Research Document #35

The Carey Diary

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One of the men aboard the USCGC Itasca was James Carey, a college student who had taken a job with the Associated Press to earn money for tuition. He was there to cover Earhart’s arrival at Howland Island, and her subsequent take-off for Hawaii.

While aboard he kept a hand written journal, with both notes for his articles and more general impressions and observations. He used the notes to write the pieces he submitted, and – a meticulous archivist – he kept the journals, notebooks, and photographs from the voyage for the rest of his life.

In 1987, Jim Carey was trying to get the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and other newspapers to use his materials to do pieces about Earhart on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the flight. While we don't know for sure, it seems that at about that time he transcribed his notes as part of packets he sent out. One of the copies of the diary turned up on E-Bay in the fall of 2006, and a TIGHAR researcher purchased it. Until then, no one knew knew that Carey had kept a diary. His notes provide an entirely new and uniquely intimate perspective on Itasca’s role in the Earhart drama.

Jim Carey died in 1988, but his son has been very gracious in granting permission for TIGHAR to scan and reproduce these materials here. This is the biggest single find of Earhart-related archival material we know of. The items linked here are the core of the collection; more will be mounted as time and space allow.

Click on each thumbnail to open the full-sized image in a new page.

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