Memories of Kwajalein

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Last Updated: 12/25/2017 11:22 PM CST


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Shermie Wiehe
Shermie Then & Now - Kwajaletter Article, Spring 2007 - PDF
Joseph Reinhardt Memories of Kwaj 1952/53
Darlene Dihel
What is Kwajalein
Gil Challet
Kwaj 1949 / 1950
Mike & Julia Brogden
Hydroponics and Honey Bees - Secrets to Successful Kwaj Gardening - Pacific Echo - July 1981 - Page 1, Page 2
Wade Lamming
Leon Bruton
The King and Me
Steve Jameson Kwaj 1956-1957  /  Earthquake - March 9, 1957 / Atomic Bomb Testing of 1956  /  Spraying for Insects
Shermie Wiehe
Home for 23 years
Shermie Wiehe
The Kwaj Lagoon
Dave B
Emon Beach Takeover
1ptrans.gif (807 bytes)Monica Pedro
Mrs. DeMellow’s Fig
Melanie Gonzales
A Few Memories
Richard Van Waes
Good and Sad Memories
Leslie R. Herring
Treasure the Time
Paul E. Thomas, MD
Cherish the Memories!
Paul E. Thomas, MD
My Year on Kwajalein
Leo Milligan
Kwaj in the 50's
Steve Vento
Kwaj Wasn't All Bad
Jan White
Kwaj, Quite an Experience
Andrew Korab
Memories Bring Tears
Cathy Koyanagi
Santa Claus and You
In Memory of Tom Overman
Boating on Kwajalein’s Beautiful Waters
Jack Perry
A Veterans Day Experience
Pat Weber
My First Flight to Meck Island
Unknown - 1978 The Week Before Christmas
Joe Reinhardt
Kwaj Community Web Page Commended
Scott Rohde
My Two Cents
Steve Jameson Kwaj 1956-57
Wayne Mount USN Ret
Living on Kwajalein - 1960

Morningstar VII 'launch' Celebration at Kwajalein Harbor's Floating Dock

The original photos belong to Claudeo, who lent them to me for scanning.  They were stored on Ebeye for many years. Thank you sincerely for offering them Claudeo. For those of you who don't know, Claudeo is a great grandson of the German Carl Heine, who came to the Marshalls from Australia in the 1890s. Heine became a Christian and later a well known Minister in Jaluit.

The photos of Missionary Eleanor Wilson (wearing her late 50s signature pandanus hat) at the May 1957 Morningstar VII 'launch' celebration at Kwajalein Harbor's floating dock are priceless! Carl Heine and Miss Wilson were fellow missionaries and friends. There are home movie cameras visible in the background being operated by spectators looking down at the floating dock from Bravo Pier. I wonder if any of that film survives, hiding in a garage or attic in say . . . Minnesota? There is an account of this celebration in the 1959 book "Adventurers for God", estimating the crowd at 400.

The previous Morningstar (the VI), which Miss Wilson Captained from March 1950 until mid-1951, sank 80 miles off of Majuro in late 1952 while being towed back from Pohnpei by a US Navy ship (with no loss of life). It had been declared unseaworthy after several aborted attempts to sail from Pohnpei back to Majuro. Ms. Wilson's Captaining of Morningstar VI was described in the 1956 biography "The Lady Was a Skipper". This book helped raise money to buy Morningstar VII. 

These are the first photos I've been able to find of Morningstar VII (except for one very fuzzy cockpit photo in "Adventurers for God"). The lettering on the hull in one photo cinches it as the VII. I'd like to find more photos and learn about VIIs history after this celebration. The VII arrived at Kwajalein from Japan in 1957. One of the photos has an "Official Navy Photo" rubber stamp on the back. Kabwij Bobo remembers that his Uncle James Mouj Milne eventually bought the last Morningstar, perhaps when Eleanor Wilson retired from Micronesia in 1961. Bernard and Hideo Milne have confirmed Mouj Milne's purchase.

Eleanor Wilson first came to Micronesia in 1936, landing in Kosrae. In March 1941 Eleanor Wilson escorted aging fellow missionary Jane Baldwin (whose vision was failing) from Kosrae back to her family home in Orange NJ. Thus Ms. Wilson avoided being 'stranded' in Kosrae during WWII. This was fortuitous, perhaps for Miss Wilson's sake, but definitely for the US Naval Intelligence officers who searched her out and cataloged her rare knowledge during the planning for taking the Marshall and Caroline Islands. Many retired missionaries were interviewed. It becomes easier to understand why the Navy Command at Kwajalein was generous with Miss Wilson in helping keep the Morningstar vessels in working order after the war.

After becoming an ordained Minister in Honolulu just after WWII ended, Eleanor Wilson anxiously returned to Micronesia in August 1946, but this time went to Rong Rong in Majuro Atoll. In late 1948, a LIFE magazine photographer touring Micronesia took some of the clearest photos of Miss Wilson to be easily found on the www today.

Tragically, in the weeks after US forces captured Kwajalein Atoll in February 1944, the Japanese killed 74 year old Carl Heine at Jaluit Atoll. Heine had been an outspoken admirer of the United States before WWII and the Japanese were fearful he would reveal their war-time crimes. In attempt to obscure this murder, the same Japanese are believed to have killed Heine's son and daughter-in-law who disappeared.

So, it turns out that there is more than one reason that a main road on Roi-Namur is named Eleanor Wilson Road (this is the Road that the Air Terminal and Fire Station are on).

Thanks for the photos Claudeo!  Bob Sholar

Ebeye Pier 1965, Carl Heines daughter

Eleanor Wilson Star VII, Kwajalein, May 1957

Eleanor Wilson Star VII, Kwajalein, May 1957