Browse Items (26 total)

RG-18-AA-174-21-ac.jpg
These rare aerial photos show Palmyra prior to the massive construction projects of the Seabees (Marine Construction Brigades) starting in 1939. You can clearly see the various lagoons and reef outlines, with the islets thickly covered in foliage,…

Date: 1935

EastEndLookingNorthwest.jpg
These images are from the initial Naval aerial survey done of Palmyra in 1935, in preparation for a potential naval base to secure US territories in the Pacific. Construction of the base wouldn't begin until 1939. The photos are especially unique…

Date: 1935-11-1

This video shows footage from the initial dredging efforts and runway construction started in 1939 on Palmyra, in preparation for the naval base.

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Date: 1939

BucketOfCoral.jpg
These photos represent the earliest known images of the first construction efforts by the Navy in the early 1940's. They show the early tent structures, some of which became permanent residences, but many of which were replaced by the barracks and…

Date: 1940-02

DecontaminationHut.pdf
These sketches show the proposed locations for various buildings and structures around the atoll, mostly on Cooper Island where the main operations were located. Various memos around this same time describe the minor changes made as these sketches…

Date: 1941

FlagRasingFront.jpg
From back of photo:

A Navy communique received here reported "Palmyra Island was shelled by an enemy submarine", but it added that "there were no casualties." Palmyra lies almost as far south of Honolulu as Wake Island to the westward. This…

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Date: 1941-12-25

Aerial-Distant East to West.jpg
These images, primarily aerials from 1941 and 1942, show the progression of Naval construction activities on Palmyra. There are a few ground shots of buildings as well, showing freshly finished structures.

The truly unique property of these…

Date: 1941/1942

USSBurrowsMatchbook.jpg
Rare official Navy matchbook from the USS William Ward Burrows, a transport ship used throughout the Pacific during WW2. It features a small map on the back, showing Palmyra as a location.

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Date: 1942

Bird.png
These photos were taken by Corporal Roland Champlagne while he was stationed on Palmyra, during World War 2. They have been wonderfully preserved by his son, Carl, who generously shared them with us. Interestingly, there is some overlap between this…

Date: 1942

160.jpg
This group of photographs (the first of 2 collections) was taken during World War 2, when primary construction of the facilities on the islands were nearly finished. Many are already in use, and much of the main island looks to be occupied. You can…

Date: 1942-06-12

Palmyra from Roland Champagne Memoirs.pdf
Marine Corporal Champagne lived and worked on Palmyra from October of 1942 to October of 1943, during World War 2, serving primarily as a typist and clerk, though he performed other duties, as described in this excerpt from his unpublished memoirs. …

Date: 1942-10/1943-10

211.jpg
This group of photographs (the second of 2 collections) was taken during World War 2, after primary construction of the facilities on the islands were finished. You can see the various buildings and aircraft stored there, as well as the stark…

Date: 1942-12-16

MovieList-A.pdf
These lists inventory the available films to be shown in the island theatre for soldiers and officers to watch in their off hours. These 2 scans represent a small excerpt of the dozens of pages listing movies shown during the active wartime…

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Date: 1943

Palmyra Driver's License.jpg
This rare document was donated by the son of Corporal Roland Champagne, who was stationed on Palmyra from 1942 to 1943. He served as a clerk, but also received his drivers permit while on the atoll, so he could make deliveries around the…

Date: 1943

001.JPG
1st Lt. John W. Bustard was born and raised in Hawaii, attending from the Punahou School, before leaving to study at Stanford University. He later joined the Marine Corps, graduating from officers training academy in Quantico, Virginia.

During…

Date: 1943

SgtMaylonePostcard-Back.jpg
This postcard continues a conversation between USMC Sgt. Elwin E. Maylone and Sacramento, California resident Mr. Chas. M. Borba.

This would have been sent prior to main construction phase on Palmyra being finished, so Sgt. Maylone likely lived…

Date: 1943-02-18

Nimitz on Palmyra War Diary Excerpt.pdf
This personal account is of Waitsell Leon GIvens, a Navy Radioman, 2nd Class who was stationed on Palmyra during World War 2. Throughout his life, he would often tell his family the attached story, as relayed by his daughter.

Confirmation of…

Date: 1943-06-18

AerialGunnerFitz.jpg
Marine Scout Bombing Squadron's were bomber groups who flew strafing missions all over the Pacific, and were responsible for some of the most daring bomber raids in the the war. This collection of photos comes from 1943, when the the VMSB was…

Date: 1943-10

NavalReport.pdf
This document gives an extensive inventory of the facilities and staff during the naval occupation of World War 2. This includes everything from vehicles, to fuel, to leisure sports equipment, to small fire arms.

This inventory was taken near the…

Date: 1944

AirPilotManualScan-Excerpt.pdf
This book was published throughout World War 2, and gave pilots general overviews of friendly island facilities throughout the Pacific, and instructions for landing on them.

Unfortunately the scan is lower quality, but the text and images are…

Date: 1944

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