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Guam

By John C. Pursley 
Originally published by World War II magazine. Published Online: March 12, 2009 
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When You Go

Guam, the westernmost territory of the United States, is 3,300 miles west of Hawaii and 1,500 miles south of Japan. Air travelers will fly into Guam's centrally located Won Pat International Airport; car rental is recommended.

Where to Stay and Eat

The center of tourism on the island is the city of Tumon; many large hotel chains offer accommodations on the mile-and-a-half-long beach on Tumon Bay. Thuy's Café (671-477-9595), in the nearby capital city of Hagatna, is a warm and friendly mom-and-pop establishment with wonderful Vietnamese and Thai food.

To sample native cuisine and culture, visit the Wednesday night market at Chamarro Village in Hagatna, where vendors offer plates of barbecue topped with a local hot sauce called finadene; lumpia, vegetable egg rolls dipped in garlic sauce; and ahu, shredded coconut boiled in sugar water.

What Else to See

Diving is spectacular around Guam, which is located near the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean in the world. The clear, warm water is home to healthy coral reefs and other vibrant marine life, as well an array of wrecks, including the Tokai Maru, a Japanese freighter torpedoed by the submarine USS Snapper in 1943, which came to rest beside the SMS Cormoran, a German auxiliary cruiser scuttled in 1917—the only place in the world where shipwrecks from two world wars are known to be touching.

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5 Responses to “Guam”


  1. 1
    tara Simpson says:

    I am so disappointed to find that you did not mention another treasure trove of historical artifacts from World War II. You would have driven straight by the Pacific War Museum on your way up Nimitz Hill. This is a privately owned war museum. The owner, a Marine and Vietnam veteran has dedicated his life to preserving the history of the Pacific War on Guam and educating others about the experience. Included in the amazing collection, 22 fully restored and operable military vehicles, WWII era, and a 500 year old samurai sword belonging to Gen. Obata (the final Japanese commander on Guam, who died on the final day of battle for the liberation of Guam, 10 August 1944).

    The man who owns and operates the Pacific War museum is the same who walked and pulled a cart from the gates of Andersen AFB to the Navy base (22 miles) in an attempt to bring public attention and support to have the name of US 1 changed from "Marine Drive" to "Marine Corps Drive." Too many people were forgetting the meaning of the road's name, thinking it referred to marine life, rather than honoring the Seabees who built the road shortly after the liberation of Guam. The publicized walk was worth it- the following day the governor of Guam signed the new name into law.

    There is an incredible amount of history packed into the tiny Pacific island.

    • 1.1
      scott henderson says:

      War on GUAM is my favorate topic. I had served in the navy on the uss san jose afs-7 1984-1987. Ive studied alot about the ww2 exp. between the imperial japaneese army and the u.s. marines. Can you teach me more? I would enjoy to share some info. with tou please contact me. scott henderson.

      • 1.1.1
        James Oelke says:

        Hafa adai Scott,

        As an Operations Specialist aboard the "Happy Jose" from 1987-1990, I must have taken up where you left off…

        I made a decision to stay on Guam and have now been here 25 years. It is an amazing island and the weather, people, and culture have made the decision a very rewarding one. Today I serve with the National Park Service's War in the Pacific National Historical Park on Guam and the American Memorial Park on Saipan.

        Our museum opens July 20, 2012 to the public with new displays and interactives that I think will really enliven the discussion of the battles within the Pacific. It took a long time to put it all together – yet the result is very well done.

        Try out http://www.nps.gov/wapa

        Go to the history and culture page and look at the in-depth web page – tons of information and photos there – should keep you busy for a while!

        Esta,
        James

  2. 2
    MSgt Foster says:

    Did you visit the Air Force base and Northwest Field ? I was stationed on Guam for ten years during the Vietnam War with the biggest bombing missions since WWII. I handled and handsprayed Agent Orange herbicides on Guam for ten years which i personally hand sprayed a few million gallons of it on and off base Guam. take a look at the evidence http://www.guamagentorange.info/home and the cancer rate on Guam in the highest rate in the world. the tab personal stories has many government documents for proof of what I did there with eye witnesses.

  3. 3
    guammanian says:

    guam is fascinating to live in since i live here it rains alot not that much sun when it is sunny it is super hot.



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