70 years ago – Battle 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.

Guam 29th
Good morning, my sweetheart.

The 9th day opened up with terrific artillery – mostly my old friend Col. “Artillery” I went to his position yesterday and I am now holed in under his line of fire. Every day is 10 times as bad as Pearl. Yesterday we took Sumay and Mt. Tenjo. The going is tough because these Nips are all roped in and surrounded by land mines. We found a vast pile of Jap stores and I have my gang hauling them to the compound where we will use them to feed the natives. The Japs really have fine canned goods. One label enclosed is off of a can of very fine tangerines.

We were bothered by snipers, but the patrol with us killed them all. One prisoner we brought in had a wounded hand. When we took him in for treatment he bowed in true Jap style and when he left he gravely did it again. He cried when talking to the interpreter, saying, win or lose he would have no place to go. He looked 17, said he was 23.

Last night I took a look at Agat and along the Sumay road. What a mess. Cows, caribou, chickens, dogs and cats are gradually drifting into our lines. Got a letter from Marg McBride yesterday, written July 12th. Your last was 5 July. We do have mail drifting in and I hope to get a lot from the grandest woman there is. I did get a chance to read your letters again. All of your letters show an unbounding faith in me. There is no way a wife can hold her man greater than that of faith. I, too, have faith in you unfettered. It all helps me tremendously. You are my guiding star and I love you, my lovely lady

– Your devoted Ground Squirrel.

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