Wednesday, May 11, 2016

GUAM COMBAT PATROL


Joaquin Aguon and George Flores (himself wounded) visit the wounded Vicente Borja
(MARC photo)


Everyone knows the date July 21, 1944 - the day Guam was freed from Japanese control. But this isn't quite true.

On August 8, the Americans took over Mount Santa Rosa in Yigo from the Japanese. On August 10, the last battle between the Americans and Japanese occurred at Matåguak, also in Yigo. That same day, Lt. Gen. Roy Geiger declared the island secured.

Not really.

Japanese soldiers fled into the jungle and grasslands of Guam, hiding for many months. Still armed, they were dangerous to soldier and civilian alike. Three American Marines were killed by Japanese holdouts on December 8, 1944. And this is just one example of the dangers that still lurked in Guam's hidden terrains from Japanese snipers.

American soldiers were constantly on the move looking for Japanese hideouts, assisted by Chamorro scouts. But something more organized in terms of Chamorro participation was desired.

And so, in November of 1944, the military government on Guam ordered the formation of armed scouts made up of local Chamorro civilians.  One source states that the group was called the Enemy Jap Patrol, but that later they were called the Guam Combat Patrol. An initial fourteen men were recruited and then an additional fourteen men from the police force joined them.

Their job was not merely to respond to reported attacks; their job was to go out in pursuit of the hiding Japanese. When the Japanese were discovered, not all of them welcomed it! Being in the Combat Patrol meant risking your life.

Two members of the Combat Patrol were killed while on patrol. Several members were wounded. In the photo above, we see two of the wounded. George Flores and Vicente Borja were injured when a Japanese threw a grenade at them in the Talofofo area.

The Combat Patrol was disbanded in November of 1948 (other sources give different dates). But in the four years they hunted Japanese in Guam's jungles, the Chamorro scouts killed 117 Japanese holdouts and captured five.


MEMBERS OF THE GUAM COMBAT PATROL

Juan U. Aguon (head)
Joaquin S. Aguon
Vicente L. Borja
Jose S. Bukikosa
Francisco J. Cruz
George G. Flores
Roman N. Ignacio
Antonio P. Manibusan
Agapito S. Perez
Pedro A. Perez
Ignacio R. Rivera
Jose P. Salas
Pedro R. San Nicolas
Jose S. Tenorio
Felix C. Wusstig

POLICE OFFICERS WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE GUAM COMBAT PATROL

Edward G. Aflague
Joaquin M. Camacho
Felix T. Cruz
Jose D. Cruz
Mariano C. Cruz
Vicente Q. Dueñas
Francisco C. Leon Guerrero
David L. Lujan
Juan L. Lujan
Charles H. McDonald
Antonio C. Perez
Juan A. Quinata
Pedro C. Santos
Henry F. Taitano

NB : There are other individuals who made the claim they served in the Guam Combat Patrol who do not appear in these lists. These men could have been those who served as scouts before the formation of the Combat Patrol (from August to November, 1944) or who served after the original group were recruited.

4 comments:

  1. Juan U, Aguon is my grandfather.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Agapito S Perez is my father who served on the original team of he 14 combat patrol. Very proud !

    ReplyDelete
  3. Joaquin S. Aguon is my grandfather.

    ReplyDelete