Wake Military Rosters

Wake Military Rosters

After writing the blog post “Last Man Standing” a few weeks ago, declaring Pearson Riddle, Jr., the last living civilian survivor of Wake Island, I knew I couldn’t justify the title without also researching the military personnel stationed on Wake in 1941. While my focus has always been on the civilian side of the Wake story, I have long intended to verify the military rosters and fill in their personal data. That “back burner” project came...

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Last Man Standing

Last Man Standing

When my book was published ten years ago, there were thirty-one living civilian survivors of Wake Island. Fifty-three more had passed away during the five years it took me to research and write the book. I was honored to know many of them and able to contact most of the others still living to give them copies of the book. I my Acknowledgements I thanked those who shared their experiences with me. “These men and others whose stories I have read...

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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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