70 years ago – The Battle for Guam continues

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.

27th – 7 AM

Good morning angel,

Yesterday I got up near the old golf course, Allen Shapely has a regiment there. Machine gun fire was too hot so I got out. It looks like the big battle will be fought around Agaña. The Japs are deeply holed in up towards Elk’s Beach and down to T.B. Hill and the Shinajama district. I’m afraid Agaña will be a wreck. There isn’t a house in Agat, Asan or Piti. We have all those places. Suman will be taken today. Allen Shapely will take the town, He has a fine outfit. We had 6 prisoners in camp last night and still have them. One is an officer and the only one injured. They all talked freely and seemed happy to be in our lines. Definitely no thought of Hari-Kari on their part.

Had a better place to sleep last night, but shell fire was almost constant and kept me awake. One of the natives with me remembers you well and sends his best to Mrs Cooke (you) and to Johnny. He keeps telling the marines what fine friends we were to the Chamouras [Chamorros]. His name is Barcinas and taught school at Merizo. He tells me that Sinohara is very much alive and a big shot. One of the Agaña boys told me that he saw “Shiny” slap the governor the day the Japs came in. The Shimigee boys have been guarding the natives and forcing them to work. All of that tribe will soon be in our hands. They are in for a bad session.

Don’t let the people kid you about the rations the Japs get. They are as good or better than ours. All kinds of canned fish, crab, shrimp, lobster, tuna, salmon, plenty of sake, fruit juices, etc. darn little rice. We have taken big supply dumps of food and clothing. The going is tough, the Japs taking every advantage of the rugged hills. Today we will go over from Agat toward Talafofo. One of the planes reported seeing people in that vicinity.

I’m going to lie down for a rest. All my love, my lovely wife and my sweetheart.

Your devoted Daddy

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