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America Enters WW II


A BGES World War II Field University Program

April 16-28, 2018

With Duncan Anderson and Len Riedel from Honolulu including Pearl Harbor, Guam, Saipan, Manila, Bataan and Corregidor

The rise of totalitarianism states in Europe and the Far East during the Great World Wide Depression tested America’s Isolationist desires. Japanese aggression in China and Mongolia coupled with Italian adventurism in Africa and Hitler’s quest for “More living space” forced European leaders to sell out other countries in a vain search for peace–but there would be no peace and when German tanks rolled into Poland on September 1st, 1939 France and Great Britain declared war. When Hitler violated his pact with Stalin in June 1941 the USSR came in on the side of the Allies. American support for the failing countries was limited to “Lend-Lease” shipments to England and the USSR until the Japanese attack on American interests in December 1941. This tour is about America’s military response to those treacherous attacks.

Monday, April 16, 2018

6:00 PM Early Check in at our Waikiki hotel headquarters for meet, greet and to pick up your reading books. Dinner is on your own.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Lets meet at 6 AM for a group breakfast and greet. An opening lecture and video at 7 AM will set the background for the following touring. Both Duncan and Len will comment on the prelude to war and the readiness of America for this day in view of what had happened in Europe and the Far East. Why was Japan the greater threat?

At noon we will depart for the NPS Visitor’s Center and an afternoon on Ford’s Island. While here we will visit the USS Missouri and the World War 2 submarine Bowfin. We will finish the day speaking about the deployment of the United States fleet around Ford Island. Breakfast is included but lunch and dinner are on your own.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

7:30 AM Today we will circumnavigate the island of Oahu visiting the sites around the island associated with the December 7th attack. We will see airfields from that day–many overgrown but still extant. We will include the airfields at Bellows Air Station, MCAS Kaneohe, Opana Point, Haleiwa and Schofield Barracks. We will return to the hotel in time to prepare for an authentic Hawaiian Luau. Lunch and Luau are included. Breakfast is on your own.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Lets be out at 6:15 AM to head over to be the first in line for the visit to the USS Arizona Memorial–the NPS opens at 7 AM with the first tours at 0730. After finishing that we will go to Joint-Base Hickam/Pearl Harbor to see the artifacts of the attack on the base.

From here we will head to the airport so your bags will need to be on board when we leave at 6:15 AM. Have an early breakfast. Depart at 2:05 PM on United Airlines for Manila.

Friday April 20, 2018

Our flight crosses the international dateline and arrives, after an hour long layover in Guam, at 8:50 PM. We will clear customs and be taken to our hotel in the historic district of Manila.

Saturday April 21, 2018

After breakfast, Duncan Anderson will present a talk about the Philippines and its colonial evolution. Of particular significance is the movement towards independence that brought Douglas MacArthur to the island as a military advisor. We intend to stay at the Manila Hotel; however, that will be dependent upon availability when we can confirm we will be traveling. It is both a historic and important stay as it was both MacArthur’s residence before the war and the Japanese Commandant’s residence after 1941. We will discuss the fall of the Philippines and visit some key sites including Fort Santiago and the American Military Cemetery. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Depart the hotel at 6:00 AM carrying a bag breakfast and your bags with you. We are headed to catch our ferry to for the 30 miles ferry trip to Corregidor. Traffic governs everything in Manila and you can only get across town in a timely manner if you depart very early or travel very late. We will take the island tour that will include all the standard military sites and the Malinta Tunnel where the leadership of the Allies and the civil government holed up during the siege. We will see where MacArthur left the island and discuss the impact of his promise to return. After the day trippers leave, we will head to our quarters at the Corregidor Inn*. Duncan Anderson will enhance your experience with his recounting of the heroic defense of the Filipinos and American soldiers. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.

* Please note that the Corregidor Inn is undergoing renovation and is currently closed; however, it is projected to be reopened in time for our trip. Failing that we will return to Manila and overnight there.

Monday April 23, 2018

After breakfast we will take a special ferry to Bataan Peninsula where Duncan will pick up the narrative from Mt. Samat where the last line of defense on the peninsula stood. We will then head to Balanga City site of the allied surrender–a series of monuments at Balanga Elementary School and a local museum chronicle the historic events that took place there. We will then follow the Bataan Death March to San Fernando Station where the surviving marchers were placed on a train to Camp O’Donnell. We will overnight near Clark Field and discuss the continued internment and treatment of the allied prisoners. All meals included.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Following breakfast and a late check out we will use the opportunity to follow the Japanese army from its point of invasion in 1941 to Manila. While we have already discussed Manila we will reemphasize the liberation of the city and the abject destruction of Manila that resulted in the fight for control of Luzon. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.

After dinner we will head to the airport to check in for our United Airlines flight to Saipan via Guam. The current flight schedule just announced by United Airlines leaves us but one option and that is a 11:25 PM flight that arrives in Guam at 5:05 AM–the flight is about 4 hours. We will connect on a 7:15 AM flight to Saipan.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Arriving in Saipan at 8:05 AM we will pick up our vans and head to get some breakfast. Saipan was the Pacific headquarters of the Japanese military and was a Japanese territory at the start of WW 2. We will do a driving tour of the American capture of Saipan from the beach assaults through the soldier and Japanese civilian suicides. All meals are on your own. We will check into our hotel early and hopefully allow you to catch up on the short sleep night from Manila to Saipan.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

After breakfast lets head to the airport for the short 10 minute flight to Tinian, here we will pick up vehicles and do a driving tour of the landings zones, the fighting for the island emphasizing the preparation of the south side of the island. We will spend time on the occupation B-29 runways and visit the atomic bomb pits. You will see the savage nature of the fighting for the Japanese airfield that then becomes the template for the four B-29 runways. We will have lunch on the island. We will fly back to Saipan to connect to our 6:05 PM flight back to Guam. Where we will check into our hotel. Breakfast is also included. Dinner is on your own.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Today is about the Japanese invasion and occupation of Guam in December 1941. We will start at the invasion beaches and then visit both the NPS visitor’s center and the site of the Marine Corps Barracks on Orote Point. Traveling with Len you will get access to these military bases that would otherwise be closed to civilians. We will then merge the liberation of the island in July 1944 with the occupation driving around the south side of the island and discussing the Japanese massacre at Merizo, the execution of a catholic priest, the torture of the Chamorro people, the enslavement and use of Concentration camps and the pursuit of the surviving US servicemen emphasizing the story of George Tweed. All meals are on your own–if a Guamanian Fiesta is being conducted we may visit that otherwise we will likely visit Chamorro village near the capital city of Agana.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

This morning we will start our studies by visiting Nimitz Hill. This was the military observation point of the Japanese and was the headquarters site for Admiral of the Navy, Chester Nimitz from the fall of 1944 until the end of the war. We will then sweep through the main square in Agana picking up the occupation theme again and then hea to Mount Santa Rosa, the last Japanese Command Post and memorial before finishing the tour at Northwest Field where using Len’s access you will be on the WW 2 B-29 runways where the last sorties of WW 2 were launched from. Breakfast is included. We will catch a United Airlines flight to Manila at 7 PM arriving in Manila at 8:50 PM. We will connect to our United flight back to Honolulu at 10:55 PM. The flight returns to Honolulu on Saturday at 5:40 PM–in plenty of time to connect to US based flights. Our program is now complete. (see remarks on air travel)


Duncan Anderson is the head of the War Studies Department at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. The Australian Ph.D. supervises an international staff of some of the best and brightest historical minds in the world. Here they teach the major block of military history to the officer candidates for the British Army and Commonwealth countries.. Frequently featured on historical programming Anderson and his staff are all specialists in portions of world history. Anderson’s scholarship is on the Pacific theater and in particular the fall of the Philippines and its redemption.

Len Riedel is the Executive Director of the Blue and Gray Education Society. He holds a Master of Arts degree in history with an emphasis in Policy and Strategy. He was a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies based in London England and was mentored by former Secretary of State, Lawrence Eagleburger. Riedel was the Chief of Air Traffic Control operations at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam in 1980-1981. He has previously conducted tours of Nimitz’s Central Pacific Campaign of 1944.

Hotel Information

We will provide lodging in Honolulu at Waikiki for nights of April 16-18 (3 nights), Manila April 20-21 (2 nights), Corregidor April 22 (1 night), near Clark Field April 23 (1 night), Saipan April 25 (1 night), Guam April 26-28 (2 nights). The hotels and contact information will be announced once we contract. Our standard is 4 star if available and practical–see Manila Hotel.


Airline schedules rule our ground agenda. As already noted United Airlines has changed and reduced its schedule between Guam and Manila. The only other option that is practical is Philippines Airlines which conducts non stop flights to and from both Honolulu and Guam; however, the flight schedule takes away some of our tour times in Honolulu and rules out travel back from Guam and on to Honolulu on April 28th . Both airlines only arrive in Guam between 5 AM and 6 AM. This trip is planned entirely on United Airlines as Delta and the Japanese or Korean Airlines increase travel times and connect in Japan or Korea.

This trip is dual priced that is the land package and the air. We intend to customize each travelers experience so that when talking to United we can minimize inconvenient connections. We can also take into account your travel preferences such as a higher class of service or extra legroom. What I would like to do is book you from your starting point to Honolulu on the day you want to travel, then put the entire cohort on the middle legs and then hopefully head you directly home on 28th with having you go through Guam or Honolulu. I have priced out the options and the process of booking a series of round trips (for me RDU to HNL; HNL to MNL, MNL to GUM, GUM-SPN, SPN-TIN) saves more than $600 over a multi-stop ticket. What is important to us is that we are all on the flights to Manila, Guam, Saipan and Tinian. It is not important for us to travel as a group back to Honolulu and I loath that the flight back from Manila to Honolulu stops in Guam–indeed if we were to experience a flight delay out of Guam on the 28th the flight we are flying to connect with would be back in Guam 8 hours later en route to Honolulu. I would rather that flight pick us up on the morning of the 29th rather than fly back and forth to Guam. We will see what United will do for us–again numbers count. If I am working 10 or more tickets simultaneously I get to work with group sales and they have more flexibility–so commit to this trip as soon as you can.

We did this a few years ago and everyone was very happy with the customized service I provided. This will save you time and money–something I want to do for you.

Recommended Reading

You will be provided with a reading book and maps upon arrival. The following books are suggested to enhance your readiness for the program.

  • Gordon Prange and Donald Goldstein. At Dawn We Slept. Available on Amazon Smile.
  • Robert Mansell. The Forgotten Men of Guam. Available on Amazon Smile.
  • Nathan Prefer. The Battle for Tinian. Available on Amazon Smile.
  • Harold Goldberg. D-Day in the Pacific. Available on Amazon Smile.
  • William Y’Blood. Red Sun Setting, The Battle of the Philippine Sea. Available on Amazon Smile.
  • Curtis E. Lemay. Superfortress. Available on Amazon Smile.
  • Samuel E. Morrison. The Liberation of the Philippines. Available on Amazon Smile.
  • Samuel E. Morrison, The Rising Sun in the Pacific 1931-1942. Available on Amazon Smile.


Registration includes ten nights lodging, eight breakfasts, six lunches, five dinners, a reading book with maps, the academic program, all admissions, ground transportation, hotel transfers from Hawaii hotel to HNL, between Manila Airport and hotels, between Saipan Airport and hotel and Guam Hotel and airport, roundtrip airfare from Guam to Saipan and Saipan to Tinian, support of two professional historians, tour director, reimbursable assistance in securing airfares (at no markup) and transportation appropriate to the registration which will be limited to two vans: 19 people. Social registrations may travel in group transportation space permitting to social functions.

Travel Insurance: No travel insurance is provided with this tour. Should you feel the need to secure such insurance there are many firms capable of providing that protection for a fee. Most policies have provisions for lost luggage, trip interruption, medical care and ambulatory flights to return to USA. We strongly recommend you ensure you have a plan in the event of a medical emergency.

Medical Considerations: You must provide a list of any prescription medications that you are taking and any exisiting medical condition that could require third party assistance. In the case of an emergency, BGES will provide “Good Samaritan” assistance in securing aid for you and will contact your designated point of contact. We will also maintain contact during any hospitalization you may require. You are responsible for any medical or transportation expenses you or BGES may incur on your behalf.

REFUND POLICY: Cancellation is permitted up to March 15th with a full refund authorized less any nonrefundable vendor costs or prepaid expenses such as airfare, boat tickets etc. Airline tickets are owned by the registrant and may be changed upon payment of an airline change fee and the difference of the new airfare provided all other rules of the airline are followed. Cancellation after March 15th will be worked on a case by case basis depending upon the circumstances. Any refunds are at the sole discretion of the Executive Director. If a physician medically restricts a registrant of family member from travel the registration is fully refundable upon presentation of a letter from the physician. This may also be honored if an immediate family member’s health prevents the registrant from traveling.