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America Enters World War II Itinerary

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

6 AM. Let’s 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 Center and an afternoon on Ford Island, in the center of Pearl Harbor. 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 7 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

6:15 AM. Let’s be out at 6:15 AM 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 7:30. Afterward, we will go to Joint-Base Hickam/Pearl Harbor to see the scars 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. We 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 toward 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

6 AM. Depart the hotel carrying a bag breakfast and your bags with you. We are headed to catch our ferry for the 30-mile 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 Mount Samat, the last line of defense on the peninsula. We then will 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 route to San Fernando Station, where the surviving marchers were placed on a train to Camp O’Donnell. We will overnight near Clark Air Field and discuss the continued internment and treatment of the allied prisoners. All meals are included.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Following breakfast and a late checkout, 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 an 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, let’s head to the airport for the short 10-minute flight to Tinian, where we will 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 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 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 head 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 from where the last sorties of WW 2 were launched. 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 Airlines 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.


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; support of two professional historians; tour director; reimbursable assistance in securing airfares, tickets, and upgrades (at no markup); and on-the-ground 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.

Ten percent of your registration fee is a tax-deductible contribution to the BGES 25th Anniversary Capital Reserve Campaign.

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 existing 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.


Cancellation is permitted up to March 15 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 15 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.