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  • Pacific Island Times Staff

Marching toward the Guam invasion, July 12, 1944

Things to do on wartime Saipan, following the battle: of July, 1944:

You could establish a beach head for the burgeoning war correspondent population. You could take snap shots of the ruins of Garapan. Or you could go for a bike ride, hoping not to meet up with any Japanese stragglers.

Even better, if your hometown possessed a really big-time newspaper with its very own war correspondent on the scene, you might wind up on the front page for all the folks at home to see.

That's what happened for Marine Private First Class Thomas C. Shipley, who was on security guard duty atop Mount Tapotchau, enjoying the breezes and beating the tropical heat of the lowlands. Shipley survived the perilous ride to the beach in an LST, with mortar rounds exploding around the craft.

Having had time to look the island over, though under difficult circumstances, PFC Shipley, who was still sleeping in a fox hole, had an interesting take on Saipan's future:

"Someone ought to build a hotel here when the war is over," said PFC Shipley to Baltimore Sun War Correspondent Howard M. Norton."

Meanwhile, the New York Times was looking ahead to events that would unfold in little more than a week.

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