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.

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Posted under World War 2

This post was written by admin on January 2, 2012

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