Guam Timeline

8 Dec 1941 to 31 Dec 1943

Aerial of Orote-1999The following time line was developed by Roger Mansell using documents, affidavits from POWS, memoirs and books written by ex-POWS from Guam. Picture is Orote Peninsula 1999, US Navy Photo

Please let us know of any errors.

Guam Time Line:    1942     1943     1944     1945

Last Updated: 17 May 2003
Numerous links are indicated in blue

08 Dec 1941: Japan attacks Guam
09 Dec 1941: Japanese destroyers shell Agana [Arvidson Diary - Hoover Institution Archives]
10 Dec 1941: Japan invades Guam- fight ends 05:30, surrender signed at 07:30
10 Dec 1941: Sumay Officers moved in afternoon by truck to Sick Officers Quarters (SOQ) at Aga˝a Hospital [Marks Memoir - Hoover Institution Archives
10 Dec 1941: All other captives jammed into "Bull Pen", an abandoned warehouse in Agana [Arvidson Diary]
12 Dec 1941: "Bull Pen" captives moved to Dorn Hall [Arvidson Diary]
14 Dec 1941: (Sunday) Officers moved from SOQ to Cathedral [Marks Memoir]
15 Dec 1941: Approximately 500 moved from Dorn Hall into Catheral
15 Dec 1941: (Monday) Marines, Sailors, some civilians moved to adjacent KCK Hall (Knights of Christ The King Hall); Officers, Senior Chiefs and top civilians on second floor; over 700 in Cathedral [Marks Memoir]
18 Dec 1941: Victory Parade by Japanese in plaza.[Meyers diary]
24 Dec 1941: Two Guamanian girls caught smuggling notes to prisoners. Girls taken across street from church and executed by rifle fire. [Nixon diary]


03 Jan 1942: (Sunday) Demonstration of Japanese firepower conducted. Men assembled on golf course adjacent to Officers Club [[Arvidson Diary; Nixon diary states approximately 3 Jan 1942]
07 Jan 1942: Two Guam men shot for alleged "stealing from Emperor" [Arvidson Diary]
09 Jan 1942: Six men come in and surrender.
10 Jan 1942: Depart Agana at 0600 hr [Arvidson Diary] Depart Guam aboard Argentina Maru [LINK]
15 Jan 1942: Seven New Zealanders and Radioman Griffith arrive at Zentsuji [LINK]- Menzies letters- arrived 5 hours before Americans from Guam [Jim Thomas and others erroneously note one was "Governor" of Butaritari; conflicting reports have up to total of 12 men were present at arrival of Guam personnel.]
15 Jan 1942: Guam POWs arrive Tadotsu, transferred to Zentsuji
16 Jan 1942: Major General Mizuhara, Commandant of Prisons, addresses POWs
17 Jan 1942: Japanese release written message from Captain McMillin
18 Jan 1942: First baths in Zentsuji [Thomas memoir, Gregg Memoir]
20 Jan 1942: Athletic contest by Japanese. Baggett beats Jap in foot race. [Nixon diary]
22 Jan 1942: Guam civilians [and Mrs. Hellmers - 22 Jan per Thomas & Arvidson Memoir] depart Zentsuji for Kobe [Nixon diary states 22 Jan; Wallace states 134 men departed for Kobe on 22 Jan 1942]; arrive Kobe following morning (23rd)
25 Jan 1942: Allowed to write first note home. Highly censored  [Nixon diary]
29 Jan 1942: 13 men arrive from Wake Island including Cmdr. Campbell Keane; Jap language classes started. [Nixon diary, many other sources]
17 Feb 1942: 5 men arrive from Rabaul- shot down in PBY off New Ireland [Wallace Diary]
19 Feb 1942: 2 men arrive from Submarine D-20 and one pilot (Blenheim plane) shot down over Kota Bharu. [Wallace Diary]
28 Feb 1942: One officer and 3 more sailors arrive from Wake- in bad physical shape. [Giles, p 102; Wallace Diary]
27 Feb 1942: Work details begin on Osa Yama (Friday)- [Meyers Diary]
12 Mar 1942: [From State Dept Memo - date in error] The five nurses sent to Kobe, housed in the Eastern Lodge Hotel with Mrs. Hellmers. [Dept of State memo, 12 Sep 1942 ref Gripsholm; Wallace and Nixon diaries]
xx Mar 1942: Grew closes embassy, sends books and records to camp [Giles p 102]
23 Mar 1942: 6 men arrive from USS Yorktown, forced down near Jaluit. [Wallace diary erroniously says only 5]
27 Mar 1942: 27 cases of dysentery in camp [Meyers diary]
17 Apr 1942: 2 men from the USS Enterprise arrive (Lt JG Hilton, ARM1c Leaming- Marcus Island Raid) [Wallace diary]
18 Apr 1942: Mrs. Welker in San Francisco hears shortwave broadcast of Lt. Cmd. Giles
18 Apr 1942: Doolittle raiders hit Japan; 14 men arrive from Wake Island [Wallace Diary]
18 Apr 1942: Ratzman released from the sick ward. Further operations would have to wait until after the war.
23 Apr 1942: Swiss Red Cross representative, Dr. F. Paravincini conducts first visit.
30 Apr 1942: One man from the USS Yorktown [Wallace diary]
08 May 1942: Learn of Corregidor's fall [Reed Memoir]
12 May 1942: Japs conduct endurance and physical tests of men for 2 days. Test to see how far a grenade can be thrown on 13 May. [Reed Memoir]
14 May 1942: Japs announce Bing Crosby dead by drowning [Reed Memoir]
15 May 1942: Zentsuji camp sewer system finished. [Reed Memoir]
17 May 1942: Copy of Welker transcriptions delivered to Giles' wife
18 May 1942: 14 men (wounded) arrive from Wake Island. They left Wake on 11 May on Asama Maru. Hear rumor of forthcoming levy of 150 men for Osaka. [Reed Memoir] [Wallace diary]
20 May 1942: RM1c A.H. Griffiths departs for Tokyo for repatriation. [Reed Memoir; Wallace diary; Giles, p 98 simply states "in May"]
20 May 1942: Planned visit by Tojo announced  [Marks]
24 May 1942: POWS weighed, most gained weight [Reed Memoir]
25 May 1942: photographs begin to be taken of all men [Reed Memoir, Nixon Memoir]
29 May 1942: first detail sent to lumber yard- move poles from one bldg to another [Reed Memoir]
30 May 1942: Six men arrive from Wake Island. [Wallace diary- Todd diary mentions Henry Wilson by name] Capt Henry Wilson, Lt Henry Webb, Marines Holewinski, Sloman, Tramposh & Boyd arrive ex Ofuna ex Asama Maru. Greg Urwin states these men arrived 3 August
30 May 1942: scheduled visit of Tojo cancelled. [Reed Memoir]
02 Jun 1942: winter clothes taken away [Reed Memoir]
06 Jun 1942: All POWs fingerprinted [Nixon Diary]
08 Jun 1942: First 151 men depart Zentsuji for Osaka (Iannarelli erroneously states 6 June, p 51) [Giles, p 105; Reed Memoir & Ercanbrack deposition; Wallace diary; Todd states: 150 men departed at 5:30 P.M. included Sgt Shane and 16 other Insular Patrol men]
09 Jun 1942: Detail of men arrives in Osaka, marched to stadium  [Leininger's affidavit says he arrived in Osaka 9 Jun 42-RG389, Box 2130, Reed Memoir]
xx Jun 1942: Paravincini's report reaches Washington, date of visit was 23 Apr
14 Jun 1942: Zentsuji- 41 prisoners were kept in confinement from 14 June 1942 until 23 September 1942 for refusing to take the oath. Include Aussie Lt. Menzies
15 Jun 1942: 65 Aussies arrive from Rabaul, Van Peenan [Touchstone]
17 Jun 1942: Grew and others leave Tokyo and are taken board Asama Maru in Yokohama. Wait for 8 days at anchor. Grew had been confined to Embassy in Tokyo.[Grew report to Dept of State]
25 Jun 1942: Asama Maru departs Yokohama shortly after midnight.
01 Jul 1942: Jap general inspects [Nixon diary]
14 Jul 1942: Zentsuji- 14 men sent to Osaka. [Wallace diary, Nixon Diary]
14 Jul 1942: some injured men return from Osaka [Nixon diary]
15 Jul 1942: unknown number of men sent to Osaka to relive injured POWS. Includes PFC James Huston - [Todd diary]
19 Jul 1942: 52 Australian pows arrive (ex Rabaul) [Giles, p 107]; [Mark Memoir states 52 Australians arrived from Rabaul; confirmed in Wallace & Todd Diaries]
23 Jul 1942: Asama Maru and Conte Verde enter the harbor at Lourenšo Marques, Mozambique. Asama stopped at Hong Kong and Saigon. Verde came from Shanghai. The two ships met Gripsholm at Lourenšo Marques, Mozambique to exchange prisoners.
Special Note: 5 nurses, wife and daughter of Chief Hellmers (Ruby T. and daughter Charlene) were exchanged. No other Guam or Wake civilians were exchanged.
03 Aug 1942: Z
entsuji- From Ofuna- 4 Brit officers from HMS Exeter and HMS Encounter; 5 American officers from Houston, Pope and Perch; One officer shot down 400 miles south of Ceylon in PBY [Wallace diary] Todd states Gallagher, Wilson, Bassett, Spears, Vandergrift and 5 Brit officers all appeared starved and badly beaten
18 Aug-1942: Zentsuji- 2 Brit officers from HMS Exeter, one officer and one EM from HMS Encounter, 4 officers from Houston, 2 from Kiska and one from Dutch Harbor. [Wallace diary] [Brown states they arrived on 19 Aug 1942 and included himself and one other EM; Marks notes only the arrival of the nine officers and that they came from Ofuna]
24 August 1942: Zentsuji- McMillin and Dewey Danielson [FM1c, USN] depart for Karenko Camp on Formosa-Fiji Maru. [USN official interview with McMillin, 32 Nov 45, RG 389, Box 2130; Wallace Diary, Nixon Diary, Danielson Diary] [Giles, p 110, states 21 Aug 42 in error.]
24 Aug 1942: Zentsuji- 4 men arrive from New Britain. [Wallace Diary]
29 Aug 1942: Zentsuji- 15 medics sent to Moji hospital- treat the 246 British who arrived Java. [Roepke Citation] According to John J.A. Michel's book, "Mr. Michael's War", page 182, these British men ended up at Fukuoka No.2 Camp.
31 Aug 1942: Zentsuji- 5 men notified for movement to Honshu Island [Nixon Diary]
01 Sep 1942: Zentsuji- 21 men moved to Tokyo, including Frank Carney. [Wallace diary]
08 Sep 1942: Zentsuji- 14 more men arrive including Blaha and Perry from Guam. Includes men from Exeter (4), Perth (5), DeRuyter (1), Houston (1), Perch (1). [Wallace Diary; Giles, p 126]
22 Sep 1942: Zentsuji- Major General H. Takumi replaces Maj Gen Mizuhara; forces all to take oath not to escape. [Giles, p 124-125, Nixon Diary]
10 Oct 1942: Civilians moved from Seaman's Mission to Canadian Academy [Arvidson diary]
11 Oct 1942: 500 POWs arrive from Hong Kong on the Lisbon Maru. Approximate 230 more Americans arrive on Tottori Maru. The 500 men were moved into a warehouse across the street from the Seaman's Mission evacuated one day earlier.
19 Oct 1942: 80 men moved from Osaka #1 to Hirohata #1 in Himeji [Ercanbrack and Leininger affidavits states they were sent to Hirohata 19 Oct 42- RG389, Box 2130] -4 men earlier left for Tokyo, 66 remained at Osaka.[Reed Memoir, p 84-C6]
20 Oct 1942: Japanese fly captured Allied planes, including a B-17, over Kobe & Osaka
22 Oct 1942: Hirohata- Unloaded first ore and coal ships at Hirohata. [Leininger affidavit]
23 Oct 1942: Zentsuji- Truckloads of Red Cross boxes arrive [Marks diary]
31 Oct 1942: Zentsuji -Red Cross boxes arrive, 2 more carloads [Meyers Diary, Nixon diary]]
05 Nov 1942: Zentsuji- One man arrives from SS President Harrison. [Wallace Diary]
06 Nov 1942: Zentsuji- Red Cross box and toilet kit issued to each man [Marks diary]
06 Nov 1942: Zentsuji- Robert A. Newton, Corp, USMC discovered missing. Found, tried and sent to civilian jail- [Marks, Brown]
17 Nov 1942: Hirohata- Red Cross boxes, one per man [Leininger Affidavit, Reed Memoir; Nixon diary says date was Nov 8] -barely alive when rescued at Kobe Castle in Sept 1945.
19 Nov 1942: Hirohata- Military Guards changed to civilians. [Leininger affidavit]
28 Nov 1942: Approx 40 medics, led by Capt Lineberry, sent to Moji. They were devided into three groups and worked at Moji camp (YMCA), Kokura Military Hospital and Shimonoseki Quarantine. [Stenning Report]
30 Nov 1942: First Red Cross packages arrive at Canadian Academy [Arvidson diary]
08 Dec 1942: Zentsuji- Red Cross medical supplies arrive for Dr. Van Peenan [Marks Memoir]
24 Dec 1942: Hirohata- 1/5th box (Canadian Red Cross) to each man at Hirohata [Leininger]


04 Jan 1943: first snow of season [Nixon Diary]
09 Jan 1943: Zentsuji- rumor that 50 men and 2 Chiefs to leave [Meyers Diary]
12 Jan 1943: Zentsuji - 52 men sent to Tanagawa [Meyers Diary; Wallace Diary states 52 men sent on 16 Jan.]
14 Jan 1943: Inspection by Red Cross Representative- men not allowed to speak.
16-Jan 1943: Zentsuji- 150 men arrive from Philippines, most weighed under 100 pounds Marks Memoir- p158; Wallace Diary. [These man came via Tanagawa]
17 Jan 1943: 50 Guam men arrive at Tanagawa, 0815, dysentery epidemic [Meyers Diary; Nixon diary] - [unknown number] men from Philippines arrived earlier from ill fated Lisbon Maru (?) but most likely from the Nagato Maru (Arrived 27 Nov 42) per Harrison letter to Giles. Meyers and Nixon diaries state 50 men arrive- two unaccounted for if 52 departed.
20 Jan 1943: Zentsuji- First man dies, Capt Wiley Lee Dixon, USA; Four more to die within following week [Marks Memoir - no names given.] [Menzies lists dates as 01 Feb, 13 Feb, 25 Mar [Kellogg], and 06 April]; [VanPeenan Dairy-Dixon died of double pneumonia.]
01 Feb 1943- Zentsuji- 1st Lt. S.J. Winn, USA, dies of Beriberi of heart and pneumonia. [Van Peenan]
12 Feb 1943- Zentsuji- Capt. Laurence Sensmeier, USA, dies of Malnutrition and pneumonia. [Van Peenan]
XX- Feb 1943- Zentsuji- Brown recalls (error) first men arrive from Philippines at Zentsuji [Brown p 57] - see 16 Jan 1943
17 Mar 1943: Zentsuji- one man arrives from New Britain. [Wallace Diary]
XX Mar 1943: McMillin moved to Tamazato, Formosa [RG 389, Box 2130]
25 Mar 1943: Zentsuji- RM1c Harvey Guy Kellogg, USN, dies. First man from Guam to die as POW. [Giles p 194] [Van Peenan]
29 Mar 1943: Zentsuji- Ralph Baggett departs for civilian jail ["Snowey" Menzies handwritten note]
06 April 1943: Zentsuji- Capt. Rubin H. Schwass, USA, 192nd Tank, dies of beriberi of heart. [Van Peenan]
23 Apr 1943: McMillin moved to Shirakawa, Formosa [RG 389, Box 2130; Lt.Col MacNulty remained at Zentsuji]
xx Feb-Mar 1943: Zentsuji- additional men taken to Osaka [Brown, p 58]; Author interview of Herbert Humphrey, PFC, USMC, confirms this detail was at Tanagawa for three months before moving to Osaka on 16 May 1943.
11 April 1943: Hirohata- Camp visit by Swiss Red Cross Representative, .A. Kengelbacher [Bern Legation, American Red Cross]
29 Apr 1943 to 9 May 1943: Hirohata- camp quarantined for meningitis. No labor details. [Reed Memoir]
07 May 1943: Hirohata- Epperson beaten for using hat to make sandals in Hirohata- [Reed Memoir, Epperson Interview]
10 May 1943: Hirohata- Cohen taken to Osaka for appendectomy [Reed Memoir]
13 May 1943: Hirohata- Rumor that Shikoku Island bombed by US planes. [Reed Memoir]
16 May 1943: 160 Navy and Marines leave Tanagawa (0700) for Osaka, Umeda] Camp, next to Umeda train station near downtown Osaka [Meyers Diary; Marek, Laughter in Hell, p 19.]
16 May 1943: Osaka- Rain. 140 Army enlisted men left 8 AM for Tanagawa; 164 Navy and Marine enlisted men arrived from Tanagawa. Details passed each other in street near Umeda Camp. Officers made section leaders
[Steiger Diary: <>] see next entry.
16 May 1943:
Osaka- Rain. 140 Army enlisted men left 8 AM for Tanagawa; 164 Navy and Marine enlisted men arrived from Tanagawa. Officers made section leaders [Steiger Diary]]- These men were mostly from the Philippines.
19 May 1943: Hirohata- Murata visits with Apostolic Representative. Canteen stocked temporarily [Reed Memoir]
24 May 1943: Hirohata- Wells hit by switch engine. Guards proceed to beat him senseless [Reed Memoir]
31 Jul 1943: Zentsuji- 170 additional officers arrive- US, GB, Aus, Javanese & Dutch [Marks Memoir- Ploke says Commonwealth officers arrived 30 Jul and Americans on 1 Aug 1943- same as Steiger entry below]
31 July 1943: Osaka- Murutsu Company "presents" gomashio and a jar of meat. Leave Umeda Bunsho at 10:15 and Umeda Station at 11:45 AM. [Steiger Diary]
xx July 1943: Zentsuji- Japanese stop delivering newspapers [numerous mentions]
01 August 1943: Arrive Zentsuji at 8:30 AM. [Steiger Diary]
01 Aug 1943: Zentsuji- 40 officers, including Goldblith, arrive from Umeda Camp, Osaka. [Goldblith affidavit]
01 Aug 1943: Zentsuji- More men arrive from Philippines [Giles letter to Mrs. Harrington] [Marks Memoir states 20 men arrived from Hokkaido in early August]
25 Aug 1943: Zentsuji- 15 medics return from Moji [Roepke citation]
04 Sep 1943: Zentsuji- 25 officers arrive from Tanagawa [List] plus "Ace" Faulkner (ex Tok-02D-Mitsushima) and Hank Pierce
09 Sep 1943: Civilians in Kobe learn Italy has surrendered [Arvidson diary]
10 Sep: 1943: Sharp earthquake in Kobe at 1738 hrs [Arvidson diary]
15 Sep 1943:Hirohata- men moved to new camp, Hirohata #2 (Osaka Camp #12) [Ercanbrack, Leininger, Reed]
18 Sep 1943: Taga Maru #887 loads at 1800 in Manila; departs 0800, 19 Sep for Japan, arrive Moji on 25 Nov 1943; Most will go to Hirohata and Tsuruga.
01 Oct 1943: Kobe International Hospital- William G. Johnston, civilian of Guam, died from myocarditis and chronic nephritis 1420 hrs (Beri beri & severe malnutrition effects) [Bacon Diary]
03 Oct 1943: Hirohata- first extra day of rest since 25 May [Reed Memoir]
06 Oct 1943: Hirohata- 408 Americans arrive from the Philippines from the Taga Maru (Leininger erroneously states 488 men came up from Philippines, affidavit, p 4) [Ercanbrack, Reed]
19 Oct 1943: Hirohata- POWs begin work at mill [Reed Memoir]
30 Nov 1943: Zentsuji- Guam Chief & Petty Officers plus Mr. Perry give a delayed Thanksgiving party for Guam officers. [Marks diary]
xx Dec 1943: Head Red Cross representative, Dr. Paravincini, replaced by Max Pestalozzi [NARA, RG 331, Box 1321]
17 Dec 1943: Hirohata- first American dies. Cpl Arthur A. Haley, USA, 7th Chemical Co, Bataan [Reed Memoir]
24 Dec 1943: Hirohata- 240 letters released to the original 80 men.
29 Dec 1943: Hirohata- Pvt Walter C. Westbrook, USA, 75th Ord, Bataan dies 1415 from injuries on job at Coseki. Noted [Reed] that Clifford D. Stansbury, S1c, USN, Guam, was transferred out to an unknown destination - no date ascribed [Reed Memoir, Hale p 119]
Continue 1944 to 1945