Tag Archives: hawaii

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Late October, 1941


75 Years Ago

Hickam Field
Hickam Field, Pearl Harbor Hawaii

The attack on Pearl Harbor took place 75 years ago on this date.


Living in Hawaii


Photo courtesy of hawaii.gov

“Swamp Ghost” Tour

Swamp Ghost
The “Swamp Ghost” at rest in Papua New Guinea

In February of 1942, a B17E Flying Fortress, with its crew of 9 men, crash landed in a swamp in Papua New Guinea, after it ran out of fuel. The crew survived, and over the next 6 weeks, made it to safety. Eventually, they were reassigned and flew additional bomber missions in other planes for the duration of the war.

This Flying Fortress was rediscovered in 1972 by a group of Australian soldiers. They found is partially submerged in a swamp, but “eerily untouched”. According to the soldiers, the machine guns were still in place and loaded, and a thermos of (rather strong) coffee was still in the cockpit. At this time, the old bomber was christened “Swamp Ghost” by the locals.

After years of negotiations between a salvage team and the government of Papua New Guinea, the “Swamp Ghost” has finally returned home to Hawaii.

The "Swamp Ghost" in Hawaii
The “Swamp Ghost” at the Pacific Aviation Museum

The Flying Fortress, which is riddled with 121 bullet holes, can now be toured at the Pacific Aviation Museum at Ford Island, Hawaii. The museum describes the “Swamp Ghost” as “the world’s only intact and unretired World War II B-17E bomber”, complete with its battle scars.

That is a tour I would go on.

Photos courtesy of the Pacific Aviation Museum

Scotch Cap Lighthouse

Scotch Cap Lighthouse 1903
The Scotch Cap Light in 1903.

The Scotch Cap Light was the first lighthouse on the outer coast of Alaska. It was built on Unimak Island in the Aleutian Chain in 1903.

Scotch Cap Lighthouse
Scotch Cap Light in 1940

In 1940, a new Scotch Cap Light was built out of reenforced concrete and a fog signal was added. From the beginning, the lighthouse was the scene of several shipwrecks, including the Columbia in 1909, which forced the crew of 194 to spend two weeks on Unimak as guests of the lighthouse keepers until they could be rescued. And in 1930, a Japanese freighter became lost in a snowstorm and beached in front of the light.

The 1946 Aleutian Islands Earthquake hit the chain of islands on April 1 of 1946. The 8.1 magnitude quake generated a Pacific wide tsunami. The massive wave wiped Scotch Cap Light right off the face of Unimak Island. Anthony Petit, the lighthouse keeper, and his five man crew were killed by the wave that is estimated to have been at 130 feet high.

Unimak Island 1946
Unimak Island after the 1946 tsunami.

The tsunami that resulted from the Aleutian Earthquake killed 165 people: 159 in Hawaii and six in Alaska. It took the tsunami 4.5 hours after the quake to hit Kauai and 4.9 to strike Hilo, causing over $26 million in damage. After the destructive tsunami, the Seismic Sea Wave Warning System was established in 1949, eventually becoming the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Hilo 1946 Tsunami
Residents of Hilo, Hawaii fleeing the 1946 tsunami.

Photos of Unimak and Scotch Cap courtesy of USCG. Hawaii photo courtesy of NOAA

Happy Alaskans

Brown Bears Fishing Alaska
Fishing in Alaska

In their annual “State of the States” poll, Gallup came to the conclusion that Alaska ranked #1 for overall well being of its residents out of all 50 states.

In Gallup’s Well-Being Index, on a scale between 0 and 100, Alaskans had a score of 64.7. We also had the number one score of “sense of purpose” out of all America.

It is the first time Alaska has ranked #1 in this poll. I believe that is due directly to the recent warmer winters.

Since Alaska is already too crowded as it is, I suggest checking out the #2 ranked state: Hawaii.

11 January 1935

80 years ago today, Amelia Earhart left Wheeler Field on Oahu in Hawaii attempting to make the first solo flight to the mainland.


The photo shows Earhart’s Lockheed Vega 5C warming up at Wheeler Field. Earhart is seated on the running board of the truck parked in front of the hanger.


18 hours, 15 minutes after leaving Hawaii, Earhart safely landed her Vega in Oakland, California, becoming the first person to fly solo between Hawaii and California.

Photos courtesy of Hawaii Aviation