Guam, the most strategically important U.S. possession in the Pacific, played a dramatic role in the early moments of America’s involvement in both World Wars.
In 1941, Japanese planes attacked the island within hours of the raid on Pearl Harbor. Guam surrendered two days later becoming the first U.S. territory to be occupied by Japan. The eventual reinvasion of Guam in 1944 by American amphibious forces is the primary focus of the park. The invasion beaches at Asan and Agat are managed by the Park Service; they comprise a prime diving environment with warm, clear waters, gently sloping bottom, and a vibrant benthic community.
In addition to the natural attractions of Guam underwater, the plentiful residues of warfare, including the ships in Apra Harbor and the detritus from the 1944 reinvasion, are sprinkled throughout park waters. An amphibious vehicle at Gaan Point escaped postwar clean-up efforts as did many projectiles and bombs.
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