War in the Pacific National Historical Park is comprised of the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center and seven National Park Service sites located throughout Guam. The units are at Asan Beach, Asan Bay Overlook, Piti Guns, Mt. Tenjo/Mt. Chachao, Agat (Apaca Point and Ga'an Point), Mt. Alifan and Fonte Plateau
Within the seven park units, there are coral reefs, limestone forests, wetlands, a mahogany forest and a tropical savanna ecosystem. Activities include fishing, hiking, picnicking, snorkeling and diving. Many units also contain World War II relics, including historic structures and military equipment.
The T. Stell Newman Visitor Center is home to state-of-the-art museum exhibits including interactive displays, oral histories, touch bins, and more. These exhibits tell the story of the events of World War II and the Battle for Guam, and provide an overview of the island's natural resources. The exhibits are free to the public.
Pacific Historic Parks' museum store is located inside the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center. Proceeds from all purchases made at the museum store support National Park Service programs at War in the Pacific National Historical Park.
Covering 109 land acres and 445 water acres, Asan Beach is the site of the northern American landings during the recapture of Guam. The many interpretive exhibits, memorials, and monuments testify to the incredibly diverse history of this historic spot. Today, the area is one of the most active recreational sites on Guam. Fishermen, picnickers, and divers mingle with those seeking historical insights at the beautiful white sandy beach.
Diving is rated intermediate in difficulty due to the reef configuration and resultant unpredictable currents. An incredible array of corals and fish compete for space on the shallow bay bottom and fringing reef. Divers are warned to stay well clear of any ordnance as some may still be live. The remnants of an American amtrac lies in 25 feet of water in the northern part of the bay but divers are advised to stay near the southern areas due to better visibility.
Asan Bay Overlook sits atop the ridge line and features a Memorial Wall of Names that pays tribute to those who lost their lives or suffered atrocities during the war.
The Asan Bay Overlook Memorial Wall contains the names of 1,880 U.S. servicemen who died in the 1941 defense of Guam against the attacking Japanese armed forces and those who died retaking the island from Japan in 1944 along with the names of the 1,170 people of Guam who died and 14,721 who suffered atrocities of war from 1941-1944.
Also available is a special monument dedicated to the first Chamorro U.S. Navy casualties of World War II.
The overlook features a peaceful, panoramic view of most of the eastern half of Guam.
Three Japanese coastal defense guns are located in the hills above Piti, a village on the west side of the island. The guns are accessible by way of a short, steep trail that ascends through thick coastal jungle. Two guns are located in earth revetments; the third gun is situated in a low-walled concrete emplacement.
The guns are Japanese-made Vickers-type Model 3 (1914) 140mm coastal defense guns with visible Japanese foundry stamps on the breech. The guns had a range of close to 10 miles and were intended for use primarily against ships and landing craft. They are typical of large coastal defense guns used throughout the Pacific island campaigns during World War II.
The guns were never fired and were not operational on the morning of July 21 when U.S. Marines landed on Guam. The second gun is partially buried in thick vegetation and was dislodged from its base following the war.
The trail to and the areas around the Piti Guns are home to a wide variety of vegetation. The trail includes African tulip trees, betel nut palms, tangantangan, hibiscus, spider lilies, crotons, and various ferns. The areas around the guns include large Kamachile trees, a native of Central America, and broad-leafed mahogany, which were planted around 1928.
The trail now includes spectacular views of the island. From the first gun, visitors can view Apra Harbor, Orote Peninsula and the village of Piti. The third gun includes clear views of Guam's beaches.
Although not directly assaulted by U.S. troops, the area was heavily defended and still shows the scars of pre-invasion bombardment and the remnants of Japanese defensive positions.
Most noticeable is the reinforced concrete and limestone-cliff Japanese pillbox on the south side of Apaca Point. Two openings would have allowed automatic weapon and rifle support with a wide field of fire. The area now contains a shaded picnic area and a rare wetlands areas just to the south.
Featuring the rocking outcrop known as the Japanese stronghold, Ga'an Point contains well-maintained Japanese gun casements, pillboxes, caves, tunnels, and even Japanese graffiti carved into a concrete pillbox entrance. Also situated here are a Japanese 25mm anti-aircraft gun, a 20cm short-barrel naval gun and national flags honoring citizens of the nations that fought, and died, here.
While today relatively undeveloped, the high ground above Asan Beach known as Fonte Plateau, according to author Don Farrell, was "...the scene of the key battle of the invasion." To best defend against the northern American landings, Commander Lieutenant General Takeshi Takashina had deployed an infantry regiment in concrete bunkers above his Fonte Plateau command and communications post. As the battle for Guam progressed, these fortifications and men constantly reinforced defensive positions, again and again denying the Americans the coveted high ground.
A beautiful view of northern Guam greets visitors to the site today. Children participating in the National Park Service and Pacific Historic Parks' education programs recently cleaned and repainted the communication center's concrete openings and efforts are under way to provide more on-site interpretation.
The site of the Japanese 38th Infantry Regiment command post contains a labyrinth of fortified trenches, foxholes, caves, rifle pits, and gun emplacement. Heavily defended during the battle, Mt. Alifan was the high ground above the Agat invasion beaches and thus, a necessary goal of the 4th U.S. Marines tasked with taking it.
The advance became a brutal and costly slog through wicked machine gun crossfire, artillery, and accurate mortar attacks. Marines and reinforcements from the Army's 77th Infantry Division overpowered the defenders through sheer willpower; sealing caves, flushing pockets of resistance, and battling fanatical Japanese in hand-to-hand combat until the high ground was in American hands.
The 45 acres of this site represent the highest ground taken by U.S. forces during the battle for Guam. Elements of both Marines and Army troops captured the lightly defended mountain complexes one week after the initial landings. This attainment of the Final Beachhead Line provided excellent vantage points to the north, south, and east, as the Japanese fled north.
For locations and directions, view an interactive map of the park units.
The T. Stell Newman Visitor Center and museum store are open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
T. Stell Newman Visitor Center: 1657-B, Santa Rita, Guam. Phone: (671) 333-4050.
Special use permits are required for groups of 25 or more. To download a permit application, visit nps.gov/wapa and click on Fees and Reservations.
For more information about the Battle for Guam, please visit the National Park Service website.
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