GUAM, PHILIPPINES, JAPAN NEXT, KING HINTS–Fleet Chief Foreshadows New Blows; U.S. Losses Believed Moderate

From the July 24, 1944 Edition of Stars and Stripes

American troops broadened their beachheads on Guam and were landing more troops against initial light Japanese resistance, Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, commander-in-chief of the Central Pacific, announced yesterday.

Meanwhile, new blows ranging from the Philippines to Japan itself were foreshadowed by Adm. Ernest J. King, commander-in-chief of the fleet, after a visit with Nimitz on Saipan, the newly captured island base in the Marianas. King said his conference with Nimitz and his staff involved operations of “quite a long range.”

“If you strike a radius of 1,500 miles from Saipan, it is interesting to see what it covers to Japan, China and the Philippines,” King said.

guam invasion battle

Two Marine officers plant the American flag on Guam minutes after landing.

Control Main Road

U.S. assault troops on Guam now control the main road which runs north and west across the island, connecting the Orote peninsula, with its 4,700-foot airstrip, with other Japanese centers on the east coast. The invaders were advancing on either side of the port of Apra, one of the finest harbor in the Pacific.

Two forces made the landings on the Guam beaches seven miles apart. the Third Marine Division, veterans of Bougainville, went ashore on the northern beach, above the Orote peninsula, while the First Provisional Marine Brigade hit at Agata Bangi Point, just below the peninsula.

The record-breaking naval and air bombardment of the beaches and defense installations softened resistance, but the marines and soldiers were encountering stiffer opposition as they moved inland, Nimitz reported.

Nimitz also announced that the preliminary estimated indicated initial American casualties were moderate in comparison with the Saipan landings.

Seize Mount Alifan

“We have captured Mount Alifan in the southern area,” the Nimitz communique said. “In the north the roads from Agana to Piti town are in our hands.”

A Japanese assault in the foothills of the Torricelli mountains on New Guinea–the southern end of the American line along the Driniumor River, 21 miles east of Aitape–was repelled, Gen. Douglas MacArthur announced. it was reported that 105 more Japs were killed, making the known total of Japanese dead 1,474 since they first sought to break out the Allied trap on July 10.

The Allies continued their aerial attacks on Yap, in the Carolines. American heavy bombers dropping 37 tons on runways and barracks areas. Twenty enemy planes were intercepted and eight destroyed. Other Japanese strongholds in the area were also bombed.

For Further Reading Check Out:

From Bugle Boy to Battleship: A Battle of Saipan and Guam Veteran’s Memoirs

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