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Author Topic: Islander Fraternisation?  (Read 39870 times)

Chris Johnson

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Islander Fraternisation?
« on: May 18, 2012, 09:33:20 AM »

In some of the other posts it has been suggested that the 7 site had as one of its possible uses that of a ‘lover’s lane’ or area where the coastguards may have met with local ladies to enjoy the fine sunsets and cook fish.

As I understand it the commander of the LORAN station Ensign Charles Sopko actively discouraged the fraternisation of his men with the locals, keeping them to the vicinity of the station.  That’s not to say that they took any notice.

We have evidence of station personnel interacting with the islanders such as Floyd Kilts.

I just wonder if anyone has any knowledge of the islander’s likely participation in these alleged trysts.

From my sparse reading via the book 'The Sex Lives of Cannibals I get the impression that the male islanders would not have been too happy for the ladies to do this sort of thing.  But one book does not make me an expert. Does anyone have a handle on micronesian morals etc..

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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Islander Fraternisation?
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2012, 10:01:42 AM »

The islanders had very conservative standards regarding morality due to the heavy influence of the London Missionary Socliety and the Catholic Church. Among the documents we collected at the Kiribati National Archive in Tarawa last summer are official British reports that discuss the issue of American servicemen corrupting the morals of islanders.  It was a recognized problem on Sydney Island (Manra) due to weekend excursions by personnel from Canton, but not on Hull (Orona) or Gardner (Nikumaroro).
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Islander Fraternisation?
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2012, 09:54:23 PM »

The islanders had very conservative standards regarding morality due to the heavy influence of the London Missionary Socliety and the Catholic Church. Among the documents we collected at the Kiribati National Archive in Tarawa last summer are official British reports that discuss the issue of American servicemen corrupting the morals of islanders.  It was a recognized problem on Sydney Island (Manra) due to weekend excursions by personnel from Canton, but not on Hull (Orona) or Gardner (Nikumaroro).
Maybe, and we all expect our daughters to be virgins until they marry. ;) But even so, it only takes a few unchaste women (maybe only one, and not necessarily unchaste, it might not have gone beyond flirting) to explain the female artifacts. The coasties were there for three or four years, there were a lot of them so lots of opportunities. Based on this, I think it more likely, just based on volume, that the western female artifacts more probably originated this way than a one time unlikely event like Earhart being on the island.

gl
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 09:57:37 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Malcolm McKay

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Re: Islander Fraternisation?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2012, 10:58:56 PM »

Yep, the familiar "over paid, over sexed and over here" syndrome. 25 lusty lads can find ways around most official proscriptions. And as Gary suggests there needn't even have been any actual instances of horizontal folk dancing - just the hope. The reality is that service on that LORAN station on Nikumaroro must have been mind numbingly boring for all the personnel - a perfect breeding ground (pardon the pun) for creative disobedience of the no fraternization rule. What would be the worst punishment? getting shipped home? After a month or so that might have looked very attractive.     
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Malcolm McKay

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Re: Islander Fraternisation?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2012, 06:27:20 PM »


Questions for Malcolm and Gary

Can you tell me what the leave rota was for the LORAN guys as this would help show that one may have gone to a US controlled zone where a US compact was available?

Maybe you guys could speak to some ex islanders to gather evidence to prove your theory?

Ever heard of the postal service.

Letter from sex-starved Coast Guard guy to friend at home "Hey bud - get your girlfriend to buy a couple of compacts and post them to me. I might get lucky. These Micronesian chicks don't look half bad with the sun behind them."

 ;D 
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Malcolm McKay

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Re: Islander Fraternisation?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2012, 07:47:57 PM »


Questions for Malcolm and Gary

Can you tell me what the leave rota was for the LORAN guys as this would help show that one may have gone to a US controlled zone where a US compact was available?

Maybe you guys could speak to some ex islanders to gather evidence to prove your theory?

And of course we have options two and three -

2. The Loran Station inmates (AKA the lusty lads of the US Coast Guard) put on some amateur theatrics called The Loran Lovelies of Gardner Island and the long-legged guy picked for the Betty Grable part writes home for an urgent supply of makeup and a compact. That's to repair any sweat damage. Hey a guy's gotta look good whatever the job - it's in the oath just after the bit where they swear to be absolutely chaste for the duration of their enlistment. However this gets a little out of hand and may have been a contributory factor in the Great USCG Sex Scandal of 1944  :-X outlined in option 3 below. 

3. The Loran Station inmates have gone completely troppo after 3 months chipped beef, bird shit and coconut crabs and by now even the very hairy Petty Officer 3rd Class Kowalski is beginning to look faintly desirable and someone thinks "Hey a bit of makeup and ...". But their CO Ensign Charles Sopko, a doughty mariner of tender years and sensibilities discover this outbreak of deviant behaviour and in disgust flings the accursed compact over the fence. It is grabbed by a coconut crab which carries it away to a place where it is eventually discovered by TIGHAR. For a few brief months that crab was the best looking crab on the island.  ;D

The possibilities are as endless as the imaginary interpretations of Amelia and Fred's life on Nikumaroro derived from Betty's notebook.  ;D   
« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 09:23:40 PM by Malcolm McKay »
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Brad Beeching

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Re: Islander Fraternisation?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2012, 07:19:49 AM »

I find it interesting that the Gardner Island Transfer Title specifically mentions "No push push with any natives on said Island".  Do you think Ens. Sopco said that because the Naval Authorities had made that a standing order and he was doing his duty? Or did he put it on the "Transfer" because it was a problem that he had with his crew?

Brad
Brad

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Gary LaPook

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Re: Islander Fraternisation?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2012, 02:06:44 PM »

I find it interesting that the Gardner Island Transfer Title specifically mentions "No push push with any natives on said Island".  Do you think Ens. Sopco said that because the Naval Authorities had made that a standing order and he was doing his duty? Or did he put it on the "Transfer" because it was a problem that he had with his crew?

Brad
TIGHAR found many cartridge casings from M1 carbines. Do you think the guys taking their carbines out and just shooting up the place was an "authorized activity?"

gl
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Islander Fraternisation?
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2012, 02:59:57 PM »

I find it interesting that the Gardner Island Transfer Title specifically mentions "No push push with any natives on said Island".  Do you think Ens. Sopco said that because the Naval Authorities had made that a standing order and he was doing his duty? Or did he put it on the "Transfer" because it was a problem that he had with his crew?

Brad
That's a comic document much like "King Neptune" coming aboard for the "crossing the line" ceremony to turn "polly-wogs" into "'shellbacks." According to Lambrecht, they had to postpone this ceremony for several hours due to duty requirements. In fact, I take the "no push push" line to have exactly the opposite meaning, that "push push" was tolerated, wink, wink.

gl
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Brad Beeching

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Re: Islander Fraternisation?
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2012, 03:55:35 PM »

How can you possibly interpret "Therefore be it resolved; First: No Push Push with any natives on said island" to mean anything else but what it says? Ens. Sopco could have been brought up on charges had he said or enforced anything else. No means No in English and any other language you care to list. The Navy had and still has faily strict rules that govern the conduct of it's members. The policy is such that a commander can order no contact between his personnel and indiginous peoples in order to maintain "good order" within his organization.

Brad
Brad

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Malcolm McKay

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Re: Islander Fraternisation?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2012, 06:59:07 PM »

How can you possibly interpret "Therefore be it resolved; First: No Push Push with any natives on said island" to mean anything else but what it says? Ens. Sopco could have been brought up on charges had he said or enforced anything else. No means No in English and any other language you care to list. The Navy had and still has faily strict rules that govern the conduct of it's members. The policy is such that a commander can order no contact between his personnel and indiginous peoples in order to maintain "good order" within his organization.

Brad

Darn and there goes my alternate hypothesis - Madam Earhart's Pacific Paradise Escort Service - dusky maidens for the jaded Coastie and their role in the Nikumaroro Naughty Nookie scandal of 1944. I suppose all we have to fall back on now is the strange behaviour of Petty Officer 3rd Class Kowalski and the rouged coconut crab. Look everyone, seriously, we have to come up with a better script if we are ever going to make a musical better than South Pacific out of the Nikumaroro story.  ;D 
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Islander Fraternisation?
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2012, 09:00:44 PM »

How can you possibly interpret "Therefore be it resolved; First: No Push Push with any natives on said island" to mean anything else but what it says? Ens. Sopco could have been brought up on charges had he said or enforced anything else. No means No in English and any other language you care to list. The Navy had and still has faily strict rules that govern the conduct of it's members. The policy is such that a commander can order no contact between his personnel and indiginous peoples in order to maintain "good order" within his organization.

Brad
But wait, don't orders include the word "order" not "resolved?" I seem to remember that from somewhere. Oh I know, I learned that at the Judge Advocate General's school in Charlottsville Virginia where I got my commission in the JAG Corps. In fact, I am confident that I have never seen the word "resolved" in any official military communication. I'm sure that this humorous greeting to the incoming coasties does not satisfy the requirements for the promulgation of a general order so that the violation of it could be punished under Article 92, FAILURE TO OBEY ORDER OR REGULATION, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So I am sticking with my original opinion, that it means exactly the opposite of what it purports to say.

gl
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 11:57:34 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Islander Fraternisation?
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2012, 10:22:37 PM »

No but doing a bit of target practice and chatting up the ladies are not the same thing!

Who says they didn't have permission to keep their eye in with the rifle?

Still time to ask those who were on the ground!
And they just happened to take the M1s out to the 7 site where they sat around all their campfires just blasting crabs instead of having an organized range on the LORAN station. I don't know if you have any experience with the way military ranges are run, but they are very formalized (to keep people from accidentally getting shot) and not just some plinking at coconut crabs whenever and wherever somebody feels like it.

gl
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 10:41:32 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Islander Fraternisation?
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2012, 10:33:10 PM »

Here are some statements and questions for the islander fraternisation hypothesis.

It’s Micronesian not Polynesian.

A compact is a high status item, a simple mirror not so.  “Hey Mack, those island girls sure like shiny mirrors, lets fashion some from our shaving kit? If we don’t get lucky we might get some of those nice wooden boxes with aluminium bits on!”

Same applies for islander to trader, “I want shiny thing! OK sounds like a mirror to me.

Now my college education was in Marketing and Malcolm trumps me with a PHd but my masters is still good going. Trade is all about profit, you’ve seen the cowboy movies where the white guys buy the local stuff for beads and fire water.  Same scenario, trade low for high, ladies compact could buy the island when you think a couple of bottles of suds would get you a nice Kanawa Box.
1, Are you saying that Micronesian ladies are not as attractive as Polynesian ladies? What about to a guy who has been away from home for a year? I've heard somewhere, that sometimes a guy's standards change after a long absence from home.
2, Do you have some contemporary source for your statement that a "compact is a high status item" or are you just assuming that? I know my mother had a dozen of them, they were a dime a dozen.
3, The islanders were brought there to harvest copra and were paid for their work so they had money and other possible trade goods to use in purchasing western stuff from crewmen on the copra schooners or from the coasties.
gl
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 12:16:37 AM by Gary LaPook »
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Islander Fraternisation?
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2012, 10:39:13 PM »

How can you possibly interpret "Therefore be it resolved; First: No Push Push with any natives on said island" to mean anything else but what it says? Ens. Sopco could have been brought up on charges had he said or enforced anything else. No means No in English and any other language you care to list. The Navy had and still has faily strict rules that govern the conduct of it's members. The policy is such that a commander can order no contact between his personnel and indiginous peoples in order to maintain "good order" within his organization.

Brad
BTW, just exactly what does "push push" mean? You seem to think it has some sexual connotation while I think a more reasonable interpretation is "shoving" that could lead to fighting as that is the literal meaning of "push." And my interpretation is also supported by the use of the word "natives" meaning those of both genders, not obviously showing a relationship to activity with native women.
gl
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 12:14:45 AM by Gary LaPook »
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