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 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.

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.
The Marine Barracks were Eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

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

SAR / Seaplane 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 was being used by the USFWS, yet it is not being maintained.

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

22 thoughts on “Stewardship

  1. I was stationed at Midway 1977-78 in the SAR unit. Amazing place I will never forget. Sad to see it like this.

  2. All US historical military sites should be preserved for future generations to enjoy. You can always tell when a military site has been turn over to non-military jurisdiction, it falls into a sad state of disrepair. As a diver traveled to many sites in the Pacific and Asia, those areas still under military or form of conservatorship of land, underwater sites, and historic buildings are most often is pristine condition. When the FWS, green peace, WWF, Sierra Club, and other radical environmentalists are given over the oversight, thats when these sites are left for demolition. Look what we are going through now, the current administration is all being lead by these people set out to destroy,

  3. I took a walking tour of Fort Scott in Eastern Kansas a few days ago. A well kept western fort dating back to 1846. Many buildings are still in great shape and being maintained. Too bad Midway has been destroyed by neglect of the FWS. I was stationed on Sand Island during 1965 to early 66. Passed through twice on my way to Vietnam in 69, 72/73. Don’t think I want to visit again, would be a great disappointment I’m sure. Those of you that want to go back, I hope you get your wishes…

  4. Thank you for the pictures. I feel like my past was ripped from my soul. I lived there for all of my teen years and have many memories of Midway and Eastern. Almost all of my memories are of the place and the people, very few are of the wildlife.

  5. I have been with this site a long while now. I still cannot understand how so many rulings and laws can be broken by uncaring individuals and organizations, but never any retribution’s for those atrocities. Midway, the whole atoll, is supposed to be protected, including historical buildings. The wildlife will always persevere no matter what, and it must not be ignored. But to ignore directives concerning protected sites is criminal. The FWS certainly owns a displaced loyalty, because they have none for the USA and her history. Beyond that, our governmental leadership has zero culpability when following and defending their very own rules. I hope more level heads prevail and the Midway Memorial and all the wildlife can be managed together, properly, for historical reasons for as long as the island is above water. How that occurs is, unfortunately, dependent upon the very same governmental organizations that have ignored their responsibilities for so long now that history in the middle of the Pacific may be completely lost, not maintained. Shame on them all.
    Larry Pilkinton, ATNAN 1964-1965 on Midway with AEWBARRONPAC.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

    3. I was stationed there from 1972 to 1976 and to see how this beautiful island is neglectfully being destroyed is a travesty. It would be a wonderful place to visit and revel in island life. If you weren’t stationed there or didn’t live there you just don’t understand. FES is destroying the place!!!

    4. You say you do not see a problem with how the FWS handled it, but Midway Island was declared a historic landmark in 1986 and designated a national memorial in the early 2000s. The structures on the island were supposed to be protected, preserved and maintained by the FWS as per FEDERAL LAW. Instead, a historic naval base that was vital to the defense of America’s interests in the pacific during World War 2 is now completely lost.

      In fact, the FWS actively ignored and sometimes outright fought attempts by Congress to stop its deterioration and destruction. The buildings there should never have been allowed to fall into such disrepair that demolition was necessary in the first place, which has left many in the congressional committee investigating whether or not it was a mistake handing over operations to them. It is blatant negligence on FWS’s part, and by refusing to communicate with the Battle of Midway Memorial organization and the general public, they knowingly and willfully broke ethical codes and practically violated federal law. It is, in my opinion, a disservice to this country’s ongoing struggle to preserve its history for future generations.

      Alas, all that remains of the historic structures now are the stories behind them, of Midway Atoll, and of the sacrifices of many brave naval airmen who fought and died there to stop the Imperial Japanese and turn the tide in the Pacific. If they haven’t already, FWS should face a Congressional hearing for knowingly and willfully neglecting a historic landmark.

      Honestly, if Midway Island was opened to the public as a museum under the US Navy’s jurisdiction (as it should have been, in hindsight), this would never have happened.

    5. Hello Janice, I am also a Daughter of a Vet that served on Midway Island from 1977-1979. Amazing memories of my time there. It is very heartbreaking to see these photos while remembering the time I spent there as a kid. I do feel that some of the buildings should be preserved and maintained. My Dad worked in the Ham Radio Bldg. I would like to share stories and memories with you. Maybe we were there at the same time.

  11. 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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