- April 01, 2017
- John Payne
Well after two more weeks on the island I have escorted some new guys on where to go and interesting things to see. Never been much of a shopping and bar man. There is so much history here. The island cries out for us to slow down and take in her beauty, as well as her story. I try to remember this when I get frustrated when things seem to take longer to get done. A lot has happened. I have ventured into the jungle to find WWII wrecks, visited memorials, and hung out in several small towns talking to the locals. This island holds the key to hospitality with it’s customs of being friendly and open. As my time grows short here I am a little sad to leave, but it is hard when I have so many memories to recall.
First day roaming the island after the unit left. One of the new guys wanted to see the other part of the island, the part that isn’t shopping and bars.
On the left and in the middle is the old communications building from WWII. The right is the War Dog memorial.
These are the names of the dogs that lost their lives helping the Marines retake the island. I always come here, every year. Once I saw an MA with his K9 partner. The kong is recent, most likely from a recently fallen team member.
The stairwell was designed and constructed by Japanese POW’s after the retake of the island. The two guns were used at Agat against the Marines landing there.
These are some of the bunkers the Japanese used to defend Agat. Unfortunately someone has spray painted the inside, but still standing inside you get the feeling of the tightness of the space. I was trying to imagine what the men felt as they prepared for the landing. The island was shelled for 13 days at Asan beach before any landing craft came in. Sheer panic when the shelling stopped, because you know they are coming.
Along the lower side of the island there is a definite shift in the environment. The sculpture is of a Chief Gadao a local legend. Next to is is an old spanish church that is being overtaken by the jungle.
As I was driving I stumbled across an empty field with several Latte (Ladde) stones. Some looked like reproductions, but still a very serene site. I am hoping to head back there to try out some celestial night photography.
These are images of the old spanish fort located at the point of Magellan’s circumnavigation. They still have a festival commemorating it.
Our last stop on that day was Asan Beach the main location for the Marine landing. The hike was a little taxing after a day of running around the island. There is a lot more to see and photograph, we just ran out of time that day.