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Eric Hammel, Air War Pacific Chronology: America's Air War Against Japan in East Asia and the Pacific 1941-1945, (Pacifica, CA: Pacifica Press, 1988, ISBN 0-935553-26-6). Items that are [bracketed] are comments that add to the historical record which were contributed by members of the B-29 mailing list on E-group.

17-23 November 1944
MARIANAS - The initial 73rd BW B-29 mission to Japan is grounded by bad weather over Saipan.

24 November 1944
JAPAN - Of 111 73rd BW B-29s dispatched on the XXI BC maiden attack against targets in Japan, 24 attack the primary target, the Musahino aircraft plant in Tokyo, 59 attack port facilities and urban areas in Tokyo, five attack targets of last resort, 17 abort on their way to the target, and six are unable to release their bombs owing to a variety of mechanical problems. Several 3rd Photo Recon Sq. F-13s support the attack by confusing Japanese radars. One B-29 crashes into the sea off Honshu after being rammed by a Japanese fighter, shearing off it's elevator and right horizontal stabilizer (the first XXI BC B-29 lost to action against the Japanese); and another ditches after running out of fuel; B-29 gunners claim 7 aircraft downed. Also, 8 B-29's are damaged by ground fire and 3 others are damaged by fire from other B-29's. Personnel losses are 1 killed, 11 missing and four wounded.

[The lost B-29s are A-26, 42-24622 *Lucky Irish* with the Wagner crew, and V-48, 42-24679, which the Tudor crew ditched successfully.]

25-26 November 1944
- No actions reported.

27 November 1944
JAPAN - Of 81 73rd Very Heavy Bombardment Wing B-29's dispatched from the Marianas against two Tokyo area aircraft plants, 19 abort, 49 attack cloud-obscured port facilities and urban areas (secondaries) with the aid of radar; seven B-29s attack Hamamatsu (target of opportunity); and six attack targets of last resort. Results are negligible and one B-29 is lost with its entire crew. [The lost B-29 was Z-2, 42-24662, flown by the Irvin crew]

Z SQUARE 2

CREW NUMBER
PILOT AC
COPILOT
BOMBARDIER
NAVIGATOR
FLT. ENG
RADIO
RING GUN
RT. GUN
L. GUN
RADAR
TAIL GUN

SERIAL #42-24662

VZ 182
CAP. JOSEPH R. IRVIN
2/LT. ROBERT R. GLORE
2/LT. WILLIAM L. MOORES
2/LT. CLAY D. SHANNON
2/LT. MYRON C. BJERVA
SGT. ALFERD MORTON
CPL. CLIFFORD M. FLEMING
SGT. RICHARD L. CONNELL
SGT. VERDAL BROWN
SGT. EVERETT L. ABERTNATHY
SGT. MARION E. BERRY

Ground Crew-- M/Sgt. Howard W. Matz, Crew Chief Sgt. Marion R. Brady, Jr. And Cpl. Mervin E. Toalson

Notes--This Crew Arrived On Saipan In Early Nov. 1944. On The 27th Of Nov. Over Tokyo, They Were Badly Shot Up And Headed For Home. Captain Fields Crew Was In Contact With Them But Eventually Lost Contact. They Were Not Heard From Again. Also On Board As An Observer Was Maj. Gerald Mosier. All Were Listed As Missing In Action And Declared Dead At The End Of The War.

Source: 500th BG Historian.

MARIANAS - At 0005 hours, two Japanese G4Ms based at Iwo Jima attack the B-29 base at Saipan Isely Field. One 499th BG B-29 is destroyed and eleven are damaged.

[The destroyed B-29 was V-1, 42-24659]

At 1210 hours, 17 Japanese A6Ms based on Iwo Jima attack the same target. Nearly all the attacking aircraft are downed by AA or defensive fighters, but 3 B-29s are destroyed or damaged beyond repair.

[The destroyed B-29s were A-9, 42-24599; T-10, 42-63428; and V-42, 42-63438.]

[On 27 Nov 1944, 60 B-29's of the 58th Bomb Wing attacked Bangkok. 55 hit the primary target, one bombed Mergui, the secondary target, one bombed Taungup, the last resort target and one hit a Target of Opportunity northeast of the primary. Two planes, one from the 444th and one from the 462nd aborted for mechanical reasons]

28 November 1944
No actions reported.

29 November 1944
JAPAN - During the night of 29-30 November, 24 of 29 73rd BW B-29s attack port areas and industrial targets around Tokyo with the aid of radar; and 2 B-29s attack targets of last resort in Namazu and Yokohama. Results are negligible, and 1 B-29 is lost.

[The lost aircraft is Z44, 42-65218, with the Hanson crew, who were on their first mission] Here is a little on Z Sq 44:

Z SQUARE 44
Crew Number
Crew Missions
Aircraft Missions
Pilot AC
Copilot
Bombardier
Flt. Eng
Navigator
Radio
L. Gun
R Gun
Ring Gun
Radar
Tail Gun
SER. #42-65218
1
2

Maj. Harold M. Hanson (KIA)
2/Lt. Robert T. Battell (KIA)
1/Lt. Kenneth F. Hodson (KIA)
1/Lt. Eugene B. Renalds (KIA)
1/Lt. Charles Van Amburg (KIA)

Sgt. Lawrence E. Lindgram (KIA)
T/Sgt. George W. Hunt (KIA)
Sgt. Paul E. Bussell (KIA)
Sgt. George J. Burns (KIA)

Ground Crew M/Sgt. Bernard R. Purcell (Crew Chief), Sgt. Frank Slagle, Sgt. John S. Gregson, And Sgt. John C. Coufal.

Notes: this aircraft was lost on 11/29/44 on it's second mission with the hanson crew, who were on their first. They were on a nuisance raid to tokyo (a plane every 15 minutes ?). they disappeared without a trace.

Source: 500th BG Historian

30 November 1944
No actions reported

1 December 1944
No actions reported

2 December 1944
No actions reported

3 December 1944
JAPAN - Seventy-three of the 86 73rd BW a/c dispatched attack the Musashino aircraft factory and targets of opportunity in Tokyo. B-29 Gunners claim 10-11-18 Japanese Aircraft. Six B-29s are lost to defending fighters. Among the missing airmen is Col. Richard T. King, the 500th BG Commanding Officer, who is captured.

[The B-29s lost were:
A-30 / 42-63461 / Campbell crew lost
T-10 / 42-24735 / Ditched; Fetter crew lost
T-28 / 42-63432 / Murray crew, one crewmember lost
T-29 / 42-24681 / Hyde crew lost
Z-1 / 42-24656 / *Rosalia Rocket* / Goldsworthy crew; 3 survived captivity, including Col. King and Maj. Goldsworthy]

Z SQUARE 37 "BELLE RUTH" SER. #42-24580

History--she was the original z squre 7 and arrived on saipan in early nov. 1944 under the command of 1/lt. Richard d. Sullivan and started the war with The 881st squadron.

On Dec. 3, 1944 z-7 went to Tokyo under the command of 1/lt. Hugh f. Mcnamer, target #357. They were attacked by fighters before they reached The target. The bomb bay and wheel well doors came open and the landing gear Came down. That drew about 50 fighters that tried to finish them off.

About the same time Maj. Robert Goldsworthy in z-1 got hit and fell away From the formation. Most of the fighters took off after him and shot him Down.

The bombardier could not salvo the bombs but they were able to retract The landing gear. The landing gear and bomb bay doors would not close, However. The fighters stayed with them shooting large holes in the tail and Knocking off part of the rudder, and disabling the tail guns. Another Fighter tore a huge hole in the fuselage in back of the radar compartment Tearing up a lot of control cables. They were finally able to salvo the Bomb load but the fighters hung on and kept pecking away at them.

Mcnamer asked for and got all the power that was in #7 and succeeded in Pulling away from the fighters and started high tailing for home.

They were low on fuel and ditching was predicted. They started to prepare For it by throwing out anything that was not bolted down. As it turned out, They didn't have to ditch. Somehow, they made it back even with the radar Out.

They landed on the b-24 runway with the nose wheel coming through the floor. Number seven was pulled off the runway, her props looking like pretzels. By Some miracle, no one was hurt.

The aircraft was repaired and came back into service to fly as z square 37, Of the 882nd squadron. She was renamed "Belle Ruth" and flew 28 more Missions.

Source: 500th BG Historian

 

Z-SQUARE 1
Crew Number 181

Commander
Pilot

Bombardier
Navigator
Flight Engineer
Radio
Ring Gun
Rt. Gun
L. Gun
Radar
Tail Gun
Observer
Crew Chief

"ROSALIA ROCKET" SER. # 42-24656


Maj. Robert F. Goldsworthy (POW)
2/Lt. Robert E. Sollock replaced by
Col. Richard T. King (POW)
1/Lt. Walter J. Patykuls *
1/Lt. Benjamin F. Edwards *
1/Lt. Henry W. Ward *
Sgt. John A. Wright *
W Cpl. Robert E. Able *
Cpl, Robert M. Godfrey *
Harold J. Schroeder (POW)
S/Sgt Carl T. Wells *
S//Sgt James P. Corrigan *
Col. Bryon Brugge *
M/Sgt. Alferd W. Anderson

Note-- * Indicates Killed In Action

Aircraft lost 12/03/1944 on Tokyo mission. Col. King, Maj. Goldsworthy, And Sgt. Schroeder survived as POW's. Col. Brugge was beaten to death.

Source: 500th BG Historian.

4 December 1944
CHINA - Now that XX Air Force bases are being completed in the Marianas, Lt. General Albert Wedemeyer asks that XX Bomber Command B-29s be redeployed to the Pacific in order to reduce the strain their presence in China is placing upon the fragile Hump ferry route logistical train. MARIANAS - The XXI Bomber Command headquarters displaces to Guam/Harmon Field from the U.S. to oversee B-29 operations against the Japanese Home Islands.

5 December 1944 No actions reported

6 December 1944
JAPAN - During the night of 6-7 December, 3 73rd BW a/c mount the first in a series of so-called weather strike missions. The a/c, usually two or three at a time, gather weather information while dropping incendiary bombs on populated areas to lower civilian moral. (The author does not report any future weather strikes)

7 December 1944
CHINA - 108 B-29's operating from Chengtu, China, are dispatched to bomb the Manchuria Airplane Manufacturing Company and an adjacent arsenal at Mukden. 80 a/c hit the primary target and 10 others hit a rail yard short of the primary target; several others strike alternate targets. Gunners claim 10-10-30 Japanese fighters; 7 B-29's are lost.

MARIANAS - At 0404 hours, several Japanese G4Ms based on Iwo Jima strafe airfields on Saipan; and 13 more G4Ms bomb the bases at 1435 hours. Six of the latter bombers are downed by AA, but 3 B-29s are destroyed, 3 are severely damaged, and approx. 20 are lightly damaged

. [On December 7, 1944, the 58th Bomb Wing put up 107 B-29's against the Manchuria Airplane Manufacturing Company, Mukden, Manchuria.

The 40th Group got off 26 planes, of which 23 attacked the primary target. Ten planes, however, dropped early on the Suhuton RR Yards. One plane bombed Darien, the secondary target, one bombed Chenghsien, the last resort target, and one Hsuchang, a target of opportunity. One plane of the 40th, 42-63363, was lost on the mission.

The 444th sent off 27 planes, of which twenty bombed the primary target and one dropped early Suhuton RR Yards. One plane dropped on Chenghsien and one on a target of opportunity, Tsingtao. One plane, 42-65262, was MIA and four were early returns

The 462nd Group got 23 planes airborne, off which 21 bombed the primary target. Two planes were lost, 42-6299 was rammed and 42-6359 was MIA, and two returned early.

The 468th Group was the largest contributor of airplanes, launching 31. Twenty-six bombed the primary, two bombed Darien, one Chenghsien and one bombed Kaishu, Korea, a target of opportunity. One airplane returned early. The 468th reported no losses.]

[The 462nd Bomb Group also lost 42-65213 "Carlalani" A/C Maj. White, non-combat, lost due to heavy icing and plane broke apart.]

The 444th Bomb Group lost 42-6262

The 468th Bomb Group lost 42-6389 "Party Girl" and 42-6390 "Gallopin Goose"]

[On the 462nd Bomb Group 42-65213 A/C White had just taken off from Kiunglai, China on a ferry mission to Piardoba with 17 men on board.

42-65213 started to pick up ice at 4500 feet but continued to climb to an altitude of 10600 feet. By this time the aircraft had picked up so much ice that it could climb no further. A/C white tried to make a turn to return to base at which time it went into a flat spin, and began to disintegrate in midair. Official cause of accident listed as excessive icing conditions.]

[Another airplane that slipped through the loss crack on 12/7/44 was the 468th's 42-63395, which crashed at A-7 returning from Mukden.]

T-10 might have had a different A/C: William S. Doxey, Capt.
T-29 has a different S/N: 42-24181
[Two of the destroyed B-29s are:
A-26 / 42-24745
V-27 / 42-24693

8 December 1944
VOLCANO Islands - To stop air attacks against B-29 bases at the source, US Navy surface warships join 61 73rd BW of 82 dispatched and 102 VII Bomber Command B-24s in the largest bombardment to date of all three airfields on Iwo Jima. Escort is provided by 28 318th Fighter Group P-38s, which open the day's attack at 0945 hours with a sweep of the island. The bombers alone drop nearly 800 tons of bombs on the island. This brutal bombardment opens a pre-invasion naval bombardment that will continue for 74 consecutive days. Most of these attacks will be supported by VII BC B-24s and VMB-612 PBJs based in the Marianas.

9 December 1944
No actions reported

10 December 1944
No actions reported

11 December 1944
No actions reported

12 December 1944
No actions reported

MARIANAS - Service groups of the 313th BW arrive on Tinian.

13 December 1944
JAPAN - Seventy-one of 90 B-29's from the 73rd BW dispatched from the Marianas attack the Mitsubishi aircraft engine factory at Nagoya. Nine others hit alternate targets; they claim 4-1-0 Japanese a/c. Four B-29's are lost with 44 crewmen.

MARIANAS - The 7th Air Force headquarters displaces to Saipan from the Hawaiian Islands.

[Five 73rd Wing aircraft were lost on 13Dec44:

T-1 / 42-63430 / McCandliss crew, all lost after ditching;
V-29 / 42-24638 / Ledbetter crew, all lost after ditching;
V-50 / 42-63447 / "Umbriago, Dat's My Boy" / Sylvester crew survived ditching.
Z-26 / 42-24687 / "Tokyo Local" / Grise crew lost
V-47 / 42-63439 / crashed on Saipan; crew unknown; perhaps this one is considered a write-off or salvage rather than a combat loss.)

Z SQUARE 26 "TOKYO LOCAL"

Crew Number 207
Crew Missions 5
Aircraft Missions 5
Pilot AC
Copilot
Bombardier
Navigator
Flt. Eng
Radio
Ring Gun
R. Gun
L. Gun
Radar
Tail Gun
Ground Crew:









SER. #42-24687




Capt. Charles G. Grise (KIA)
1/Lt. Edwin B. Schmitz (KIA)
2/Lt. Morris D. Rosenthal (KIA)
2/Lt. Robert L. Rodgers (KIA)
2/Lt. Anthony J. Musil (KIA)
Cpl. James P. Allison (KIA)
Cpl. Joseph A. Kehren (KIA)
Cpl. Barry S. Campbell (KIA)
S/Sgt. Jesse J. Trvine (KIA)
Sgt. Russel L. Kaufman (KIA)
Cpl. Hyrum P. Pringle (KIA)

M/Sgt. Raymond W. Carr (Crew Chief),
S/Sgt. Joseph H. Filiatreau
Sgt. Herth M. Tompkins
Sgt. Max Edwards
Sgt. Richard H. Herold
Sgt. Russ Libengood


NOTES: Original Aircraft Arrived On Saipan Under Command Of Capt. Charles G. Grise In Early November Of 1944. Aircraft And Crew Were Lost Dec. 13, 1944. After Bombing Nagoya They Were Observed Going Down With One Engine Smoking And Another Windmilling. They Made It Out Off The Coast And Had To Ditch. All Were Lost, 2/Lt. James O. Burpo Was A Member Of The Original Crew But Was Not On That Mission.

Source: 500th BG Historian

14 December 1944
JAPAN - No actions reported.

MARIANAS - No actions reported.

THAILAND - Thirty-three of 48 58th BW B-29's dispatched from Calcutta attack a rail bridge in Bankok; and 14 B-29's attack various alternate targets and targets of opportunity; they claim 0-1-0 Japanese a/c. Four B-29's were lost when a full load of bombs detonates aboard one of the planes.

[These were all 40th Bomb Group B-29's dispatched from Chakulia, India, and all carrying a mixed bomb load, they knew the danger of carrying a mixed bomb load but were ordered to fly the mission.]

The bombs exploded under one of the formations over the target. Out of the 11 B-29's in the three formations only 2 returned to Chakulia, 5 made emergency landing at various airfields and 4 were lost. All planes were damaged.

Lost:

42-24726 Capt. Howard Gerber crew: 11 KIA
42-24457 "Battlin' Beauty" Capt. Cornelius Myers crew: 11 POW
42-93831 1st Lt. Wayne Treiser crew: 5 KIA 6 POW
42-24574 "293" Capt. Bob Shanks crew: 11 POW
One KIA on Sir Troferpus

This was the 40th Bomb Group most disastrous day: B-29's lost 4, B-29's damaged all, KIA 17, POW's 28.

On the 40th Bomb Group web site is the actual message Col. I. Cornett sent to the tower in Chakulia telling of what happened. It was taken off of microfilm.]

[This is known as the "Rangoon Disaster". All the POW's survived and were liberated. They were all kept at the camp in Rangoon. They were liberated by the British. On May 4, 1945, the men left the camp to board a hospital ship and arrived in Calcutta on May 9, 1945.]

15 December 1944 No actions reported

16 December 1944
No actions reported

17 December 1944
No actions reported

MARIANAS - Marine Air Group VMF-321 is withdrawn from Guam back to the United States to undergo carrier training.

18 December 1944
CHINA - Eighty-four of 94 58th BW B-29's dispatched from Chengtu attack the Hankow port area with 511 tons of incendiary bombs (the first B-29 fire raid of the war); they claim 1-3-10 Japanese a/c.

JAPAN - Sixty-three of 89 73rd BW B-29's dispatched from the Marianas attack the cloud-obscured Mitsubishi aircraft factory in Nagoya with the aid of radar; and 10 B-29's attack various targets of opportunity and last resort; they claim 5-11-12 Japanese a/c. Four B-29's are lost.

[Four B-29s were lost over the target or enroute home, but a total of six B-29s and 27 precious crewmen were removed from the rolls this day:

A-29 / 42-24628 / "Special Delivery" / Ewing crew; ten survived
A-45 / 42-63413 / "Dixie Darlin" / ditched; Walling crew lost
V-24 / 42-24666 / Conway crew lost
Z-1 / 42-24762 / "Pee Wee" / Bricker crew; seven survived
T-47 / 42-24649 / crashed Saipan; crew survived
T-7 / 42-24603 / written off this day; was damaged on Saipan 27Nov44

[Here is a little on the Bricker Crew and the 2nd Z Sq 1:

Z SQUARE 1 "PEE WEE"

Crew Number 194
Pilot AC
Copilot
Bombardier
Navigator
Flight Engineer
Radio
Ring Gun
R Gun
L Gun
Radar
Tail Gun
Crew Chief


SER. # 42-24762 - REPL


Cap. Linden O. Bricker
2/Lt. Kenneth R. Chideston
2/Lt. Jack O. Mueller *
2/Lt. Jay L. Meikle
2/Lt. Clifford B. Smith
Sgt. Edmund G. Smith
Cpl. Emory A. Forrest *
Cpl. John F. Estes *
Cpl. William A. Frank *
Sgt. Richard J. Grinstead
Cpl. Stephen J. Darienzo
M/Sgt. Alferd E. Anderson *

* = KIA/DNC (death not in combat)

NOTES This aircraft arrived on saipan in early dec. 1944. Commanded By captain linden o. Bricker. The aircraft was ditched after bombing Nagoya on dec. 18, 1944. Captain bricker and six of the crew survived the ditching.

Source: 500th BG Historian

19 December 1944
CHINA - Thirteen 58th BW B-29's unable to attack an aircraft plant, their primary target at Omura, Japan attack Shanghai (a secondary target), and two B-29's attack other alternate targets in China; they claim 5-4-13 Japanese a/c.

JAPAN - Due to bad weather, only 17 of 36 58th BW B-29's dispatched from Chengtu, China are able to attack their primary target, an aircraft factory at Omura. Two B-29's are lost in accidents.

MARIANAS - The 505th BG, arrives at Tinian/North Field from the United States for service with the XXI Bomber Command, 313th Bomber Wing.

VOLCANO ISLANDS - Fourteen P-38's from the 318th Fighter Wing are guided by 3 XXI BC B-29's to strafe airfields on Iwo Jima.

20 December 1944
No B-29 actions reported

JAPAN - Several 11th AF, 28th Composite BG B-24's attack targets in the Kurile Islands from bases on Adak and Shemya islands.

VOLCANO ISLANDS - Twenty-three 11th BG B-24's based on Saipan attack Iwo Jima.

[BURMA - The 40th Bomb Group lost one B-29 today. Maj. Robert Moss crew, 42-6331 "Gone With The Wind", Chittagon, Burma, shot down by a British Beaufighter, two killed. Gone With The Wind was the first B-29 to arrive in the CBI.]

21 December 1944
CHINA - Nineteen of 49 58th BW B-29's dispatched from Chengtu attack an aircraft factory and arsenal at Mukden, Manchuria; eight B-29's attack several alternates and targets of opportunity around Mukden; they claim 21-6-19 Japanese a/c. Two B-29's are lost.

22 December 1944
JAPAN - Forty-eight of 78 73rd BW B-29's dispatched from the Marianas attack the Mitsubishi aircraft factory at Nagoya through heavy clouds with incendiary bombs; and 14 B-29's attack other targets; they claim 9-17-15 Japanese a/c. Three B-29's are lost.

23 December 1944
CBI - USAAF transport aircraft taking part in the daily massive aerial supply effort throughout the region complete the month's one-day high of 353 effective sorties.

MARIANAS - The 504th BG (VH), 398th and 421st BS arrive at Tinian/North Field from the United States for service with the XXI Bomber Command's 313th BW.

24 December 1944
MARIANAS - The 313th BW (VH) headquarters arrives on Tinian/North Field to prepare to oversee combat operations undertaken by several XXI Bomber Command B-29 groups. The 482nd, 483rd and 484th BS, 505th BG arrive at Tinian/North Field.

VOLCANO Islands - USN surface ships, 23 XXI BC B-29's, 50 VII BC B-24's and 17 318th FW P-38's attack airfields on Iwo Jima.

[CBI - The 40th Bomb Group lost 42-6322 Capt. Martin's crew "Bonnie Lee" after a take off crash when he lost two engines at Ankang, China.

Note: 40th Bomb Group was B-4 Chakulia, 444th Bomb Group B-3 was Charra/Dudhkundi, 462nd Bomb Group B-2 was Piardoba and 468th Bomb Group B-1 was Kharagpur. All bases around Calcutta, India.]

25 December 1944 - (Merry Christmas)
MARIANAS - In what turns out to be the last attack of its kind, 25 Japanese G4M's based on Iwo Jima bomb and strafe B-29 bases on Saipan during the evening. Two B-29's are destroyed and one is severely damaged.

6th Night Fighter Squadron P-61 crews down three G4M's over the Saipan area between 2000 and 2300 hours.

26 December 1944
MARIANAS - 6th Night Fighter Squadron P-61 crews down three G4M's north of Saipan between 2030 and 2325 hours.

27 December 1944
JAPAN - Thirty-nine of 72 B-29's from the 73rd BW were dispatched from the Marianas to attack the Nakajima and Musashino aircraft factories in Tokyo; and 13 B-29's attack alternates and targets of opportunity. In the heaviest air battles to date over Japan, more that 250 Japanese fighters attack the B-29's, but only one B-29 is lost to enemy action. Two other B-29's are lost to mechanical failures.

[All three aircraft lost today are from the 498th, one from each squadron, with a loss of 23 men:

T2 / 42-24605 / "The Heat's On" / ditched; Gress crew, 4 survived; T25 / 42-24642 / "Uncle Tom's Cabin" / Krause crew shot down over Tokyo; 3 survived captivity; T45 / 42-24613 / ditched; Horsefall crew, 3 survived.]

28 December 1944
MARIANAS - The 6th and 9th Bombardment Groups (VH), 1st, 5th , 99th. 24th and 39th BS arrive at Tinian/North Field for service with the XXI BC, 313th BW.

29 December 1944
No Actions Reported

30 December 1944
No Actions Reported

31 December 1944
MARIANAS - The XXI Bomber Command headquarters is moved from Asian to Guam.