While in Guam, check out War in the Pacific National Park, a historical park that was constructed in 1978 and is now considered a protected area. Quite obviously, this national park was established to honor those who participated in liberating the Pacific area during World War II.
As World War II erupted in 1941, Japanese troops arrived and seized the island for their own. After Pearl Harbor was attacked, the Japanese began the two-day strafing of this tiny US territory until eventually the naval governor surrendered. On July 21 1944, American forces came back to reclaim Guam during the War in the Pacific, which involved many other nations such as Australia, Canada, China, France, Great Britain, New Zealand and the Netherlands. Thousands of lives were lost as more than 1,700 American servicemen were killed. Soldiers and heroes from several nations are honored in the National Park.
Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Guam is very strategically positioned to the east of Southeast Asia, southwest of Hawaii and about 13 degrees above the equator. Centuries before the Second World War, European explorers sought to take control of this island-nation and eventually it was claimed by Ferdinand Magellan for the Spanish Crown. Spanish sentries and forts were constructed to guard ships that were passing along the Spanish trade route. Today, the prime importance of Guam is in its tourism, although a US military base is still stationed in the island. Tourists from all over the world visit the island for its parks, historical sites, exotic festivals, interesting culture and world-class beaches and dive sites.
Regarding the War in the Pacific National Park, what’s really unique about it is that it comprises so many war-related landmarks such as old battlefields, trenches, caves, gun emplacements, monuments, and other historic structures. Tourists view these sites with much awe and respect. Looking at these silent reminders of the bloody world war, onlookers are transported into a period of history that everyone hopes would never happen again.
Important features of the National Park are the Asan landing beach, Asan Point, Mt Tenjo and Mt Chahao, Agat Unit, Mt. Alifan Unit and Piti Unit. The Asan landing beach, which is made up of 109 land acres and 445 water acres, was where the 3rd Marine Division arrived and was met by the Japanese 320th Infantry Battalion. Today, tourists can still see Japanese defenses and war-related structures at Asan Point and Adelup Point.
Asan Point is an important area in the park since it has a museum that tells about the overall story of the Pacific War. There is a wide area that is said to be littered with gun emplacements, caves, foxholes, and pillboxes, but it is not accessible by the public. It is now covered with a jungle of thick swordgrass savannah. Offshore is perfect for snorkeling and diving because of the many sunken US military equipments.
A military unit used to stand between Mt. Tenjo and Mt. Chachao that overlooked the surrounding area, which included Apra Harbor and Orote Point. Today, tourists can hike up to the unit to see foxholes and gun emplacements.
More war remains can be seen at the Agat Unit, which was the southern landing beach, Mount Alifan Unit, where there were heavy fighting between US and Japanese troops, and Piti Unit, which contains three Japanese defense guns that are still in good condition.
The War in the Pacific National Park offers spots that are perfect for hiking, swimming or diving for tourists, especially those who have a special liking for World War II mementos.