*** World War II Pacific Theater -- Marianas Guam actual liberation

The Marianas: Actual Liberation (July 1944)

liberation of Guam

Figure 1.--Here Chamoros liberated from the Japanese concentration camp head to a refugee camp set up by the Americans. A Marine escort was provided for their security.

Liberation was not the best way to describe the defeat of the Japanese in Asia and the Pacific. Much of what the Japanese conquered were European colonies. But liberation certainly describes what happened when the Americans landed on Guam. Guam is was the only U.S. territory with a substantial population that was occupied by a foreign power during the War. The Philippines was a little different. At the time of World War II, the United States had granted the Philippines independence and self government. Formal transfer of power in the Philippines was to occur in 1943. This was delayed by the Japanese invasion. Filipino attitudes toward the Americans were generally positive, but varied, although the brutality of the Japanese changed many minds. The Guamanian Chamorros, although not yet American citizens were almost uniformly pro-American. The American benevolent, if paternalistic treatment of the Chamorros had changed life for the better through a more active economy, public health programs, and public schools. The U.S. Navy administrators had respected Chamorro traditions and safe guarded their property. A clear affection existed between the Americans and the Guamanian Chamorro people even before the Japanese invasion. Nearly 3 years of brutal Japanese rule only confirmed Chamorro attitudes toward the Americans. There was no doubt among the Chamorros that the Americans would return and they resisted the Japanese as best they could. Needless to say, the Chamorros were jubilant to see the Americans returning to drive out the Japanese. No captive people in the Pacific were more glad to see the Americans than the Chamorro people. For the Marines and Army soldiers, the reception by the Chamorro people was uplifting. It made it clear what they were fighting for.


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Created: 11:10 PM 1/17/2024
Last updated: 11:10 PM 1/17/2024