July 6, 1945 – Paul Manning reports from Guam – Mutual – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
July 6, 1945 – With the recapture of Guam, there were still pockets of resistance and the job of mopping up continued. But while the last of the occupying Japanese forces were being rooted out; taken prisoner or killed, crews were busy setting up airfields to accommodate squadrons of B-29’s in preparation for the all-out assault on the main island of Japan. With each island re-captured, airfields were quickly set up, bringing the attack distance to Japan closer and the round-the-clock raids on Tokyo and the industrial cities relentless and efficient.
The island of Guam in the western Pacific was one of several U.S. territories occupied by the Japanese during World War II, others notably being the Philippines and a portion of Alaska. Around 59,000 U.S. service members and a large number of native Chamorros faced about 18,000 Japanese. Fighting in the thick jungle and steep terrain was difficult for both sides, with about 3,000 U.S. troops killed and more than 18,000 Japanese dead when it was over.
Although organized Japanese resistance ended Aug. 10, some 7,500 Japanese soldiers remained in the jungle for some time, and some continued the fight. The last of the Japanese soldiers, Shoichi Yokoi, was discovered Jan. 24, 1972.
This report from Mutual’s Paul Manning, stationed on Guam relays the mopping up process taking place, and interviews several military personnel. He talks about the number of Japanese prisoners in camps around Guam and how they’ve been pressed into service, clearing roads and doing the other manual labor required of prisoners. Manning remarks that the Japanese prisoners have, on the whole, gained considerable weight since capture, owing to the unaccustomed America rations.
Closing out this report is an interview with actor Eddie Bracken, who is touring the Pacific as part of a USO troupe, the first one to visit the island since its recapture. They talk about the positive effect the USO shows are having on morale of the troops and Bracken remarks his show is heading to several re-taken islands, ending up at Okinawa.
And that’s the report from Guam, as presented by Paul Manning for Mutual via shortwave on July 6, 1945.