Demolition by Neglect

First a structure is totally ignored of any maintenance – until it becomes a safety or environmental hazard – then authorized for demolition – regardless of Historic Significance

11/20/2014 – Closing Comments – USFWS Oversight Hearig – Congressman Fleming, USFWS Oversight Committee Chairman – “The FWS has a failing grade for achieving public visitation to Midway and for allowing Midway’s historic structures to deteriorate. It was a mistake to make Midway Islands a Wildlife Refuge.” He went on to say that the USFWS has no interest, expertise or desire in the National Memorial.

Photos (below) offer examples of Midway Stewardship – After year 2002 while directly managed by the Wildlife Service.

Documents –

Midway News Articles –

Midway Media Quotes –

Blow the Whistle – Anyone with knowledge of fraud, waste, abuse, misconduct, or mismanagement involving the U.S. Department of the Interior should contact the Office of Inspector General’s hotline.



GAO Report – June 2, 2016 – Galley Now Scheduled For Demolition
The galley was constructed in 1957 as part of the buildup of Midway Atoll’s naval air station during the Cold War. The building was in use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service until 2004. Agency officials said that the building is not in use and that the agency plans to demolish the building.
Photo Credit – GAO Auditors – April 2015
Photo Credit – GAO Auditors – April 2015
Photo Credit – GAO Auditors – April – 2015

The Station Theater –
Eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places

The theater was designed by the architect Albert Kahn and constructed before the Battle of Midway during World War II. It is eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said that the theater is not in use. Six murals were removed from the theater and sent to the Pacific Aviation Museum for preservation and display.

Inside The Station Theater – April -2015
Photo Credit – GAO Auditors
The Historic Murals were removed from Midway, without consultation, as required by
Public Law 106-113.

SAR Sea Plane Hangar – Eligible for inclusion in the
National Register of Historic Places

The seaplane hangar was designed by the architect Albert Kahn and constructed in 1941. This building was bombed during both the December 7, 1941, and June 4, 1942, attacks on Midway and housed the seaplanes that spotted the Japanese attack during the Battle of Midway. The FWS stated the building is used for equipment storage.  In 2011 the FWS spent $193,000 to collect estimates to repair the Seaplane Hangar. The project was halted due to the high cost of the project.  The USFWS stated they will only maintain building they can use.  This Historic Building is being used by the USFWS, yet it is not being maintained.

GAO Report – June 2, 2016 – Stated – “Cable Houses – Eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places
The mess hall was built by the Commercial Pacific Cable Company in 1903 for the employees who operated the relay stations for the first trans-Pacific telegraph line. It is eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said that the building is not in use and cannot be restored.”  One of Five Cable Station Structures Was Partially Restored.  The other four structures were demolished without consultation,
as required by Public Law 106-113.
Photo Credit – GAO Auditors – April 2015
Photo Credit – GAO Auditors – April 2015
Photo Credit – GAO Auditors – 2015

Click Here to read about the Fuel Spill

At a 2014 Oversight Hearing, Committee Chairman-Fleming requested the USFWS pause 10 Years with plans to demolish the Fuel Farm at Midway – Instead, it was demolished in September of 2015.
Click Here to view Oversight Hearing Video and specific comments about The Fuel Farm

The Fuel Farm was key to an Affordable Visitor Program
The Fuel Farm was demolished without consultation, as required by Public Law 106-113 and against the request of a Congressional Hearing.

Photos Credit – NW Demolition
The Marine Barracks were demolished without consultation, as required
by Public Law 106-113.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is SKI_WareHouse2-1.jpgPhoto Credit – Google Earth
The SKI Warehouse was demolished without consulting protocol, as required by
Public Law 106-13.




Both Racketball Courts are now abandoned and off-limits, due to no maintenance.

Fish_Dive_HutsClinicDentist_Office  Fire_TruckFire_Truck2Commanders_OfficeCommanders_Office4Commanders_Office2Commanders_Office1Sign_Of_Times


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ATT_Cable_Station2.jpgMain Cable Station and adjacent Metal Building – Demolished


Officer Housing –
Eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places

FWS collected $2.84 million from an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant to Rehabilitate 2-story homes and to add solar water heating

Photo Credit – GAO Auditors – April 2015


The Transmitter Building is now scheduled to be demolished.

Verbasina_compositeGolfCartsCartsGolfCarts1       Trees_Then_Now


   Store           Ham_RoomHam_Room1TugsLCM

Water Tower Demolished – 2017

Blow the Whistle – Alert the Natural Resources Committee of any potential waste, fraud or abuse within a federal agency or organization

11 thoughts on “Stewardship

  1. An absolute travesty! I was there in 2001 for a week of diving and the place was in magnificent shape. It’s hard to fathom any agency would allow this to happen given the historical and environmental importance of the atoll. I wonder how many millions will be wasted cleaning the place up after spending so many millions in renovations. I think it would have been more cost effective just to take care of the place. More wasted tax dollars….sheesh!

  2. It made me sick, sad and mad of the destruction on Midway, well they can’t destroy the memories I have of the Island when I served in 1980-1981. It was my first command after bootcamp in San Diego. Just like my ship, USS Constellation CV-64 (served on her after my duty on Midway Island), they are both gone but not forgotten.

  3. During 1963-1965, I was the USN Petty Officer In Charge of the harbor tower (gone-no pictures) and the designated operator of the U.S. Geologic Tidal Seismic Wave Station located eastern end of island. Operated intermittently a 63 foot crash boat in the lagoon area during seaplane landings.

    1. Harbor tower while I was rhere in ’57-58 was used as the Ham Shack. Talked many hours up there! It is also shown in movie Mr. Roberts, filmed in the lagoon.

  4. I have never visited Midway Island. The information on this web site is informative and sad. What a loss to make decisions that in effect abandon such an essential, historic base of operation – absence of foresight. Thank you for this website as a way to keep Midway available to the world.

  5. As a daughter of a vet who served on Midway and also an avid birder, I don’t see the problem with the way FWS has managed the island. Though a very important part of our country’s history, it is no longer an active military site and has been an important nesting site to over 20 species of seabird for hundreds of years before humans took it over. I understand it’s hard to see pieces of history fall into disarray but the island was never intended for long-term, expensive maintenance. The island receives so much rainfall each year and is often hit by strong storms, it’s only normal for damage to be caused and we have so many active military bases that need the funding. All of the structures that are slated for demolition are unsafe to traverse. I am glad there is a lot of photography, stories, documentaries and films about the Battle and it’s important that we keep the brave soldiers who served in our hearts forever, but the island is and always was a part of nature. Only seems fitting that it return to it’s former glory.

    1. Amen and well said. I feel the same. I spent two years there when my dad was stationed there in 1968-69 in the island’s “heyday” when I was 12 years old. Most awesome place ever for a kid! Wonderful memories but nothing lasts forever.. Kind of glad to see it returned to its “rightful owners”. Love the website and the photos.

    2. You are mistaken all the way around! I spent a year serving my country on The Navy’s Most Beautiful Isle and to see it being destroyed thru neglect and ignorance is awful! There are laws to be followed and FWS has followed none of them! The island was a wonderful place to learn history, SEE history and be in the midst of history. So many now care nothing for history so if Midway is TOTALLY destroyed, you just don’t care….and that is sad!

  6. What a shame to destroy so much history to those that worked or lived there, Good thing there are photos. I guess FWS intent is to return the atoll back to originality. I always wanted to visit, but FWS is wiping away everything. Seems like each time the USN surrenders an installation this destruction takes place. I was stationed on Ford Island a place akin to Gettysburg and once the USN gave it up that now there are subdivisions and a bridge to the island which I find appalling given the historical significance as goes Midway atoll. very sad!

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