Charles N. Hill

Name: Charles N. Hill
Location: Milford Ohio (Cincinnati Area)
Year: Mid-December ’62 – Mid-November ’63
Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Time: 12:40:00 AM


Great website! Really! I arrived at JI as a Coast Guard E-4 (ET3) late one night in December of 1962 and departed immediately for Sand Island aboard one of the Coast Guard’s 2 35ft WWII LCVP’s. (I was later qualified as a boat coxswain, but made very few trips to Johnston). During my near-year, there were many changes. The Baker-Nunn camera and its enclosure were set up during that period on the small steel-reinforced peninsula to the south of the western end of Sand Island. I was glad to see it, as one of my shipmates nearly came to grief on that peninsula, prior to the arrival of the Camera. Later in that same year, the reef—the beautiful reef—was ravaged by the dredges that were sent out to build up the two new islands. Incidentally, the two islands were not built solely for chemical warfare agents: Coast Guard contact (part of my work) later that year with Deseret Test Center near Salt Lake City, as well as specific work being done by the ornithologists (such as Robert Sundell) sent out from the Smithsonian Institution, clearly indicated that the islands were to be used for biological warfare agents, as well as for chemical warfare agents. The job of the ornithologists was to determine whether a bio-spill could be carried throughout the Pacific by hundreds of thousands of infected sea birds from the island—which may, in fact, have actually occurred in the 1970′s. I have a nice B&W aerial photo of Sand island, taken during one of the 1962 bomb-test evacuations. if you’d like to have it, let me know, as I’ve already scanned it and sent it to Fred’s Place. I’ll be glad to provide it. As I recall, the “atoll” on which Johnston and the other islands sat was known as “novelty reef.” Can anyone confirm—or deny—that? I’ll be backl—you can bet on that. It’s a great site. —Charlie Hill;

This entry was posted in view comments. Bookmark the permalink.