My dad was stationed there and he had a lot of photos. He loved being there. He passed away a few years ago and he wanted his ashes spread there so I was on the hunt to find out more information about going there when I came across this website. It makes me sick to see what happened. The company that was maintaining it seemed to be doing an amazing job and seemed to care more for the island than our own government. When you think of WW2 in the Pacific you think of Midway. It is too important a place to let it get destroyed but it appears that it is too late. I don’t think my father would want his ashes there knowing what the island has become.
If you update this and find out if there is anything we can do to help then please let us know.
I was stationed there in 1976.It was a beautiful Island.Us Seabees kept it up as best we could back then but it has gone to hell now.It saddens me to see it today.Bring Seabees back let the DOD keep it up because of it’s vital position in the Pacific.We need to get back to basics not turn it into an eye sore.
Very sad to see this and what has happened to Midway Islands…Just like my fellow Navy service members, I too served from 1978 to 1980, stationed at Operations Department, Harbor Division on the only two Navy tug boats, until I was sent to Naval Station Pearl Harbor HI to overhaul the tugs, but subsequently returned to finish my tour of duty.
I was also a member and operated the Island’s only Amateur (Ham) radio station KM6BI and received my Advance license KH4AB…we were running phone patches back to the Hawaii and US Mainland for members to talk to family back home
Thank you for sharing.
We have to respect the ocean and the animals, even if it’s just that little step by using reusable bags from the supermarket or reusing the plastic bottles. And when ever we feel like saying “It’s to much work, it’s just on piece” we have to think, the animals were here first but they are the ones suffering the consequences of our bad choices.
New administration, might be worth trying to contact Ryan Zinke as seems to be more of a sportsman/ conservationist than an ECO Nut so perhaps you might find a friendly ear. Sure couldn’t hurt.
Our Government, we’re here to help you. What a shame that the Island is in such bad shape. It was a paradise when I was stationed there in 1961. I do hope it will be restored some day.
November 20, 2014
Oversight Hearing – Entitled – “Is the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge Being Properly Managed?”
Congressman John Fleming, M.D., 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” and went on to say that the USFWS has no interest, expertise or desire in the National Memorial.
May 26, 2005 –
“PUBLIC ACCESS WITHIN THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM”
Statement by William Hartwig, Assistant Director for the National Wildlife Refuge System, USFWS, DOI
“Through the Improvement Act, Congress recognized people were essential to the wildlife conservation, and that citizens who were involved in using and enjoying refuges were more likely to become involved in their stewardship.
A DARN shame. Hahaha WWF/FWS/FIN & FEATHER. Most all of you are MORANS. Always wanting every remote and non remote areas for youre own personal agendas where all ive seen from these people in charge at FWS is so they can hire interns or get volunteers to work with them so they can live out their fantasies of The Blue Lagoon at remote islands and Midway Atoll. Ive seen it three times while I was on Midway island and two out of three times that ive seen the volunteer and intern chose to finish their time at French Frigett scholls. True story people Laura was one of them involved and the only one who stayed. The people who run the FWS should be managed better by our Gov. because they are leaches who spend our tax monies iresponsibly always knowing if they cry in the name of America and its sanctuaries we need 15 million smackers a year to up keep Midway Atoll so 4 to 6 FWS employees can be waited on hand and foot oh and dont forget about our 15% cost of living adjustment in our salaries each year when the American tax payers already pay for their food and lodge, travel expenses and everything else oh did I mention their uniforms…. Midway Island is A very special place it truly is. I find myself day dreaming of all the memories Ive had all the people ive met all the friends ive made and the peace ive found within myself while being surrounded by nature and her beauty. Midway island has changed me. I never truly respected nature and its natural inhabitants the way I do now and for the rest of my life if not for my time on Midway. Ive learned that all life needs a chance and a champion. I feel that the only way to do this is not to keep people away but to educate them by real life experiences not books or TV. When people can actually be in the same environment is when you champion their hearts toward youre cause” towards one cause”. Even though you may think that people are just there for sport fishing or for diving or work they take with them A very healthy respect for the Laysand Albatross and all the wildlife that our( the people’s wild life refuge) has to offer. I did and many others have too. I truly hope the FWS doest foresake Midway Island as they did themselves before it really is too late. I have been to Midway Island between1995 and 2000. And last but not least to all u FWS who say that Midway Island is not a part of Hawaii and its eco system (Who The F**k R U Kidding). Im the man who did a lot of impossibles at Midway from surfing,and free diving with my hawaiian sling at the outer barrier reef and using my throw net with 2″ eyes and opens 24′ wide and eating and sharing everthing i cought with everyone around me including three of the six Fish and Wildlife personnel who always asked for more when I cought and cooked and prepared raw fish crab and octopus. So tell me now that the fish there has ciguteria after you youselves enjoyed all the dishes ive prepared, cooked and raw. For those of u wondering who i am, i was the young native Hawaiian with the ukulele in one hand and fishing pole in the other hand always performing at the Midway bars stage and bar B Queing at the shack at the beach before we built the Clipper and the beach bar and I admit it I was the one taking the OHM’s “green weenies” 6 wheeled Gators and driving them on every sandy beach i could so when FWS woke in the morning they would see miles upon miles of my wheel tracks in the sand and be so pissed lol. The Monk seals still rested on the beach and all was still the same no harm done. For those of u who read this and remember me waaaasssuuupppppp! Us navy men Randy jackson, OIC Black, Deets, phidell, Gerry and Nan Peters, Parera from sri Lanka,Shanta Kumar, Ratnatilika Fireman, Silva, Juan, Arome, i foregot the Docs name but whats up Doc. There was two Docs. I know of. Pandulfie brothers whats up Steve, Mike, and Joe. Im sorry to hear of papa Joe my condolences. Miller family who was there in 1995 thanks for dinner at the house. Last but not least to PMC And MPC I seen all u have done, Thankyou, and I Thank all of u who still believe in the Midway Island dream. Keep our dreams alive. ” Imua Ohana ua mau ke ea O ka aina I ka pono malama ka aina” aloha hanau. (To move forward as one family and protect the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness).
I miss spelled my name, I didn’t learn how to spell at George Cannon.
My: Mother, my brothers, my sister, and myself arrived on Midway in September of 1970. My father had been on Island for a couple of months because enlisted had to wait for available housing. Midway was a beautifully shocking place with strange plants and especially strange birds. Once settled into Block Housing, our first order of business for my older brother and I was to head to the beach! We walked by the football field near the High School where the school team was practicing flag foot ball, and were they excited to see us as my brother and I were larger than most of the other High School students. We were a ‘large’ family of five and after 6 months we moved to the Civilian Compound, also know as the Cable Company Compound. My room was on the corner on the lower section house, closest to the boat house and I think it still survives. I could go on for hours/days on what we did on Midway, good and bad. It’s where I learned to snorkel and SCUBA dive, I started my passion of photography, I learned to drink (liquor was cheep), I learned how to live with people you saw everyday, I fell in love (a number of times), and I was one of four in the graduation class of 1972 (I still have my school ring) It was an amazing wonder time that can never be captured again.
I went to midway Island on deployment 1961 1962 with MCB 11 restored barracks repainted the Harbor control tower repaired some Sewall worked on runway I enjoyed my time off skating rink play baseball right my blue horse with banana seat extended handlebars . Snorkeling find a nice shales still have a fish ball that I found is in my glass cabinet at home now after 53 years . Would love to visit midway Island but it looks like my time has passed by the government has taken over ruined everything nobody can visit there now . I would love to hear from some of my buddies that was in MCB 11 1961-64. We left there went to Guam 1963 to help restore power and housing after typhoon Karen . Anybody that was there contact me , firstname.lastname@example.org
You may be able to find people who were there at the same time as you were there, by visiting this link. If you see someone you’d like to contact, please send me a note and I’ll forward their email address.
My dad did a lot of electrical work in the mid- to late 70’s as a contractor on Midway. He told us kids of wiring hangar lights, barracks, mess hall, etc.He still has photos and Super 8 movie film of the Vulcan bombers and other jets that flew in and out. Also photos of the 12 foot Tiger sharks he’s caught. It’s a shame what Midway has become.
Why not offer eco tours for people that want to volunteer their personal labor to help clear out invasive species and plastics from the shore line.
There would be hundreds of replies in the first month.
Just a thought that probably makes sense and would be good for the island. It would also give people a chance to be part of our world in a positive sense.
The reality with global warming and our continued polluting of the planet is there is no place on earth that is truly safe or pristine.
To make a greater change a grass roots program of getting people involved needs to happen.
I know if I had the opportunity to go to Midway to help with the islands stewardship I would say yes .
Midway, Wake , and Guam as National Historical Sites are far to important to be trusted to the USFWS. Land Artifacts are left to decay. Underwater artifacts are basically the “stuff of sport diving” to them. The Brewster Buffalo components are an excellent example. They should be recovered, sent to The National Museum of The Marine Corps in Virginia. To the Marines, they are priceless relics of VMF-221, a squadron that was slaughtered.
Should the USFWS want to really have a positive impact on the marine and avian wildlife, they should fund for booms to prevent flotsam and jetsam. They should seek monthly volunteer flights to police the beaches and preserve existing structures. There are certainly enough tree huggers to step up to the plate and become interactive. And while our Government has policies such as this, Island Nations throughout the Pacific scream about rising seas, yet they decimate their own environment with raw sewage, garbage, over crowding, allowing the Communist Chinese to over fish their territorial waters, and continually seek UN aid. It’s truly sad, and a prime example of Government Department’s mismanagement.
And no one should bring up the subject of funding when the Federal deficit has ballooned by an additional $12 Trillion Dollars and climbing in the past eight years.
You might want to start a petition drive at change.org about what has happened at Midway Island. They will promote your petition and get signatures for it. You can check out their website and choose whom to send your petition. Best of luck if you choose to do it. I will definitely sign it.
I just discovered this page after watching a program on Midway and the plastic, which I believe is a large issue for us all. At the same time so is the history of Midway and the life of so many soldiers who died fighting for our freedom. We all must do what we can to preserve a big part of that history, along with the natural life that also share that island together. Today we see an extremely aggressive environmental movement that is threatening our history, and the very foundation of our country. Sure the world natural resources including life must be respected, supported and sometimes protected from further harm, but we must also include the history behind the story. For we our all in this together and our history must be protected as an endanger species for it too, is life and must be respected, yes both the good and the bad. Midway is so much more, so much more then the concerns over the environment, and it should be open to a manage public limited use, we can learn so much, and maybe we just might not go down this road again. My sincere thanks goes out to all those who served our nation, and there family I wish you all the very best, return this to the people and to the Veterans. God Bless the United States. I will be back…
CT ON EASTERN 11/67 TO 11/68
stationed there 11/67 to 11/68
great memories and many friends
I was stationed on Eastern Island, November 1967 to October 1968.
Beautiful place…so sad to see this outcome…
I take issue with a lot of statements made in this video, which I find to be false or misleading at best. Here are some that jump out at me: “FWS lowered street signs trading human safety for bird safety.” How does lowering street signs reduce human safety exactly? “(Ironwood) Trees provided shade for wildlife.” Sure, they also kill birds by creating collision hazards and falling down easily in high winds, crushing nesting albatross. Native plants, which do neither of these things, also provide shade. “Signs were installed to further restrict people.” The intent of the signs is to set aside areas for wildlife, which is common in all national wildlife refuges. “FWS wanted MPC to stop mowing grass.” For good reason – mowing spreads around invasive seeds (especially verbesina) and destroys habitat for nesting birds. “Former Clinic is now used as an office.” False, the clinic is still used as a medical clinic and is where the physician’s assistant works. The video also implies that FWS removed and/or destroyed the large gooney statue and doesn’t specifically state that it collapsed because of termite damage. Also, the highly invasive plant Verbesina has a good bit of footage in the video dedicated to it, and it states that “unmanaged verbesina will consume all available habitat.” This in itself is true but ignores the current state of things. As recent pictures on the FOMA facebook page indicate, Verbesina has been knocked back significantly. I encourage you to look them up. Entire fields that were formerly choked with Verbesina are almost free of the plant, allowing multiple areas for outplanting of native plants and increasing nesting habitat for seabirds.
Megan – Your comments have been addressed (via our FaceBook group) many times – still you refuse to accept simple truth. You first tried to disconnect yourself from the USFWS by stating that your online wildlife photos offered no proof that you were employed by the USFWS, when in fact you were a USFWS VOLUNTEER and you are now a USFWS EMPLOYEE. It is very easy for the rest of us to understand your career biased opinions. Midway is a Wildlife Refuge AND a Battle of Midway National Memorial. A wildlife-only agenda has no place at Midway.
It is just fantastic to see how the Government, unchecked by the citizens and taxpayers, can take something beautiful and completely destroy it. If Midway had been a used for the ‘free spirits” instead of the military it would survive for ever.
I arrived at Midway on Thanksgiving day 1972 and stayed til Nov. 74 as an Air Traffic Controller, working both the tower and the GCA unit. The day I arrived, I was met by an A school buddy who had me over for Thanksgiving dinner and got me hired to work for a contractor part time. I painted the fuel storage tanks pictured, helped sandblast the hangar, but I refused to paint the water tower, afraid of the height. I did a lot of plumbing in base housing and officers quarters. The air traffic was very slow, averaging about 1-1/2 operation per day. A landing = 1 operation. A take-off = 1 operation. Very slow airport, on average. I did get to talk to Bob Hope as his tour was returning from Nam at the end of the war. He told me a stewardess was sitting on his lap. I bowled at the 4 lane bowling alley. The Petty Officer club’s name was “East of Tomorrow”. I studied marine biology thru the University of Hawaii while I was there. I got my first college “A” in it. I dove for the spiny lobsters and I had a 14′ tiger shark bite the propeller of the 14′ Boston whaler I was in. I was told that the Island was bare without any trees before the Navy took it over, way back whenever. I imagined a treeless Midway and how horrible a place it would be. Your picture of Eastern Island being treeless confirms my thoughts. I know that the Fairy Terns would lay their eggs on an Ironwood branch, with no nest, and the babies could stay up there without falling off. I remember the Canaries, they weren’t natives, but I can’t imagine them doing much harm, but I’m sure there is a preservationist that has plans for them too. Our biggest problem with the Goonies was getting them off the runway before an operation and I remember a 727 taking a bird strike to its nose which knocked a whole in it and grounded the plane there for a week before a new nose came in. The wildlife there could care less of the humans. Just some bill clacking from a Gooney or a bark from a monk seal if you got to close. It was considered sea duty because of the isolation, but I guess you can tell, it was a paradise to me. So many good memories and now a reality of what is. I can only hope that the future of Midway will include some sanity, where the visitors will be tolerated as the Goonies go about their mating dance.
I was on Midway 3 days ago….17 July 2015. We diverted in to assist 2 Marine fighters that diverted there for mechanical problems. Spent 24 hours on the Island. The place is as shown in the video, woth the exception of a newly repaired and sealed runway! I would like to know how much that cost the Taxpayer! The Clipper House is now used by the current company as it’s chow hall. The bar sits unused. The seaplane hanger is still rotting away. I rode in the new fire truck. It’s an expensive piece of equipment for the ONE, single, Firefighter stationed there! The medical staff consists of ONE Physicians Assistant who is ER/ Trauma trained. The current Island population is around 40. Half of them being Thai natives. I guess the current contractor is cutting employee costs there. Vast areas of the Island are off limits to humans. Seriously? The Gooney birds have laid eggs there without fear since man has landed and changed the Island. I did enjoy my visit there, but sadly after watching the video, I realized the experience could have been so much more!
Thanks for taking time to share your experiences of your recent Midway stay. It’s most interesting to hear how the military are now being treated there.
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I was in the US Navy, stationed on Midway in 1958 for 9 months, attached to AIRBARSRON 2 DET. Just recently took the Google Streetview tour of the island. I recognized some areas, but, for the most part, too many buildings and areas were destroyed or allowed to deteriorate beyond recognition. What a shame! One of the most beautiful islands in the Pacific left to ruin. Unfortunately, when certain government agencies are left in charge, this is what happens. I was about 20 years old and some of my fondest memories are of Midway, which I still remember 57 years later.
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I remember meeting you when Merton & I were on Midway Island. It was Midway Island Naval then and maintained by ITT Base Services (Mert retired Feb 1990). Your update of the island is heartbreaking. What a waste of a beautiful place.
HI Roberta – Sorry for the late reply. I remember you and Merton. Your husband did a great job in keeping everything running. I miss those days at Midway. Things have sure changed now. Thanks for taking time to send along your note. You may also want to look us up on FaceBook. Search for our group by searching for “Midway Island Residents…..”. You’ll find many of our extended Midway family there.
Really and deeply saddened today when I saw Mr. Daak’s video of what has transpired on Midway. Made me a little sick to my stomach to see the Gooney bird that my father carved not only gone from where he had it placed to being in pieces in some storage building. My father was Commander Robert C. Cook and was an oral surgeon. The solid mahogany log washed up on the island and my dad had Navy personnel haul it behind our quarters. We were right next door to the Patricks and Dean Patrick was my best buddy – mom was Billy-Sue. My brother, Cory, and I “helped” my dad carve the Gooney – mostly sweeping up chips and saw dust. We were on Midway for about two years and it was just paradise…now it looks like a garbage dump. I just can’t believe that this has happened to such a magical, historical and amazing place. It’s messed up. I’m pissed off. It never should have been allowed. As my father and mother, Shirley, always instilled us, “It’s not what you have, it’s what you take care of.”
It was 50 years ago that my family lived on Midway. (1964 – 1965). I was a 12 year old boy, my father, CDR Donald D Forsyth was the Administrative Officer. As with most of us, I have warm memories of my time on Midway. Fishballing for Japanese, Korean, and Russian fishballs, I lived for finding those. Swimming and snorkeling for Longusta. Riding my Schwinn Stingray “horse” all over the island. Camping with my Boy Scout troop on Eastern. Playing football at George Canon School. (I played center, it was tag football, and we had 1 game and our team “lettered”. It was an idyllic time for a boy of that age.
Like all of you, I am greatly distressed that the USFWS has basically destroyed the island. It really typifies man’s incompetence. I believe it would have been better to either pull everyone off the island and let nature take its course, or allow a developer to build it into a true resort. At least I have some great memories.
I just found out about Midway Island after watching a show on the History Channel. I am a film producer and my husband is a director. Has anyone ever done a documentary on Midway Island? It is so fascinating and seems to have a goldmine of information on it. It is unfortunate that more people do not know about this island and it’s historical significance. Lots of social change and awareness can be made from documentaries. I would be happy to pitch the idea to my husband who is a Director. With some funding, I think we can help preserve what this island used to stand for and enlighten others as well!
What a shameful display of what beaurocrats love to do…sticking their noses into things that were just fine, the way they were. I’m truly thankful that I. got to experience my year on Eastern Island as it was back in the mid sixties. I’ll never forget it
I spent one year at Midway, from November 1967 to November 1968. Six months with the Sea-Bees and six months in the Harbor Division. With the Sea-bees I ran the portable generators behind the powerhouse and, at times, had to run the larger Worthington units inside. In the Harbor Division I was on a harbor tug, YTM412, with five other shipmates. Although I was single at the time and ~22 years of age, I did not fully grasp the beauty of the Island, like I do now.
Reviewing this presentation almost brought tears to my eyes to see how this island went into such disrepair under the watch of the USFWS. I often thought about visiting Midway but, due to its current condition, I would just as well keep the memories I have, reflecting on its better days with all the photos I took.
The island cannot be brought back to its originality, however I do hope that a contractor can be found to at least restore what was previously created.
As a Navy brat and veteran, I had the rare opportunity to live on Midway form 1971-1974, went to George Cannon School grades 2-5. The school has been razed by the USFWS along with other historical buildings. I have not seen the video that other bloggers have written about. I don’t think I want to since I know it will make me sick to my stomach. Midway was heaven on earth. Now destroyed. The ironic thing is, when the Navy was there Midway was well maintained. The many birds especially the Layson Albatross, monk seals, turtles were well respected by their human residents. Give Midway back to a contractor like MPC that can maintain a balance between conservation and visitation.
Veteran USN & Former Midway Resident
Hi Mike, I don’t know if you remember my name from circa 1999. I exchanged emails with you and Heidi regarding my flight simulator scenery project for PMDY. I am both saddened and furious to find out the current state of Midway island. It has always been one of my life goals to visit Midway and to find the island in such a state of disrepair is nothing short of agonising. Are there any development regarding possible restart of visitor program? Feel free to drop me an email too Mike.
I was stationed on Midway from May 1969 to June 1970, It did not look like it does now. The FWS has totally wrecked the Island and should be made to Put it back the way it was before they got there grubby paws on it.
They are a bunch of Assholes.
You’ve made some really good points there. I looked on the web for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.
I have visited midway in the 90s when Midway Phoenix had control of the operation there. I was shocked and devastated by what I saw in the film of Midway from then up to the present time. It just makes me wonder how NWS were allowed to destroy all the historical buildings, monuments and artifacts on that once beautifully preserved and well maintained atoll.
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I spent two years on midway as part of barrier squadron [ AEW]. my memory of this island was a beautiful place, squared away totally functional. like most navy bases. its hard to believe today’s condition. it should have been a tourist destination.
WV constellations flew in and out on a daily basis for 13 to 14 flights. I enjoyed working on midway and my time off.
I was stationed at Midway Island in the late 70’s, specifically at the NAVFAC at the other end of the island from the base. Midway at that time was a paradise. there was only one motorized vehicle
on the base that I can remember and that was the firetruck at the hanger. We all got around on our bicycles. I thought at the time that Midway was a protected wildlife sanctuary. If what I just saw was what happened to the island, I can only say that what the wildlife service did is criminal! I hope someone was brought to task over this.
My dad told me he had the only vehicle on the island around that time: an old yellow Toyota or Datsun pick-up truck. There was also a front-end loader if you count that
I was one of the fortunate ones to visit Midway, just before eco-terrorists at FWS expelled Midway Phoenix. But upon exiting the Aloha jet and being herded into a reich-like eco-indoctrination classroom, I knew I was in for a bad experience. It was clear FWS didn’t want us there under any circumstances. I flew over with a plane load of military historians, birdwatchers, divers and fishermen, all of who are conservationists. As it turns out, conservationists are the mortal enemy of FWS. FWS is infested with 100% preservationists and their precious “no-humans allowed except us” agenda, ruined the trip. I guess they thought we were all there to have barbeque gooney bird and baked monk seal for dinner. Like 1st graders we were told where to walk, where to swim, where to snorkel, where to breathe etc, etc. The MPC people tried to make it bearable, but virtually no one on the trip got an ounce of respect or welcome from FWS. It is unfortunate for the conservationists that these eco-preservationists have now taken over the whole Hawaiian archipelago, and their tentacles reach further west to Wake and all points in between. I presented a solution to re-opening Midway a few years after MPC left that was widely quoted in the negotiations to re-open visitation to Midway, but the unwelcoming preservationist agenda won out shortly thereafter. Its clear that FWS doesn’t want any of us peons visiting their precious domain. They are happy having under paid Phillipino slaves tend to all of their needs, while they attempt to infest their agenda on the whole Central Pacific. Unfortunately, I am defeated, as I see no way to defeat these radical environmentalists. Conservationism is no longer welcome, only radical preservationism will be tolerated.
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I spent 7th grade on Midway, attending George Cannon School (1965-1966) and watching this brought tears to my eyes seeing what our government has done to my childhood memories. I loved Midway and everybody there had the utmost respect for all of the birds and plants. Seeing the movie theater, the officer’s club, and all the buildings abandoned is sickening. My dad and I used to go over to Eastern Island and hunt for fish balls (glass balls for keep fishing nets afloat). It’s so sad that other people won’t ever get to enjoy what I referred to as ‘heaven’ when I lived there.
I am heart broken at what has happened to Midway! Midway was our refueling stop as we made our way across the Pacific headed for Vietnam and other destinations while in the Navy! We loved the Goony birds and the beauty of such a pristine island as Midway! They should have left it in the hands of the NAVY!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is another example of what happens when such facilities fall into the hands of a government Bureaucracy that knows nothing of Midway’s historical, cultural, and Military value. All Vets should rise up and demand that Midway be restored and operated for a Visitor’s site and Historical monument of this nation’s gallant history and victory at Midway in WWII, Vietnam, etc.
I’m a Disabled American Service Officer. I need to prove planes coming from Vietnam with remains of KIA VETERANS used Midway
Sir, I was a crash crew leader most of 1964. We were on runway r33 when incoming aircraft landed. We had a policy to escort c-5 carrying body’s to the fuel farm. They would refuel and leave in a few hours. The tower advised crash crew which aircraft were involved. On several occasions cargo aircraft would stop at Midway and pick up barrel’s of agent orange on return flights to danang. I attest this information true and still is vivid in my mind.
Hi,I was also stationed at Midway Island in the early 1970’s. What caught my eyes was that you mentioned in your blog that cargo aircraft would stop at Midway Island to pick up barrels of agent orange on return flights to Danang. I would assumed that you witnessed it because you said you can attest that your information was true and vividly remember it. I don’t know if you have filed a disability claims in the past with the VA or getting disability compensation already, this revelation from you about agent orange being stored in Midway Island could be a big help to hundreds if not thousands of military personnel that were stationed there during the Vietnam war who can be compensated from their various illnesses and disabilities by service connection to agent orange. I know your post is over 4 years old but I am still hoping you will reply to my comment. Thank you very much and God bless you.
Thank you for this website! Just heard a 777 landed there safely. That is great. I had an assumption no one lives there. I wonder how the pilot communicated the positioning for landing. What a sight it must have been to see the massive 777. Thanks to the people who provided food and thanks to God for saving the lives of these people.
I hope to visit this beautiful Atoll one day!
Shams from Bangladesh!
After seeing a report about a distressed United Airlines plane landing at Midway this evening, I found this website and video while trying to learn more about this historic, beautiful island. I am ashamed of what USFWS has done to the island. How they have disrespected the dead in the cemetery, how they have destroyed historical buildings. This is a place I would have liked to visit, but instead our tax dollars have been used to destroy this place. I am utterly disgusted.
It reminds me of these save the Earth folks that end up destroying things, And when confronted with there own created disaster they say well Our Intentions were well intended… Wow and then they walk away because they feel there good intentions trumps everything else. Leaving the beauty and creating a wonderful tourist type spot was a win, win both ways. But the Tree Huggers destroyed everything. That’s how I see it and how they came to there decisions. Because as small as Midway is you must try at all costs to maintain its original state and yet world around it to keep it functioning.
as a marine, I was stationed on midway for about one year from nov.1948 to nov. 1949. somehow this experience has always left an impression on me. I frequently think about midway, and somehow I would like to visit before I die. too bad the dream to visit will be denied to me.
This is the kind of disastrous results you get when bureaucrats think they know what they are doing, and are not smart enough to seek guidance from those that do. The FWS destroyed a huge portion of our military history for absolutely no reason. They should be brought to task and tossed out. That being said, they have of course, destroyed most of what was historic in the name of nature, and I suspect, just plain positional arrogance and total disregard for anyone or anything but themselves. The video made me sick, and I suspect it would do the same for most Americans if they saw it. I am certainly going to pass it along to everyone I know, and put the word out in all the media I can. This is not new to me, and happens here in California with the park service as well. They show total disregard for anything historical, looking only to “restore” an area to its “natural condition”. At this rate, we will have nothing left of our history to show our grand and great-grandchildren.
Thank you so much for telling this story. Please post this if you wish, and let me know how myself or others can help preserve what is left.
Fort Bragg, CA
Thanks to those who produced the accompanying video. I have loosely followed what was happening to Midway over the last decade or so. However, I did not realize the extremes NWS have gone to in order to destroy all human history concerning Midway. Also, I had not realized how extremely terrible their handling of Midway and its natural inhabitants were. I am not hopeful any or all of the damages inflicted can ever be reversed or prevented in the future. It seems to me that this organization (loosely stated) has managed to do everything in their power to ensure Midway Island will never again be the oasis it once was, for humans or wild animals. Their meddling has enabled invasive weeds to cover most of the islands and that is sad as it prevents the Laison Albatrosses (Gooney Birds) from having sufficient places to nest and reproduce. If there is any way that Midway can be saved from the NWS, I hope it is done quickly. Somehow, there has to be a better plan and the NWS is totally ignorant of what that would be. Being one of the last Naval groups to have served on Midway, I am amazed at how far the Islands have deteriorated. Please, someone in power, get this destruction of one of our most glorious historical locations stopped and make some honest attempt to preserve as much as can be done, of whatever is now left.
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All I could do is cry watching the terrible state that Midway is in now. Who is the head of the USFWL that was responsible for the destruction of my former home? I want is his name. He destroyed my memories and dreams. How could anyone let this happen? Who is responsible? I am so angry that the most beautiful island in the world was destroyed by the USFWL!
It is apparent that the FWS plans to convert what was a beautiful tropical island into a desert island as evidenced by what they did on Eastern Island. In my small home town in Kansas, we had a beautiful municipal lake built by the CCC. Occasionally, we would have some vandal youths get drunk and hook onto masonry picnic tables and benches with a winch on their pickups and pull them apart “for fun”. My mother always remarked that she just could not understand what prompted them to commit such acts to destroy useful and attractive facilities being enjoyed by the public. I feel that way about the wanton destructive acts by the FWS. Who are they seeking revenge on?
Thanks for keeping this alive and for being involved and sponsoring a reunion.
I was fortunate enough to visit Midway twice in 2001. It was a place you just had to have been there to understand the life it offered. MPC did a great job running the island. Everybody knows the government can’t manage anything as well as the private sector and this is proof once again. I’m glad I was able to experience Midway as the paradise it was and resent the fact my kids and grandchildren will never have that opportunity, due to the self serving few that have destroyed a great thing. I will be contacting my representatives to voice my opinion. Thanks to all who made this video.
I couldn’t watch the video due to my computer being old, but I agree, it is a shame we can’t visit Midway. I was born there in 1947 and left at age 2 and will never be able to visit the place I was born!!! Now with the possibilility of “global warming” and my age, I will probably never get the chance. In order to know and understand how to protect our earth we and our children need to have access to places like Midway with its wide diversity of birds and sea creatures in order to truly understand what is at risk. Thanks for the chance to voice my opinion!!!
It is absolutely heartbreaking to see this lovely place go to ruin. Watching your video brought tears to my eyes. I, for one, would be more than willing to live in this lovely place and work for keep!
Apparently MPC, or past employees of MPC have created this propaganda piece.
Apparently your parents didn’t have any children who survived.
Looks to me to be a propaganda piece by MPC.
and who exactly is “sergio rensseg” and who do you work for ??????
Worked in the control tower on Midway in 1967-68, a tropical paradise. It was beautiful how wildlife and humans co-existed splendidly. The gooney birds were literally everywhere during their seasonal visit and were respected by their human neighbors. I’ve thought of a return visit for years, but after seeing that Fish & Wildlife have neglected maintenance and using common sense. What they have done to this island is criminal. Sixty years or more of responsible stewardship turned into a ghost town at the cost of the US taxpayers. Criminal…
This is true no only of Midway, but ALL of the smaller Pacific Islands and the Carribean islands of Navassa and Desecheo. And it extends to closures and limitations on public and private land in the good old continental USA. The use of the Endangered Species Act to take control of even private lands, all in the name of the smallest so-called ‘endangered’ specie of toad, minnow, bird, or insect, is totally out of control.
You named it well, John Eaton, when you describe them as being scientists when actually they are bureaucrats exercising POWER and CONTROL.
I used to live on midway while stationed there in the navy in 1978-1979 it was a very nice island to live on back than. It would have been nice if it had been taken care of. It’s sad to see the way it has been let go to run down like it has. I have a lot of good memories of midway. My oldest son was just a baby back than.
I guess I don’t understand why some of these things are negatives, for example, getting a more modern fire truck. Yes, that costs money, but the potential lives saved are worth it, don’t you think?
How do lowered street signs compromise the safety of humans?
The loss of non-native trees is unfortunate, but is the loss of Kentucky bluegrass that big of a deal?
Three century old cable houses were torn down, but it is my understanding that they were infested with (non-native) termites, caving in on themselves, and that the fourth one was saved at great expense (for which I am grateful).
Maintaining or restoring empty barracks, schools, an LCM (though that would be really neat) has got to be much more difficult than tearing them down.
As a military brat and veteran of the Army, I have felt pangs of sadness when I have learned or seen many former houses, barracks, and buildings I lived in or worked in demolished. Some dated from the 30s, most from the 50s-60s. While historic, they really didn’t serve a good purpose. Nothing lasts forever. Even if/when a visitor program is restored to Midway, it is my understanding that the current facilities are adequate.
I think MPC had an incredibly “optimistic” view of future visitation – it is incredibly expensive to visit Midway. That will always limit the number of visitors. I think those that come, for history or for nature (or both) will not be put off by dated furnishings and the lack of a movie theater.
Just a few thoughts of mine, a very interested outside observer. Obviously I don’t have the same emotional attachments that someone who served there does.
You, sir, are not just a poop, but a nincompoop! First, by NWS, I think you mean USFWS? Secondly, I guarantee you nobody in the USFWS is driving around in a big expensive car, but that’s a funny thought. Next, and most importantly, let’s assume that USFWS just walks away from places like Midway – That is where your suggestion shows that you know nothing about the issue, or the place. And, yes, there are many valuable scientific studies that you wouldn’t care to hear about, but lucky for America, YOU aren’t the decision maker for the conservation of wild things. Instead, the vast majority of people in this country support the mission of the USFWS. So, money, including yours, will continue to support the treasure that Midway is today, and into the future.
Are you a USFWS employee? When I was at AEW in 1964/65 it looked like the wild life was doing fine. I have seen other places where the USFWS has kept everyone out because of an “Endangered Species” only to find out they are not endangered at all after people have been put out of business and every thing has gone to hell from neglect.Around where we live they have a lot of land and let it grow up to toxic weeds and trees. They also do a lot of burning right in the middle of the pheasant, duck, and goose nesting season which highlights their mentality. There is no way to reason with these people and if you approach one they only talk down to you if they will talk at all. They will never even give you their name. Very good job on the web page Mike, thank you for all the hard work.
The video did not show me that Midway was being supported by USFWS and certainly they did not treat it as a “treasure” but instead treated it as a dump.
I support USFWS field personnel. I’ve worked with many in building riparian zones across the east. Like my former agency, USDA-NRCS, the higher ups have lost their minds in thinking that you can turn back time to pre colonial periods in flora and fauna. That horse has left the barn. My agency was trying to do the same thing and I quit over it because we lost sight of the real problem, land degradation, achieving a balance between environmental protection and judicious use. Not completely re-envisioning the landscape with “pie in the sky” ideals. Removal of the trees on Eastern Island was stupid without replacing the root system to hold the soil in place.
We needed the tacit knowledge of those 40 year field employees that had an explicit understanding how the real world worked. We never replaced those employees, never had them put their experience down on paper so that new generations would learn. No, we gave them a plaque and a party and said thanks. Then we listened to a bunch of ivory tower thinkers who never really worked in the field actually doing things that they were telling us to do. Remember, most of those higher ups making the decisions now were promoted out of the field to limit their screw ups.
USFWS, NRCS, USFS, and USGS have all taken up this bone, while if might work is some places, it does not everywhere. Now my tax dollars are paying for something that had appeared to have been managed fairly well with ecotourism dollars, not mine. There is a balance that can be struck here if folks are willing to compromise. Unfortunately, from what I see, our government agencies are incapable of admitting they are wrong or compromising.
I had a vacation planned to visit Midway with a dear friend who was a WWII vet just prior to closure. We are all sad to see the power NWS has on so many projects. It seems the entire fish and wild life organization is run by people claiming to be scientist when they are truly ultra conservative environmentalist who believe no people should be allowed to be on earth. Yet these same high ranking individuals drive around in expensive cars. I beleive it was a TRUE mistake to allow the NWS to gain control of Midway Island. How can the governemnt keep allowing the NWS to be funded. This is one organization that needs to be shut down due to the fact they have NO clue what they are doing. Allow the American people to visit historically significant sites such as Midway Island. NWS should get as far away from Midway as they can. Actually they should not ever be allowed to work on any projects assocaited with Americans as they do not understand the environemtal dynamics that go on period anywhere. please return Midway Island to the American people . PLEASE STOP spending MY money funding the NWS as they are the worst organization on earth. WE WANT MIDAWAY BACK in the hands of organization NOT associated with the NWS.>
Mike, I would just like to send out a big Thank YOU! I have watch you over the past several years with all of your pictures and such. I miss Midway and the way it used to be. I will be contacting my representative to voice my opinion. Kudos to you!!
We were luckily to fish Midway back when it was allowed. Stayed in military quarters, ate at the restaurants, etc. I’ve fished all over but my trip to Midway way my very best trip and MPC did an excellent job. Just shows you what happens when our government thinks they can do a better job than private enterprise. It’s a shame what the Fish & Wildlife Service did. Like the EPA everything they touch turns to poop! I treasure all the photos of what was and could still be at Midway1
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