Lest We Forget

By Eric Wertheim

The Guam , training her guns against the enemy, earned her first battle stars when kamikaze aircraft attacked the group's carriers. Despite valiant efforts, the aircraft carriers Enterprise (CV-6) and Intrepid (CV-11) sustained damage. The Guam escorted the USS Franklin (CV-13) out of the combat area, an effort that lasted until 22 March 1945. On 27 and 28 March, the Guam bombarded the airfield at Minami Daito; she supported carrier operations off the Nansei Shoto until 11 May.

The Guam returned to the waters off Okinawa following repairs and replenishment and joined Admiral Halsey's Third Fleet, Task Group 38.4, and once again supported carrier operations off Kyushu. On 9 June, the Guam and Alaska took part in a 90-minute bombardment of Okino Daito. After nearly three months in support of operations around Okinawa, the Guam sailed to Leyte Gulf, arriving in San Pedro Bay on 13 June. Arriving at Okinawa on 7 August 1945, the Guam became the flagship of a North China Force that paraded U.S. naval power around the Yellow Sea and then into Korea in September 1945 to ensure a safe occupation of that nation.

In November 1945, the Guam sailed back to the United States. She remained in New Jersey until her decommissioning on 17 February 1947 and was stricken from the Navy Register on 1 June 1960. She was sold to Boston Metals for scrapping the following year.


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