Guam is full of history, probably more than you know. Guam is also full of mysteries! Latte stone in the middle of the jungle near Lost Pond, hiking trails that you know lead to something amazing but just can’t find, signs that tell you there is some cool WWII remnant just ahead, but no trail or direction. When I read in the newspaper that the War in the Pacific Historical Park was going to have a park ranger at Fonte Plateau in Nimitz Hill to explain what those locked caves were, I was THERE! Peter and I had stopped a few times to look in, but they were locked and we couldn’t figure out what they were for. We arrived in the parking lot with a group of other people to learn a little bit about Guam’s history during WWII. He explained that those caves were actually Japanese communication bunkers that Japanese soldiers used to communicate with one another. It was very well hidden in a hill surrounded by trees and grass blending in with the surroundings, which I’m sure was the objective. We were all interested in the history and story, but let’s face it, we were really there so we could get a chance to go inside.
As we walked up the hill to the first locked cave door, I saw nothing but darkness and was very excited to see more! We walked in, one-by-one, where the bunker opened from the narrow hallway into a huge and empty space. It was pitch black, with only the sunlight shining in through the barred gates. Someone had a light and shone it in the darkness where there was graffiti on the walls and communication wires hanging from the ceiling of the bunker. To think that Japanese soldiers might have lived in there for many weeks or months is unbelievable. I would feel claustrophobic and stir crazy after a few days!
After exploring the bunker for awhile, the park ranger led us out and around the back where we walked on top of the bunker and to a cave behind. Usually it’s just Peter and me, but it was very nice learning and exploring with the other people. The park ranger was very knowledgeable about WWII and Guam and I enjoyed it a lot. I look forward to attending more of these and would suggest visiting the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center, which is near the Navy base.
Throughout middle and high school, WWII history just didn’t interest me one bit. Now that I live in a country where I can walk down to the beach and see huge cement blocks that stabilized Japanese WWII guns, I find it intriguing and want to learn more!