Operations of the
21 July-10 August 1944
CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY
First printed by the Historical Division, War Department,
CMH Pub 100-5
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Foreword to CMH Edition
Guam: Operations of the 77th Division (21 July-10 August 1944) is one of a series of fourteen studies of World War II operations originally published by the War Department's Historical Division and now returned to print as part of the Army's commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of that momentous clash of arms. These volumes, prepared by professional historians shortly after the events described, provide a concise summary of some of the major campaigns and battles fought by American soldiers. The skillful combination of combat interviews with primary sources, many of which are now lost, gives these unassuming narratives a special importance to military historians. The careful analysis of key operations provides numerous lessons for today's military students.
I am pleased that this entire group of studies will once again be available I urge all military students and teachers to use them to enhance our collective awareness of the skill, leadership, daring, and professionalism exhibited by our military forebears.
In a nation at war, teamwork by the whole people is necessary for victory. But the issue is decided on the battlefield, toward which all national effort leads. The country's fate lies in the hands of its soldier citizens; in the clash of battle is found the final test of plans, training, equipment, and-above all-the fighting spirit of units and individuals.
AMERICAN FORCES IN ACTION SERIES presents detailed accounts of particular combat operations of United States forces. To the American public, this record of high achievement by men who served their nation well is presented as a preface to the full military history of World War II. To the soldiers who took part in the operations concerned, these narratives will give the opportunity to see more clearly the results of orders which they obeyed and of sacrifices which they and their comrades made, in performance of missions that find their meaning in the outcome of a larger plan of battle.
s/Dwight D. Eisenhower
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
Chief of Staff
The seizure of Guam in July-August 1944 added another base to our growing chain of possessions encircling the Japanese homeland. Marine troops made the initial landings on Guam and were aided in capturing the island by army units, comprised chiefly of the 77th Infantry Division. Guam tells the Army's part of the campaign.
This study is based upon a first narrative prepared in the field from military records and from notes and interviews recorded during the operation by S/Sgt. James M. Burns. The manuscript of this historical officer has been edited and partially rewritten with the help of additional documentation by Mrs. Marjorie Cline of the editorial staff of the Historical Division. Although in published form the book contains no documentation, the original manuscript, fully documented, is on file in the War Department. Two photographs (pp. 43 and 120) are International News Photos; four (pp. 59, 105, 115) are from the Bishop Museum on Oahu; seven (pp. 15, 21, 32, 33, 54, 69, 78) were taken by the U. S. Navy; one (p. 34) is from the U. S. Coast Guard; one (p. 44) was taken by the U. S. Marine Corps; two (pp. 152 26) were supplied by the Air Transport Command, Overseas Technical Unit. The rest, unless otherwise stated in the captions, were taken by the U. S. Army Signal Corps. Photographs from International News Photos may not be reproduced without the approval of the War Department. Readers are urged to send directly to the Historical Division, War Department, Washington 25, D. C., comments, criticism, and additional information which may be of value in the preparation of a complete and definitive history of the Guam operation.
page created 28 June 2001