70 years ago – Invasion of Guam

When J.B. wrote these missives, he was 59 years old and part of the U.S. Marine invasion force to retake Guam and determine friend from foe. These are his exact words although I have corrected some spellings and any additions/clarifications I have added will be italicized.

Goodmorning, Sweetheart.

There is a chance to write. It is just sunrise. The sun only shows its light where I am, on the western side, of the island. Everything has been fine. Nobody seems to pay the least attention to possible danger. The boys seem to go about the task at hand with the same spirit in which they tackle any job. Tell Isyl the subject of her story has packed. Many others are also packing. Two forces hit simultaneously – one not far from where Fares used to live and the other about 5 miles to the south and west of the golf course. The attack was a most thrilling affair. All night the fighting continued and is still going on incessantly. When the opportunity comes along the boys doze off when they stop.

I have my own idea as to how long it will take, but mustn’t write it. I can’t even go into detail about the progress. As a matter of fact we are here but don’t have as much news as you get. I’ll bet at this minute you have more dope by radio and newspaper than we have. We are where we see more of the trees than we do of the forest. Speaking of trees, you should see how those cocoanut trees, along the shore, are stripped. They look like bare poles.

Have been talking to some of the wounded boys. I have never seen such spirit. Everybody here must be a fatalist. If they get it, they get it and vice-versa. Your daddy doesn’t think about it. Everything is so exciting and interesting. The most disturbing thing is the mortar shell fire. There are many Japs dead. We have two Japs with us (American born)[probably as translators] they seem as enthusiastic as any of us. Heard one of them refer to the enemy as “yellow bastards”. I know how it is but it seems so funny to see Japs with our uniforms on. We have to keep them close by or some of our own boys would shoot them. Have to stop now. We may get a chance to get a mail out today. Wish I could get some.

Darling, you have been so comforting to me. The very thought of you, just makes me want to do, etc. etc. I love you so much. I love to know that your prayers are for me. A big love to all of the John Juniors. I hold you and kiss you, my darling. You are the adorable wife and I am grateful for all you have done and all you do for me. You do things for others too. You are sweet and good. Bye for today –

– Your devoted Daddy

Wonder if you hear the boom, boom? Pearl [Harbor] was just a small sample.

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