During the development of air routes across the Pacific Ocean, the tiny island or coral atolls scattered along these routes became important staging points. Wake Island, for example became well known when Pan American Airways chose it as a mid-ocean flying boat base during the 1930s. During the Second World War, the Japanese occupied it. Unlike Wake, it was never occupied, and it served as an important base for the U.S. Armed Forces as they back the enemy advance. In 1934 during the development of air routes across the Pacific Ocean, the tiny islands scattered along the way became important staging points. Lesser known, on the southern trans-Pacific route, was Canton Island. Itís long and fascinating history is told in this book by an ex Pan American employee who was stationed there during the war and researched its history.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carl Oates was operations officer on Canton 1947-1948 and later was in operations on Okinawa and Wake. He was MNL station manager 1952-56. Wake and Midway were first developed in 1934 by Pan Am to inaugurate the first sustained trans-ocean air service, and Canton was chosen for Boeings and M-130s to refuel in its lagoon. Carl's book is a personal account that includes many anecdotes, from the observations of a total eclipse of the sun to the skills of the Gilbertese fisherman (and their lullaby song); and from the shipments of fish to the U.S. to the strategic usefulness of Canton Island during the testing period of the space age. The book is 225 pages and includes 56 photographs-many of them quite rare. Of note, Carl's wife Rosalie (Wolf), is one of Pan Am's first stewardesses.