Browse Items (64 total)

NavalChronicle1805-vol12-excerpt.pdf
The Naval Chronicle was the original source for the announcement of Palmyra's discovery by Captain Cornelius Sawle, as described in this excerpt. There are 2 important things to note:

1. The spelling of the captain's name is Sowle, not Sawle, as…

Date: 1805-12

Cooper Letter to Gov Hawaii-1912.pdf
This letter, with a 1922 preface and explanation from the Navy (who retained the original letter), was written by Judge Henry E. Cooper of Hawaii, to then Governor of Hawaii, W.F. Frear. According to the letter, Cooper was concerned that a British…

Date: 1912-01-12

EveningBulletin(Hawaii)-2-27-1912-B.pdf
The article is essentially a review of Eben Low's visit to Palmyra 2 years prior. He was interviewed as part of a larger story on the atoll's possible use as a Naval base. There are some interesting anecdotes, the most noteworthy being that no one…

Date: 1912-02-27

TheDayBook-4-6-1912.pdf
This light hearted article describes the journey of the USS West Virginia to Palmyra in 1912, where they found, as the subtitle says, "One Friendless, Starving Gin Bottle, Also One Large, Unidentified Toothbrush!", among other things. It mentions as…

Date: 1912-04-06

1921AerialSurveyFlightPath.jpg
Deemed highly classified at the time, this map diagram shows where the 1921 aerial surveyors flew over Palmyra to photograph its many islands. Included are markings of where they landed and unloaded the aircraft from USS Eagle 40, which ferried the…

Date: 1921

Flying-2-1921.pdf
In the late 1910's and early 1920's, the United States had very little in the way of military aircraft. In an effort to convince both the public and officials there was value in investing in these aircraft, a series of aerial surveys and bombing…

Date: 1921-02

HA-9281921.pdf
Great article discussing the aerial survey of Palmyra in 1921, and featuring some great photographs from the trip, including the first one we've discovered of the plane used to take the photos.

Includes some unique details, like the model of plane…

Date: 1921-09-09

1921 Aerial-Crop.jpg
This image is from the 1921 aerial survey, done as part of the first coastal aerial survey performed in the United States. This very rare image was found in a collection files marked under as Japanese, and also contained a number of Palmyra aerials…

Date: 1921-09-21

HospitalCorpsQuarterly -Jan1921.pdf
This brief write up of a naval pharmacy mate's experiences while serving with a small dispatch to Palmyra from Honolulu, contains a series of extremely rare photographs from that trip, including the first documented aerial photograph of the atoll and…

Date: 1922-01

Aerial.jpg
These photos, taken from the article The Palmyra Islands, by M.L. Steele, are a unique look at Palmyra just 18 decades before it would begin undergoing serious physical changes by the Navy. Especially unique is the featured aerial photo of the…

Date: 1922-01

Flying Over South Sea Isles-MDM-02-1922.pdf
This detailed article, writtent by Naval Lieutenant GA Ott, covers the operations of the US ship Eagle 40 as it traveled to and operated out of Palmyra in 1921. There mission was to take a small aircraft to the atoll, reassemble it in the lagoon, and…

Date: 1922-02

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

HaroldIckesMemorandum.pdf
We came across this document while looking through memos and letter related to the formation of Executive Order 8682, establishing Palmyra as a Naval base of operations during WW2.

This 1938 letter comes from then Secretary of the Interior Harold…

Date: 1938-07-11

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

Date: 1939

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DocumentsOfExecOrder8616.pdf
This group of memos and letters trace the development of Executive Order 8616, which put Palmyra under the official management of the US Navy. Most date from 1939 offer a unique view into the process of how land was acquired by the military during…

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

Honolulu Star Bulletin - 2-17-1940.pdf
Describes the legend and confirmed details of the wreck of the Esperanza and its survivors. Also gives a general history of Palmyra, mentioning some of the scientific expeditions.

Date: 1940-02-17

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…

Date: 1941-12-25

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