History

Historical Summary of
Marines on Guam

 

Historical Synopsis - Marine Barracks Guam

Marines have been present on Guam almost continuously since the landing of U.S. forces on 21 June 1898; during the Spanish American War. On 7 August 1899, U.S. Naval Station Guam was formally established and Marines were brought ashore. The Marine Barracks was officially established at the village of Sumay in 1901. Marine Barracks Guam has played significant roles in Marine Corps history for more than 90 years. During the First World War, the first shots fired by Americans in the war were done so in Apra Harbor by U.S. Marines. On 7 April 1917, Marines from the barracks fired warning shots against German sailors form the interned ship Cormoran. In the Second World War, Marine Barracks Guam was forced to surrender to Imperial Japanese forces on 14 June 1942. The Marines returned with a vengeance when the III Amphibious Corps landed to retake the island on 21 July 1944. The island was declared secure on 10 August 1944 after suffering nearly 8,000 casualties. Guam became a staging location for Marines moving forward across the Pacific, supporting invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The Marine Barracks was reactivated on 4 June 1946 and remained an integral part of the U.S. presence on the island until it was deactivated on 10 Nov 1992.

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Guam assault by the Third Marine Division and the First Marine Provisional Brigade July 20, 1944

The Guam assault by the Third Marine Division and the First Marine Provisional Brigade came July 20, 1944, after a 17-day aerial and naval...

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Residents, Service Members Honor Unique Experience of Memorial Day on Guam

Men of the pack Howitzer Battalion aboard an LST, study a relief map of the area on Guam on which they are to land. Captain Phillip P. Santon,...

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Residents, Service Members Honor Unique Experience of Memorial Day on Guam

Marines raise Old Glory once again after more than two years the Marines raise the American Flag over the Marine barracks on the island of Guam. ...

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Residents, Service Members Honor Unique Experience of Memorial Day on Guam

The Guam assault by the Third Marine Division and the First Marine Provisional Brigade came July 20, 1944, after a 17-day aerial and naval...

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Guam Marines support, share island’s 69th Liberation celebration

Marines display the American flag for a photograph shortly after securing a beachhead during the liberation of Guam July 21, 1944. Guam concluded...



Historial Synopsis of Base Namesake - BGen Vicente Blaz, USMC

Presently, the U.S. Marine Corps receives tremendous support from the people and the government of Guam. Both the Governor and the Speaker of the Guam Legislature provide frequent support for the Marine Corps relocation to Guam. In October 2018, the Secretary of the Navy approved on the recommendation of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, that the new Marine Corps installations on Guam be named in honor of the late Brigadier General Vicente "Ben" Tomas Garrido Blaz. Brigadier General Blaz was the first minority general officer in the Marine Corps and remains the highest ranking indigenous CHamoru to have served in the Marine Corps. After retirement he served for terms as Guam's delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. Brigadier General Blaz was also a survivor of the Japanese occupation fo Guam and later commanded 9th Marines, one of the regiments that liberated the island in 1944. Brigadier General Blaz died on 8 January 2014 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. He remains a respected figure in Guam's history to this day.



Marine Corps activates Camp Blaz in Guam

Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz (MCB) Camp Blaz was activated on October 1, 2020. This activation was an administrative action officially marking the initial operational capability (IOC) of the base. This is the first new Marine Corps base activated since March 1, 1952, with the commissioning of what is presently Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia. The Marine Corps plans to hold a formal activation ceremony for its newest base in spring 2021.

“As the Marine Corps presence on Guam grows, I am confident that we will live up to our motto of honor, courage, and commitment – we will honor the history of the island of Guam, we will have the courage to defend it, and we will remain committed to preserving its cultural and environmental resources,” said Col. Bradley M. Magrath, the first base commander of MCB Camp Blaz.

The formal establishment of MCB Camp Blaz is a significant milestone of the REALIGNMENT OF FORCES and honors an international agreement with the Government of Japan while securing a Marine Corps posture in the Indo-Pacific region that is geographically distributed and operationally resilient. MCB Camp Blaz will play an essential role in strengthening the Department of Defense’s ability to deter and defend, and is also a testament to the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance, which is a cornerstone of peace, security, and prosperity in the region.