Hiding on Wake

Hiding on Wake

Among the memoirs penned by Wake survivors is one written by Logan “Scotty” Kay in 1971 titled “By the Dawn’s Early Light.” Kay and another civilian evaded capture on Wake Island for nearly three months, and it is interesting to compare the memoir with his actual diary, transcribed in WWII journalist George Weller’s book, First into Nagasaki: The Censored Eyewitness Dispatches on Post-Atomic Japan and its Prisoners of War, edited by Anthony...

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Red Hill Shutdown

Red Hill Shutdown

The recent water contamination crisis on Oahu has rung the death knell for the U. S. Navy’s 80-year-old Red Hill underground fuel storage system. Last week the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, announced plans to defuel and permanently close the system. Congress has approved $686 million for first steps: to cover costs of thousands of families sickened and displaced by the November 2021 contamination of drinking water on Joint Base Pearl...

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Strategic Importance

Strategic Importance

Six years ago, I wrote a blog post titled Ready, Aim, Fire about the successful ICBM defense test that had just taken place on and near Wake Island in November 2015. In this test a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system stationed on Wake detected, intercepted, and downed a target missile launched from a C-17 over the Pacific. While other components of the layered defense system failed in that test, the success at Wake warranted...

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Unburied Treasure

Unburied Treasure

Uninhabited until the 1930s, tiny Wake Island had no claim to fame but for a shipwreck that caught the attention of national news media. One dark and stormy night in March 1866 a German sailing ship struck the eastern reef of the low-lying atoll. The shipwrecked Libelle, a stranded opera star, and hundreds of thousands of dollars-worth of buried treasure made for story-telling gold. When Pan American Airways sent a crew in 1935 to build a...

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A Wreath for POWs

A Wreath for POWs

The nationwide “Wreaths Across America” remembrance ceremony was held this year on December 14, 2019, at more than two thousand cemeteries across the nation and more internationally. Family members, dignitaries, service members, and volunteers join at regional veterans’ cemeteries to honor those who served our nation and to lay evergreen wreaths on each grave. The solemn ceremony opened at noon on Saturday at the Washington State Veterans...

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