James Christian Kamakaiwi
James Christian Kamakaiwi was a Hawaiian recruited to colonize Howland Island on behalf of the United States.
He was the first Hawaiian to come ashore on Howland on 13 March 1935, and served as leader of the colonists.
Waiting for Amelia
Group 385 Datez 07/03/37
RDO USCG Itasca ck 385 ... Unipress Honolulu ... July 2
Story under signature James Christian Kamakaiwi
We were up before daybreak this morning. Throughout the night, Amelia was clipping off the miles to Howland, and reports showed she was nearing Howland rapidly. We were excited, and I was particularly eager: Black had given me the honor of welcoming Miss Earhart as chief resident of the island. Boats put off from Itasca at daylight. Men were hurrying to positions, and at seven thirty HST, we were ready. Everyone seemed tense and sort of breathless. We watched the sky, hoping to pick the plane out against white cumulus clouds which were all around the horizon.
The sun was hot on the white coral. Itasca was letting a big stream of black smoke out, streaming low over the water with the trade [winds]. Word from the ship at seven forty-five HST: "Amelia one hundred miles away." We waited, not talking very much. Big booby birds and frigates soaring high up and far away looked like planes. Hopes were raised several times, but no Amelia. We were waiting near the west end of the east/west runway. about half a mile from the government house.
Eight thirty, and the minutes dragged; then word wigwagged from Itasca: "Amelia's signals on direction finder showed she was northwest of the island. Had she overshot? To the northwest was a big bank of clouds. What a grand background that would make! "Why doesn't she come?" the wigwag man was flashing to us from the government house. The receiver shouted to us, "Amelia believed down. All shore parties return to ship."
My heart stopped beating. It didnt seem real. Men were running to the house. Boats put off from Itasca. No one was laughing. Orders were passed sharply, and before we realized it. the loaded boats were back at the Itasca.
Eight of us colonists were left behind. We were alone again on the island. The noise of the birds seemed louder. We waited. No verification from the Itasca, which was lying about half mile off shore. I couldn't make myself believe Amelia had missed us. We kept watching the sky. At eleven thirty-seven HST, the Itasca started out to sea towards the northwest. Soon she was disappearing over the horizon.
We're waiting. I hope will all my heart they find her.