HomeBusiness NewsHow Guam became one of the most important U.S. military posts

How Guam became one of the most important U.S. military posts

  • In June 1898, the US Navy sailed to Guam and seized the island from the Spanish.
  • The Spaniards, who did not know they were fighting the United States, surrendered to the island without fighting.
  • Guam is still a US territory and now has some of the most important US military bases.
  • View more stories on Insider’s business page.

During the eight months of fighting in 1898, the United States consolidated its status as a global power by defeating Spain in the Spanish-American War.

This war is unfolding on two continents, and there are many important moments for the U.S. military. It led to the independence of Cuba (where the U.S. dominates) and U.S. control of Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam.

Although fighting took place in Puerto Rico and the Philippines, Guam was captured without fighting. In fact, the Spaniards on the island did not even know that they were in a state of war.

Important stop

Pacific Guam map

Guam is an important transit point between the Americas and the Philippines.

Google Map

In 1898, the number one trophy for Spain and the United States in the Pacific was the Philippines. Guam is an important stop between the Americas and the Philippines, but neither Spain nor the United States pays much attention to it.

The Americans have deployed Brigadier General George Dewey’s Asian squadron near China in order to attack the Spanish fleet in Manila. However, after a meeting of the US Naval War Committee, which was established to formulate a war strategy, on May 9th, it was decided that Guam should also be used to support operations in the Philippines.

To catch it, Secretary of the Navy John Long issued a sealing order to Colonel Henry Glass. Charleston, A Protected cruiser On the way from California to Manila.

In Honolulu, Charleston joined three personnel carriers. As instructed, Glass did not read his order until he left Hawaii on June 4.

“I hereby instruct you to stay on the island of Guam, Spain,” Order read“You will use the necessary force to occupy the port of Guam, and capture the Governor and other officials, as well as any armed forces that may be there.”

Glass was also ordered to destroy any Spanish fortifications or naval ships he encountered.

Totally pleasantly surprised

Navy cruiser Charleston in the port of Agana Guam

From June 20 to 21, 1898, the aircraft carrier USS Charleston was at the entrance of the Port of Agana, Guam.

U.S. Navy/ Rear Admiral.Amen Fallen Holt

Although the order stated that the operation “should not exceed one or two days”, Guam’s fortifications were not completely clear, so the Charleston crew spent several days firing on practice targets in the ocean on the way.

Charleston arrived in Guam on the morning of June 20. Encountering an abandoned fortress in the capital Agana, there were no Spanish ships, and Grass ordered his ship to sail to the port of Apula.

To the disappointment of the crew, the only ship there was a Japanese trading ship. Charleston fired several shots at Fort Santa Cruz to see if it was occupied, but it was also abandoned.

Spanish officials soon went out to meet Charleston in two small boats, one of which had an American flag on its sail.

After boarding the Charleston, the Spaniard apologized. They interpreted the Charleston fire as a salute and told the Americans that they were unable to respond due to lack of gunpowder.

Captain Henry Glass Memorial of Guam

Monument to Captain Henry Glass in Guam.

Guampedia.com via Getty Images

Facts have proved that since April 14 (11 days before the United States declared war on Spain), the island has not communicated with Manila, and no Spanish naval ship has visited Guam in 18 months.

Glass told the Spaniards that their country was at war and he was taking over the island. He asked the Governor of Guam, Don Juan Marina, to personally board Charleston Island and surrender the island.

When the delegation came back, Marina asked to talk to Grasse on the island because he was not legally allowed to board foreign warships.

The next day, Glass sent envoys to demand Spain’s surrender and gave them half an hour to obey. After twenty-nine minutes, Marina surrendered.

A garrison of less than 60 people on the island was disarmed and captured on one of the transport ships, as did Marina and other Spanish officials.

The Americans then set sail for Manila, where they assisted Dewey through the rest of the war.

Important base

B-29 over the runway of Harmon Airport in Guam during World War II

[On April 13, 1945, a B-29 bomber was flying over the runway at Harmon Airport in Guam.

PhotoQuest/Getty Images

After the surrender, Glass personally inspected Fort Santa Cruz, where he hoisted the American flag.

The fort itself “is completely useless as a defensive project, has no guns, and is in a state of partial destruction,” Glass Wrote in the report To the dragon.

Grass described the other forts on the island as “no value” and the only guns that could be found were outdated cast-iron guns used for salute, “but now they are condemned as unsafe even for this purpose.”

When the Spaniards ignored Guam, the United States turned it into an important base.

The Japanese captured it on December 10, 1941, but the United States took it back bloodily. 21 days of battle In the summer of 1944, it was used as a base for B-29 bombing missions in the following war.

Air Force responds to North Guam

On February 9, 2021, a formation of eight aircraft over Guam during the Cope North 21 exercise.

US Air Force/Senior Pilot Duncan C. Bevan

Guam now has about 170,000 people, its importance to the US military Only increased.

Now it’s American”The most important work location west of the international date line,” Admiral Philip Davidson said before stepping down as commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command earlier this year.

The main base in Guam is the Andersen Air Force Base, which is often stationed with US long-range bombers, and the Guam Naval Base, which is the location of a submarine squadron and is frequently visited by other warships.

It also hosted approximately 7,000 U.S. military personnel, many of whom arrived as Marines move As part of the reorganization plan, 5,000 Marines from Okinawa. Their new home, Camp Blaz, is the Legion’s first new base in 68 years.

US Navy 7th Fleet USS Blue Ridge Guam

On May 22, 2019, US, Australian, Japanese, and South Korean naval vessels at the U.S. Naval Base in Port Appula, Guam.

Jasen Moreno-Garcia, U.S. Navy/Popular Communications Specialist II

Guam is an unincorporated territory of the United States, which means that people born there are American citizens, but they have limited political rights while living there.

America’s presence there often angry Local populationThousands of American sailors were quarantined there after the outbreak of COVID-19 on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in the spring of 2020.

The US military presence also makes Guam a target.

North Korea has Threat Especially in the past, the island was considered to be the focus of China’s plan to suppress US bases in the region in the event of a conflict.

China’s DF-26It is the first conventionally armed ballistic missile capable of reaching Guam, and is called the “Guam Killer.”

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