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Guam PG-43 - History

Guam PG-43 - History


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Guam

The largest island in the Marianas group.

(PG-43: dp. 350; 1. 159'5"; b. 27'; dr. 5'3"; s. 14.5 k.;
cpl. 59; a. 2 3", 8 .30 cal. ma. )

Guam (P-43) was launched 28 May 1927 by the Kiangnan Dock and Engineering Works, Shanghai, China; sponsored by Miss Louise Frances Bruce, and commissioned 28 December 1927, Lt. Comdr. S. G. Moore in command.

One of six new river gunboats built to replace old gunboats on the Yangtze for a year, Guam was then assigned to the South China patrol. She was reclassified PR-3 there on 15 June 1928; and, after a year, she returned to duty along the Yangtze. The China through which Guam sailed was racked by war from the day she commissioned—first, civil war as Communists battled Nationalists for control of! the ancient nation; and then, total war as Japanese forces sought to win and control China and her vast resources. In such conditions, Guam several times proved her worth.

On Independence Day 4 July 1930, Guam sailed for Yochow and Chenglin to insure the safety of American missionaries and other. foreigners in those two cities, then in Communist hands. As she neared Yochow, Guam was met by a hail of rifle fire from the shore. She returned the fire with her machine gun and three inch guns, making

five runs past the city in all. One member of Guam's crew was killed in the clash. Guam also evacuated American civilians from Wuhu to Hankow in December 1937 in front of approaching Japanese forces, and a year later served as station ship at Standard Vacuum Oil installations in Hankow to protect American lives and property while Chinese and Japanese armies clashed nearby.

As more and more of China fell into Japanese hands, Guam remained perilously on Yangtze patrol. By 1939 she was "escorted" by a Japanese warship wherever she went, and from her decks could be seen Japanese troop movements. Guam and her sister gunboats, remaining doggedly on station and conducting daily "Repel-Boarders" drills, were a reassuring sight for American civilians.

In January 1941 she was renamed Wake, as her former name was to be used for a new battle cruiser building in the States. On 25 November 1941 she was ordered to close the Navy installation at Hankow, distribute the 80 tons of supplies among American civilians remaining there, and sail to Shanghai. When Wake reached the China coast 30 November with her inevitable Japanese escort, she was stripped and her crew divided between Luzon and Oahu, two larger gunboats which then sailed for Manila. A skeleton crew of 10 reservists, under a Shanghai commercial pilot, remained on board to serve as a radio outlet for the handful of Marines and the Consular force left there. When the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor sent America into the Pacific War a week later Shanghai immediately fell to the enemy. After her reservist crew failed in their attempts to scuttle her, Wake was surrendered to the overwhelming Japanese force, the only U.S. ship to do so in the entire war.


USS GUAM PG-43 Official Naval Cover 1935 HANKOW, CHINA

USS GUAM PG-43 Official Naval Cover 1935 HANKOW, CHINA It was canceled 31 May 1935. It was franked with stamp "Penalty". It was sent to Barr's Jewelers of Norfolk, VA. This cover is in good, but not perfect condition. Please look at the scan and make y . Read More

Item Specifics
Item Description

USS GUAM PG-43 Official Naval Cover 1935 HANKOW, CHINA

It was canceled 31 May 1935. It was franked with stamp "Penalty". It was sent to Barr's Jewelers of Norfolk, VA.

This cover is in good, but not perfect condition. Please look at the scan and make your own judgement.

Member USCS #10385 (I also earned the stamp collecting merit badge as a boy!). Please contact me if you have specific cover needs. I have thousands for sale, including navals (USS, USNS, USCGC, Coast Guard, ship, Maritime), military posts, event, APO, hotel, postal history, memoribilia, etc. I also offer approvals service with FREE SHIPPING to repeat USA customers.

USS Wake (PR-3) was a United States Navy river gunboat operating on the Yangtze River, that was captured by Japan on 8 December 1941.

Originally commissioned as the gunboat Guam (PG-43), she was redesignated river patrol vessel PR-3 in 1928, and renamed Wake 23 January 1941.

She was launched on 28 May 1927 as Guam by the Kiangnan Dock and Engineering Works in Shanghai, China, and commissioned on 28 December 1927. Her primary mission was to ensure the safety of American missionaries and other foreigners. Later, the ship also functioned as a "radio spy ship," keeping track of Japanese movements.[3] However, by 1939, she was "escorted" by a Japanese warship wherever she went, as China fell more and more under Imperial Japanese control.

On 23 January 1941, she was renamed Wake, as Guam was to be the new name of a large cruiser being built in the U.S. On 25 November 1941, LCDR Andrew Earl Harris, the brother of Field Harris,[4] was ordered to close the Navy installation at Hankow, and sail to Shanghai. On 28 November 1941, LCDR Harris and most of the crew were transferred to gunboats and ordered to sail to the Philippines. Columbus Darwin Smith—an old China hand who had been piloting river boats on the Yangtze River—was asked to accept a commission in the U.S. Navy and was appointed captain of Wake with the rank of Lt. Commander.[3]

When Pearl Harbor was attacked on 7 December 1941, Shanghai had been under Japanese occupation since the 1937 Battle of Shanghai. Smith was in command on 8 December 1941 (7 December in Hawaii), with a crew of 14, when the Japanese captured the ship, which was tied up at a pier in Shanghai. Smith had received a telephone call the night before from a Japanese officer he knew. The officer asked where Smith would be the next morning as he wanted to deliver some turkeys for Smith and his crew. The Japanese did the same to other American officers and officials so as to determine where they would be on 8 December. However, Commander Smith received word from his quartermaster about the Pearl Harbor attack and rushed to the ship only to find it under guard by the Japanese.[3] Surrounded by an overwhelming Japanese force, the crew attempted unsuccessfully to scuttle the craft. Wake surrendered, the only U.S. ship to do so in World War II.

Commander Smith and his crew were confined to a prison camp near Shanghai, where the U.S. Marines and sailors captured on Wake Island were also later imprisoned.[3]

The Japanese gave Wake to their puppet Wang Jingwei regime in Nanjing, where she was renamed Tatara (多多良). The following activities are known to have occurred during the war.


Ancient Guam – The Chamorro

The original inhabitants of Guam are believed to have been of Indo-Malaya descent originating from Southeast Asia as early as 2,000 B.C., and having linguistic and cultural similarities to Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. The Chamorro flourished as an advanced fishing, horticultural, and hunting society. They were expert seamen and skilled craftsmen familiar with intricate weaving and detailed pottery making who built unique houses and canoes suited to this region of the world. The Chamorro possessed a strong matriarchal society and it was through the power and prestige of the women, and the failure of the Spanish overlords to recognize this fact, that much of the Chamorro culture, including the language, music, dance, and traditions have survived to this day


Guam PG-43 - History

The cost of this ship was 175,000 Shanghai "taels," or "about Gold $200,000, exclusive of armament and radio set." Quality was described as "perfectly satisfactory." In fact, the Japanese Navy purchased one of the ships for use as a river escort.

Late that spring, the Navy requested four gunboats but raised its bid in July to six. The Bureau of Construction and Repair then agreed that the boats could be built most economically in China, since the Kiangnan Dock and Engineering Works was "apparently perfectly capable of building vessels of this type complete."

The design took detailed form during preparation of the 1924 ship-construction proposal. In October 1924, the Bureau of Construction and Repair reported to Secretary of the Navy Curtis D. Wilbur that the General Boards recommended characteristics were being met, with some alterations. These included reduced bulletproof protection to meet weight limitation, diesel (instead of steam) engines capable of driving the vessel at 15 knots, and three (as opposed to four) rudders. Not only did these changes reduce the ships' maneuverability and defensive protection, but Washington officials overlooked the almost complete absence of diesel repair facilities and personnel in China."

The bureau by this time had produced a ship's plan based on the Kiangnan design, resembling closely a typical shallow-draft Yangtze River steamer. Secretary Wilbur agreed with this recommendation, and the Navy's appropriations request for 1926 included $4.2 million to build six such ships. Congress approved this request in December 1924, and the Secretary could tell the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral E. W. Eberle, that finally he would be receiving new gunboats.

The ships would be built in Shanghai, with the main propulsion machinery (boilers, engines, and pumps), ordnance equipment, bulletproof steel, and various other "articles of outfit" furnished by the U.S. Government. Bureau of Construction and Repair officers were concerned that material shipped to China would be subject to onerous import
duties, which would increase costs significantly. Admiral Thomas Washington, the Asiatic Fleet commander who would oversee construction, was directed to "take


The USS Guam (PG-43) was the first of the Yangtze Patrol gunboats completed. Here, she is still under construction but near completion - more than 10 months late - at the Kiangnan Dock and Engineering Works in Shanghai. She was renamed 'Wake' in 1941 to free the Guam name for a new cruiser.
up with the customs officials the proposal to admit, free of import duty, any materials specially ordered by the contractor for these vessels," which would amount more than 800 tons of material, including main propelling and auxillary machinery. Edwin Cunningham, U.S. consul-general in Shanghai, reached agreement with the Chinese government after three month of negotiation, when the Chinese agreed to duty-free importation of gunboat construction material.

The Bureau of Construction and Repair approved the design in April 1925. The blueprints did not reach the Superintendent of Construction in Shanghai until a year later, however, since they had to be endorsed by the other Navy bureaus - a torturous bureaucratic process."

Admiral Washington awarded the contract to Kiangnan Dock and Engineering Works in March 1925. He noted that 14.5 knots was the maximum guaranteed speed for the smallest boats, intended for service on the upper Yangtze, which was "considered sufficient to navigate the up river gorges." In fact, this speed proved later to be marginal at best, and the Navy was wrong not to insist on its previous requirement of 16 knots, with an emergency capability for 17. The fleet commander also said that the largest ship, would be "flag-configured" - equipped with the additional quarters and office space for an admiral and his staff and "were needed at an early date [to serve as] flagships" of the Yangtze Patrol and Asiatic Fleet.

Six new gunboats were authorized, funded, and designed, and the contract awarded. Although the Asiatic Fleet commander exercised supervisory control, the day-to-day decision, were assigned to Commander L. S. Border, Superintending Constructor in Shanghai. As construction of the new gunboats began, they were designated "River Gunboat" ("PR" later changed to "PG"), with numbers 43 through 48. Border wrote to Washington that three weeks should be added to the U.S. to Shanghai shipping time to allow for delays in passing material through China's customs, despite the

agreement with the government and Kiangnan's posted bond with the customs office in Shanghai.

The United States ordered the first hull material on 12 March 1926 the Kiangnan planners had "faired" the design lines in their molding loft by the end of the month. The shipbuilding contract allowed Kiangnan 12 months to build each gunboat, with the first, hull number 43, scheduled for launching 1 November 1926 and delivery to the Navy 1 March 1927.

Construction was under way by mid-June 1926, although it was troubled immediately by contractor difficulties with design changes. All of the many changes required

Approval by Border, by the fleet commander, and by one or more of the Washington bureaus. This requirement caused delays first apparent during the process of approving the design drawings. Kiangnan had to submit each to the Bureau of Construction and Repair via Border and the Asiatic Fleet commander. Kiangnan could begin work only after a drawing was approved and returned.


WAKE PR 3

This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.

    Shallow-draft River Gunboat
    Keel Laid 17 October 1926 - Launched 28 May 1927

Naval Covers

This section lists active links to the pages displaying covers associated with the ship. There should be a separate set of pages for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Covers should be presented in chronological order (or as best as can be determined).

Since a ship may have many covers, they may be split among many pages so it doesn't take forever for the pages to load. Each page link should be accompanied by a date range for covers on that page.

Postmarks

This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Within each set, the postmarks should be listed in order of their classification type. If more than one postmark has the same classification, then they should be further sorted by date of earliest known usage.

A postmark should not be included unless accompanied by a close-up image and/or an image of a cover showing that postmark. Date ranges MUST be based ONLY ON COVERS IN THE MUSEUM and are expected to change as more covers are added.
 
>>> If you have a better example for any of the postmarks, please feel free to replace the existing example.

Postmark Type
---
Killer Bar Text

USS GUAM 1927-1941

Post Office Established 16 February 1928 - Name Changed 23 January 1941

GUAM PR-3. Cachet by John Coulthard and sponsored by Deane C. (DC) Bartley

WAKE PR-3. Renamed 23 January 1941. Awaiting new device. Cachet by John Coulthard.


PG-43 Guam / PR 3 Wake

The Yangtze River Patrol of the United States Navy existed under various names between 1854 and 1941. This squadron-sized unit of the Asiatic Fleet patrolled the waters of the Yangtze river as far inland as Chungking, more than 1,300 miles from the sea, and occasionally far beyond. The patrol was necessary to protect U.S.citizens and their interests against pirates and warlords who would attack commercial ships on the river. In the early part of the 1900's China experienced turbulent times accompanied by many acts of violence against foreigners. The Yangtze Patrol was called upon to defend American lives, property, and commerce along the river and to support American foreign policy in the Far East.

In 1917 the first Standard Oil tanker reached Chungking, and a pattern of American commerce on the river began to emerge. Passenger and cargo service by American-flag ships began in 1920 with the Dollar Line and the American West China Company, followed in 1923 by the Yangtze River Steamship Company which stayed on the river until 1935, long after the other American passenger-cargo ships were gone.

To accommodate its increased responsibilities on the river, the Navy constructed six new gunboats -- the "new six" -- in Shanghai between 1926-1927. These vessels were of three sizes, all capable of reaching Chungking at high water. The LUZON and MINDANAO were the largest, the OAHU and PANAY next in size, and the GUAM and TUTUILA the smallest. These vessels gave the navy the capability it needed at a time when operational requirements were growing rapidly.

Guam (PG-43) was laid down on 17 October 1926 at Shanghai, China, by the Kiangnan Dock and Engineering Works launched on 28 May 1927 sponsored by Miss Louise Frances Bruce and commissioned on 28 December 1927, Lt. Comdr. Robert K. Awtrey in command. On 23 January 1941, the gunboat was renamed Wake in order to clear the former name for new construction. The gunboat survived the war intact, was transferred to the Chinese Nationalists after the surrender of Japan, and subsequently fell to the communists in 1949. Her fate thereafter is, as yet, unknown.

Tutuila (PG-44) was laid down on 17 October 1926 at Shanghai, China, by the Kiangnan Dock and Engineering Works launched on 14 June 1927 sponsored by Miss Beverly Pollard and commissioned on 2 March 1928, Lt. Comdr. Frederick Baltzly in command. Assigned to the Yangtze Patrol (YangPat) and redesignated a river gunboat (PR-4) on 15 June 1928, Tutuila cruised on shakedown up the Yangtze River from Shanghai to I'Chang, where she joined sister ship Guam (PR-3) in mid-July. The ship was permanently transferred to the Chinese government on 17 February 1948. Under terms of lend-lease, the United States leased the gunboat to China on 19 March 1942, her name becoming Mei Yuan which can be translated as "of American origin." The name Tutuila was struck from the United States Navy list on 25 March 1942. She served the Nationalist Navy until near the end of the Civil War which ravaged China after World War II. As Communist forces advanced upon Shanghai, the Nationalists abandoned and scuttled Mei Yuan to prevent her capture. Her subsequent fate is unknown.

(PG-44: dp. 395 1. 159'5" b. 27'1" dr. 5'5" (mean) s. 14.37 k. cpl. 61 a. 2 3", 10 30-cal. mg.)


Contents

U.S. Navy [ edit ]

She was launched on 28 May 1927 as Guam by the Kiangnan Dock and Engineering Works in Shanghai, China, and commissioned on 28 December 1927. Her primary mission was to ensure the safety of American missionaries and other foreigners. Later, the ship also functioned as a "radio spy ship," keeping track of Japanese movements. Α] However, by 1939, she was "escorted" by a Japanese warship wherever she went, as China fell more and more under Imperial Japanese control.

On 23 January 1941, she was renamed Wake, as Guam was to be the new name of a large cruiser being built in the U.S. On 25 November 1941, LCDR Andrew Earl Harris, the brother of Field Harris, Β] was ordered to close the Navy installation at Hankow, and sail to Shanghai. On 28 November 1941, LCDR Harris and most of the crew were transferred to gunboats and ordered to sail to the Philippines. Columbus Darwin Smith—an old China hand who had been piloting river boats on the Yangtze River—was asked to accept a commission in the U.S. Navy and was appointed captain of Wake with the rank of Lt. Commander. Α]

When Pearl Harbor was attacked on 7 December 1941, Shanghai had been under Japanese occupation since the 1937 Battle of Shanghai. Smith was in command on 8 December 1941 (7 December in Hawaii), with a crew of 14, when the Japanese captured the ship, which was tied up at a pier in Shanghai. Smith had received a telephone call the night before from a Japanese officer he knew. The officer asked where Smith would be the next morning as he wanted to deliver some turkeys for Smith and his crew. The Japanese did the same to other American officers and officials so as to determine where they would be on 8 December. However, Commander Smith received word from his quartermaster about the Pearl Harbor attack and rushed to the ship only to find it under guard by the Japanese. Α] Surrounded by an overwhelming Japanese force, the crew attempted unsuccessfully to scuttle the craft. Wake surrendered, the only U.S. ship to do so in World War II.

Commander Smith and his crew were confined to a prison camp near Shanghai, where the U.S. Marines and sailors captured on Wake Island were also later imprisoned. Α]

Japanese service [ edit ]

The Japanese gave Wake to their puppet Wang Jingwei regime in Nanjing, where she was renamed Tatara ( 多多良 ) . The following activities are known to have occurred during the war.


GUAM T-HST 1

This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.

    High-Speed Transport Vessel
    Keel Laid 2007 as HUAKA'I for Hawai'i Superferry
    Launched 29 September 2008
    Bought by US Dept. of Transportation Maritime Administration 13 September 2010
    Transferred to US Navy 27 January 2012
    Renamed GUAM 8 May 2012 - Christened 27 April 2019

Naval Covers

This section lists active links to the pages displaying covers associated with the ship. There should be a separate set of pages for each name of the ship (for example, Bushnell AG-32 / Sumner AGS-5 are different names for the same ship so there should be one set of pages for Bushnell and one set for Sumner). Covers should be presented in chronological order (or as best as can be determined).

Since a ship may have many covers, they may be split among many pages so it doesn't take forever for the pages to load. Each page link should be accompanied by a date range for covers on that page.

Postmarks

This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each name and/or commissioning period. Within each set, the postmarks should be listed in order of their classification type. If more than one postmark has the same classification, then they should be further sorted by date of earliest known usage.

A postmark should not be included unless accompanied by a close-up image and/or an image of a cover showing that postmark. Date ranges MUST be based ONLY ON COVERS IN THE MUSEUM and are expected to change as more covers are added.
 
>>> If you have a better example for any of the postmarks, please feel free to replace the existing example.


Guam PG-43 - History


256-bit encryption
$500,000 protection

The USS San Pablo was featured in the 1966 film The Sand Pebbles . She was a 150-foot steel-hulled gunboat, built by Vaughn & Yung Engineering Ltd. of Hong Kong. A replica of one type of U.S. navy gunboat used in China in the 1920's, the San Pablo was an ocean-going vessel powered with a diesel engine, capable of ten knots. She made the voyage by sea from Hong Kong to Taiwan and then back to Hong Kong. She cost the movie production a quarter million dollars.

The biggest talent search ever staged by Hollywood was in connection with “The Sand Pebbles.” A working steam engine, weighing 41,280 pounds and of the 1926 vintage, was finally found in Vancouver, British Columbia. It was aboard a fifty-year old Norwegian whaler on its way to the scrap-yard.

San Pablo crossed the Formosan Straits in a storm and was overdue by a day while an anxious company awaited her arrival. In her period as a prime action prop, she ran aground numerous times in the shallow Tam Sui River. In Hong Kong waters, she was deliberately set afire. In total, she was completely repainted eleven times during the course of filming.

The “junk fight” at Sai Kung, wherein the USS San Pablo is faced with a blockade, is one of the most unusual sea battles ever staged. In the 1800’s and through the early 1900’s, river pirates sometimes blocked off waters with an array of junks bound together by a heavy bamboo rope. The opposing forces in “The Sand Pebbles” used this technique to blockade the gunboat.

The battle alone took two months of preparation and the 1,000-foot bamboo rope which linked the junks together weighed twenty-five tons. Battle filming by the First Unit lasted a month in Sai Kung waters. First Unit work was completed May 15, 1966.

After the movie San Pablo was sold to the De Long Timber Co. in the Philippines. It was renamed the “Nola D” after Nola Dianne Delong the owner's wife or daughter. She was later sold to Seiscom Delta Exploration Co. and used as a base camp in Indonesia until the mid 1970’s.

The Nola D was taken to Singapore and broken up in 1975.

The USS San Pablo was based on the USS Panay (PG-45). And here is a brief history of the USS Panay:

The United States was not a participant in the mid-19th century wars against China, but it was quick to take advantage of China's undoing. The USS Susquehanna was the first U.S. warship to steam up the mighty Yangtze River, in 1853 a motley collection of ships followed over the years.

The first "modern" U.S. warships arrived on the Yangtze only in 1903, when the USS Villalobos and USS Elcano arrived from the Philippines. The ships were hot, dirty, and poorly ventilated. They also were underpowered, underarmed, and generally unsuitable for river duty but they patrolled the Yangtze for a quarter-century nonetheless.

By the turn of the century the China station was perhaps the most sought-after assignment in the USS Navy. Americans were above the law there, and most hedonistic pleasures were readily and cheaply available. Thus there was a need of increasing gunboats there.

In 1918, the Navy requested six gunboats. The Bureau of Construction and Repair then agreed that the boats could be built most economically in China.

The design took detailed form during preparation of the 1924 ship-construction proposal. In October 1924, the Bureau of Construction and Repair reported to Secretary of the Navy Curtis D. Wilbur that the General Boards recommended characteristics were being met, with some alterations. These included reduced bulletproof protection to meet weight limitation, diesel (instead of steam) engines capable of driving the vessel at 15 knots, and three (as opposed to four) rudders. Not only did these changes reduce the ships' maneuverability and defensive protection, but Washington officials overlooked the almost complete absence of diesel repair facilities and personnel in China."

The bureau by this time had produced a ship's plan based on the Kiangnan design, resembling closely a typical shallow-draft Yangtze River steamer. The Navy's appropriations request for 1926 included $4.2 million to build six such ships. Congress approved this request in December 1924.

The ships would be built in Shanghai, with the main propulsion machinery (boilers, engines, and pumps), ordnance equipment, bulletproof steel, and various other "articles of outfit" furnished by the U.S. Government.

The United States ordered the first hull material on 12 March 1926. The shipbuilding contract allowed Kiangnan 12 months to build each gunboat, with the first, hull number 43, scheduled for launching 1 November 1926 and delivery to the Navy 1 March 1927.

The gunboats were named officially on 10 May 1927: Guam (PG-43), Tutuilla (PG-44) Panay (PG-45), Oahu (PG-46), Luzon (PG-47), and Mindanao (PG-48) all Pacific Islands. Construction delays resulting from material delays, labor unrest, design changes, and Kiangnan's inexperience resulted in the ships being delivered to the Navy from 10.7 months (Guam) to 15.4 months (Tutuilla) late.

The six new gunships served on China's rivers throughout the 1930s, attempting to deal with the disruptive effects of the fractionalized Nationalist government and its struggles with the communists and the Japanese. The ships protected merchant steamers, rescued U.S. and other foreign citizens, and exerted a stabilizing influence along China's waterways. Although U.S. naval and diplomatic officers sought to carry out these tasks without interfering in the country's internal affairs, this was a forlorn hope, since the U.S. gunboats were interfering in China simply by being there.

The war with Japan claimed four of the gunboats. The Panay, sank in December 1937, was the U.S. Navy's first World War II casualty.

Japan's 1941 aggression marked the end of the U.S. gunboat presence in China. The Japanese Navy destroyed the Asiatic Fleet and the gunboats of the Yangtze Patrol met varying fates. The U.S. Navy returned to China in 1945, but the "unequal treaties" had been revoked and the foreign presence drastically reduced. An era had ended for the Navy with the loss of the gunboats in 1941. The Asiatic Fleet and Yangtze Patrol existed thereafter only in myth and legend.

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Watch the video: History of Guam (June 2022).