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World War II Sites

Guam is home to more than a dozen World War II sites. Each offers a unique perspective on the war. Many are accessible only on foot via hiking trails, so make sure you are prepared with suitable clothing, footwear, sunscreen, and water. And of course, a camera can be one of the best ways to capture history, allowing you to share this special part of your vacation for years to come.

Historical Background

Although Guam is now an island territory of the United States with a significant military presence, it has not always been an American stronghold. During World War II, its location about 900 miles north of the equator in the Western Pacific made Guam immeasurably valuable to both the Axis and Allied Powers. Guam played a pivotal role in the war and remains a great place to explore history firsthand.

The island has been a possession of the United States since 1898, except for a brief period beginning when the Japanese seized control in December 1941. In July 1944, U.S. Marines landed on both sides of Guam, and by early August their counterattacks had taken a serious toll on Japanese troops, solidifying the U.S. forces' trek to victory.

Overview of Diverse Sites

History buffs and novices alike could spend days or even weeks delving into Guam's past as a crucial battleground in World War II.

Dive to explore underwater shipwrecks, or walk a grassy hillside to discover intact weapons shelters. Visit solemn memorials to Japanese and U.S. soldiers. Pay your respects at the sites of the Tinta and Faha massacre that claimed the lives of nearly 50 Chamorro men and women. Guam is also home to the only National Park Service facility dedicated to the Pacific Theater of World War II.

Please be aware, there are two facilities (Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Station Historic Sites) that can only be toured with valid military identification or through a sponsor.