ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam - Members from the 36th Munitions
Squadron and Boy Scouts of America Troop 1420 were recognized for
their efforts in renovating the forgotten Chagui'an Massacre
Memorial site during a memorial ceremony in Yigo, Guam, July 14,
Due to the fact that there were no survivors of the
massacre, little is known about what actually happened in regards to
the Chagui'an Massacre. It was documented in a military report that
on Aug. 8, 1944, a patrol of U.S. Marines discovered the decapitated
bodies of 45 Chamorro men in Chagui'an, Yigo. The story of these men
was forgotten until 2004 when students from the University of Guam
came across journals of Japanese officers telling the tale.
The first memorial ceremony for the Chagui'an Massacre was held in
2008. At the time, no monument was present at the site and the site
itself was difficult to find. After Troop 1420 Boy Scout Jackson
Umlauf attended the memorial ceremony in 2013, he thought more could
be done to honor those who lost their lives during the massacre.
Jackson and his father, Maj. Kurt Umlauf, 36th MUNS operations
officer, brought together the 36th MUNS Airmen and Boy Scouts of
America Troop 1420 to update the memorial site.
Troop 1420 Boy Scout Jackson Umlauf and
his father Maj. Kurt Umlauf, 36th Munitions Squadron operations
officer, stand in front of a memorial sign listing the names of the
men lost in the Chagui'an Massacre in the village of Yigo, Guam, on
July 14, 2014. The Umlaufs brought together the 36th MUNS and Boy
Scouts of America Troop 1420 to update the forgotten memorial site.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Katrina M. Brisbin)
More than 400 hours of work went into the beautification
of the site. As Yigo's sister squadron, the members of the
36th MUNS worked to improve the site alongside the scouts,
who ranged in ages from 9-15. The Sister Squadron-Sister
Village Program partners a squadron from Andersen Air Force
Base with a local village to develop relationships between
the base and the local community.
supported the project by providing volunteers,” said the
major. “Jackson created a schedule of sessions both on- and
off-site to keep the project moving forward as funds were
streaming in and materials were becoming available.”
After five months of planning
and two months of labor, the memorial was completed in time
for this month's ceremony. Along with cleaning up the site,
the team created four planter boxes and two garbage
receptacles, planted a memorial garden, installed a memorial
stone with an inscription and added two concrete benches.
They also installed a series of informational street signs
to lead guests from Marine Corps Drive to the memorial site.
“I'm very proud to have made such an impact; it first
hit me when people were thanking us for installing the
informational signs on Marine Corps Drive,” said Jackson in
regards to helping point people in the direction of the
ceremony, which was tucked away in the village off the
regularly beaten path.
In his closing remarks during
the ceremony, Rudy Matanane, mayor of Yigo, thanked Jackson,
his family, and the 36th MUNS for their efforts.
“Their spirits of cooperation and volunteerism has made this
village sister command relationship work as a true family
unit,” said Matanane. “We thank you Airmen for a job well
By U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Katrina M. Brisbin
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