NCTS discoveries

I’ve been really bad about updating my site - sorry about that! Things have been busy for me at work and home.

A couple months ago, my son and I went exploring on NCTS in an attempt to connect the northern and southern ends of the hidden road I’ve documented previously. The section on NCTS was the only piece of road I’ve not walked. We parked the car and started out along what appeared to be the road, but we were only finding more recent trash, probably from the 1970’s and early 80’s.

We kept going, looking around, until I came across a piece of broken Japanese beer bottle. Bingo! It turned out that we were following a newer road, and this was the point where the older WW2 era road crossed. We finally re-found the old road - and immediately started coming across WW2 era finds.

1945 Coke bottle (Oakland CA) next to what looked like a caulking gun - but turned out to be a WW2 era vehicle fire extinguisher

1945 Coke bottle (Oakland CA) next to what looked like a caulking gun - but turned out to be a WW2 era vehicle fire extinguisher

Big pile of 1944 and 1945 coke bottles

Big pile of 1944 and 1945 coke bottles

This appears to be a long forgotten spool of communications wire

This appears to be a long forgotten spool of communications wire

As we continued north, we ran into what clearly was a former Japanese site, later occupied by the Americans. There were literally hundreds of Japanese beer bottles scattered about, among other items.

Large pile of Japanese beer bottles - mostly Dai Nippon

Large pile of Japanese beer bottles - mostly Dai Nippon

An old washing machine, with a Japanese beer bottle sitting alongside

An old washing machine, with a Japanese beer bottle sitting alongside

Japanese Dai Nippon and Kirin beer bottles scattered almost everywhere you look

Japanese Dai Nippon and Kirin beer bottles scattered almost everywhere you look

Near this site, my son and I found an area with depressions in the floor of the limestone forest. I thought these were small sink holes or perhaps foxholes. My son picked up something and started hitting the trees with it - I took a look at what he had found and was amazed to see it was a piece of shrapnel.  It turns out these holes were actually shell craters! We looked and found quite a bit more shrapnel laying around. Had the Japanese been here during the barrage, they would have had a real rough time.

Justin standing in a shell crater - difficult to capture in a photo.  It's about 3ft deep and 8ft across

Justin standing in a shell crater - difficult to capture in a photo. It's about 3ft deep and 8ft across

Pieces of shrapnel.  Some were large enough to deduce they were 75mm HE rounds, likely fired from pack howitzers.

Pieces of shrapnel. Some were large enough to deduce they were 75mm HE rounds, likely fired from pack howitzers.

We also found some live ammunition - M1 Garand in this case.  Treated with respect (do not touch!)

We also found some live ammunition - M1 Garand in this case. Treated with respect (do not touch!)

Japanese gas mask cartridge found in a pile of rubble.  At first I was not sure of the origin - Japanese or American

Japanese gas mask cartridge found in an old bulldozed pile of rubble. At first I was not sure of the origin - Japanese or American

The gas mask cartridge was found heavily damaged from 70 years in the jungle.  You can see the interior and what likely was activated carbon that made up part of the filter element.

The gas mask cartridge was found heavily damaged from 70 years in the jungle. You can see the interior and what likely was activated carbon that made up part of the filter element.

This manufactures mark proves without a doubt that this is of Japanese origin

This manufactures mark proves without a doubt that this is of Japanese origin

It turned out that the very last section of road to be explored had the neatest finds! To me, this seemed to be a special place with some historical significance. Other than saying it is on NCTS property, I feel it’s best not to identify the location as I’ve done with previous sites. As another note - I left everything as found, including the gas mask cartridge which I returned to it’s original location after I took the photos. Removing artifacts from Federal Property is prohibited. Take photos only and leave it for the next person to discover! There are plenty of placed on Guam where you can find WW2 era bottles and other items - such as in the vicinity of Two Lovers Point. These areas have been heavily disturbed since the war and bottles can still be found literally just off the side of the road, mixed with modern day roadside trash that unfortunately is very prevalent due to illegal dumping.

Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite PicLens

Posted under World War 2

This post was written by admin on June 19, 2012

Metal detecting in the jungle

I finally had a chance to take my metal detector back into the jungle. One of my receive antennas transects a WW2 era site where I’ve found Japanese and American bottles, GI boot soles, and even a fully loaded M1 carbine magazine. This time, I brought my son with me.

I have an inexpensive metal detector I bought from Harbor Freight. It does the trick, but soon after we got into the jungle, I snapped the plastic piece that holds the coil to the rest of the unit. It’s something I can easily fix, however it made searching for things difficult, so we didn’t spend much time looking.

Justin holding our metal detector.  He's dressed for the jungle - not for rain but to keep the mosquitoes and thorns away.

Justin holding our metal detector. He's dressed for the jungle - not for rain but to keep the mosquitoes and thorns away.

It did not take long to start finding stuff. We uncovered a lot of random iron pieces, as well as some rock breaking tools - a heavy chisel and a breaker bar. Shortly later, we dug up a silver plated fork. I am pretty sure this site was a ranch during the prewar years.

We found a few more M1 carbine rounds - live. These are all definitively from WW2. Just before we left, Justin found the most interesting thing - a 7.7mm shell casing. This is a Japanese rifle round, fired in an Arisaka type 99 rifle. Wow! This is the first Japanese rifle shell casing I’ve ever found - was there a skirmish here during the war? Who knows - but I will definitely have to dig around some more!

Silver plated fork, rusted knife, live M1 carbine rounds, and a Japanese arisaka type 99 rifle cartridge casing.

Silver plated fork, rusted knife, live M1 carbine rounds, and a Japanese arisaka type 99 rifle cartridge casing.

Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite PicLens

Posted under World War 2

This post was written by admin on January 29, 2012

Two Lover Point area

Several times a week, I ride my bike along the road that provides access to Two Lover’s Point and Tanguisson Beach. I know that this road is the only section of the WW2 road I’ve explored that is still in use. Until recently, I never even thought to look for war remnants along it’s length. The whole area was called the “Harmon Annex”, used by the Army Air Corps as a base following the liberation of Guam in 1944. I have read that General LeMay’s headquarters was in this area. Today, however, the whole area is overgrown with tall grases, formerly abandoned clearings from the 50’s and 60’s when the Air Force occupied the site.

Along both sides of the road is an easement for utilities. There are underground fuel and power lines running from the Tanguisson power plant to the distribution station along Marine Drive. As a result of all these disturbances, I figured it was pointless to look for anything remaining from the war along this stretch of road.

A couple months ago, the power company did some maintenance along the easement, pushing the grass and scrub growth back into the jungle with a bulldozer. Following this work, I noticed some bottles laying in the clearing. Figuring they were modern trash, I disregarded them.

Recently, I got a flat tire on my bike in this area, so I pulled off the road to change the tube. It was an opportunity to look closer at the bottles laying in the new clearing, literally within sight of the Two Lover’s Point sign. Amazingly, one of the first bottles I find is a WW2 Japanese Kirin Beer Bottle!

The next weekend, my youngest son and I decided to explore the area more closely.

My Son, Justin, runs ahead looking for stuff in the dirt bank, pushed there by a bulldozer to clear the easement.

My Son, Justin, runs ahead looking for stuff in the dirt bank, pushed there by a bulldozer to clear the easement.

We find broken Japanese beer bottles everywhere - obviously broken while clearing the area.  This is the base of a smaller WW2 Kirin beer bottle.

We find broken Japanese beer bottles everywhere - obviously broken while clearing the area. This is the base of a smaller WW2 Kirin beer bottle.

Amazingly, the bulldozer did not break this WW2 Japanese DaiNippon beer bottle.

Amazingly, the bulldozer did not break this WW2 Japanese DaiNippon beer bottle.

Justin with a Kirin beer bottle he pulled out of the dirt in one piece.

Justin with a Kirin beer bottle he pulled out of the dirt in one piece.

Patio soda bottle - Pepsi's first diet soda, produced in 1963 and 1964 until they changed the name to Diet Pepsi.

Patio soda bottle - Pepsi's first diet soda, produced in 1963 and 1964 until they changed the name to Diet Pepsi.

Two clear WW2 coke bottles dated 1945, sitting next to a more recent whiskey bottle, probably from the 50's.

Two clear WW2 coke bottles dated 1945, sitting next to a more recent whiskey bottle, probably from the 50's.

Shards of DaiNippon beer bottles are laying everywhere, Japanese war remnants sitting within sight of the Two Lovers Point entrance, one of the most popular destination for tourists from Japan.

Shards of DaiNippon beer bottles are laying everywhere, Japanese war remnants sitting within sight of the Two Lovers Point entrance, one of the most popular destination for tourists from Japan.

Justin did really well, finding two more Japanese beer bottles, next to a shard of a broken DaiNippon bottle.

Justin did really well, finding two more Japanese beer bottles, next to a shard of a broken DaiNippon bottle.

Justin holds a piece of DaiNippon beer bottle he picked up just a few feet from the Two Lovers Point entrance.

Justin holds a piece of DaiNippon beer bottle he picked up just a few feet from the Two Lovers Point entrance.

When we were done exploring, we had rescued seven WW2 era Japanese beer bottles from sure breakage by lawn mowers. There is no telling how many bottles remain buried in the dirt banks. Time will tell as the rain washes away the soil. It is apparent that this was a roadside dump site following the liberation in 1944. Scattered amongst recent trash and beer bottles from the 1950’s until today are countless fragments of broken beer and soda bottles dated 1944 and 1945.

My son had a great time also and he has started a WW2 botttle collection of his own. Usually, I can’t bring him with me into the jungle because of the growth - sharp plant spines, rocks, spiders, and mosquitoes. This was a great opportunity to take him somewhere safe and to show him some history first hand.

Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite PicLens

Posted under World War 2

This post was written by admin on January 29, 2012

More WW2 stuff

I’ve been really too busy to update the blog until now, but I’ve still had a couple opportunities to head back into the jungle for some exploration. A couple weeks ago I was able to explore the stretch of abandoned WW2 road from the FAA property up to NCTS. I was not expecting to find much, but I was surprised to stumble across some nice stuff from the war.

What is called “FAA property” is a parcel land that bisects NCTS to the north and the South Finegayan housing area to the south. There was a Federal Aviation Administration facility here until about 10-15 years ago, when the buildings were taken down. I knew my abandoned road had to pass through this area, however the edges of the jungle are heavily overgrown with dense brush and Google Maps didn’t show much of anything where I thought the road should be. I wrote down some coordinates, grabbed my GPS, and headed off into the jungle.

It was really hard going for the first couple hundred yards. I just had to push my way through the growth and cut the vines that would otherwise trip me. I find it easier to traverse the jungle this way as opposed to hacking a path with a machete. It is less tiring and is much less obtrusive. I wear heavy long sleeve coveralls with gloves so it’s not too difficult to push through this way.

I was not too far from my GPS location when I started finding bottles and other old trash.

An old Delco-Remy battery case laying next to a beer bottle dated 1944.

An old Delco-Remy battery case laying next to a beer bottle dated 1944.

The logo looks identical to online images of advertisements from the WW2 era

The logo looks identical to online images of advertisements from the WW2 era

It was only the case - the guts of the battery are long gone

It was only the case - the guts of the battery are long gone

I finally broke through the heavy growth and into the primary forest. The area was absolutely beautiful and looked almost Jurassic. I chose my GPS coordinates wisely - they put me right on the old road and a WW2 era dump site - bottles and other trash was everywhere!

Into the primary forest jungle

Into the primary forest jungle

The can at the bottom of the photo was obviously recently left by hunters who were oblivious to the WW2 history around them

The can at the bottom of the photo was obviously recently left by hunters who were oblivious to the WW2 history around them

The road itself can be seen here - the border between the road (bottom left) and rocky jungle (top right) is easily seen in this photo

The road itself can be seen here - the border between the road (bottom left) and rocky jungle (top right) is easily seen in this photo

Old bottles were scattered everywhere along the old road bed.  It was impossible to take a photo of the area, because the road itself was heavily overgrown with brush and visibility was only a few feet.

Old bottles were scattered everywhere along the old road bed. It was impossible to take a photo of the area, because the road itself was heavily overgrown with brush and visibility was only a few feet.

Two old coke bottles and an enameled steel dinner plate

Two old coke bottles and an enameled steel dinner plate

The plate is dated 194?  - the last number in the date is no longer readable

The plate is dated 194? - the last number in the date is no longer readable

Here is a Japanese Dai Nippon beer bottle, sitting where it was dropped more than 60 years ago

Here is a Japanese Dai Nippon beer bottle, sitting where it was dropped more than 60 years ago

More Japanese beer bottles and a US GI's canteen that I found that was mostly buried in dirt

More Japanese beer bottles and a US GI's canteen that I found that was mostly buried in dirt

The aluminum canteen, badly wasted away, is dated 1943.

The aluminum canteen, badly wasted away, is dated 1943.

There is no telling how much I overlooked due to the heavy tropical growth. The area was obviously a bivouac area due to the number of bottles and other metal trash. The most recent datable objects found were 1945 bottles, so this is most definitely a WW2 dump.

I followed the road north, trying to intersect Haputo Beach road on NCTS, however the road disappeared into a dense jungle area I could not push or cut my way through.

Dense jungle growth - this is as far as I can go without a bulldozer!

Dense jungle growth - this is as far as I can go without a bulldozer!

So, now I have explored this abandoned road almost in it’s entirety. I’ve walked almost the entire length, from where the road is first abandoned just north of Two Lover’s Point, all the way to Northwest Field. There are only a few areas I’ve not yet explored, on NCTS just east of Haputo Beach, and a few areas that are all but impenetrable. All along this road I have found literally thousands of bottles and other relics left along the road as debris from the time during and following the liberation of Guam in August, 1944.

Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite PicLens

Posted under World War 2

This post was written by admin on January 16, 2012

WW2 American Anti-Aircraft site

The other day I was riding north of the NCTS antenna field. Here, cut through the jungle, as a wide path that’s kept mowed. This is actually the northern end of the old abandoned road that I have been spending so much time exploring. Here, the path was used for buried cables between the WW2 airfield (Northwest Field) and NCTS, so it is maintained today.

Looking south toward the NASA tracking facility at NCTS.  The mowed trail heads south, in the right of the photo

Looking south toward the NASA tracking facility at NCTS. The mowed trail heads south, in the right of the photo

I certainly was not expecting to go exploring - I was actually looking for a safe off-road access to Ritidian Point where I could go cycling. At the northern end of the path, not far from Northwest Field, I noticed an overgrown clearing off to the side of the path, with some rusty oil drums. After taking a closer look, it turns out that I stumbled across an old American anti aircraft position!

These rusted drums make up a circular gun positon

These rusted drums make up a circular gun positon

The ground on Northern Guam is made up of limestone, and is impossible to dig into without heavy equipment. It was much easier to fill drums, which were plentiful, with rocks to provide protection. This is the same thing that was done at the other anti aircraft site located at Hilaan Point.

This was definitely an American position. The drums are marked “US” and I found quite a few American shell casings lying around.

50 caliber shell casings laying in one of the gun pits.  These were all stamped "42" (1942)

50 caliber shell casings laying in one of the gun pits. These were all stamped "42" (1942)

50 caliber shell casing

50 caliber shell casing

Another gun pit where you can still see some barrels and how they were lined up to provide protection

Another gun pit where you can still see some barrels and how they were lined up to provide protection

I walked the wood line surrounding the clearing and found tons of bottles - all from the wartime era.

Old "hobbleskirt" coke bottles, both colored and clear, are laying all over the place

Old "hobbleskirt" coke bottles, both colored and clear, are laying all over the place

Interestingly, I also found some M14 blank cartridges dated 1962.  This site must have been re-used for training during the Vietnam era (Northwest Field was used as a training site)

Interestingly, I also found some M14 blank cartridges dated 1962. This site must have been re-used for training during the Vietnam era (Northwest Field was used as a training site)

Ultimately, I ended up finding only one Japanese beer bottle, but it was one of the rare smaller, green Dai-Nippon type. More interestingly, in an old burn pit filled with melted bottles, I found a Japanese 47mm anti-tank shell casing that had been apparently cut down into an ash tray.

Japanese Dai-Nippon beer bottle, a small Listerine bottle (1944), two small medicine bottles, and the Japanese 47mm shell casing that had been cut short into an ash tray

Japanese Dai-Nippon beer bottle, a small Listerine bottle (1944), two small medicine bottles, and the Japanese 47mm shell casing that had been cut short into an ash tray

When soaked in vinegar, the casing cleaned up nicely.  The circle symbol indicates the shell was manufactured by the Nagoya armory.  The smaller "X" on the primer is actually crossed cannons - signifying Osaka armory.  The other marks signify the date of manufacture - 1941 for the shell, 1943 for the primer.

When soaked in vinegar, the casing cleaned up nicely. The circle symbol indicates the shell was manufactured by the Nagoya armory. The smaller "X" on the primer is actually crossed cannons - signifying Osaka armory. The other marks signify the date of manufacture - 1941 for the shell, 1943 for the primer.

It turned out to be a fun exploration! The jungle is very beautiful in this area, due to the restricted access being on military property. Unfortunately, other areas of Guam accessible to anyone have turned into dumping grounds for people who either can not afford trash service or are otherwise culturally un-bothered by littering.

The view from the cliff line along NW Guam.

The view from the cliff line along NW Guam.

Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite PicLens

Posted under World War 2

This post was written by admin on January 2, 2012

Tags:

The hidden path

Early this year, when I relocated my NA Beverage, I stumbled across some old bottles and live ammunition from WW2. Those posts are here: http://www.n2nl.net/?m=201103

For several months afterwards, I questioned myself, why there? When reading online and looking at old WW2 maps, I discovered why. On the night of 06 August 1944, during the Liberation of Guam, the 3rd Marine division had set up defensive positions along their line of advance. This line followed a path that passed through the area where my Beverage receive antennas are located. Better yet, the map even shows the unit: The 3rd Battalion of the 3rd Marine Division.

This map shows the location of the unit that was located near me on 06 August, 1944.

This map shows the location of the unit that was located near me on 06 August, 1944.

This explains perfectly why these bottles were here - as well as the M1 carbine ammunition I found. The map also showed a dirt path along this defensive line - meaning there could be a gold mine of relics just waiting to be found!

Starting from the location where I found the bottles, I headed in the general direction of the path according to the map. I quickly realized this would not be easy!

Dense vegetation blocks the route - making for tough going

Dense vegetation blocks the route - making for tough going

The ground was very rocky, certainly not conductive to a path that would have been used with carabao driven carts. Even if there was stuff here, I’d never find it.

Heavy growth on the ground would hide anything that's laying there

Heavy growth on the ground would hide anything that's laying there

Pigs can be helpful - I often find stuff in areas where they've rooted, knocking down the underbrush

Pigs can be helpful - I often find stuff in areas where they've rooted, knocking down the underbrush

I followed my compass until reaching a clearing that was used in the 1960s by the Navy for antennas, and knew that there was no path along the route I took. Then the light went on in my head - just south of where I had gone, was an area of jungle that was flat, with no rocks, and relatively clear. Could that have been the path?

I headed back along this route, but again, undergrowth hid anything underfoot. I did find a few bottles, but nothing much of interest.

A couple American beer bottles, along with a 1944 clear patent coke bottle that was in good condition (clear, not hazed glass)

A couple American beer bottles, along with a 1944 clear patent coke bottle that was in good condition (clear, not hazed glass)

Hunting is allowed in this area, and I believe I stumbled across a neigbor's hunting blind with deer feeder

Hunting is allowed in this area, and I believe I stumbled across a neigbor's hunting blind with deer feeder

He even has a motion triggered camera set up - too bad I don't have a bear costume or I could really play a joke on him!!

He even has a motion triggered camera set up - too bad I don't have a bear costume or I could really play a joke on him!!

I followed this path back to my antennas without finding anything of interest. Coincidentally, my EU Beverage follows along this path for some distance. I suspect, without proof, that I did find this path as it’s the only area clear of rocks, and because of some coconut trees I found along the route. It would make sense that the Marines would have set up camp north of this road on 6 August, to deny the Japanese from ambushing them the next morning as they crossed the road. The stuff I found was on a high spot in the surrounding terrain, so it was likely used as a scout camp after the liberation, as the Americans patrolled the area to clear out the 7-8 thousand Japanese troops that were still hiding out in the jungle.

Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite PicLens

Posted under World War 2

This post was written by admin on December 26, 2011

More road explorations

Last week I was able to hike the abandoned road from what is now called FAA road (that was used to access the old FAA housing area) all the way south to Two Lovers Point. The further south I went, the more things I found dumped in the jungle. Not coincidentally, General LeMay’s HQ was supposedly near where Micronesia Mall is located today, so it would not be crazy to assume that trash generated from his HQ was dumped along this road.

The road itself is not very difficult to follow. In this area, it runs straight as an arrow in a heading of 030/210 degrees. Also, you can tell that the road was graded regularly following the liberation. There is a very obvious berm of rocks and dirt that can be seen in many locations that clearly mark where the road was located.

The photo does not do justice, but in person it is pretty obvious where the road was located.  Unfortunately the road bed itself is heavily overgrown, unlike the old growth areas away from the road where trees shade the ground to help keep it clear of growth.

The photo does not do justice, but in person it is pretty obvious where the road was located. Unfortunately the road bed itself is heavily overgrown, unlike the old growth areas away from the road where trees shade the ground to help keep it clear of growth.

A compass is very helpful in areas of heavy growth where it is difficult to pick out the road edge

A compass is very helpful in areas of heavy growth where it is difficult to pick out the road edge

The further south I went, the more I began to find. It was not long until I found my first Japanese bottle for the day - a type I’d not found before!

A green Kirin Beer bottle embossed in English - different from the others I've found that were taller and made of brown glass.

A green Kirin Beer bottle embossed in English - different from the others I've found that were taller and made of brown glass.

A little further, and I stumbled across a large pile of Coco Cola bottles and some old truck tires. There are easily a couple hundred bottles here, and they are all dated 1944. I even found a couple green bottles marked San Francisco and Portland Ore. - but with the same 1944 date code.

Large pile of wartime Coke bottles

Large pile of wartime Coke bottles

I did not have to walk far to start finding Japanese Dai Nippon beer bottles

Japanese Dai Nippon beer bottle, speckled with rain drops - the first of many I found this day

Japanese Dai Nippon beer bottle, speckled with rain drops - the first of many I found this day

Here is a large pile of American beer bottles - all dated 1944 (easy to determine by the Duraglass date coding system on the base)

Here is a large pile of American beer bottles - all dated 1944 (easy to determine by the Duraglass date coding system on the base)

Three Dai Nippon beer bottles, a Coke bottle, and two broken Army plates found further down the road

Three Dai Nippon beer bottles, a Coke bottle, and two broken Army plates found further down the road

Even found was a large area where hundreds of old vacuum tubes were dumped - did these come from B29 aircraft serviced at Harmon Field a couple miles south from here?

Even found was a large area where hundreds of old vacuum tubes were dumped - did these come from B29 aircraft serviced at Harmon Field a couple miles south from here?

Eventually, I found where this abandoned road merged with a modern off road vehicle trail. I had now entered the area where the Air Force communications site was located. Here, dozens of acres of jungle were bulldozed, so nothing remains. Somewhat surprising, the merge point is close to a large dump site with bottles from WW2 up into the early 1950s. This dump is where i found some of my first Japanese beer bottles, far back into the jungle where the oldest bottles were located.

It turned out to be a very productive day! I still have additional sections of this road to explore, further north on NCTS property. I’m already trying to make time to get back out into the jungle. I am driven by not knowing what I might find around the next corner!

Very unusual but pretty wildflowers were growing in clearing along the road

Very unusual but pretty wildflowers were growing in clearing along the road

broad2

Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite PicLens

Posted under World War 2

This post was written by admin on December 24, 2011

The forgotten road - revisited

Following the CQWW DX CW contest, I was quite busy with work that prevented any trips back into the jungle. If you read back in my blog, in mid November I discovered an abandoned road that passed through the jungle to my west (http://www.n2nl.net/?p=581) This road was marked on WW2 maps showing the liberation of Guam, but mostly does not exist today.

This map image, from the US Marines, shows the road layout in Northern Guam including the road I found.

This map image, from the US Marines, shows the road layout in Northern Guam including the road I found.

This road was used before and during the war, but was abandoned shortly afterwards. During my last explorations in November, I found some more recent dumps with bottles from 1951, but nothing more recent than then. This coincides with the construction of the Air Force and Navy communication sites in Northwestern Guam. This was probably when the road was ultimately abandoned.

This 1964 aerial photo (from http://www.navycthistory.com/guam_intro.html) shows all the construction that occured in the 1950s.  The road can still be seen, but you can tell it's already been abandoned.

This 1964 aerial photo (from http://www.navycthistory.com/guam_intro.html) shows all the construction that occured in the 1950s. The road can still be seen, but you can tell it's already been abandoned.

Sections of this road still exist. When driving to Two Lovers Point and Tanguissan Beach, you are following this road, until it bends sharply to the left just past the sewage treatment plant. There is an abandoned paved road that continues along the route for another 1/2 mile until it too turns, to the right. From here, the old road disappears, destroyed when the Air Force built large Rhombic antenna farms. Only further north, where undisturbed jungle remains, can you once again find this road.

The treeline that follows the road can barely be seen today

The treeline that follows the road can barely be seen today

I already explored the section of road in the northern part of the above image. I found a number of bottles, including a couple which were Japanese. What I wanted to do is to explore the southern section of this road, and follow it into the old Air Force antenna fields, which are overgrown with grass and scrub trees, along with numerous off-road vehicle paths.

This road actually continues north of NCTS all the way to Northwest Field on Andersen AFB. Here, the road is still visible, and is grass covered and mowed frequently. Communications cables are buried along the route.  This is on military property, belonging to the Navy and Air Force.

It is easy to see that this road was used during the construction of Northwest Field, at least until Marine Corps Drive was completed.

I found a ton of stuff along the southern section of this road, but I will save that for my next post!

Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite PicLens

Posted under World War 2

This post was written by admin on December 23, 2011

The hidden road

Last night, while reading about the Liberation of Guam on the internet, I stumbled across a Marine map of northern Guam, showing the lines of advance during 1944. One thing caught my eye - a road was shown on the map, along the northwestern side of Guam, in between my house and Hilaan point! Was this the old road I had found the other day? I looked on Google Earth and found a line of trees that looked larger and older than the rest - lined up generally N/S - this might be it!

The arrow points to a dirt road that apparently existed during the war, but does not exist today

The arrow points to a dirt road that apparently existed during the war, but does not exist today

I headed back into the jungle to explore. First, I went back to the dump I found next to the sink hole, to see if I could find any whole watch mugs. Unfortunately, they were all broken, but I found a few other things, including a US Navy fork.

Broken watch mug and a Horlicks malted milk jar

Broken watch mug and a Horlicks malted milk jar

Old coke bottles everywhere - all dated 1945

Old coke bottles everywhere - all dated 1945

Some old radio parts, including old batteries and part of a variable capacitor

Some old radio parts, including old batteries and part of a variable capacitor

I headed deeper into the jungle, to intersect the old 4WD path which I suspected was the old road. I soon came across it, and headed north. Not more than 50ft I started finding old bottles.

I think this was a Japanese sake bottle.  I found one of these whole before, however they have no embossing, and the paper label is long gone, so there is no way to know for sure.

I think this was a Japanese sake bottle. I found one of these whole before, however they have no embossing, and the paper label is long gone, so there is no way to know for sure.

I walk a little further - and bingo! I find a Japanese beer bottle, sitting next to an old military truck tire.

Japanese Dai Nippon beer bottle, as I found it laying next to an WW2 truck tire.

Japanese Dai Nippon beer bottle, as I found it laying next to an WW2 truck tire.

In some places, it was very easy to follow the old road. Apparently, it had been graded, and you could still see the dirt piled on on either side. Other places it was impossible to follow, heavily overgrown. I continued north, portaging around these heavily overgrown areas.

Another Japanese beer bottle, found off the side of the old road.  This is how they lay - generally uncovered on the rocky limestone ground.

Another Japanese beer bottle, found off the side of the old road. This is how they lay - generally uncovered on the rocky limestone ground.

The road is very difficult to follow in some places

The road is very difficult to follow in some places

And easy to follow in others

And very easy to follow in others

I headed as far north as possible, until I lost track of the road in the overgrowth. I was near the old FAA property, which had been cleared in the 1950s. These areas are now heavily overgrown with low bushes and trees, unlike the old growth in the jungle that is generally more wide open under the canopy of leaves. I made it back to the house, where I cleaned up my finds. Next - to head south on this road, and see where it takes me…

My finds - two DaiNippon beer bottles, a USN fork, and a coke bottle I brought back

My finds - two DaiNippon beer bottles, a USN fork, and a coke bottle

Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite PicLens

Posted under World War 2

This post was written by admin on November 20, 2011

Jungle hike

Prior to the 2nd World War, northern Guam was sparsely inhabited. Most people lived further south, in Agana, Sumay, and elsewhere. Northern Guam, being on a plateau surrounded by 300ft high cliffs that drop to the sea, do not offer access to the ocean that is available further south on the island. There were a number of ranches and farms spread throughout the area.

Following the Liberation of Guam in 1944, many Japanese soldiers went into hiding in these northern tropical forests. Over the months that followed, Guam was transformed into a huge military base and became the hub for operations in Okinawa, and the planned invasion of the Japanese home islands that never occurred due to surrender. Japanese stragglers were hunted and captured in the months leading up to the end of the war in 1945.

Much of the area surrounding my housing area has been untouched since the early 1950s. Pre-war farms and copra plantations disappeared into the jungle. Wartime roads and camp areas also faded away. Several roads still exist, however these are primarily left from the former Naval Communications Station between 1948 and the early 1950s, when operations were consolidated further north.

I decided to head into the jungle to do some exploring, using a compass to leapfrog from coconut grove to coconut grove, knowing that these were former areas of habitation.

One of many farms, reclaimed by the jungle.  The coconut trees were grown to harvest copra in the pre-war years.

One of many farms, reclaimed by the jungle. The coconut trees were grown to harvest copra in the pre-war years.

After only a few hundred feet of hiking, I stumbled across a real neat formation - an old sink hole, perhaps 35ft deep and 200 feet across. The ground here is mostly flat, so this was unexpected.

One wall of the sink hole is undercut, but no real signs of life other than the ground that has been rooted by pigs

One wall of the sink hole is undercut, but no real signs of life other than the ground that has been rooted by pigs

Another look at the sinkhole wall, from the bottom

Another look at the sinkhole wall, from the bottom

Pig skull found on the sink hole floor

Pig skull found on the sink hole floor

I date this Olympia beer can to the mid 1960's - most likely left here by a hunter

I date this Olympia beer can to the mid 1960's - most likely left here by a hunter

I decided to hike around the rim of the sink hole, knowing that Humans like to fill holes with garbage. About 3/4 of the way around, I proved myself right…

Many Coke and beer bottles scattered about, muddied by pigs who have a trail that passes right through the old dump.

Many Coke and beer bottles scattered about, muddied by pigs who have a trail that passes right through the old dump.

I found a large area with bottles scattered about. All were WW2 style American beer bottles and old Coca Cola bottles dated 1945. I also found a number of white ceramic shards, which I later determined were broken US Navy watch mugs - handle-less coffee cups.

This is the underside of a watch mug, showing the Corning name and logo.

This is the underside of a watch mug, showing the Corning name and logo.

The most recent datable objects were the coke and beer bottles dated 1945, and a liquor bottle dated 1943. Because of the 1945 dates, this was obviously post liberation. I found no Japanese bottles, and headed deeper into the jungle.

You can't tell in the photo, but this is an old 4WD vehicle path

You can't tell in the photo, but this is an old 4WD vehicle path

The old road is becoming more readily apparent as I followed the path

The old road is becoming more readily apparent as I followed the path

The path eventually merged into the main trail, which leads to the opening of Hilaan Point, seen here

The path eventually merged into the main trail, which leads to the opening of Hilaan Point, seen here

This is Hilaan point, heavily overgrown with tall grasses.  The trees in the distance mark the old Japanese anti aircraft gun positions

This is Hilaan point, heavily overgrown with tall grasses. The trees in the distance mark the old Japanese anti aircraft gun positions

These coconut trees led me to the Japanese bottles and US tray I found during my last hike

These coconut trees led me to the Japanese bottles and US tray I found during my last hike

While I did not find any Japanese bottles today, I did find a few things of interest. First of all, I want to re-visit the dump site to see if I can find any whole Navy watch mugs. I didn’t know what they were until I researched them online, and they seem quite interesting, especially if I can find one whole. Also, I found an old aerial photograph from the very early 1950s that shows the trail I found was formerly a road - I would like to walk it in both directions to see if I can find something along it’s length.

Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite PicLens

Posted under World War 2

This post was written by admin on November 19, 2011