Archive for June, 2008

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The Early Years…

June 30, 2008

This will be an ongoing post, which I will add to on a regular basis, sharing with you the life of David Wilson from an early age until present.  There is much to share!  So please visit often!

Dave, as a baby, being held by his “Aunt Grace.”

David Wilson was born in Cain in the 1930s and lived with his parents, a brother and sister in a small but close-knit rural Arkansas community.  He grew up surrounded by many relatives and friends.  Local travel was by foot, by horse or horse & buggy in the early years.  Dave’s grandmother lived to be 99.6 years and only road in an automobile a handful of times.  She never set foot on an airplane.  Dave’s father was a dog trainer and trader. People would travel from all over the United States to buy his top-trained hunting dogs.  Many times, he would get letters only addressed to “the dog man” – and those letters never had any trouble finding their way to him.  These folks hunted or raised much of their food, kept gardens, canned, tanned hides, churned their butter, dipped their water from an artesian well and made their lye soap… life was simple, but hard.  I will be writing much more on these folks and their life in Crawford Co., Arkansas.

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Dave’s young mother, Bessie.

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David & Bessie, Dave’s parents, as a young couple.

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David, Dave’s father, as a young man.

It is unclear what he is holding.  (It appears to be a badger or skunk… your guesses are welcome!)

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David (Dave’s father)

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Dave (early school days)

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Dave (on the right) with his father and siblings.

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The chicken house.  (Dave on right)

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A humble, but festively decorated tree & gifts, one crisp Christmas morning.

(Dave on the right, little sister Lucille front/center, & younger brother Curt on left.)

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Dave, as a young pre-teen.

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Dave (above), as a young teen.  “Check out that leather!”

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Dave, in High School.  Makes you think “James Dean” a little bit, doesn’t it?

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David, Dave’s father (above)

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“A pretty smooth character…”  Elvis WHO?

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As the song goes…. “Everyone’s talkin’ ’bout the sharp dressed man….!”

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Dave (right) with his father.  Preparing to butcher a hog. (Click to enlarge)

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Dave, after joining the Navy, on the USS Barrett to Guam

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David, at the artisian well.

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NAS Barber’s Point, Hawaii

June 19, 2008

MORE (Pictures & Stories) TO COME – PLEASE CHECK BACK OFTEN!

What a beauty Dave married!”  He had his own personal pin-up girl!

Sara says, “I was terrified of all those little rock crabs running around on the rock. I told Dave to hurry up and snap the picture because they were scaring me. That was why there was no smile for the camera!”   (Photo of Sara was taken on Ewe Beach in Hawaii)

Dave:  “In my ‘work attire’ in front of Chief Burdell Cobb’s house.”

 Chief Burdell & Melva Cobb

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Chief Burdell Cobb is 89 years old –at date of this post:  July, 2008, and is a survivor ‘hero’ of Pearl Harbor. He said he actually used his pistol to shoot at the Japanese airplanes flying overhead on the day Pearl Harbor was attacked.  Chief Cobb said that he saw horrible, unspeakable things that day.  He was Dave’s Navy Chief on Oahu and was a handsome man of great integrity.  Melva, a jewel, had lovely red hair and was quite a looker herself.

When Sara joined Dave in Hawaii, they had no place to live because there was nothing available. The year was 1955 – Oahu was a less modern island and still a territory – not yet a state.  The Cobbs generously opened up their home to them.  Chief Cobb said, “…come on to our house – you can move in right now!” They moved their children out of their bed for them.  Dave and Sara were extremely grateful and relieved. They state that while staying with the Cobb family, they especially enjoyed their 3 fine sons.  The youngest boy had just learned to talk.  The two families had many fun beach parties, with lots of great food, good company and home-made ice cream.  One afternoon, while all gathered at the beach, Melva was caught up in a large wave that spun her around and around until she finally lost her bathing suit top.  They all had a big laugh over that one!

The women also enjoyed shopping together on the island.  Melva was a wonderful cook. The Cobbs and Dave and Sara quickly became close friends, and through the years have remained their wonderful friendship. Dave and Sara agree that there are no finer people on the face of this earth than these two dear people.

When Sara and Dave finally got housing, they moved into the home duplex directly behind the Cobbs – what luck!  One day, Sara – a young, jittery bride – went into a panic when Dave brought home a guest for dinner with no notice.  She went through the back yard to seek advise from Melva and without hesitation she gave Sara their “already prepared dinner” which fixed her dilemma.  What an angel she was that day and every day, as she extended such kindness to this young couple.

It was hard for them to say goodbye when Dave was transferred, but luckily the Cobbs eventually moved to Gentry, Arkansas which allowed them to keep in closer contact with each other.  Eventually, Burdell, with Dave’s help, was able to hire on at Douglas Aircraft and they were together once again.  The Cobbs traveled quite a distance, just a few years ago, to attended Dave & Sara’s 50th Anniversary celebration.  It made the event extra special that they were there, just as they were in the beginning!

  

Dave was stationed at  NAS Barber’s Point, Hawaii as part of the Air Bourne Early Warning VW-1 Squadron One from March, 1955 to September, 1956.  Sara flew from Memphis on American Airlines (Flight 657) to LAX (Flight 655) to Honolulu, Hawaii for $86.68 on July 1, 1955 to join him.

Dave Wilson as a young sailor

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 The mile marker for the Post VW-1 Squadron On

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This is the Official VW-1 patch for Barbers Point. The original one did not have the writing or “VW-1 on it (that was added later).  The Squadron name was the “Vanguards.” When the Squadron moved to Guam, its mission was changed and it became the “Typhoon Trackers.

Postcards & Pictures of Barber’s Point:

VW-1 Squadron One (Photo from the internet)

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This was the VW-1 Squadron One area.  The Navy housing was across the street.

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David Wilson

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Purpose of this Weblog

June 17, 2008

Dave, holding one of his grandsons (1985)

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Through this weblog, our father David L “Dub” Wilson will share many of his lifelong experiences relating to his training… from his time spent at Norman Naval Base in Oklahoma, NAS Memphis Tennessee Millington, to Guam via the U.S.S. Barrett, to NAS Barber’s Point, Hawaii-Air Bourne Early Warning VW-1 Squadron One, USN & his many years as flight supervisor at Douglas Aircraft Co./McDonnell Douglas Plant in Tulsa, Oklahoma along with some totally unrelated posts and experiences.  This weblog is a family effort aimed at sharing some of the wonderful stories that we have had the great benefit and honor growing up listening to through the years.

Dave’s daughter, Cheryl and son, Larry, will be posting and managing the weblog (along with other family members who may jump in to contribute to the project from time-to-time).

Our purpose is to preserve some of our father’s great stories, all being valuable moments in history – and to remind all who visit this site what an incredible generation -hands down, the greatest generation- did for us and our nation and to honor them all.   In addition to our father being the absolute ‘best dad in the whole world,’ we’d like to share with you his contributions in making this world a much better place.’  God bless this nation and God bless & keep all those belonging to the Greatest Generation!

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Thank you for visiting – for your interest and your time!

Please come back often!

If you are blessed to still have your father…

give him a call and thank him for his hard work and sacrifices!

Show him your love & appreciation…

” TODAY ! “

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Douglas/McDonnell Douglas Tulsa OK Plant

June 17, 2008

MORE (Pictures & Stories) TO COME – PLEASE CHECK BACK OFTEN!

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This is a sample of the chits (tokens) that were used at Douglas Aircraft Co.

Dave Wilson was hired shortly after the plant opened, so his tokens would have bore his low seniority employee number which was:   #13979.  Each mechanic had a small supply of 10 chits bearing their employee number.  A chit was exchanged for each part needed – a simple system for keeping track of where the inventory was going.

Dave, off to work!

Dave’s little daughter, ready to join him on the flight line! (May 1958) 

RELATED LINKS:

Not sure if this Voice Recording is available or not… (Link does NOT work)  I will have to do some investigative work but it would be wonderful to hear.  Stay posted!   I’ll let you know!

WOODHEAD, HARRY.  Manager of the Douglas Aircraft Plant in Tulsa comments on the significance of the plant to the Tulsa area.  Mar 1, 1951.  Reel 50, cuts 11-12.

         

Department of Special Collections and University Archives
McFarlin Library. University of Tulsa.  2933 E. 6th St.  Tulsa, OK.  74104-3123 (OKT – OkTU)


KVOO Voice library

Collection 2000-002

PLEASE NOTE:  Currently, these reel-to-reel recordings have not been transferred to another format.  Since most of the recordings are in very poor condition and require numerous splices in order to begin the reproduction process, it may be impossible or cost prohibitive to reproduce any or all segments on a reel for our patrons.

Dates:  1930s-1950s.

Extent: 

Level of Description:   Reel and Cut number.

Name of creator(s):  KVOO Radio.

Date of creation:  Undetermined.

Scope and Content:   Consists of 181 reel-to-reel sound recordings.  The recordings include comments, interviews, and speeches of Oklahoma citizens and public figures, United States congressional and military figures, as well as foreign political and social leaders.  The subjects they encompass include social, agricultural, and political issues, natural disasters, crimes, prevalent attitudes towards minorities, and human interest stories, on local, national and international levels.

Administrative/Biographical History:  The recordings are indexed alphabetically by subject or surname, and are cross referenced when necessary.  The current index has been adapted from the original which accompanied the voice library upon its acquisition.

Language and Scripts:  English.

Finding aid/Inventory:

Date(s) of description:   Milissa Burkart, Jan 1994

Douglas Aircraft Company

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Aircraft_Company

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The Douglas Aircraft Company was an American aerospace manufacturer, based in Long Beach, California. It was founded in 1921 by Donald Wills Douglas, Sr. and later merged with the McDonnell Aircraft in 1967 to form McDonnell Douglas. It is currently a part of Boeing’s Commercial Airplanes division.

History

The Douglas Aircraft Company was founded by Donald Wills Douglas, Sr. in July 1921 in Santa Monica, California, following dissolution of the Davis-Douglas Company. An early claim to fame was the first circumnavigation of the world by air in Douglas planes in 1924.

It is most famous for the “DC” (Douglas Commercial) series of commercial aircraft, including what is often regarded as the most significant transport aircraft ever made: the DC-3, which was also produced as a military transport known as the C-47 Skytrain or simply “Dakota”. Many Douglas aircraft had unusually long service lives, and many remain in service today. Douglas created a wide variety of aircraft for the United States armed forces, the Navy in particular.

The company initially built torpedo bombers for the U.S. Navy, but developed a number of variants on these aircraft including observation aircraft and a commercial airmail variant. Within five years the company was turning out over 100 aircraft annually. Among the early employees at Douglas were Edward Heinemann, “Dutch” Kindelberger, and Jack Northrop (who went on to found Northrop).

The company retained its military market and expanded into amphibians in the late 1920s, also moving its facilities to Clover Field at Santa Monica. The complex in Santa Monica was so large that the mail girls used roller skates to deliver the intra-company mail. By the end of World War II, Douglas had facilities at Santa Monica, El Segundo, Long Beach, and Torrance, California; Tulsa and Midwest City, Oklahoma; and Chicago, IL.

In 1934 Douglas produced a commercial two-engined transport, the DC-2, following it with the famous DC-3 in 1936. The wide range of aircraft produced by Douglas included airliners, light and medium bombers, fighters, transports, observation aircraft, and experimental aircraft. During World War II, Douglas joined the BVD (BoeingVega-Douglas) consortium to produce the B-17 Flying Fortress. After the war, Douglas built another Boeing design under license, the B-47 Stratojet.

Women at work on bomber, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, California in October 1942.        

Women at work on bomber, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, California in October 1942.

World War II was a major earner for Douglas. The company produced almost 30,000 aircraft from 1942 to 1945 and the workforce swelled to 160,000. The company produced a number of aircraft including the C-47 (based on the DC-3), the DB-7 (known as the A-20, Havoc or Boston), the Dauntless and the A-26 Invader. The company suffered at the end of hostilities, facing an end of government orders and a surplus of aircraft. It heavily cut its workforce, sacking almost 100,000 people. As part of their wartime work Douglas had established a United States Army Air Forces think-tank, a group that would later become the RAND Corporation.

Douglas continued to develop new aircraft, including the successful four-engined DC-6 (1946) and their last prop-driven commercial aircraft, the DC-7 (1953). The company had moved into jet propulsion, producing their first for the military – the conventional F3D Skyknight in 1948 and then the more ‘jet age’ F4D Skyray in 1951. Douglas also made commercial jets, producing the DC-8 in 1958 to compete with the new Boeing 707.

Douglas was a pioneer in related fields, such as ejection seats, air-to-air, surface-to-air, and air-to-surface missiles, launch vehicles, bombs and bomb racks. Douglas was eager to enter the new missile business in the 1950s. Douglas moved from producing air-to-air rockets and missiles to entire missile systems under the 1956 Nike program and becoming the main contractor of the Skybolt ALBM program and the Thor ballistic missile program. Douglas also earned contracts from NASA, notably for part of the enormous Saturn V rocket.

In 1967, the company was struggling to expand production to meet demand for DC-8 and DC-9 airliners and the A-4 Skyhawk attack plane. Quality and cash flow problems, combined with shortages due to the Vietnam War, led Douglas to agree to a merger with McDonnell Aircraft Corporation to form McDonnell Douglas. Douglas Aircraft Company continued as a wholly owned subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas, but its space and missiles division became part of a new subsidiary called McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company.

McDonnell Douglas later merged with Boeing in 1997. Boeing combined the Douglas Aircraft Company with the Boeing Commercial Airplanes division, ending more than seventy-five years of Douglas Aircraft Company history. The last Long Beach-built commercial aircraft, the Boeing 717 (a third generation version of the Douglas DC-9), ceased production in May 2006. The C-17 Globemaster III is the last remaining aircraft being assembled at the Long Beach facility, as of 2008.

Aircraft

Douglas DC-3        

Douglas DC-3

Douglas DC-6        

Douglas DC-6

Passengers deplaning a SAS DC-6        

Passengers deplaning a SAS DC-6

Missiles and Space Launch

References

  • The Entrepreneurs: Explorations Within the American Business Tradition, Robert Sobel (Weybright & Talley 1974), chapter 8, Donald Douglas: The Fortunes of War ISBN 0-679-40064-8.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: 

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My Time While Stationed at NAS Agana, Guam

June 17, 2008

MORE (Pictures & Stories) TO COME – PLEASE CHECK BACK OFTEN!

Dave, left, with a couple of his Guam buddies

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(Click photos to enlarge)

These are a couple of my buddies from Guam.  I’m on the left.   The one on the far right was _?_ Williams (Unfortunately, his first name, along with the name of the other friend, has slipped my memory.)  Williams was from Amarillo, TX, if I remember right, and took care of ship services (i.e. tools, parts, etc.).  Last I heard, he went home and became a football coach.

NOTE:   If anyone recognizes either of these guys, I would appreciate you dropping me an email -or notifying them- so I can get in contact with them.

(Click photos to enlarge)

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Photo taken in Guam.  Quite the view!

Photo taken of Guam Beach

Featured below is the Anchor Inn beer hall, which must have been a popular hang-out, considering that I sent a photo of it to my parents.

 

Dave Wilson in Guam

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MAP of GUAM (Agana, Guam is located Middle-Top)

  

Dave (right) with a buddy

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Dave, standing in front of barracks which were across the street from the VW-1 Squadron area.

Dave stayed in what they call ‘a quonset hut.’  

The following is an example of Quam living quarters and a picture of the VW-3 Squadron Office Buildings (which were quonset huts) found on the internet.

Areal Photo:  Air Station-Brewer Field, Guam

Dave’s Guam Automobile Operator’s License

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Agana Guam “Gateway to the Orient” Patch

 

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“Not my usual means of transportation”

A Beautiful Guam Sunset

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Other Links:

Guam History and Culture

http://www.guam-online.com/history/history.htm

The island of Guam, Guahan in native Chamorro, is a true cosmopolitan community that reflects the cultures of its original Chamorro inhabitants as early as 2,000 B.C., influenced by countless European, American, Asian, Micronesian, and other people who have occupied, visited and immigrated to Guam since the 16th Century.

The Ancient Chamorro

The original inhabitants of Guam are believed to have been of Indo-Malaya descent originating from Southeast Asia as early as 2,000 B.C., and having linguistic and cultural similarities to Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. The Chamorro flourished as an advanced fishing, horticultural, and hunting society. They were expert seamen and skilled craftsmen familiar with intricate weaving and detailed pottery making who built unique houses and canoes suited to this region of the world. The Chamorro possessed a strong matriarchal society and it was through the power and prestige of the women, and the failure of the Spanish overlords to recognize this fact, that much of the Chamorro culture, including the language, music, dance, and traditions have survived to this day.

Latte Stones

Latte Stones are the stone pillars of ancient Chamorro houses. Found nowhere else in the world, theLatte Stone has become a symbol and the signature, of Guam and the Marianas Islands. Original Latte Stones were comprised of two pieces, a supporting column (halagi), made from coral limestone topped with a capstone (tasa), made from coral heads, which were usually carried several miles from the quarry site or reef to the location of the house. Customarily, bones of the ancient Chamorro’s, their possessions, such as jewelry or canoes, were buried below the stones. Latte Stones are respected and are untouched. A human interloper at Latte sites may encounter Taotaomoa, or ancestral Chamorro spirits.

Archaeological milestones of ancient Guam are tied to the Latte Stones as: Transitional Pre-Latte (AD 1 to AD 1000), the larger Latte Period (AD 1000 to AD 1521), and Early Historic Period (AD 1521 to 1700). The eight Latte Stones shown here can be seen in Hagatna’s Latte Stone Park where they were transferred from their original location in Me’pu in Guam ‘s Southern interior. Today, many Latte sites can be found in Northern Guam and replicas and images of Latte Stones can also be seen all around the Marianas, such as the “Welcome to Guam” monument at the International Airport , carvings, jewelry, in print or the logo at the top of this paragraph. Read more about Latte Stones at the Official Government of Guam WEB site and Science Frontiers.Com.

The Spanish Era  1565 – 1898

The first known contact between Guam and the West occurred when Ferdinand Magellan anchored his small 3-ship fleet in Umatac Bay on March 6, 1521. Hungry and weakened from their long voyage, the crew hastily prepared to go ashore and restore provisions. However, the excited native Chamorro’s, who did not share the Spaniards concept of ownership, canoed out first and began helping themselves to everything that was not nailed down. The weakened sailors had trouble fending off the tall and robust natives until a few shots from the Trinidad’s big guns frightened them off the ship and they retreated into the surrounding jungle. Magellan was eventually able to obtain rations and offered iron, a commodity highly prized by Neolithic peoples, in exchange for fresh fruits, vegetables and water. Details of Magellan’s visit, and the first known Western documentation of Guam and the Chamorro, come from the journal of Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan’s chronicler and one of only 18 original crew members to survive Ferdinand Magellan’s ill-fated circumnavigation of the globe.

Guam and the other Mariana Islands were formally claimed by the Spanish Crown in 1565 by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. In 1668, Jesuit missionaries led by Padre Diego Luis de San Vitores, arrived on Guam to establish their brand of European civilization, Christianity and trade. The Spanish taught the Chamorro’s to cultivate maize (corn), raise introduced cattle and tan hides, as well as to adopt western-style clothing. Once Christianity was firmly established, the Catholic Church became the focal point for village activities and Guam became a regular port-of-call for the Spanish treasure galleons that crisscrossed the Pacific Ocean from Mexico to the Philippines.

Chief Quipuha was the maga’lahi, or high ranking male, in the area of Hagatna when the Spanish landed off its shores in 1668. Quipuha welcomed the missionaries and allowed himself to be baptized by San Vitores as Juan Quipuha. Quipuha granted the lands on which the first Catholic Church in Guam, the Dulce Nombre de Maria {Sweet Name of Mary} Cathedral Basilica, was constructed in 1669. The original cathedral was destroyed during World War II and the present Cathedral, depicted here, was constructed on the original site in 1955. Chief Quipuha was depicted as having stood tall and robust. As the maga’lahi, in the Chamorro matriarchal society, Quipuha had the authority to hand down important decisions made with the advise and consent of the highest ranking woman in his clan, the maga’haga. During the period of the original cathedral construction, land was owned by clans and only women could ‘inherit’ land, suggesting that the maga’haga of his clan must have agreed or at least acquiesced to the decision on the granting of land. Chief Quipuha died in 1669 but his legacy had a tremendous impact by allowing the Spanish to successfully establish a strong foothold and base on Guam for the Manila Galleon trade. His statue today stands in Chief Quipuha Park in present day Hagatna

In April of 1672, Jesuit Priest Padre Diego Louis de San Vitores and his Filipino assistant were killed by Chief Mata’pang of Tomhom (Tumon) for baptizing the Chief’s baby girl without the Chief’s consent. It is theorized that Mata’pang may have acted out of frustration from being subjugated to the harsh rule of a foreign Spanish King. Whereas Padre San Vitores tried to carry out his mission in a peaceful manner, the Spanish military ruthlessly governed the local populace to protect their Galleon Routes. Regardless of Mata’pang’s motive, the death of Padre San Vitores lead to all-out war that nearly resulted in extinction of the Chamorro race. During the course of the Spanish occupation of Guam, sources have estimated Chamorro casualties to the fighting and disease reduced the population from 200,000 to roughly 5,000 by 1741, mostly women and children. After 1695 Chamorro’s were forced to settle in five villages: Hagatna, Agat, Umatac, Pago, and Fena, were monitored by the priests and military garrison, forced to attend Church daily and to learn Spanish language and customs. The Spaniards imported Spanish soldiers and Filipino’s to restock the population, marking the end of the pure Chamorro bloodline. In 1740, Chamorro’s of the Northern Mariana Islands, except Rota, were removed from their home islands and exiled to Guam . Mata’pang himself was killed in a final battle on the Island of Rota in 1680. Having been vilified for the incident that sparked the decimation of the pure Chamorro race, the name Mata’pang has evolved to mean silly.

During the 18th century, the Spanish Galleons were preyed upon by English pirates who visited Guam to take on supplies and provisions. The Galleon Era ended in 1815 following the Mexican Revolution. Guam was host to a number of scientists, voyagers, and whalers from Russia, France and England some of whom provided detailed accounts of the daily life on Guam under Spanish rule. Evidence of Spanish influence can still be seen across the island today. Early Spanish buildings, bridges, churches and forts can still be seen across the island, especially in the Southern areas. Spanish cannon still overlook Hagatna and Umatac Bays from Forts Agueda and Soledad, the Plaza de Espana, once the Spanish Governor’s Palace, still stands in central Haganta, and sunken Spanish galleons still lie under Guam ‘s crystal clear waters. The architecture and design of structures built long after the Spanish era, such as this bridge in Umatac, still have a distinctively Spanish quality.

The American Period (1898 – 1941)

Guam was ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Paris ended the Spanish American War in 1898 and formally purchased from Spain for $20 million in 1899. At the time of the turnover, the local population of Guam has grown to about 10,000 inhabitants. U.S. President William McKinley issued an executive order placing Guam within the administration of the Department of Navy. CAPT R. P. Leary was appointed the island’s first U.S. Governor. Under Navy administration, Guam experienced many improvements in the areas of agriculture, public health, sanitation, education, land management, taxes, and public works. Orders issued by CAPT Leary on August 16,1899: regulated the importation and sale of intoxicating liquors; prohibited the transfer of land without the consent of the government; regulated the celebration of church and other holidays; prohibited concubine and required that marriage rites be performed between persons that were co-habitating; prohibited exportation of certain articles in common use among the people; required persons without a trade or regular employment to plant specified commodities and keep certain live stock; regulated the keeping of dogs and other animals running at large; abrogated the Spanish system of taxation and provided a new one; established a public system of nonsectarian education; and required each adult to learn to write his or her own name within a specified time. In 1927, the people of Guam, including schoolchildren who donated a penny each, collected $703.92 to have a ship’s bell and commemorative plaque manufactured in Shanghai, China. The bell was presented to the Navy and has served distinctively on each of the three USS Guam Naval vessels. The U.S. Navy continued to use Guam as a refueling and communication station until 1941, when it fell to invading Japanese forces shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Japanese Occupation (1941 – 1944)

On December 10, 1941, Guam surrendered to the Japanese South Seas detachment forces after a valiant defensive struggle by the island’s Insular Force Guard and a limited number of U.S. marines. Guam became the only populated U.S. soil to be occupied by another country in World War II. Guam was renamed “Omiya Jima” and for 31 months, the people of Guam were forcibly subjected to intolerable hardships administered by the Japanese military. Although some measure of religious practice and business activities were permitted, atrocities, grenade slaughters and rapes were common. Concentration camps were established by the 29th Division of Japan’s Kwantung Army and approximately 600 Chamorro’s were executed. Some Chamorro’s were beheaded when the Japanese learned of the 3-year humanitarian effort by Chamorro’s to successfully feed and hide U.S. Navy radioman George Tweed who escaped in the initial invasion. Tweed’s cave is a popular “boonie stomping” destination on Guam today. Many landmarks of the Japanese occupation, including gun emplacements and tunnels can still be seen around the island of Guam today.

Liberation and U.S. Territorial Status (1944 – Present)

The campaign for the liberation of Guam was marked by record tonnage of naval bombardment in which thousands of Japanese and Chamorro’s lost their lives and the city of Hagatna was nearly destroyed. American forces landed on July 21, 1944 at Asan and Agat beaches. In honor the bravery and sacrifices of all those who participated in the Pacific Theater of World War II, including soldiers, sailors and marines of the United States, Japan, Australia, Canada, China, France, Great Britain, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and the Soviet Union the landing area has been designated as the “War in the Pacific National Historic Park“. During the following bitter three-week campaign, 7,000 U.S. and 11,000 Japanese lives were lost before Guam was reclaimed and once again under American administration. Today, July 21st , Guam Liberation Day, is a major Guam holiday. All Government offices and most businesses are closed as the island celebrates with day long fiestas and a parade down Marine Corps Drive in Hatagna.

Due to its strategic position, Guam was used as a command post for U.S. Western Pacific operations until the War concluded in 1945. On May 30, 1946, the U.S. Naval Government was re-established. Although concluded over 50 years ago, Word War II still exerts a major influence on Guam . Relics and evidence of the War are still evident all across the island and divers can survey wrecks of Japanese, American, German and other ships and airplanes under Guam ‘s warm clear waters. On January 24, 1972, the last Japanese World War II holdout, Sergeant Shoichi Yokoi, was discovered in the cave in which he been hiding since his unit was scattered by the advancing Americans in July 1944. Sergeant Yokoi’s cave at Talafofo falls has been preserved as a popular attraction for visitors.

As the Westernmost U.S. soil in the Pacific, Guam today remains a strategic outpost for the U.S. military. In 1949, U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed the Organic Act making Guam an unincorporated territory of the United States with limited self-governing authority and granting American Citizenship to the people of Guam. In 1962, security clearance requirement for travel to Guam, which had been in place since World War II, were lifted permitting Guam’s economy to flourish and opening and influx of new residents of diverse nationalities and races such as Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Indian, Pacific Islanders and Caucasian.

People and Culture

Guam of today is a truly cosmopolitan community with a unique culture, the core of which is the ancient Chamorro heavily influenced by the Spanish occupation and the Catholic Church. Strong American influence is also evident in the celebration of many public holidays, the form of Government and the pride in being U.S. that is displayed by the populace. Guam ‘s culture has also been influenced and enriched by the Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Micronesian immigrants each group of whom have added their unique contributions. The present population of Guam, 2006, is approximately 171,000 of whom roughly 37% are Chamorro, 26% Filipino, 11% other Pacific Islander with the remaining 26% primarily Caucasian, Chinese, Korean and Japanese, all of whom bring their cultural heritage and customs and contribute to Guam ‘s unique culture and appeal.

The core of Guam culture, the Chamorro, is characterized by a complex social protocol centered upon respect, caring, accepting and helping one another. Inafa’maolek, or interdependence, is a central value in Chamorro culture which depends on a spirit of cooperation. Historian Lawrence Cunningham in 1992 wrote, “In a Chamorro sense, the land and its produce belong to everyone. This is thearmature, or core, that everything in Chamorro culture revolves around. It is a powerful concern for mutuality rather than individualism and private property rights.” The culture is visibly manifested in the kissing of the hands of elders, passing of legends, music, dance, chants, courtship rituals, handicrafts, burial rituals, preparation of herbal medicines, and requesting forgiveness from spiritual ancestors when entering a jungle. Glimpses of Guam culture are evident in local legends and folklore such as the taotaomona (ancient spirits), doomed lovers leaping to their death off Two Lovers’ Point (Puntan Dos Amantes), and Sirena, a beautiful young girl who became a mermaid.

Spanish Influence

The Spanish occupation was based on conquest and conversion to “save the heathen souls”, implemented by force, which nearly resulted in the total extermination of the pure Chamorro race. However, the Spanish failed to recognize that the Chamorro culture was matrilineal and largely ignored the influence of the Chamorro women, which likely accounts for the fact that the Chamorro culture has endured to this day. The greatest influence of the Spanish over Guam ‘s culture was through the Catholic Church which has, since the 17th century, been the center of village activity. Today, every village has its patron saint whose feast day is celebrated with an elaborate fiesta, to which the entire island is invited. These fiestas, whereupon by duty, extended families contribute food and work to cook for the village guests remain a key attribute of the culture of Guam to this day. Spanish influence is also evident much of Guam’s present day architecture, especially in the Southern Villages such as this Spanish bridge in the village of Umatic.

Historical and Cultural Landmarks

Guam has an abundance of historical and cultural landmarks and points of interest that cover all perioed of Guam’s history to include the ancient Chamorro, Spanish era, Japanese occupation and Liberation.

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Super G Constellation (Super Connie)

June 17, 2008

MORE (Pictures & Stories) TO COME – PLEASE CHECK BACK OFTEN!

 

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Super G Constellation (Super Connie) – Before Modification

Super G Constellation (Super Connie) – After Modification

 

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Story of this Super G Constellation (Super Connie)

C O M I N G   S O O N