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Sent by Rob Cook, on Father’s Day, June 19, 2016

My father, Cmdr. Robert C. Cook, DDS, carved the Gooney Bird that is now a disregarded pile of garbage. He also carved a very large “ALOHA” sign that was installed at the airport. Not sure what became of that. But it just makes me sick to my stomach of what has become of what was a wonderful paradise. I mean this is CRIME!! It’s just absolutely horrible. I would hope that our nation’s leaders will step up and correct what is very obvious the murder of Midway Island. PLEASE!!

26 thoughts on “Editorials

  1. As long as the FWS is running Midway, I hope to God there will always be a fight. A fight to expose the USFWS for demolishing by neglect the historic structures on midway hallowed grounds.

  2. I was station on Midway Island from 1975 to 77 as a fire truck captain and the runway arresting gear petty officer. It was truly an island paradise back then. You didn’t see garbage everywhere like you do now. It could have been a great place to visit if the government hadn’t destroyed it. I am glad I haven’t seen it in person since then and have only fond memories of a once great Island.

    1. Hi Rod. Nice to see a familiar name. I was there from 75-78 at Crash and Fire with you. Opposite duty section.

  3. I was an ATW3 in flight crew F-19 from 1963 until my discharge in Dec. 1964. Midway was a unique place. Our plane commander was Commander McCartney. Anyone know (or should I say) knew him? My crew commander was LT JG Hutton. Can remember a few of the folks that were part of the crew. One of our radio men was Ralph Lemnah. A couple of the other crew members were Floyd A Unger III and Ron Blackwell a New Mexico Cowboy. Anyone know them? Always interested in dredging up the past.

    1. I am the radio man mentioned by Bob Schaefer in his post. Will post more once I establish contact. Sorry, once a radio man always a radio man!

  4. My first duty station was on Midway in 1961 as a AMSAN.The best duty I ever had what a wonderful place at that time..

  5. Good to read your blog

    My name is Derrell Sharp, I am a Service Officer for the Disabled American Veterans. Chapter 5 Bremerton WA.

    I am working with a veteran who needs proof of moving bodies coming from Vietnam to Midway then to stateside. Moving off planes to cooler and then back to plane
    My Phone number is 360 470 3883
    Email spm@olypen.com.

    Thank you for Any help you can provide.

    The VA does not believe about the bodies mover from planes to cooler and back to planes.

    Thank you Sir.

    My tour was 1967 1968 MCB 10 Quang Tri, Vietnam

  6. I was stationed on Midway right out of Advanced Hospital Corps school in 1977 until 1978 (don’t remember the exact month I left), but I do know that part of me stays on that island. It pains me to see what has happened to that historical piece of the Pacific Ocean with the advent of “tourism”. I do remember that the day I arrived, the last of the dependents left which meant 475 active duty personnel were left to “enjoy” the peace and quiet (except for Gooney Bird mating season) of an idyllic paradise. I learned to enjoy tuna fishing and fingering out ways to enjoy the tasty meat as well as the common past-time of fish ball hunting (still have mine after all these years), I learned the importance of comradeship for we each relied on each other, no matter what your rating was. I remember (and have pictures) of the wooden Gooney Bird statue – awesome work of art. Would I go back? I don’t know for sure for I would be heartbroken to see what changes have been made after remembering how it was. I guess after all these years, I still live in the past as far as Midway is concerned.

  7. I Got to Midway Island in January of 1972. Dr. Cook had just began working on the Big Wooden Gooney Bird. I got to see alot of the work from that time until it was finished. I got to help paint one of the legs and foot. I, also, mowed Dr. Cook’s yard for him while I was there and got to talk to him about his work.
    Not many know that The wood used washed up on the beach of Midway Island and when Dr. Cook found the wood it gave him the idea of maing the statue of the Gooney Bird. Dr. Cook, being a dentist, was talented in the use of his hands and some of the finite work of the bird was great. All of the carving and details of the bird was of his own work.

  8. My father, Cmdr. Robert C. Cook, DDS, carved the Gooney Bird that is now a disregarded pile of garbage. He also carved a very large “ALOHA” sign that was installed at the airport. Not sure what became of that. But it just makes me sick to my stomach of what has become of what was a wonderful paradise. I mean this is CRIME!! It’s just absolutely horrible. I would hope that our nation’s leaders will step up and correct what is very obvious the murder of Midway Island. PLEASE!!

  9. I was stationed on Midway Island from November 1969 to November 1970 as an STGSN/OTSN at the Naval Facility that was located on the SW shoreline at the end of the EW main runway. The weather was almost always great and I remember strolling the beaches for glass fish balls that we adorned our living areas in the NavFac barracks that were just south of the aviation tarmac and north of the main runway. Since the NavFac was a tenant command the Naval Station provided all necessities amenities needed to survive even including a round of golf on the 9 hole golf course that was located on the east end of Sand Island, although a round of golf sometimes included trying to locate your golf ball from under a Albatross that believed it to be an egg. The Albatrosses were not only a hindrance to airplanes that took off and landed on Midway but also to vehicles that moved about the Island. I remember one time as the NavFac bus was taking us to work one day, we just crossed the east end of the main runway, the bus crossed in the landing approach of an adult Albatross and it collided with and blew out the front windshield. No one was injured but it startled all of us….

  10. I read HUMANS NEED THREE HANDS. It is definitely about Midway. There are way too many coincidences for it to be anywhere else. For anyone who has ever lived on or loves Midway, this book is a must. It was so funny that I found myself laughing aloud, and at other moments, it brought tears to my eyes. I hope everyone has stopped fighting over that little speck of sand in the middle of nowhere, but probably not.

  11. I think that mid way is a gift a peridise that has ben set forth for us to determin whate we are supost to with such a beutifulle place and its not only historic but its a place where are grand fathers are fathers and ther brothers lost there lives making shure that midway did not fall in to the rong hands and from what I can see it has folin in to the rong hands and so now its a fight to get it back in the right hands it needs to be cleand up and with respect and dignitee get off your buts and on your feet get out ther and get it don if you dont know how then find a way that place is discusting if you cant do it giv it back to the peaple that can im not don yet

  12. Did you know that a new novel came out about Midway? They never say the name Midway, but it has to be Midway. Great book. Crazy story. It left me wondering how much of is was true, because according to the Midway Islands slide show you created, a lot of it must be true. It looks like there were a lot of battles between scientists and rednecks. Hysterical novel. “Humans Need Three Hands” by Jaya Drats. Do you remember a guy named Jaya living out there?

  13. I was designated a Naval Aviator in Feb. 1960 and my first set of orders was to VW-12 at NAS Barbers Point HI. I spent the next 2 years deploying to Midway Island and spent 3 weeks at Midway flying the Barrier and 2 weeks back at Barbers Point. I have some wonderful pictures of Midway and have shared them with the FWS. It is truly a treasured piece of the earth and I would love to visit it once again! R. H. “Moose” Bruce

  14. Not an editorial, but a suggestion. I lived on Midway 1955-1957 and would love to have a place to meet and swap stories. Am I missing that here?

    1. Hi! I have got in touch with a few of my Dad’s old crew….VW1 on Guam from 1967-1969. His name was Bill Staley, and a Flight Enginerier for Willy Victory’s. He flew 00….I remember that because years later I figured out why he called the plane Ole Double nuts!! I was only 12 when we moved to Guam. I will always remember my Mom making us run out to wave at him as he flew right over the base where we lived…I would love to do that one more time, as back then it was like really Mom!! They both passed within a year of each other. They where in there 50’s. So if you might know someone who might have known him I would Love to hear from them.

      Thank You

    2. My father, Ed Dean, was stationed in Midway in the mid 1950’s. He was in the Navy. My mom, Ethel Dean, gave birth to my brother there in Midway. I do have a few photos of theirs.


  15. I was stationed on Midway from April 1981-April 1982, working as an AG (weather person) and had just left my A School training. I lived on Sand Island as nobody lived on Eastern Island then. Sand Island is small enough that you can walk the entire shoreline in a few hours. There were only about 400 people stationed there, which gave it a small town atmosphere. It was the height of gooney bird season when I arrived, and the young chicks were just beginning their independence. The albatross population slowly went from that point as the chicks matured and by June/July they had all flown away. The island even seemed kind of empty until they returned for the mating season around Halloween.

    I don’t think those of stationed there truly realized what a magical place it is. Many probably still don’t. There wasn’t much there to do for people in their late teens and twenties. But I did gain an appreciation for the place and what a unique place on the planet it is. Those who have never been there or never learned to enjoy the place may not understand what a fragile environment it is. The islands are but a few square miles of land in the middle of the Pacific and are the breeding grounds of millions of birds. Despite the idyllic setting they are threatened by the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a huge collection of floating plastic that birds and fish mistake for food only to ingest plastic that clogs their digestive systems.

    I too would like to visit Midway again someday now that I’m older and can truly appreciate it. I wish others could also so they could see a rare unspoiled part of our planet. But it costs money to support visitors. Complain to the budget-cutters in Washington DC who slashed the budget to National Parks and all conservation agencies. I’d doubt that the FWS is worried that fifty or so tourists on the island is a problem.

    1. Hey Steve, I flew wc-130s out of there 79-82. Do you remember a certain gooney bird that was the lone type of it’s species, the rest nesting thousands of miles away? Think it had a ring around it neck. Wish I had a pix

  16. You can definitely see your enthusiasm in the article you write.
    The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe.
    At all times follow your heart.

  17. Hello Mike,

    I was stationed on Midway 1966 – 1967. Mostly on Eastern. I fully enjoyed the updates provided when you folks were running Midway in the 90’s and a couple of years in 2000’s Year 2k New Year’s Eve flights were just so cool!. It truly saddens me when I watched the video with the comparisons of before and after MPC was elimited from management. Tears for sure.

    Just wondering, what if anything is happening to keep this issue in the media?

    Gary Tully

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