Marsh Is.#292 Japanese Capture Guam - 1991 Imperforate Mint Issue
December 10, 1941 Less than 24 hours following the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the Imperial Japanese forces began their assault on key American outposts in the Philippines, Guam and the Wake Islands. Guam was defended by a small Marine garrison of 427 men along with 308 natives from the Guam Insular Guard. The Japanese freely bombed and strafed the island for two straight days from their air base on the island of Saipan, located 100 miles to the north. Early on the morning of December 10, Rear Admiral Aritomo Goto launched his amphibious invasion force of 5,000 troops. The initial assault force of 700 landed on Dungas Beach and they made their way quickly to Government House. Fierce fighting broke out with U.S. Marines repelling two waves of attacks. When the Governor General of Guam, Captain G. J. McMillin, learned of the massive force the enemy had landed he decided that further resistance would be suicidal. A cease-fire was ordered and the formal surrender was signed later in the day. America had lost its first territory in the war.