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Author Topic: FAQ: Howland Runways / Kamakaiwi Field / Pics of Howland colonists  (Read 37292 times)

Sheila Shigley

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(From left) William Stewart Markham, Kini Pea, Killarney Opiopio, James Kamakaiwi, and two military personnel on Howland, June 1936.




Aboard Itasca, Jan 1936
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Howland Runways / Kamakaiwi Field / Pics of Howland colonists
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2011, 05:39:12 AM »

The airfield on Howland, built in Feb/Mar 1937, was named Kamakaiwi Field after Jimmy Kamakaiwi (the guy in the cap).
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Sheila Shigley

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Re: Howland Runways / Kamakaiwi Field / Pics of Howland colonists
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2011, 08:27:30 AM »

The airfield on Howland, built in Feb/Mar 1937, was named Kamakaiwi Field after Jimmy Kamakaiwi (the guy in the cap).

Handsome chaps.  I was wondering about the cannon, and found this:



These two small cannon stand outside the Hawaii Maritime Center near Aloha Tower in downtown Honolulu. A plaque on one of them describes their discovery:  "Presented to Commander Service Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet by the officers and men of USS Tawakoni (ATF-114) who recovered it from Howland Island, July 1963, while conducting scientific operations with the Smithsonian Institute Ecology and Epidemiological Survey. It was once used as part of a saluting battery by Americans who occupied the island from 1857-1878."

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM9RTK_Howland_Island_cannons
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Howland Runways / Kamakaiwi Field / Pics of Howland colonists
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2011, 03:22:52 PM »


What were we (The USA) doing on Howland from 1858 to 1878??
No Worries Mates
LTM   Harry (TIGHAR #3244R)
 
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Howland Runways / Kamakaiwi Field / Pics of Howland colonists
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2011, 04:55:03 PM »


What were we (The USA) doing on Howland from 1858 to 1878??
It was a dirty job, but somebody had to do it:  digging guano -- lots and lots of guano -- a.k.a. bird poop.  From a Googled webpage this quote:

Quote
On February 5, 1857, Alfred G. Benson and Charles H. Judd landed on Howland from the Hawaiian schooner Liholiho (Captain John Paty), raised the American flag, and took formal possession in the name of the American Guano Company, of New York, by erecting a small house and "leaving various implements of business." They stayed until the 26th, taking a generous sample of the guano which they found in great abundance.

On the same cruise of the Liholiho, Jarvis and Baker islands likewise were claimed, and shortly thereafter guano digging operations were begun on them by the American Guano Co., under bonds 1 and 2, dated October 28, 1856. But strangely, claim was not made to Howland until December 3, 1858 (bond No. 4), and accounts of guano enterprise generally assign it to the United States Guano Company.

The reason for this was this competition between two guano companies for the use of the island. In June, 1859, representatives of the American Guano Co. were landed on Howland. The same month the ship Ivanhoe arrived, hoping to get possession for the United States Guano Company, but left, disappointed. However, the latter company somehow managed to get a toehold on the island, for in February, 1861, it was learned that Captain Stone of the American Guano Company's brigantine Josephine landed on Howland and politely notified two agents of the United States Guano Company, whom he found there, to be ready to leave whenever the opportunity offered. Thereafter Howland was visited regularly by the American Guano Company's vessel which brought supplies to the guano islands.

The years 1870 to 1872 marked the peak of Howland guano digging. Between August and December, 1870, with Captain Ross as superintendent, seven ships (German, British, and American) were loaded with 7,600 tons of guano, in 109 working days, a record for this guano island. American guano digging enterprise seems to have come to an end on Howland in October, 1878, when "Captain Jos. Spencer, wife, and 3 children, E. Wheeler, Chas. Hines, John MacWiggins, Gabriel Holmes, and 34 native labourers" returned to Honolulu aboard the Joseph Woolley.

LTM,

Bruce
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Howland Runways / Kamakaiwi Field / Pics of Howland colonists
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2011, 07:56:41 PM »

I would like to use this thread to pull together some information about the development of the runways on Howland Island, in preparation for improving the wiki article on Howland.

For starters, I've taken the chart in Finding Amelia (p. 14) and traced the runways on an image from Google Earth.

LTM,

           Marty
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Howland Runways / Kamakaiwi Field / Pics of Howland colonists
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2011, 09:41:22 PM »

Nice. Is north up? Can I suggest a compass graphic?
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Irv
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Howland Runways / Kamakaiwi Field / Pics of Howland colonists
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2011, 10:40:37 PM »

Nice. Is north up? Can I suggest a compass graphic?

OK.  If you refresh the page, you should see the compass and a label for the location of Itascatown.
LTM,

           Marty
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Howland Runways / Kamakaiwi Field / Pics of Howland colonists
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2011, 07:58:27 AM »

Good Marty. Nice and clear. According to Ameliapedia http://tighar.org/wiki/Howland_Island. The island is two miles long by a half mile wide so your runways look to be to scale. What measurements did you actually use?  The ones from the June 25 telegram from Black. http://tighar.org/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=528.0;attach=431. The east west runway is listed in that official telegram as being extended on the west end by 300 feet to either 2550 or 2750 depending on how you do math. Since a half mile equals 2640 feet then it's not likely the 2750 number which is the wrong math anyway.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Howland Runways / Kamakaiwi Field / Pics of Howland colonists
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2011, 10:38:54 AM »

Good Marty. Nice and clear. According to Ameliapedia http://tighar.org/wiki/Howland_Island. The island is two miles long by a half mile wide so your runways look to be to scale. What measurements did you actually use?

I derived my drawing from a chart that is readily available in Finding Amelia, on p. 14.  I've added a caption to that effect on the thumbnail.

Quote
The ones from the June 25 telegram from Black. http://tighar.org/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=528.0;attach=431. The east west runway is listed in that official telegram as being extended on the west end by 300 feet to either 2550 or 2750 depending on how you do math. Since a half mile equals 2640 feet then it's not likely the 2750 number which is the wrong math anyway.

I'm very aware of your anxiety about the discrepancies in the math.  I have a surmise about the different numbers, but haven't finished pulling all of the pieces of information together.  Actually reading the sources that are available and piecing the information together takes time and energy.  Asking questions off of the top of one's head doesn't.
LTM,

           Marty
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Howland Runways / Kamakaiwi Field / Pics of Howland colonists
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2011, 12:33:58 PM »

Sorry Marty.  I have looked at a lot of documents in and out of the TIGHAR site. Thats what prompted me to ask my questions.  It may trigger someone to think of another direction to think in.

Thinking about this is all we have as forum members. We can't pick up artifacts.  The expeditions are limited and expensive. We are spread all over the world. Can't get together for a beer night easily.  After we search the material all we can do is ask questions or "think".

Your experience and the work you do is appreciated. You and others keep everyone here on the straight and narrow. Job well done.  I look forward to your surmise.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Howland Runways / Kamakaiwi Field / Pics of Howland colonists
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2011, 02:35:19 PM »

Sorry Marty.  I have looked at a lot of documents in and out of the TIGHAR site. That's what prompted me to ask my questions.

I've found 40+ telegrams on TIGHAR's website dealing with the construction of the airport.

They explain the 200' foot discrepancy in a way that I find quite intelligible and satisfactory. 

As often happens when doing research, I found something I wasn't looking for--a very poignant passage from James Christian Kamakaiwi that I haven't seen mentioned very often.  I've put it on the wiki for future reference.  In the spring of 1937, Kamakaiwi and the other colonists worked 24 hours a day for 12 days in preparation for the first world flight.  He had been picked as the head of the colonists and was chosen to greet Amelia when she landed. 
LTM,

           Marty
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Howland Runways / Kamakaiwi Field / Pics of Howland colonists
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2011, 09:02:49 PM »

The data that I have found on the construction is now available on the wiki.
LTM,

           Marty
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Howland Runways / Kamakaiwi Field / Pics of Howland colonists
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2011, 10:53:35 PM »

Sorry Marty.  I have looked at a lot of documents in and out of the TIGHAR site. That's what prompted me to ask my questions.

I've found 40+ telegrams on TIGHAR's website dealing with the construction of the airport.

They explain the 200' foot discrepancy in a way that I find quite intelligible and satisfactory. 

As often happens when doing research, I found something I wasn't looking for--a very poignant passage from James Christian Kamakaiwi that I haven't seen mentioned very often.  I've put it on the wiki for future reference.  In the spring of 1937, Kamakaiwi and the other colonists worked 24 hours a day for 12 days in preparation for the first world flight.  He had been picked as the head of the colonists and was chosen to greet Amelia when she landed.

Sorry Marty. I'm missing it. There is nothing new in this new wiki compilation that explains the math discrepancy to me.  But it's okay.  I don't think it even adds anything here. The birds were probably going to be a bigger problem.   Funny thing is that all this work was done and there was never an aircraft landing on this airfield.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howland_Island Float planes landed in the ocean here but no aircraft ever used the runways. Seems a shame.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Howland Runways / Kamakaiwi Field / Pics of Howland colonists
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2011, 11:47:20 PM »

The data that I have found on the construction is now available on the wiki.
Thanks, that was very useful. We lose sight that the planning and the runways were for the flight to proceed from Howland to Lae. So there were 29 drums of aviation fuel on the island, enough to get all the way to Lae.

The runway lengths were planned for a heavy weight takeoff, the light takeoff to Hawaii should have been much easier and well within the existing runways.

The runways were completed in March so no reason for there to be radiograms to Earhart in Lae since she was informed in person while she was in the States.

The portable radiophone had a standard marine frequency of 2670 kcs, it is still a standard marine frequency.

gl
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