LORAN STATION KURE ISLAND
10 AUG 1959 - Aeronautical Study - pdf
Pictures Click on picture for larger image
Picture from google earth.
The below phots were contributed by Reginald Flye c./1975-76
Aerial view of the island
Last C-47 in service
LTJG Deryck Bratton (CO) 1975 - 1976
1975 Kure Island Christmas crew
1976 Kure Island Christmas crew
Photo contributed by Angus MacFeeley
Site of the Transmitting Antenna
The Below photos were contributed by Steve Grenier c./1979-80
Some of the crew
Inbound Log Flight
Roof top of the barracks
LTJG Stark escorted to unofficial Change of Command
ENS Farrell relieving LTJG Stark
The Beach Shack
19' Boston Whale
Beach looking towards South Point
The below photos were contributed by Ernest Hawes c./1979
More of Lobster Fishing
Glass Fish Balls
LORAN C Transmitting Tower
The below photos were contribed by Bill Ferrary c./1970
Dog (the seal): I arrived shortly after Dog became part of the crew (02/02/1970). The story I got from Curry is this. ET3 Curry found Dog abandoned on the beach, Mom was dead or deserted the pup. The skip wanted Curry to leave the animal alone and so be it because the brass was around. An Admiral visiting the island got wind of it all and ordered Curry to take care of the seal; and I guess the Admiral worked it out with the skip to save face.
Curry contacted a group in Honolulu for advice. From that Curry, with help from some of us, constructed the artificial Mom with a neoprene teat for the formula concoction, a burlap cover and a bulb for heat. After that we were on our own. Dog got the name because he barked like a dog, and we didn't know if Dog was male we just assumed. Along the way we taught Dog to eat mullet. We chopped the fish up and literally had to shove it down his throat with a stick. Curry introduced Dog to swimming by throwing him off the pier, he was a natural, and of course we jumped in with him. When it was time to head back to the buildings Dog would bark and follow us back and much of the time he would stay with Mom as best I can remember. Trying to get Dog to head off on his own did become an issue, he didn't want to leave. However, one day he was gone.
A few months later near the end of my tour, I walked up on a seal that was obviously dwarfed and solo. As you know if you approached a seal it moved away as you got too close. The seal I encountered held its ground and was very docile. I strongly suspected it might have been Dog. Several others looked at him although they were too new on the island to know much about it. I think the skip sent a message off to Honolulu in regard to it all.
During the course of my year Doc walked up on another abandoned seal pup. This one was in bad shape. Doc maintained it for a few days and then it died.
During the time of Dog, National Geographic was writing a book on Hawaii. The main author spent two weeks with us, interviewing, observing, etc. The result was several pages on Kure and the interviews centered around a fictional composite character; but seemed mainly based on ET3 Curry's experiences. I don't remember if much was mentioned about Dog. I think the author's name was Graves.
Dog getting a bath
Dog with Mom
This only happened once during my year. In looking back I'm astounded that I could have done this. Today I'm nervous on an 8 ft. ladder. Anyway we had a civilian crew doing maintenance on the antenna. They would hang off that thing and work all day doing whatever it was they did. During this period SN Aldana and I had the opportunity to climb the antenna. It was turned off, we jumped on and during the climb I don't remember if it was turned back on; kind of like birds on a wire I guess. These pics are from the top, took about 45 minutes to climb. I just can't believe that at one time that kind of stuff just didn't bring a sweat.
We sponsored a Vietnamese girl. This was started long before I arrived. I ran the Port-o-Bandon exchange and continued sending some dollars every month. Don't know how legit it was nor how much longer it continued.
Ah, the Long Timer badge. That thing cost me a lot of beer. The rule was it had to shine and be in your possession if asked to show it. There was a Short Timer badge too, same rules. If you failed the test you bought the dude a beer, basically he took a beer and put a check mark next to your name. This was eventually voted done and over with at a crew meeting. Because I was well known as the beer benefactor the crew felt a sense of sorrow and awarded me the Long Timer badge. I don't remember who if anyone got the Short Timer badge.
The patch needs no explanation, but the kicking of the transmitter might. If the transmitter stopped working the first fix was a swift kick in the side at a special spot. This got rid of the ants clogging up a relay and boom, back in business. As an ET it was the first thing I actually knew how to fix.
...I spent 1970 on Kure, so there is a lot that happened in the world in 1970 that I missed. Of course we had the Radio station at Midway, and mail was always 2-3 weeks or more after the fact. And Apollo 13, about which I knew nothing that I can recall. I first came across your website maybe 3-4 years ago? I then saw in the history list that Kure during my time was acknowledge by a Mr. Goddard for I suppose its accurate uptime during the Apollo 13 recovery. That immediately brought me back to mid year 1976.
...was monthly meetings, dinner/drinks and speaker. Well I went to the monthly meeting. During drinks and meet and greet I wound up chatting with the speaker, a real nice interesting man, said he worked for NASA. Well dinner goes on and the speaker starts. He introduced himself as Jim Lovell ( this is years before the movie) and proceeds to talk about his trip to the moon. At that time I was still not aware of Apollo 13. But during Lovell's talk he explained all that went on; the explosion, fixing it with cardboard, remarking that failure was not an option and what could have happened on the return trip. Come in too direct - burn to a crisp; too much angle - skip out forever. I was pretty amazed with his story. Then the movie came out, I realized gee, that was really serious; and I met that guy. Years later I saw your site and that note about Apollo 13. I said, damn. Here I was one on one talking with Capt. Jim Lovell for at least 20 minutes and as small as it was he was chatting with this young guy (me) who had a minor hand in LORAN uptime accuracy during the Apollo 13 recovery as acknowledged by a Mr. Goddard at NASA. Crazy, neither of us knew.
I mentioned Galveston... My next door neighbor's place was rented out to a small family for the week. We waved and acknowledged each other during the day. Well on their last day the dad and I got to talking and it turns out he was in the USCG, and that alone doesn't happen very often. But as we got deeper in our chat I asked where he spent his time (you know where this is going). He said some island. I asked doing what? Oh he said LORAN. I said , really, so did I. Where? Kure Island. After I mentally picked myself off the floor. He told he was part of the last crew that decommissioned the station. Unfortunately I have since lost his name and number.
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