Manenggon Concentration Camp:
National Register of Historic Places Boundary
The Manenggon Concentration Camp was listed to the National Register of Historic Places as a significant site for its historic importance at the local, state/territory, and national levels on June 14, 2016.
Now, at the request of the Guam Historic Preservation Officer, the Manenggon Concentration Camp was determined by the National Park Service to be a candidate for a National Historic Landmark (NHL). National Historic Landmarks are significant historic places that possess exceptional value in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. Designated by the Secretary of the Interior, an NHL is reserved for those select places that tell stories of importance not only to local communities or a state, but to the history of the entire nation.
As landowners of properties where this momentous event in Guam’s history happened, this nomination at the national level cannot be possible without your support.
How was the Proposed Landmark Area Identified?
The historic place now known as the Manenggon Concentration Camp was not established with exact boundaries—or with an exact name—and there is no known Japanese or U.S. map showing the camp’s extent. Therefore, the boundary of Manenggon for the NRHP nomination form was established by extraction of the consistent descriptive components in three data sets: U.S. archival records from World War II, CHamoru survivor oral accounts, and Japanese archival documents.
The U.S. military records provide verbal locational descriptions, (including ground observations made after the camp was abandoned); contemporary testimony obtained by the U.S. military from Manenggon survivors and captured Japanese; and aerial reconnaissance data. Survivor oral history accounts appear in many post-war publications, and continue to be collected, some providing information about the camp location. The Japanese records identify this location by reference to the Ylig River in command documents and historical testimony.
The camp’s location is identified in all sources as a stretch of the Ylig River in the Municipality of Yona, centered on the confluence of the tributary Manenggon River with the Ylig, an area known as the Manenggon Valley. Although there was foraging outside the camp area, and it is probable that some families were in dispersed locations, the boundary shown in the NRHP nomination represents the concentrated living area of the camp.
It is clear that the central area of the camp was at the main bend where the Ylig and Manenggon Rivers meet. Some 200 huts of the Manenggon Concentration Camp were noted at this location (“a mile and a quarter” from the main coastal road) by a Marine Civil Affairs officer on August 1, 1944, the day after Manenggon was abandoned. The most inland extent of the camp was in a coconut grove some 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from the coastal road, as indicated in a Japanese account. Consistent with the Japanese verbal description, U.S. topographic maps show a large coconut grove at this location. The camp’s eastern extent, a little over half a mile (about a kilometer) inland, is based on an oral history account, and the contemporary comments referring to the lengthy, difficult trail from the coastal road to the camp, even after it was re-occupied as the U.S. Yona Refugee Camp.
Submit a Public Comment
You are invited to participate in the process of nominating the Manenggon Concentration Camp to the U.S. National Historic Landmark (NHL). The project is being conducted by the Guam Preservation Trust, in partnership with the Guam Historic Preservation Office, the National Park Service, and the Organization of American Historians. The project includes developing a nomination document for the Manenggon Concentration Camp. Your submission
will be submitted to the NHL committee for consideration.