

The Natural and Cultural Resource Management Plan, which expanded on the General Management Plan (GMP), was revised and updated in January 1984, less than one year after approval of the GMP. This revised management plan emphasized the importance of managing War in the Pacific National Historical Park to conserve, protect, and interpret the outstanding historic and natural values and objects associated with the park. As a historical park, rather than an NPS national memorial. [372] The park had been created to protect and interpret its historic fabric and associated values. The Natural and Cultural Management Plan fleshed out and elaborated on two general objectives presented in the GMP: 1) preserve and manage important geographical and historical features within the park, and 2) preserve, perpetuate, and interpret important natural features. The preservation of features, additional research on resources, and restoration of the historic scene comprised the three principal thrusts of the resource management plan. This management plan presented a comprehensive list and discussion of specific, identifiable cultural and natural resource management issues, called "project statements." In order of priority, these project statements called for the completion of several projects or tasks, which included:

1) Stabilizing/preserving historic sites
2) Surveying of submerged cultural resources
3) Managing natural/cultural resources
4) Re-establishing the historic scene
5) Conducting Chamorro oral histories
6) Completing park topographic base map
7) Reducing vehicle damage to park resources
8) Completing the impact study for removal of reef construction
9) Completing vegetation map
10) Conducting Japanese oral histories
11) Conducting American oral histories
12) Completing research study on reef subsistence use
13) Completing exotic plant control research
14) Completing wildfire study and survey
15) Completing small animal inventory
16) Completing archaeological surface survey

At least a dozen projects of lesser importance were also presented as project statements in this plan. [373]

The protection, preservation, and stabilization of park resources became a major focus of management activities during the Reyes superintendency. Resource protection and preservation took many forms in the 1980s, many of which were defensive and aimed to check intrusive and destructive activities in or near the park. In the summer of 1983, Superintendent Reyes objected to certain design aspects of the Guam House and Urban Renewal Authority's (GHURA) Asan Redevelopment Project adjacent to the Asan Beach unit. Reyes communicated his grave concerns (as had Superintendent Stell Newman in May 1981) about the visually intrusive nature of the proposed use of riprap and elements of the project's drainage system, as well as the lack of pedestrian access across the ninety-foot-wide channel created by the project. Nearly a year later, these same design concerns had not been adequately addressed. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the GHURA were hammering out a memorandum of agreement to try and address the park's historic preservation concern about protecting the historic scene around Asan Point. [374]

The War in the Pacific staff took a far different defensive stance in 1984 to a mock landing of the U.S. Marines in the Asan Beach unit. The so-called American invasion re-enactment was part of the annual Liberation Day celebrations on Guam; 1984 marked the fortieth anniversary of the July 21, 1944 American landing on Asan and Agat beaches. Presumably, to protect the historic resources, scene, and associated values of Asan Beach, the National Park Service prohibited the battle re-enactments inside the park boundaries. Both the Pacific Daily News editor Joseph Murphy and the Guam Department of Parks and Recreation Manager David Lotz sharply criticized Superintendent Reyes for NPS's refusal to allow the Marine re-enactors to land at the original landing site on Asan Beach. "The decision not to allow the Marines to land in the park area just brings into focus the insensitivity of the park officials," editor Murphy charged. [375] Guam Parks Management Officer David Lotz refuted Reyes's earlier statement that NPS had never been asked to participate in the re-enactment, and he strongly criticized NPS's, and especially Chief Ranger Jim Miculka's, "negative attitudes." According to Lotz, "this latest non-involvement of the Park in the community has created a serious rift that only positive meaningful cooperation from NPS can ever hope to erase." [376] Six months later, Superintendent Reyes wrote to the NPS Western Region's chief of interpretation asking for "the interpretation of the law" prohibiting battle re-enactments on National Park Service property.

That same year, 1985, the Park Service and Superintendent Reyes resisted another Government of Guam (GovGuam) proposed project–dredging at Adelup Point of two swimming acres. NPS believed the dredging would have an adverse visual effect on the historic scene in the Asan Beach unit. In addition to dredging for recreational swimming Guam Governor Ricardo Bordallo also wanted to construct the governor's offices at Adelup Point on land inside the park boundaries, but not yet purchased by the National Park Service. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was to complete this dredging for GovGuam's Department of Parks and Recreation. After several weeks of protracted discussions, all parties involved eventually agreed to dredge only two acres of reef flat on the east side of Adelup Point. "It appears," wrote Corps Colonel Michael Jenks, to Governor Bordallo, "that the approved two-acre swimming area would satisfy that need [for recreational swimming] while still preserving the historical significance of the War in the Pacific National Historical Park as requested by the National Park Service." [377] In September 1985, the Government of Guam then made a second application to the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the west side of the point. The National Park Service remained opposed, renewing its argument that this activity would adversely the historic scene visible from the U.S. landing beach at Asan. The Government of Guam then wrote to the secretary of the Interior asking to have Adelup Point removed from the park by changing the park boundaries. [378] Finally, the Army Corps of Engineers at Fort Shafter, Hawaii conferred with Bryan Harry of the National Park Service's Pacific Area Office, and concluded that no dredging would occur at Adelup Point. [379]

Resource protection at War in the Pacific took other varied defensive forms in the 1980s, from prohibiting large concerts in the park and removing explosives from underwater resources to rejecting the construction of an observatory tower at Piti Bay. In 1986, for example, Superintendent Reyes tersely turned down a request to permit a live concert featuring country rock group "America" at Asan Point. [380] From 1988 to 1990, the National Park Service engaged in protracted discussions with the Government of Guam, Department of Parks and Recreation, the Corps of Engineers, and T & NN International, Inc. about the construction of an offshore observation tower, elevated walkway, and support shoreside facilities next to the Marine landing at Asan Beach within the park. National Park Service, Pacific Region Director Bryan Harry repeatedly stated that this forty-foot-high tower located adjacent to the Asan Beach unit (listed on the National Register of Historic Places), would have an adverse effect on the historic resources and associated values of the park. [381]

During the Reyes years, War in the Pacific undertook several positive, constructive resource management projects. Although begun near the end of Stell Newman's superintendency, the Historic Resources Study (HRS) came to fruition during the Reyes years. The HRS was intended to provide accurate and essential historical data that would enable park managers to better manage, as well as interpret, the approximately 100 historic buildings, structures, and objects identified by an archaeologist (and included on the park's List of Classified Structures). There was great concern especially about preservation of the deteriorating concrete Japanese defense structures in the park. Research would be conducted in primary source military records to ensure the greatest accuracy possible. Park HRSes aimed to document, in a readable narrative, the origin, history, use, integrity, and relevance of the park's existing cultural resources, as well as historic World War II natural landscapes, so that they might be evaluated for preservation and/or restoration initiatives by the National Park Service. Historic base maps showing the location of all historic features related to World War II would accompany the HRS.

According to the early project description, the Historic Resource Study was to begin in mid-1982 and be completed in September 1983 by a NPS historian for a total project cost of $92,000. Charles Snell, historian in the Washington, D.C., office, was selected to research and write the HRS ("NPS Package No. 132"). Ad hoc consultants to the project included: chiefs of the U.S. Navy, Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force history divisions, the Historic Preservation Office, Department of Parks and Recreation, Government of Guam, the War in the Pacific superintendent, Nagayo Houm, Japanese historian at the University of Tokyo, and Erwin Thompson, National Historic Landmark program project historian, working at the Denver Service Center. [382] While Charles Snell began work on the Historic Resource Study, historian Erwin Thompson undertook research for a National Historic Landmark "theme study," a contextual history, of World War II in the Pacific. Undoubtedly, the two history studies were intended to mesh and both historians, Snell and Thompson, would have the benefit of each other's work.

Over the next several months, Charles Snell conducted intensive research on World War II history. He spent three weeks on Guam in September 1982. He visited the Micronesia Area Research Center at the University of Guam and closely examined and assessed the historical adequacy of each park unit and its boundaries. He also traveled to World War II historic sites outside the park units with Stell Newman, Jim Miculka, and Anthony Ramirez (preservation officer at the Guam Historic Preservation Office) to assess the potential for marking and interpreting them. [383] By early December 1982, Snell had compiled fourteen bibliographies of unpublished and published studies, articles, and books relating to Guam during World War II. [384]

By the spring of 1983, Charles Snell had examined hundreds of primary source historical records, both in paper and microfilm format, photocopied thousands of pages, and catalogued all the material he had amassed on the American landing on Guam. In addition to producing an impressive historical narrative typescript (on a typewriter), Snell photocopied thousands more pages of narrative, maps, and photographs of the American battle on Guam, catalogued, and, finally, meticulously indexed all this material. [385] The thirty-page "Catalogue of Overlays Prepared by the 3rd Marine Division, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, and the 77th Infantry Division" was one of over two dozen catalogues of research material prepared by Snell, in his effort to bring order to the exhaustive and exhausting accumulation of material he had gathered. [386] During the same period, National Park Service historian Erwin Thompson continued his research, at numerous repositories, for the World War II war in the Pacific theme study. [387]

As the months passed, concern about the protective management of the historic resources in War in the Pacific National Historical Park and about the need to possibly refine the boundaries of the park so as to include additional significant Word War II sites and structures heightened among NPS historians, especially in the Western Region. Growing concern over rapid deterioration of World War II artifacts as the result of the climate of Guam, and the slow progress being made to evaluate the significance of actual World War II resources on the island, prompted Western Region historian Gordon Chappell to ask NPS Chief Historian (as well as a military historian) Edwin C. Bearss to go to Guam, make a thorough reconnaissance of World War II sites, and suggest recommendations about possible park boundary revisions. After his six-day visit to and site-by-site analysis on Guam, Bearss recommended that minor park boundary adjustments be made to include five important World War II sites: 1) Dungcas Japanese invasion beach; 2) Dadi Beach Japanese pill box complex; 3) Apuntua Point dump site of World II heavy equipment; 4) Hill 40 Marine defensive stronghold; and 5) the crest of Mount Alifan, which afforded a panoramic view of the Agat invasion beach and the Orote Peninsula. [388]

Two months later in May 1984, historian Snell scrambled to complete the last series of indexes for research material, including maps, for the Historical Resources Study that would help identify the various historic resources still remaining on the ground. By mid-May 1984, Snell had apparently exhausted all NPS economic resources for the study and was working as a volunteer for the National Park Service. On May 18, 1984, Snell wrote his fifteenth and "Final Status Report for Package No. 132," the WAPA HRS, and mailed it from Washington, D.C., along with ten various indexes and maps, to the Denver Service Center. Snell closed his letter saying, "May 18, 1984, marked the end of the 36th year of service for the writer with the National Park Service, having entered on duty on May 19, 1948, at Saratoga National Historical Park, Stillwater, NY, with a salary of $2,500 per year." [389] Money ran out on Snell's work before clerical personnel were given the task of typing his narrative into a computer, the Washington Office never followed up on getting that done, so it remains in typescript form in the park files today, with final editing, revisions, and printing needed. (see footnote 385, supra).

Denver Service Center Historian Erwin Thompson, at work on a theme study of the Pacific War which took the form of a number of completed National Historic Landmark nominations (but without an accompanyinjg narrative summary or report), was subsequently assigned to prepare a historic resources study on War in the Pacific National Historic Park. Thompson's assignment was to prepare a brief study, which was only intended to serve as an interim document. Thompson's work did not eliminate the value of the primary source research Snell had done or the need to complete Snell's study by editing and publishing it. One year later in July 1985, with little fanfare, Erwin N. Thompson completed the War in the Pacific Historical Resources Study. Thompson acknowledged the contributions of NPS historian Russ Apple and D. Colt Denfeld, who had completed a brief history and set of base maps through MARC at the University of Guam in the early years of the Newman superintendency. Thompson's 200-page HRS briefly described each park unit, its World War II history, and cultural resources still remaining from the war. Photos, maps, and diagrams took up about half of the HRS. Thompson concluded the HRS by addressing a number of stabilization and preservation issues related to the historic features in and near War in the Pacific National Historical Park. [390]

The stabilization, preservation, and curation of historic sites, features, and objects remained one of the highest priorities on the list of management projects in the Natural and Cultural Resources Management Plan, written by Jim Miculka. The management plan stated the scope and the park's serious need for stabilization and preservation succinctly in early 1984:

Historic structures within the park are steadily deteriorating. Foxholes, tunnels, trenches, emplacements, shell craters, and other earth features are eroding, filling in, and collapsing. Pillboxes, bridges, bunkers, and other concrete and steel structures are deteriorating because of rust exfoliation. Historical artifacts in the park's study collection are deteriorating as this collection continues to grow. . . . The tropical environment, with high temperature, high humidity, high salt content in the air, etc. create severe conservation problems that cause damage to the resources. [391]

Although limited funding for positive stabilization and preservation efforts kept the park from hiring a permanent full-time museum conservation specialist or maintenance worker with specific stabilization knowledge, a small number of stabilization/conservation projects were undertaken in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1988, stabilization of Japanese defense pillboxes was completed at Gaan Point in the Agat Beach unit. This was the very first effort to preserve these fragile structures in the park. [392] In August 1989, structural engineer Richard Silva from the Denver Service Center led a team, which included the park's maintenance staff, to stabilize two Japanese bunkers at the Piti side of Asan Ridge. [393] These structures included pillboxes, gun emplacements, and a bridge. Six of the twelve structures required major preservation treatment; five were recommended for immediate preservation. Since the Japanese and the Chamorro forced laborers working on the defenses had built these structures very hastily, and had used sea water and local beach sand to make the concrete (which in time would corrode the steel reinforcing bars in the concrete), some National Park Service and other engineers seriously questioned if these structures could be preserved in the hot, humid conditions on Guam. "The climate, the salt air, the inferior concrete seems to me to make the preservation of these bunkers totally impractical," wrote the special assistant to the Western Regional director to Stan Albright, Western Regional director in October 1989. "Even though the cost to stabilize the two bunkers was only $11,000, I find it difficult to justify this cost. . . . I suggest . . . that we allow the bunkers to disintegrate." [394]

Nonetheless, over several months, stabilization/preservation proceeded. In 1990 and 1991, the National Park Service contracted with the firm Wiss, Janney, Eistner Associates, Inc. to stabilize twelve structures in five locations within the park that had been constructed by the Japanese in 1944. These structures included: a strong point at Gaan Point (Agat Beach unit), pillboxes in the Agat and Asan Beach units and on Asan Island, and three coastal gun emplacements at the Piti unit. An inspection of and suggestions for the maintenance of the Matgue River Bridge in the Asan unit was also made in the spring of 1991. The park maintenance staff contributed many hours of labor to this stabilization work. No stabilization was completed on any of the other 98 historic sites listed in the August 1988 "Statement for Management: War in the Pacific." [395]

Submerged cultural resources became the focus of the most intense examination. The Natural and Cultural Resource Management Plan (updated in January 1984) listed the surveying of submerged cultural resources as high on the list of park management priorities, second only to stabilizing and preserving historic sites in the park. Interest in the submerged resources of the park was logical since over half of the park was under water. Of the park's approximate 1,900 acres, roughly 1,000 acres (445 acres at the Asan Beach unite and 557 at the Agat Beach unit) were underwater. [396] Even before Stell Newman's death and through the Reyes years of the 1980s, park personnel maintained a sustained interest in locating, surveying, interpreting, and protecting submerged cultural resources both at the park on Guam and the American Memorial Park in Saipan.

From the outset, the National Park Service's Submerged Cultural Resources Unit (SCRU) in Santa Fe led and participated with the Government of Guam in efforts to research, document, and protect submerged cultural resources. In February 1981, SCRU visited Guam for the first time and made a preliminary assessment and recommendations for further under archaeological survey work. Following the death of Stell Newman, War in the Pacific Ranger and Interpretive Specialist James Miculka energized the park's efforts to explore and assess its underwater resources. In the spring of 1983, Miculka organized a volunteer NPS dive team. The first volunteer members included Joe Taitano and Suzanne Hendricks, soon followed by Rose S. N. Manibusan, James Garrido, and Kevin Carter. William Cooper, Dave Hendricks, Tim Rock, Rich Fischer, Randy Sablan, Larry Walters, Jim Brandt, Bonnie Brandt, Dennis Blackenbacker, and divers from Apra Sport Divers also participated in the park's Submerged Resources Team activities over the next eight years. In March 1983, Toni L. Carrell, a member of the NPS's Submerged Cultural Resource Unit (SCRU), based in Santa Fe, came to Guam to lead training on submerged cultural resources management. His workshop was attended by the park's Submerged Resources Team members, GovGuam staff, and local community members. The park's dive team members had a chance to practice some of these techniques later in the year when they assisted SCRU in a survey of the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor, Honolulu. [397]

In late September 1983, SCRU returned to Guam to assist park staff assess the park's submerged cultural resources. During the assessment, between September 24 and 30, a plan was formulated for a large-scale underwater survey of War in the Pacific National Historical Park and related sites. Dan Lenihan, Larry Murphy, and Jerry Livingston from SCRU led the park's Dive Team (Jim Miculka, Rose Manibusan, James Garrido, and Kevin Carter), as well as American Memorial (AMME) Park's Chief Ranger John Martini. During the week-long assessment, the dive team made about thirty dives at a number of sites in an effort to locate and identify known submerged cultural resources inside the park boundaries or that were potential additions to the park. They inspected the dumpsite at Asan Beach used by the U.S. military to dispose of World War II ordnance; they assessed possible routes for underwater trails, and observed areas within the park that had been damaged by dynamite and/or chlorine used by local fisherman to kill and harvest fish. Numerous sites were mapped, photographed, and/videotaped. This assessment prompted several recommendations: 1) develop a Submerged Cultural & Natural Resources Plan; 2) continue an active marine monitoring program; 3) complete a comprehensive survey of the park's reefs and related areas; 4) continue to train park divers; 5) purchase a boat to support the park's submerged research and monitoring program; 6) expand the Agat unit boundaries to include the Apunta Point area and create a new park unit that included the submerged area of Apra Harbor; 7) modify the marking buoys above certain underwater resources; and 8) develop a means of interpreting these sites that emphasize their preservation. [398] These diving surveys conducted with SCRU resulted in the production of "Assessment of the USS Arizona and War in the Pacific NHP and Guam Shipwreck" sites and a video. [399] The War in the Pacific Submerged Resources Team and SCRU personnel also surveyed, documented, and mapped submerged resources within the boundaries of the AMME on Saipan.

In April 1985, SCRU staff again returned to Guam and conducted additional training on submerged cultural resource management. The training involved additional field surveys of the offshore areas of the Agat Beach unit. Chief Ranger Miculka, Kevin Carter, Jimmy Garrido, and visiting Japanese park ranger Nobuo Ichihara conducted a series of extensive surveys in and around the park and within and surrounding the American Memorial Park on Saipan. In May and June 1987, SCRU, the U.S. Navy, and the park dive team conducted a six-week survey and documented various ship wrecks and other resources in Apra Harbor and the Asan Beach unit. Survey activities progressed slowly, as time permitted for the two permanent park rangers, during the rest of 1987. SCRU came back to Guam in the summer of 1988 mapping the 400-foot-long SMS Cormoran, a World War I German gunboat, the 500-foot-long Tokai Maru, a Japanese freighter sunk in World War II adjacent the Cormoran, and the Kitsugawa Maru, all located on the silty bottom of Apra Harbor , outside the park boundaries. The work was supported by the park's Dive Team and members of the Guam Department of Parks and Recreation. (Please see Chapter 3 for more information about the history of these two ships.) [400]

The park's Submerged Resources Team had a rare underwater opportunity in early 1988, when the Cousteau Society (named after famous French marine explorer and inventor of the Self-Contained Breathing Lung–SCUBA–apparatus Jacque Cousteau) invited Jim Miculka and Rose Manibusan to join the crew on board the society's windship, the Alcyone, while they conducted research around Guam as part of their "Rediscovery of the World" tour. Beginning in December 1987 and continuing for the first four months of 1988, Miculka and Manibusan participated in many of the activities of the Cousteau Society divers. "While the park's dive team failed to become fluent in French," reported Superintendent Reyes, "they did manage to work on many exciting dives, have hot showers after each dive, and sample French cuisine from the ship's chef." Park staff made a video and shot a number of slides during this these adventures with the Cousteau Society and incorporated into several interpretive programs. [401]

The year 1988 also provided a grand opportunity for the Submerged Resources Team to interpret underwater resources not far from the park. The park celebrated its tenth anniversary that year. One of the many celebratory activities organized by the park staff was a dive of the SMS Cormoran and the Japanese Tokai Maru in Apra Harbor. In late August, Jim Miculka, Suzanne Hendricks, Bill Cooper, and Rose Manibusan led twenty-eight divers in an exploration of the two adjacent ships. Around this time, the park publicized its desire to acquire these to two vessels from the U.S. Navy by expanding the park to include a ten-acre satellite unit with the Comoran and the Tokai Maru, suggesting that NPS could provide greater protection of the vessels against vandals. [402] The inclusion of these two resources never occurred.

Intense exploration and documentation of submerged resources gradually waned in the late 1980s. In November 1989, Jerry Livingston from SCRU came to Guam to work with the park's Submerged Resources Team in mapping the Cormoran. This project continued into 1990. [403] Over the next year, Toni Carrell, member of the Submerged Cultural Resources Unit of NPS, with assistance from many others, including Jim Miculka, assembled a 550-page report that described numerous underwater resources in Micronesia that SCRU teams had helped document and assess, including those in and near the park. During the previous decade, SCRU had investigated, at the request of many for technical assistance, submerged sites on the islands of Rota, Belau, Kosrae, and Saipan, as well as Guam. Carrell's report aimed to present information that would be useful for submerged resource site interpretation, protection, and conservation, and would contribute to the historical understanding of the Micronesian Islands' and their maritime history. Carrell's report presented historical background, as well as a description, and analysis of each submerged site. Drawings accompanied the data presented on some submerged resources, like the Comoran and the Tokai Maru, which the the park's Submerged Resources Team had helped complete. The "Submerged Cultural Resources Assessment" reported that:

Six known sites related to the Pacific Theatre of World War II are located within the two offshore areas of the park. These sites were discovered during partial transects of each unit with maximum depths of 60 feet. The information presented here was gathered during the 1983 and 1987 surveys and training dives by the park's SRT [Submerged Resources Team]. [404]

These six sites, briefly described, included: 1) amphibious tractor treads (Asan Beach unit); 2) American Landing Vehicle Tracked–Amtrac unit (Asan Beach unit); 3) Camel Rock Ammunition Dump (Asan Beach unit); 4) Gaan Point Amtrac (Agat Beach unit); 5) American Pontoon Barge (Agat Beach unit); and 6) amphibious tank turret (Agat Beach unit). A World War II dumpsite on the south side of nearby Orote Peninsula was also described. Carrell noted that both the Asan and Agat beach units needed more detailed underwater surveys. [405]

Finally, the 1980s witnessed the development of a resource management program to deal with fire. The 1984 "Natural and Cultural Resource Management Plan" for War in the Pacific National Historical Park presented a project statement for completing a wildfire study and survey, which would ascertain the impacts of fire on natural areas of the park and assess the management strategies (fight or let burn) that should be followed. Such a study took shape in the Fire Management Plan produced by Tom Gavin (in the Western Regional Office of NPS) in 1987. [406] Concurrently, the need to control wildfires and contribute to the larger Guam community effort of fire fighting was felt and acted upon by park personnel in the mid-1980s. In June 1984, Chief Ranger Jim Miculka organized the park's first fire fighting team, composed of Rose S. N. Manibusan, Jimmy Garrido, Kevin Carter, Kin Leon Guerrero, Lonnie Knudsen, Henry Conway, and Rick Sotomayor. The team began and continued training in fire fighting on park and adjacent lands, hosted by the Division of Forestry, Department of Agriculture. In 1987, a Memorandum of Understanding for Fire Management joined the War in the Pacific Fire Fighting Team, the Guam Fire Department, the Navy Fire Department, and the Division of Forestry, Department of Agriculture, Government of Guam in a cooperative effort to fight Guam's fires. This enabled agencies involved to cross-train and assist as needed in the suppression of fires as well as educating the public in fire prevention. Many of the skills acquired by the park's fire fighters were put to use during the dry months of 1987 (March through June) when Guam experienced a severe drought and the island's worst fire season on record. The fire fighting team, along with other federal and local government agencies, responded to around thirteen fires. [407]

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Last Updated: 08-May-2005