[corrections and notations in
SURRENDER OF GUAM TO THE JAPANESE
By George J. McMillin, Captain, USN
11 September 1945
From: Captain G. J. McMillin, U.S. Navy
To: The Secretary of the Navy
Subj: Surrender of Guam to Japanese
1. On 8 December 1941, I was
serving as Governor of Guam and Commandant of the Naval Station,
2. At about 0600, on 10 December
1941, I surrendered the island and military and naval forces
located there to the senior officer present, Imperial Japanese
Forces in Guam (Enclosure 1).
3. Since that time, and until 20 August 1945, when we were informed
by Russian forces occupying the Mukden, Manchuria area that we
were free, I have been a prisoner of war in Japanese hands. A
report of my prisoner of war experience will be made in separate
correspondence. The following report on the circumstances of
the surrender of Guam is made from memory more than three and
one-half years after the event. All notes made at the time were
destroyed when the Japanese started periodic searches of personal
effects, generally removing written matter. Dates and times mentioned
are Guam dates and times.
4. The political situation in
the Pacific was assumed to be tense during the summer of 1941.
After an effort extending over several months, arrangements were
finally made to evacuate all dependents, including civilians,
from Guam. This evacuation was completed on 17 October 1941,
with one exception, Mrs. J. A. Hellmers, the wife of John Anthony
Hellmers, Chief Commissary Steward, U.S. Navy. Mrs. Hellmers
was expecting to be confined for childbirth before the transport
"HENDERSON" was due in San Francisco . All precautions
possible were taken to be prepared to carry out the mission assigned
to the Station, and to prevent surprise. The Station ship "GOLD
STAR" was in the southern Philippines, and on the day preceding
the start of hostilities was loaded and ready to proceed for
Guam. On 7 December the Commander in Chief Asiatic Fleet ordered
the ship to delay sailing for Guam on account of the serious
international situation. A warning message was received from
the Department about 4 December. This was the first information
from the Navy Department regarding the international situation.
On 6 December classified matter was destroyed by burning, in
accordance with instructions received from the Navy Department.
5. About 0545, 8 December, a
message was received which had been originated by the Commander
in Chief, Asiatic Fleet, to the effect that Japan had commenced
hostilities by attacking Pearl Harbor, prior to a declaration
of war. Steps were taken immediately to evacuate the civilian
population from Agaņa, and from the vicinity of possible
military objectives, in accordance with a plan previously prepared.
All Japanese nationals were arrested at once, and confined in
jail. All navigation lights were ordered extinguished. Schools
were suspended, and church gatherings prohibited. The civil population
had been previously instructed about what they should do in air
raids. The Bank of Guam was ordered to remain closed. All activities
were ordered to take station for carrying out the assigned mission,
but instructions were issued that no destruction was to start
without specific orders from Government House, or when it was
definitely apparent that the Japanese were on the Island.
6. The U.S.S. PENGUIN had been
on patrol off the Harbor entrance during the night. This nightly
patrol of the PENGUIN or a Y.P. boat had been in effect for about
six months. The PENGUIN was informed by radio, and instructed
to remain outside the Harbor prepared for air raids.
7. The Insular Force Guard (about 80 natives of Guam), a force
that was authorized for enlistment in April 1941, were assembled
in the Guard Headquarters on the Plaza in Agaņa. The U.S.
Marines (less about 50 on duty on patrol stations throughout
the island, plus police and Government House detail) were at
the Marine Barracks, Sumay.
8. Enemy planes appeared from
the direction of Saipan shortly after eight o'clock, and the
first bombs were dropped on the Marine Reservation and vicinity
at 0827. The Marines were in barracks, or on their normal duties
throughout the post. Several were injured running across the
golf course, for protection in the surrounding thickets. The
Pan Air Hotel kitchen received a direct hit, and several native
employees were killed. An attack was made on the U.S.S. PENGUIN
outside the Harbor; the ship gallantly fought, but was soon in
a sinking condition. Ensign White, U.S.N.R., was killed by machine
gun fire at his station on the AA gun. The PENGUIN had the only
guns on the Station larger than a .30 caliber machine gun. The
ship was abandoned in a sinking condition, and sank in deep water
off Orote Point. There were several men injured, but all of the
crew succeeded in getting ashore on life rafts, bringing Ensign
White's body with them. The Captain, Lieutenant J.W.. Haviland,
3rd, U.S. N., was wounded. A complete list of dead and wounded
is attached (Enclosure 2). The Navy Yard, Piti, was badly strafed
and bombed, with considerable damage to material. The U.S.S.
ROBERT L. BARNES was strafed and bombed at her buoy in the Harbor.
Several leaks were started in her hull. The radio station at
Libugon was strafed and bombed during the day. One bomb wrecked
a civilian house near the Naval Hospital, and not far from Government
House. The house had been occupied by Tweed, G.R., radioman first
class, U.S. Navy. The greatest number of planes seen at one time
during the day was nine. They generally came in at an altitude
of about 1500 feet.
9. Bombing was discontinued about
1700, and not resumed until about 0830 the following day. A report
came in that a native dugout had landed about daybreak near Ritidian
Point, the northern end of the island, and that about eight Japanese
from Rota had entered the island. The patrol and police arrested
and brought in three men who admitted that they were natives
of Saipan, that they had relatives in Guam, and that the Japanese
had sent them over to act as interpreters when the Japanese landing
force arrived. These men were identified by reliable natives
of Guam as residents of Saipan. The men said the Japanese would
make their landing the next morning (Tuesday), in the vicinity
of Recreation Beach, to the eastward of Agaņa. This proved
correct, except that the landing was made on Wednesday, 10 December.
I asked these men why they gave me this information. They replied
to the effect that the Japanese had treated the natives of Saipan
like slaves, and that they had determined to tell what they knew,
even though they would be shot should the Japanese find out about
it. I was not inclined to accept the story at the time since
I thought it might be a trick to have the Marines moved from
Sumay to the Beach during the night, in order that they might
make a landing in the Apra Harbor area without opposition. The
three informers were locked up in jail, where the Japanese found
them two days later.
10. Bombing continued on Tuesday, 11 December. No surface ships
were seen until the next day when the landing was made. Considerable
additional material damage was done at the Marine Reservation,
Pan Air Installation, Standard Oil tanks (which had been set
on fire by bombs on Monday, 10 December), Navy Yard, Piti, and
Libugon. Lookout stations at Ritidian Point were machine gunned,
also the villages of Dededo, Inarajan, Merizo, and Umatac. A
bomb possibly intended for Government House, or the Communications
Office, struck an old Spanish house across a narrow street from
the jail, where all the Japanese residents were confined. The
house was demolished and the Japanese badly shaken, but they
were protected by the concrete walls of the jail. They begged
to be released, but were kept in confinement until the invading
force released them the following day. During the bombings, the
planes were kept under fire as much as possible by .30 caliber
machine guns and rifles. There were reports of planes being damaged
and shot down, but none of these reports were verified. Another
bomb wrecked a civilian house about fifty yards to the eastward
of Government House. Another fell in Government House gardens.
11. The U.S. Marines at the Marine Barracks, Sumay, took up a
field position in the butts of the rifle range, under Command
of Lieutenant Colonel William K. McNulty, U.S.M.C. [Not true]
12. About 0400 on Wednesday, 10 December, I was informed by the
watch that flares had been seen in the vicinity of the beach
to the eastward of Agaņa (Recreation Beach, Dungas [Dungca's]
Beach), and it was thought landing operations were in progress.
There were no defenses at this point, or at any other point on
the island. Orders were immediately sent to all stations to carry
out the mission assigned. About 0445, shooting was heard in the
San Antonio district (east of the Plaza), and fires were observed.
The Insular Force Guard took up defense positions in the Plaza,
with no equipment except a few .30 caliber machine guns and rifles.
The Japanese approached rapidly through the San Antonio district,
and approached the Plaza on the narrow street alongside the Naval
Hospital and Cathedral. The Insular Force Guard stood their ground,
and opened up a fire with machine guns and rifles hot enough
to halt the invading force for a short time. The situation was
simply hopeless, resistance had been carried to the limit. At
about 0545, three blasts were sounded on the horn of an automobile
which was standing in front of Government House. This was not
a prearranged signal to cease fire, but it seemed to have been
understood by both sides, and firing stopped immediately. The
Japanese shouted across the Plaza from the Cathedral, "Send
over your Captain." Commander Donald T. Giles, the aide
for civil affairs to the Governor, and Chief Boatswain's Mate
Robert Bruce Lane, U.S. Navy, stepped out. They were marched
through the San Antonio district, and made contact with the Commander
of the Naval landing force, returning about a half hour later
to the Plaza with the Commander.
13. I was captured in the Reception Room of my quarters about
twenty minutes after the cease firing signal. The leader of the
squad of Japanese who entered my quarters required me to remove
my coat and trousers before marching me into the Plaza, where
officers and men were being assembled, covered by machine guns.
14. At about 0645, Commander D.T. Giles returned with the Japanese
officer to the assembled group in the Plaza.
15. Commander Giles identified me as the Governor of Guam. The
Japanese Commander, Commander Giles, and myself entered Government
House. Members of the Japanese guard were armed with rifles and
fixed bayonets. None of the Japanese group spoke English. I was
able to indicate that Japanese local residents were confined
in the jail across the Plaza. Shinahara, Shimizu, and Mrs. Sawada
were sent for. Mrs. Sawada was very emotional and in tears. Shinahara
did the interpreting. The Japanese officer identified himself
as Commander Hayashi, Imperial Japanese Navy. After a short discussion,
he asked if I was ready to sign papers. I told him I was prepared
to surrender the post, and after further discussion, I wrote
and signed a letter of surrender, (Enclosure 1). Shinahara informed
me that I was to remain in Government House until further orders.
I remained there with Commander Giles and Chief Yeoman Fariss
[Fariss], until about 2030, without food. About 2030, Commander
Giles and myself were ordered to leave immediately for the Naval
Hospital, and were only permitted to take a few toilet articles.
I found that the Guam officers were assembled there at the Suzana
Hospital. Two days later, officers were removed and confined
in the K.C.K. Catholic Church Building. I was permitted to remain
at the hospital. The others in this hospital group were Captain
Lineberry, Medical Corps, Medical Officer in Command Naval Hospital;
Lieutenant Commanders H.J. Van Peenen, and T.I. Moe, Medical
Corps; Commander D.T. Giles, and Pharmacist Daul.
16. A description of the period of confinement in Guam, as a
prisoner of war, will be submitted in separate correspondence.
The magazine at the Marine Barracks was destroyed; at the Pan
Air Installation about 4,000 barrels of gasoline fell into the
hands of the Japanese because the adjoining Standard Oil tank
installation was on fire, and these Pan Air tanks could not be
reached. The Quartermaster's Storehouse and contents were burned.
Considerable damage to the storehouse and stores had been done
at the Navy Yard., Piti. One of the Y.P. boats was destroyed
by fire, and the other one practically so. The motive power of
the small craft had been generally destroyed. The U.S.S. R.L.
BARNES was damaged and leaking considerably, but had not sunk.
The 5,000 barrel fuel oil tank which had been completed a short
time before had been filled with fuel from various sources. No
oil had been used from the tank because the piping had not been
completed. This tank was set on fire and destroyed by H.H. Sachers,
a civilian employee of the Public Works Department. A recommendation
will be written under separate cover on Sacher's action in this
case. The automotive transportation on the island fell in the
hands of the Japanese practically intact. The large diesel trucks
which were used by the contractors were destroyed.
17. The Insular Force Guard which had been organized beginning
in April 1941, proved themselves to be a valuable asset, even
though they were green troops. They stood their ground in their
short action in the Plaza, until they were called back. I consider
that these fine natives are entitled to recognition for the showing
they made on this occasion. A list of all naval personnel serving
in Guam on 8 December 1941, is attached hereto as Enclosure 3.
A list of all casualties, dead, wounded, and missing, is attached
as Enclosure 2.
18. It is estimated that the Japanese landing force consisted
of a naval battalion (first wave) of about 600 men, followed
by Army troops of the strength of a reinforced brigade (about
19. Officers and men assigned to the Stations on this occasion
generally performed their duties in a satisfactory manner. Recommendations
for special mention where such is considered warranted, will
be made in separate correspondence.
G. J. McMILLIN, Captain
U. S. Navy
1. Ltr. Of Surrender dtd. 12-10-41.
2. List of Deceased and Wounded.
3 Personnel on Guam on 12-8-41
Government House, Guam
10 December 1941
From: Governor of Guam
To: Senior Officer Present, Commanding
Imperial Japanese Forces in Guam
1. I, Captain George J. McMillin,
United States Navy, Governor of Guam and Commandant, United States
Naval Station, Guam, by authority of my commission from the President
of the United States, do, as a result of superior military forces
landed in Guam this date, as an act of war, surrender this post
to you as the representative of the Imperial Japanese Government.
2. The responsibility of the
civil government of Guam becomes yours as of the time of signing
3. I have been assured by you
that the civil rights of the population of Guam will be respected
and that the military forces surrendered to you will be accorded
all the rights stipulated by International Law and the laws of
(S) G.J. McMillin(Summary of
Enclosure 2, as amended by oral information from Captain G.J.
Enclosure 2 indicated a total
killed in the Jap invasion of Guam as follows: (1) 13 officers
and men of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps; (2) 4 members of the
Guam military; (3) 1 American and an estimated 40-50 civilians.
Enclosure 2 indicated a total
wounded as follows: (1) 37 officers and men of the U.S. Navy
and Marine Corps; (2) 8 members of the Guam military; (3) an
unknown number of Guam civilians.
American Military [2 Officers,
Bright, Lieutenant Graham P. (SC)
White, Ensign Robert Gabriel USNR
Smoot, Malvern Hill CMM 271-52-43 [RG 24 Box 3]
O'Neill, Frank James BM1c 328-23-72 [RG 24 Box 3]
Fraser, Rollin George BM1c 311-09-65 [RG 24 Box 3]
Pineault, Leo Joseph Cox 204-44-61 [RG 24 Box 3]
Ernst, Robert Walter SM3c 381-29-69 [RG 24 Box 3]
Hurd, Seba Guarland SM3c 337-14-86 [RG 24 Box 3]
Schweighhart, John GM1c 228-29-54 [RG 24 Box 3]
Bomar, William W. Jr PFC
Burt, William H. PFC
Anderson, Harry E. Corp
Kauffman, John M. Jr PFC [Modified per Official Marine Roster created from
enlistment records, USMC, Bureau of Personnel, 11 Mar 1942]
American Civilian 
Kluegel, John "Jack" [CPNAB, Public Works employee]
Guam Military 
Cruz, Jesus Cruz NS2c
Flores, Angel L.G. "
Chargualof, Vicente Cruz "
Sablan, V.S. "
Guam Civilians 
Untalan, Jose Castro
LIST OF WOUNDED AT GUAM,
INCLUDES ONLY THOSE MARINES NOT ON DUTY AT THE MARINE BARRACKS
(includes 5 Chammoro Guards) and 4 civilians - 43 total ]
RATE DATE OF WOUND
AGENT LOCATION LENGTH OF TREATMENT
Lieut. J.W. Haviland, 3rd 12-8-41 Bomb fragment Left forearm
Ensign E.A. Wood 12-8-41 Bomb fragment Back 3 weeks
Allen, D.A. GM3c 12-8-41 Bomb fragment Both legs, Rt.arm, Rt.shoulder
Hanzsek, J. MM1c 12-8-41 Bomb fragment Left wrist 2 days
Camillo, A.J. QM1c 12-9-41 Bomb fragment Left shoulder 1 day
McKenzie, L.W. F2c 12-8-41 Bomb fragment Back of head 3 weeks
Young, J.R. CRM 12-8-41 Bomb fragment Left side 1 day
Haskins, T.T. S2c 12-10-41 Bayonet Head (top) 1 day
Hale, E.E. EM2c 12-8-41 Bomb fragment Right upper chest none
Ballinger, R.W. PFC 12-10-41 Bayonet Back 10 days
Moore, H.C. SGT. 12-8-41 Bomb fragment Chest
Legato, A. CPL. 12-8-41 Bomb fragment Face and head
Rathbun, L.E. RM2c 12-10-41 Machine gun Left leg 2 days
Nixon, H. C. PFC 12-8-41 Bomb fragment Back 2 places 3 weeks
Nichols, G.E. CPL 12-8-41 Bomb fragment Both lower legs 1 month
Spellman, E.J. PVT 12-8-41 Bomb fragment Right thigh 1 week
Whitaker, K.F. CWT 12-8-41 Machine gun Left lower leg 1 day
Ratzman, E.M. S1c 12-8-41 Bomb fragment Punc. Int.
Wilson, R.E. EM3c 12-8-41 Bomb fragment Punc. pubic region
Zimmer, R.W. F2c 12-8-41 Bomb fragment Leg
Gwinnup, R. H. EM1c 12-10-41 Machine gun Both legs [feet] permanent damage to feet
Allain, J.A. MM1c 12-8-41 Machine gun Rt. leg
Tattrie, N.s. MM1c 12-8-41 Bomb fragment
Blaha, Joseph Henry CY 12-10-41 Rifle & bayonet Right leg
& chest short right leg as a result
Cepeda, Francico Sablan NS2c
Sablan, Antonio Cruz NS2c 12-8-41 Lac. scalp
Meno, Jose NS2c 12-10-41 Bayonet Back
Sablan, Jose Santos NS2c 12-10-41 Bayonet & bullets
Limfiaco, Vincente Acfgelle [Aflagui] NS2c
12-10-41 Bayonet & bullets Leg
Santos, Jose C. Civ. 12-9-41
Hughes, Wm. Rufus Civ. 12-10-41
Hughes, Jaquin Untalan (wife of above Hughes) Civ.
San Nicolas, Magdalena Limtiaco Civ. 12-8-41
Magelssen, Walter S1c 12-8-41 Machine gun Leg
Chargualuf, R. OC1c 12-8-41 Bomb fragment Back
Perez, J.A. MM1c 12-8-41 " " Back
O'Brien, R. W. CBM 12-8-41 " " Left forearm
Lumpkins, Floyd F1c 12-8-41 " " Neck, jaw & hand
(*) Pfc 12-8-41 " "
* At Sumay
(Summary of Enclosure 3)
U. S. Forces and Civilians located
on Guam at Outbreak of War
Enclosure 3 indicated that the
following U.S. forces and U.S. civilians were on Guam as of 8
274 officers and men of the U.S.
Navy under Captain George J. McMillin, USN, Governor of Guam:
(2) 153 officers and men of the U.S. Marine Corps under Lieutenant
Colonel William K McNulty, USMC; (3) 247 members of the Guam
Insular Forces, of which about 100 comprised the Insular Force
Guard; (4) 134 U.S. civilians.
The principal U.S. vessels at
Guam were, the minesweeper PENGUIN, commanded by Lieutenant J.W.
Haviland, III, USN; the ROBERT L. BARNES, an immobilized tanker,
commanded by Lieutenant J. L. Nestor, USN; and two YPs (district
The U. S. Naval Hospital at Guam
was commanded by Captain W. T. Lineberry, MC, USN.
C. L. DuVal
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