Monument in Hagatna in front of the Plaza de Espana
This monument memorializes the Guam insular guardsmen and their
gallant stand against far superior enemy forces during World War II.
En Defende Y Tanota (We Defended Our Island -
December 10, 1941)
Under cover of darkness in the early morning hours on December 10,
1941, a small group of Guam insular guardsmen took their battle
position at the perimeter of the park in which the monument stands.
As the invading Japanese imperial army troops of overwhelming number
came within range, they opened fire and fought gallantly. After
about a half hour of fighting, U.S. Navy Captain George McMillin
(Commander of U.S. forces and military Governor of Guam) decided to
surrender to prevent a senseless massacre of the Guam defenders.
The defense at the
Plaza de Espana was the
only pitched ground battle fought against the invading enemy forces.
The Guam insular guard comprised of young Chamorro men recruited by
the Navy eight months prior to the outbreak of World War II in the
Pacific. They were armed with three machine guns and Springfield
single bolt-action rifles, and had limited military training.
The monument was built with fund appropriated by the
20th Guam Legislature spearheaded by Senator Eddie Duenas and approved
by Governor Joseph F. Ada.
Guam Pictures or
Plaza de Espana