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.

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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

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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!

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Posted under World War 2

This post was written by admin on December 23, 2011

Why the 10m contest is not fun

This MP3 gives you the reason I do not really enjoy the 10m contest. Thanks to Russian or Chinese (or both) illegal taxi radios, the 10m band is full of this noise every time there is propagation to these areas - which is every time the band is open to Europe.

It is difficult enough to work an undisciplined EU pileup - but even harder when most callers are 559 and the noise is over S9.

This is not local noise - in the morning, I can run NA on a perfectly quiet band, and it is a pleasure to do so.

10m-noise

Posted under Amateur Radio

This post was written by admin on December 10, 2011

Great 160m conditions!

This morning (07DEC UTC) I had the best Topband conditions of this winter season. After my 1st CQ and a loud PE5T called in, I knew it would be a good morning!

I started the recorder after my 2nd QSO and let it run for an hour until my sunrise and the band faded away. During this time, I worked more than 70 Europeans. Paul, 9H1SP called in for a new one (VFB copy with 100w) along with CT1EEB and three G stations - really tough to work from here.

I hope this is a good sign that conditions will be good this winter!

The attached MP3 is large, so I broke it into four pieces, each about 15 minutes long:

1935z-to-1949z

1950z-to-2004z

2005z-to-2019z

2020z-to-2035z

If you listen, you may notice a few things. First of all, there was a fish beacon exactly one up where I was listening. It did not cause me any trouble but you can hear it often in the recording. What you can also hear are (1) many stations who call non stop, no matter who I am trying to work and (2) many stations who are calling but obviously do not hear me well. We all understand the challenges of 160m and the effects of QSB, but you can clearly tell the stations who really can’t hear me, QSB or not. These guys accomplish nothing but keep others from getting a QSO and making themselves look like fools.

Posted under Amateur Radio

This post was written by admin on December 8, 2011