Cover: Guam


Operations of the
77th Division

21 July-10 August 1944

CMH Logo


First printed by the Historical Division, War Department,
for the American Forces in Action series, 1946

CMH Pub 100-5

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, D.C. 20402

Foreword to CMH Edition

Guam: Operations of the 77th Division (21 July-10 August 1944) is one of a series of fourteen studies of World War II operations originally published by the War Department's Historical Division and now returned to print as part of the Army's commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of that momentous clash of arms. These volumes, prepared by professional historians shortly after the events described, provide a concise summary of some of the major campaigns and battles fought by American soldiers. The skillful combination of combat interviews with primary sources, many of which are now lost, gives these unassuming narratives a special importance to military historians. The careful analysis of key operations provides numerous lessons for today's military students.

I am pleased that this entire group of studies will once again be available I urge all military students and teachers to use them to enhance our collective awareness of the skill, leadership, daring, and professionalism exhibited by our military forebears.

Washington, D.C.
15 September 1989
Colonel, FA
Chief of Military History



In a nation at war, teamwork by the whole people is necessary for victory. But the issue is decided on the battlefield, toward which all national effort leads. The country's fate lies in the hands of its soldier citizens; in the clash of battle is found the final test of plans, training, equipment, and-above all-the fighting spirit of units and individuals.

AMERICAN FORCES IN ACTION SERIES presents detailed accounts of particular combat operations of United States forces. To the American public, this record of high achievement by men who served their nation well is presented as a preface to the full military history of World War II. To the soldiers who took part in the operations concerned, these narratives will give the opportunity to see more clearly the results of orders which they obeyed and of sacrifices which they and their comrades made, in performance of missions that find their meaning in the outcome of a larger plan of battle.

s/Dwight D. Eisenhower
Chief of Staff




Historical Division
Washington 25, D. C.
1 February 1946

The seizure of Guam in July-August 1944 added another base to our growing chain of possessions encircling the Japanese homeland. Marine troops made the initial landings on Guam and were aided in capturing the island by army units, comprised chiefly of the 77th Infantry Division. Guam tells the Army's part of the campaign.

This study is based upon a first narrative prepared in the field from military records and from notes and interviews recorded during the operation by S/Sgt. James M. Burns. The manuscript of this historical officer has been edited and partially rewritten with the help of additional documentation by Mrs. Marjorie Cline of the editorial staff of the Historical Division. Although in published form the book contains no documentation, the original manuscript, fully documented, is on file in the War Department. Two photographs (pp. 43 and 120) are International News Photos; four (pp. 59, 105, 115) are from the Bishop Museum on Oahu; seven (pp. 15, 21, 32, 33, 54, 69, 78) were taken by the U. S. Navy; one (p. 34) is from the U. S. Coast Guard; one (p. 44) was taken by the U. S. Marine Corps; two (pp. 152 26) were supplied by the Air Transport Command, Overseas Technical Unit. The rest, unless otherwise stated in the captions, were taken by the U. S. Army Signal Corps. Photographs from International News Photos may not be reproduced without the approval of the War Department. Readers are urged to send directly to the Historical Division, War Department, Washington 25, D. C., comments, criticism, and additional information which may be of value in the preparation of a complete and definitive history of the Guam operation.



Offensive in the Central Pacific
Marianas Islands
The Island of Guam 13 
Enemy Forces on Guam 19 
Plan of Attack 23 
Preparations for W Day 29 
The Landings 31 
Expanding the Beachheads 37 
Attack on Orote Peninsula 41 
Establishment of Final Beachline 47 
Battle of Supply 53 
Reconnaissance of Southern Guam 57 
Pursuit to the North 63 
77th Division's Supply Route 73 
The Pursuit Continues 75 
Feeling Out Enemy Positions 80 
The Gap on the Left 84 
Tanks Support the 305th 90 
Attempt to Close the Gap 93 
North to 0-3 Line 101 
The 306th Takes Over the Left (5-6 August) 107 
Two Japanese Tanks 111 
Plans for the Attack on Mt. Santa Rosa 117 
Attack on Yigo 119 
Tank Attack Against the 306th (7 /8 August) 126 
Push Beyond Mt. Santa Rosa (8 August) 127 
Mopping Up 129 
ANNEX NO. 1: Abbreviations 135 



No.   Page
1 Allied Advance in the Pacific x
2 Central Pacific Islands 2
3 The Southern Marianas: Plan of Attack, III and V Amphibious Corps 8
4 Guam (physiographic map) 12
5 Enemy Dispositions on Guam, July 1944 18
6 Preferred Plan of Attack on Guam, III Amphibious Corps 22
7 W-Day Landing, III Amphibious Corps, 21 July 1944 30
8 Beachheads on W + 1, 111 Amphibious Corps, 22 July 1944 36
9 77th Division Sector, 24-27 July 1944 38
10 Orote Peninsula, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, 25-29 July 1944 42
11 The Gap, 77th Division and 3d Marine Division, 25-27 July 1944 46
12 Reconnaissance of Southern Guam, 28 July-2 August 1944 58
13 Pursuit Phase, III Amphibious Corps, 31 July-1 August 1944 62
14 Construction of New Road, 302d Engineer Combat Battalion, to 31 July 1944 72
15 Approach to Barrigada, 77th Division, 2-4 August 1944 76
16 Reconnaissance of Barrigada, Company D, 706th Tank Battalion, Company I, 305th RCT 80
17 The Gap on the Left, About Noon, 2 August 1944 82
18 Situation on the Right, Close of Day, 2 August 1944 91
19 Company G's Attack, 1500-Dark, 2 August 1944 95
20 Barrigada Positions, Close of Day, 2 August 1944 98
21 Advance to the 0-3 Line, 305th and 307th RCT, 3-4 August 1944 100
22 Plan for Advance, 77th Division, 5 August 1944 108
23 Advance to 0-4 Line, 77th Division, 5-6 August 1944 109
24 Plans for Final Phase, III Amphibious Corps 116
25 Action at Yigo, 7 August 1944 118
26 Night Positions, 7/8 August 1944 124
27 Guam (in color) Inside back cover


page created 28 June 2001

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