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Church was born in Henryville, Utah. After high school he ended up going to Dixie College in St. George. He knew that he was going to be drafted because he was not a full time student. He did not have enough money to be full time. That is when he realized he was going to get drafted. A student had to be enrolled in at least 12 hours to be considered full time. After coming to this realization Church went down to the local post office to enlist in the Navy. The Navy told him that while he scored well on his tests the quota for that area had already been met. That same day he inquired with the Marines. He came back the next morning and ended up enlisting with the Marines. That morning he was sworn in. After that he was shipped to San Diego. He got there about 5 days too early and since money was tight he was not able to stay at a hotel but the Marines were able to make sure he was clothed and fed. Church was in basic training for about 11 weeks. Since he had college he was placed in an 80-millimeter mortar unit. He trained with this group for a few weeks. Eventually he heard a request for volunteers to go to Guam. Church had never heard of Guam before so he was intrigued. The post sounded attractive to Church because he wanted to get out of the States and there was not a war going on yet. After 3 months on Guam Church got a call wondering if he would like to serve near the Governors office on Guam at a place called Agana. Church accepted the post. Church began special training there. The training consisted of following the Governor around doing whatever he wanted. Churchs detail had their own cook and apartment. 1 morning Church woke up to the news that the Japanese had bombed Sumay which is only a few miles from Guam. The island was bombed and strafed consistently for 4 days. On the fourth day the governor of the island received a telegram from the Japanese requesting that the island surrender. Captain MacMillan [AnnotatorÂ’s Note: Captain George MacMillan, Governor of Guam] was the military governor of the island and he responded saying they were not going to surrender. They realized they had to mount a defense but they did not have much to defend the island with. They had a few rifles to defend themselves with. The Marine detachment on the island was 15 miles away from the Governors. There were maybe 8 or 9 Marines attached to the governors mansion. The Japanese realized the importance of capturing Agana because it was the capitol of the island. The Japanese landed on Wednesday 10 December at 4:30 in the morning. The militia and Churchs Marine detail formed a perimeter around the mansion which is now known as the Last Stand. The adjutant eventually came out of the mansion with a white flag tied to a stick. The Japanese landed with about 5000 troops and the island was theirs.
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