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  • Pacific Island Times Staff

It's official. The U.S. flag raised over Guam again, July 31, 1944

"In the shadow of Mount Alifan the American flag was raised over the rich red and black soil of Guam at 4 o'clock this afternoon after two and a half years of Japanese occupation. As the Stars and Stripes were unfurled atop a white metal pole in the sultry air, artillery fire crashed from a meadow near by and shells whistled overhead into the Japanese lines near Sumay, two miles away, where marines on a muddy plateau were poised for a drive on the Orote Peninsula airfield."

Robert Trumbull, New York Times, July 31, 1944

Talk about a journalistic scoop in covering the war, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch really had one on the Guam invasion beach. Their on-leave reporter, Captain Milton F. Thompson was there to help raise the flag in the middle of combat. It's become an iconic World War II picture.

And meanwhile, in the many theatres of conflict around the world, the war raged on.

As for the 'secret weapon' that had been tested on Tinian according to many accounts, who knows what that might have been? The atomic bomb which definitively ended the war with Japan would not arrive there until 1945.

There were many things to come for the people of Guam and America in the months that followed this day. The children held at the Manenggon concentration camp would grow up in a liberated post-war world. George Tweed, once the ghost hiding in the jungles and caves of Guam would return to Oregon and his civilian life. And that bullet-riddled flag from the beaches of Guam would help raise huge amounts through war bond sales during a national tour.

July, 1944, a month that the island will never forget.


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