Amelia Earhart Search Forum => The Islands: Expeditions, Facts, Castaway, Finds and Environs => Topic started by: Al Leonard on May 07, 2013, 12:51:32 AM

Title: Americans at Niku, pre-Loran
Post by: Al Leonard on May 07, 2013, 12:51:32 AM
I was looking at the official diaries (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Documents/Tarawa_Archives/Tarawa_Archives.html) of Gallagher and those who kept the diary going after his death.

I found several mentions of U.S. PBYs landing at Gardner:

5 October, 1942 : "an American plane arrived and dropped 1 mail bag for Gardner"
22 October, 1942 : "3 American aeroplane arrive here 2 at 9:30, + 1 at 10:00 am"
4 February, 1943 : "USA plane arrived and dropped 4 cases of meat for the co-op store"
7 February, 1943 : "A USS plane arrived at about 8 a.m. and dropped the food for Co-op store and ration."

Also, on 23 November 1942, the USS Swan arrived, bringing colonial officials and cargo for the co-op store.

I have not seen any of this discussed before, but it seems significant because it suggests additional opportunities for american/western goods to arrive at Gardner Island, besides the Coast Guard station (note added: The Coast Guard Station was built in the summer of '44). Perhaps the cases of meat contained tinned mutton. Canned meat would be easier to transport than fresh meat.

In another interesting entry in '43, the person recording the diary says he saw B-24s fly over Gardner. I'm not sure when Gardner colonists started working at a U.S. airbase at Canton, but this person already seemed to know what they looked like.

(These visits are of course all in addition to the Bushnell survey, which we already knew about)


Title: Re: Americans at Niku, pre-Loran
Post by: Jeff Victor Hayden on May 23, 2013, 09:15:43 PM
Very interesting reading the diary's Al. The co-op is still around but not so many B-24 Liberators.

For the record twenty Liberator B.I were delivered to the RAF starting in mid 1941

Winston Churchill used one as his personal transport as early as 1942 So it was a familiar sight to us Brits prior to 1943