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  • Pacific Island Times Staff

Malesso massacres preceded liberation: Tinta and Faha

Governor Calvo at Tinta, Photo Tim Rock

Solemn ceremonies near Guam's Malesso Village marked a very painful pair of memories from the runup to Guam's liberation a few days later in July, 1944.

At Tinta on July 15, 1944, 30 villagers were told they were going to be part of a work crew and marched to a cave in the area to first rest and spend the night. Soon after they went into the cave, Japanese soldiers tossed grenades into the opening, killing many of the Chamorros inside. The soldiers then took swords and bayonets and began stabbing anyone still alive. Still, by pretending to be dead, fourteen of the Chamorros survived.

Governor Eddie Baza Calvo addressed relatives of those who died, villagers, military and government representatives and well-wishers during the memorial service at the Tinta site.

The next day, July 16th, 1944, 30 people from the village of Malesso were massacred at a place known as Faha by soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army.

Malesso Mayor Chargualaf at the Faha memorial, Photo, Tim Rock

Malesso Mayor Chargualaf at the Faha memorial, Photo, Tim Rock

Unlike the incident of the previous night at Tinta, there were no survivors.

However, the general circumstances regarding the Faha massacre were similar to those of the event at Tinta. Again, using the pretense of gathering a work crew, the Japanese herded a group of men and marched them to the site at Faha. Here the men had grenades thrown at them and were slashed to death.

The exact details of the incident are not clear and the information about it is likely speculative. In fact, the remaining residents of Merizo were not aware of the full extent of the massacre until several days had passed and the bodies were found.

Malesso Mayor Ernest T. Chargualaf presided over the memorial service for the Faha massacre, speaking to relatives of those who died, villagers and a variety of other well-wishers.

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