TINIAN — Right across from the famous Taga House is an old structure that had often caught my attention, but I never got the chance to explore it when I visited this island previously. It is a bullet-riddled concrete structure that still stands as one of the many mute witnesses to the bloody battles of almost 70 years ago.
Whenever I’m here, I usually head to North Field or to the other end of the island and the Suicide Cliffs to shoot photos.
Some weeks back, I finally got the chance to explore the small structure.
It’s very accessible, especially to those who are not daring enough to explore the bunkers and pillboxes scattered all over North Field and the rest of the island. You don’t need to walk far or drive through thick bushes. The structure is right beside the road and has well-maintained and clean surroundings. There are spiders inside though.
Unlike the other bunkers and pillboxes where you are in constant fear that something will crumble and fall on you, or that creatures bigger than spiders are about to jump on you, this structure is much safer.
Despite the huge holes left by bullets in the walls and the exposed steel bars, the structure is still intact and will remain standing for years to come.
It was fascinating yet scary to look at the different patterns of the holes in the walls. It was terrifying to imagine the horror of those inside it as bullets and artillery shells pounded the island.
Outside the bunker are the remains of an American plane engine which some have tentatively identified as belonging to a Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp.
Anyone who visits the House of Taga and the nearby Korean monuments only needs to cross the street to check out this structure.