The Other Guam Story – George Ray Tweed

From:  [article] Together We Served – [photos] Guam History Project

Most everyone knows or vaguely remembers Sgt. Yokoi finally surrendering in 1972, but another soldier was hiding on that island too…..

Lt. George Ray Tweed

Lt. George Ray Tweed

 

 Lieutenant George Ray Tweed, U.S. Navy

After the attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941, Japanese forces soon overran Guam Island in the Pacific. Tweed, then serving as a Navy chief radioman with several other U.S. personal slipped into the jungle rather than surrender. He became the only survivor after the others were captured and killed. He managed to elude Japanese soldiers for two years seven months, providing information to American forces that recaptured Guam Island in July 1944. His survival effort is considered one of the greatest feats in war history to date. For his contributions to the Pacific War victory, he was awarded the Legion of Merit Medal, Silver Star Medal and a Presidential Citation. He retired from the Navy as a Lieutenant. His story was told in the best selling 1945 book, ”Robinson Crusoe USN” and in the Universal Studios 1962 movie, ”No Man is an Island,” starring Jeffrey Hunter as George Tweed.

Cause of death, an automobile accident at Crescent City, Del Norte County, northern California.

Tweed's cave

Tweed’s cave

Other Comments:

Legion of Merit with Combat ‘V’ 
Awarded for actions during World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit with Combat “V” to Radio Electrician George Ray Tweed, United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States while isolated on Guam following the seizure of that island by enemy Japanese forces on 10 December 1941, until rescued by an American Destroyer during the bombardment by our surface and aerial forces on 10 July 1944. Courageous and resourceful under relentless stalking by the Japanese, Radio Electrician Tweed succeeded in escaping capture and, with the aid of friendly and loyal natives managed not only to subsist during this prolonged, grueling period but to obtain much valuable information concerning the Japanese occupation of the Island. Ingeniously attracting the attention of an American Destroyer operating two miles off shore on 10 July, he subsequently signaled messages by semaphore, revealing information of an undamaged hostile battery of six-inch guns concealed at Point Adelup. After being rescued by our warship, Radio Electrician Tweed turned over a detailed log on enemy movements, troop concentrations, the results of our bombardment on hostile objectives beginning 11 June, and Japanese preparations to repel an amphibious landing, thereby making a vital contribution to the recapture of this strategic American possession.Radio Electrician Tweed is authorized to wear the Combat “V”.

Action Date:  
December 10, 1941 – July 10, 1944
Service:  Navy
Rank:  Radio Electrician
Guam under Japanese rule.

Guam under Japanese rule.

Check out this short description of Tweed’s 3 years in hiding….

The idea for using the video was from John Howell.

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Military Humor – 

fools mcgill1

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Marco Alleruzzo – Boston, MA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, ball turret gunner

Kenneth Cringle – Kingfisher, OK; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, B-24 nose gunnerimages-1

William Gannon – Westernport, MD; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Lt.Col.

Harvey Hansen – Fryeburg, ME; US Army, WWII, PTO, SSgt., 154th Infantry Regiment

Miriam Jacques – brn: Tel Aviv, ISR; W.British Army, WWII, ETO

Jack Meehan – Christchurch, NZ; RNZ Air Force # 426895, WWII, 75th Squadron

Lewis Miner – Salt Lake City, UT; US Army, 11th Airborne Division

Eddie Ott – Clarksville, TN; USMC, Vietnam, Cpl.

Jock Moffat – Swinton, UK; Royal Navy, WWII, ETO, Lt. Cmdr., HMS Ark Royal

Dee Simpson – Alamogordo, NM; US Navy, WWII, PTO, USS Brownson, gunner’s mate

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on January 7, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 89 Comments.

  1. I’ve gotten behind on my reading, so I’m only now seeing this post. What an irony that Tweed was killed in a car wreck in Crescent City after eluding Death in the jungle! Crescent City is a small town near the Oregon border in California.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent post gp, the story on Ray Tweed was unbelievable, his actions and survival were phenomenal, the video was an great extra, wonder if the Catholic Priest is still remembered in Guam.
    Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. An extraordinary feat of survival and resistance made possible by the sacrifice and courage of many.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tweed survived the war against all odds only to be killed in a car crash back in the U.S.?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. An incredible story of resilience and determination. Fabulous to read about.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. GP – Just when I think life is hard – all I need to do is read your blog and recognize how easy my daily existence is compared to the men and women who served so honorably in WWII. January is a hard month at the VA, not just our facility, but all VA facilities. The festivities are over and yes, I’m using your blog to publically thank the Boy and Girl Scouts for coming to the VA to read your blog to our veterans and discuss the veterans’ war experiences. Parents tell me the kids are becoming excited about history all over again. Thanks to you for your great work.

    Liked by 4 people

    • That makes me beam with pride to know I have even touched one child with the enthusiasm that my dad gave me!! I really appreciate you telling me. I’m sure the LR veterans are enjoying the visits too.
      [I’ve been remiss in shouting out to them lately – I’d better get on it!!]
      You and Tom – take care!!

      Liked by 2 people

      • GP – The number of volunteers (both young and mature and hundreds of Veterans) are indeed in debt to you for posting your quality blog. They can go to any page at any time and have a ready made subject with which to start up a conversation. It’s magical to watch these relationships form and grow.

        Liked by 1 person

        • The very fact that they’re talking is the first and largest step. Never in a million years did I think all this would come about – but I’m sure happy it did!!

          Liked by 1 person

          • What surprises me is the kids are more than willing to check their iPhones in when they begin their time with the Veterans. I received a report last night and the kids on their own have started searching for family members of Veterans at the Veterans request, had made purchases: shaving cream, favorite brands of tooth paste, decks of cards, favorite books by authors the Vets enjoy and the list went on. A ward nurse called me this a.m. about the Veterans are all excited because the Scout Master asked the Chief Nurse if the Veterans would like to teach the more adavanced Scouts if they would like to learn how to do some more advanced survival skills. This is a two way program and the energy is flying fast – and thanks to you. You gave us a platform from which to work at all levels of care. We also have Scouts interested in medicine and they want to work with the ill Veterans and meet the challange of engaging them in life as they near the end of their own. Pallative care is something missing in all medical care, not just the VA.

            Liked by 2 people

            • You continue to make my days brighter. Frankly, just when I think I can’t smile any wider – I receive even more great news!!
              BTW – which ARE the veterans’ favorite authors? I was thinking of shrinking my library somewhat and i could donate to my local VA.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Your local VA will love anything and everything you would love to contribute. I take all my magazines and books to our VA. They love anything military related (both WWII going all the way to current happenings). We have so many Veterans that read cross so many genres. Also, the families that come to sit with Veterans use the libraries and they appreciate all generes. Fiction and non-fiction are both equally appreciated. It wasn’t until about 3 years ago when we started putting recently published [in the last 30 years or so] books in the library that reading became a favorite activity of many of the vets.
                You gave me an idea. We already have 2 girl scouts that have organized an book mobile for Veterans that cannot get to the library and for those that don’t want to walk that far. But, how about bookclubs where the vets could met with a facilitator and actually talk about the book they are reading or have finished reading? I hadn’t really thought about that before. See how you put ideas into my head. I wonder if the Senior Scouting program could somehow work earning merit badges in facilitating bookclubs or lots of wives from the base are more than capable. Wish I had time to do one but the time simply isn’t there.

                Liked by 1 person

                • If the scouts don’t have a badge for reading and/or education – they should. Being as we are in a warmer climate, there isn’t much call for it – but I was thinking, how about people in nursing homes getting together to knit wool scarfs, etc. for the vets, especially the homeless ones?

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • That’s a good thought. Of course when it comes to the homeless, everyone wants to turn a blind eye. This is too good of an idea to let go of. Additionally, those that knit or crochete and are in long term VA facilities have yarn and other materials donated to them. I would think we could get a program started there and what about the thousands of hours mothers, daughters, wives spend at Fisher Houses waiting for their soldier to be well enough to make the journey home. That’s often months and sometimes years. Coming from someone who knows how long the waiting hours in a hospital room drag on, I bet we could get some takers there. Great idea, GP.

                    Liked by 1 person

  7. Read with respect how soldiers has to struggle for life in this extreme story

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yet another amazing story – especially as the enemy knew he was there.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. An amazing story of survival.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hey I have nominated you for the Bloggers Recognition Award.
    Check out the post😆
    http://wp.me/p7XKmi-ag

    Have a good day

    Like

    • I thank you very much for believing I am worthy of an award, but I’m afraid I do not accept them. I feel the troops did all the work and suffering – I on the other-hand, merely report as much as I can of their lives and events while sitting here on the sidelines. I hope you do not take offense and have a good day as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What an incredible story! It needs and deserves a revival if the film was 55 years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. And , in the end , Tweed dies in an auto wreck ? Like Gary Powers of U-2 spy plane fame dying in a helicopter crash , or the concentration camp survivor Leon Praport dying on Angels’ Flight in Los Angeles . Irony .

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “Captured and killed …” brrrrr.

    The wording conveys an entirely different meaning to the more civilised “killed or captured”.

    I’ve often wondered why the Brit forces persisted with the bolt-action Lee Enfield for so long. I think to them grunts were cheaper than new rifles, and some poor bugger had to use up all the old stuff before investing in new …

    Like

  14. Wow, thank you for telling this story. I will be looking for the book and the film also. How did I never hear about this? Amazing

    Liked by 1 person

    • Most people focus on the Europe side of the war when they think of WWII. The pacific was so large that there are many stories neither one of us have heard I’m afraid. So much still to be learned, archives to be de-classified and relics dug up. Because of that, my library and collections continue to grow. I thank you for being one of those who read the story.

      Like

  15. death, an automobile accident, seems hardly fair..

    mike

    Like

    • To me, it is not; not after all he went through. I suppose the saying, “Life isn’t fair,” was first said for people like George. Thank you for coming by. [I apologize for taking so long to reply, your comment was hiding out in the Spam file.]

      Like

  16. Not only was Tweed brave, but so were the people keeping him a secret. Enjoyed the video to get a better idea of the setting.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. What a brilliant story. I’ll have to search for the book and the film. I wonder if they are here in Oz.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Great post. The video was amazing. How many people today would sacrifice their own life to save a foreign life? Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. That is amazing! And how wonderful the native people there helped to hide and care for him. No wonder there was a movie made!

    Like

    • After living as a US territory – control under the Japanese was not exactly welcome. They kept him alive in hopes of the US coming back. I agree, Linda, quite a story! Thanks for reading it.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. That’s a great story. What bravery and persistence.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Thank you for the mention GP. I first saw a film on George Ray Tweed when I was ten years old. His story never left me and he was one of my boyhood heroes.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Truly amazing. Happy New Year, GP. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. My Grandfather came back later with the 3rd Marines and told me about the native Chammorans who were executed at Yigo, he also told me the fight was a viscous one against the entrenched Japanese. The Japanese as we all know never gave up easily, 18,000 Japanese died on that island and the US sustained 7000 casualties out of 20,038 committed. My grandfather’s last fight on Guam was at Finegayan, where the desperate Japanese made their final stand and resisted fiercely, he said was towards the end of the fight the Japanese committed suicide in droves. It never bothered my grandfather to talk about it because he was a hard nasty man when he returned from the war. At times he was calm and a decent person but the war changed him significantly my grandma told me he suffered terribly from PTSD long before we knew about all that…my grandfather was a genuine hero, earning the Silver Star in the 3rd Marines earlier campaign on Bougainville where he destroyed 2 Japanese machine guns and killed 14 Japanese who had his unit pinned down at the landing beaches at Empress Augusta Bay. He also told me that the M1 Garand saved his life during his one man assault because he said could easily reload on the run. He carried the same rifle throughout the war, he also told me that Marines carrying the Thompson sub machine gun were casualties at a higher rate than those who were M1 armed because of having to be closer to the enemy. My hero grandfather, died in his sleep 12 years ago…

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you very much for sharing your grandfather’s story to us. The first hand accounts bring it all into perspective. So many know so little of all that occurred in the Pacific. Back in your grandfather’s day, PTSD was known as shell-shock. I can not imagine anyone going through what these men did – and not come back changed!! He was truly a hero.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I interviewed a 32nd Infantry Division, 126th Regiment former WW2 soldier named Ken Bruce that is on my WW2 page on Facebook, his division fought in the Philippines in the Cagayan Valley. Lately I’ve been interested in how US soldiers felt about their weapons they used, I mean their rifles. Mr Bruce said he carried an M1carbine during his war. He said the semi auto capability of the carbine and the M1 Garand were far superior to the bolt action armed Japanese. Mr Bruce said he almost felt sorry for the Japanese because when they attacked, and charged the 126th’s position, the Japanese usually only fired one shot because trying to re-rack the bolt on their rifles was nearly impossible while on the run and Mr. Bruce said that his men in his unit cut them down somewhat easily and unmercifully. Mr. Bruce also was in Japan for occupation duty and sat in on the post war trials and saw first hand the horrible atrocities committed by Japan. There were 14,000 large and small scale war crimes and atrocities in the Philippines alone…Mr. Bruce is still with us, and is a hero…he doesn’t think so…but I do…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well, you know I agree with you on Mr. Bruce’s hero-status. I appreciate you giving us the information on the weapons and his experience with them. I follow your site, but must apologize for my lack of comments. The amount of time I have on this computer is often somewhat limited.

          Like

          • To tell you the truth Mr Cox, I haven’t added anything new to my wordpress page in quite sometime. Finding the time is always the tough part. Just last month my wife and I spent a month in the Philippines so we could visit her side of the family. While I was in the Philippines I got to visit Intramuros, Bataan and Mount Samat and the museum there. The visit to Intramuros was especially good, as I have a photo of my wife and I standing in the very gate of that famous photo showing that Sherman tank going thru the front gate of Fort Santiago/Intramuros. The Mount Samat area was where many US and Filipino divisions and units surrendered to Japanese forces in 1942 and where the Bataan Death March started….and the museum there was pretty good, had many US, Japanese and indigenous Filipino made weapons. It was also filled with many of the photos we who are connisuers of this genre have seen many times before. The Filipino government has erected a massive concrete cross atop Mount Samat in remembrance to the fighting that took place in that area. The cross must be 20 stories high and must have been an enormous undertaking in building something so big atop that mountain. It’s at such a high altitude that wild monkeys wonder around the trees at the top and will steel anything not being held by an unsuspecting visiter…it was a great and memorable trip to be sure…

            Like

            • Thank you for telling us about your journey to the past. So many us can only picture in our minds. Hopefully you took tons of photos!! The 503rd mentioned in your last post was a part of the 11th Airborne Division that this site is dedicated to.

              Liked by 1 person

  24. The horrors of war. They don’t get easier with the passing of time.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. In addition to the effort required to survive, the loneliness and uncertainty must have been awful. Even more amazing that he continued to serve.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Thanks for reminding me of this story, GP. I do have a recollection of that film with Jeffrey Hunter. A brave and resolute man indeed.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Amazing story – surviving must have been hard enough without the scouting and intelligence work.

    Liked by 1 person

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