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LORAN STATION FRENCH FRIGATE SHOALS

23 47 04.7 N 166 12 39.5 W (1944 – 1952 East Is.)
23 51 02.02 N 166 19 25.44 W (1952 Tern Is.)
23 51 50.80 N 166 17 16.50 W (1952 – 1979 Tern Is.)

Fact Sheet

Site Survey: East Island: NOV – DEC 1943

Construction Date 3 JUL 1944 – End of JUL 1944 (EAST ISLAND)

Constructed by: Construction DET “C”

Established: JUL 1944 – East Island
8 NOV 1944 Station commissioned and turned over to 14th District
25 OCT 1952 – Tern Island

Disestablished: NOV 1952 – East Island
JUL 1979 – Tern Island

Operated by: USCG
Chain: HAWAIIAN

Station Letter designation: 2L1, “G”
2L6, 2L7, “T”

Station code name: LORAN C Monitor: DOOR VIII

Station Unit Number: CG Unit 204
1952 - 14-350520
1961 - 14-360527 LORAN C Monitor
PO Box 499, Honolulu, HI 96809

Radio Call Sign: 1954 - NR03
1961 - NRO4 LORAN C Monitor

Station nickname:  

On-air testing date: 2L1 - 27 JUL 1944
2L4 – OCT 1952

Operational date: 2L1 - 4 NOV 1944 - East Island
2L4 – 25 OCT 1952 – Tern Island

Operations Ceased: 302400Z JUN 1979 - Tern Island

Station Operation: Single Slave 1944 – 25 OCT 1952 – East Island
Single MASTER 25 OCT 1952 – 08 JAN 1958 –Tern Island
Double MASTER 08 JAN 1958 - 30 DEC 1979

Station pair: 2L1, NIIHAU
2L4, KAUAI
2L6, KAUAI
2L7, JOHNSON ISLAND

Loran Rate: 2L1, 2L4, 2L6, 2L7

On-Air: 2L1 - 8 NOV  1944
2L4 - 25 OCT 1952 - KAUAI
2L6,
2L7, 08 JAN 1958 – JOHNSTON ISLAND

Off-Air 2L1 – 25 OCT 1952 (EAST ISLAND)
2L4 -
2L6 – 302400Z JUN 1979 (TERN ISLAND)
2L7 – 302400Z JUN 1979 (TERN ISLAND)

Monitor Rate: 211000Z JUL 1961 - LORAN C CENTRAL PACIFIC CHAIN Declared Operational

Equipment: Xmt/Rec Ant Heights 125/65ft

Personnel Allowance: JAN 1953 – LTJG, ETC, ET2, 4 ET3, RM2, CS1, HM1, EN1, EN3, DC2, BM1, 2 SN
APR 1956 – 1 RM2 deleted
1964 - 1 RM2 added LORAN-C Monitor

Station Mascot: 1949 - Scopie - died in 1949
1949 - Grumpy
1964 – Ferd - Died 25 JAN 1971
1964 - Runt; Pele
1966 - Dolly
1969 - Dummy
Miscellaneous: LORAN A
13 – 26th AUG 1945 Unit 26A on site for upgrade
1 APR 1946 Tidal wave stuck the island , no personnel injury, serve equipment damage 1946-47 CO murdered in bunk
6 month tour in late 40's
17 AUG 1950, station evacuated due to typhoon notice.
25 OCT 1952 - EAST Island station relocated to Tern Island.
10-11 JAN 1954 – station suffered storm damage
4 SEP 1957 - Cyclone Della passed by - station off air for approx 9 hours – water in transmitter and radiobeacon coupler, loss comms ant. Repaired by station complement
MAR 1958 – Power conversion
6 AUG 1959 – station evacuation for hurricane – Rates blink 2L7 & 2L6 – FFS off-air CGC MATAGORDA assisted.
SEP 1960 – Provided support for a Navy Telemetry Station
1964 - Station rehabilitation completed
1966 – Wild Life stated that the CG was trespassing on Tern Is…D14 disagree…situation resolved with a permit issued to CG with the CG right to refuse all other permits
1 DEC 1969 – Tidal wave the evaluation of the crew resulting in destroying much of the station
OCT 1972 – Station Rehab
OCT 1974 - Station assisted an overdue 41ft Ketch

Loran C:
06 SEP 1960 Site survey report declassified

Commanding Officers /
Officers in Charge
EAST ISLAND
1st CO: LTJG John J Rashti 1944 - 5 SEP 1945
Temp CO: LTJG Herrick T Wilson 5 SEP 1945 - 11 OCT 1945
2nd CO: LTJG Alexander Zavelle 11 OCT 1945 – 26 NOV 1945 Adv to LT
3rd CO: LTJG Morgan R Wright 26 NOV 1945 – 02 FEB 1946
CO: LT Charles W. Jackson 02 FEB 1946 – 09 DEC 1946
Temp CO: LTJG Albert L. Preston 24 NOV 1946 – 9 DEC 1946
CO: LTJG Fred T. Coombe 9 DEC 1946 – 13 MAR 1947
CO: LTJG Earl H Adams 13 MAR 1947 – 1 OCT 1947
OINC: REL John Ribarich 1 OCT 1947 – 17 DEC 1947
CO: LTJG Walter O Henry ? – 1 SEP 1949
CO: LTJG Thurston L Willis 1 SEP 1949 – 8 SEP 1950
CO: LTJG Edward L. Hauff 08 SEP 1950 – 31 AUG 1951
CO: LTJG Norman P Ensrud 31 AUG 1951 – 13 AUG 1952
CO: ENS Federick P Schubert 13 AUG 1952 - ?

TERN ISLAND
1st CO: LT Thomas E Hawkins 1952- 4 OCT 1953
2nd CO: LT Raymond H Wood 4 OCT 1953- 8 OCT 1954
3rd CO: LTJG Melvin W Hallock 8 OCT 1954 – 3 OCT 1955
4th CO: LTJG Edward H Bragg 3 OCT 1955- 14 AUG 1956
Acting OINC: BMC Billie D Archer 14 AUG 1956 – 10 SEP 1956
5th CO: LT R T Getman 10 SEP 1956 - 26 JUL 1957
6th CO: LTJG Jerome R Cronk 26 JUL 1957 - 1958
CO: LTJG David A Sumi JUL 1959 – 20 JUL 1960
CO: LTJG Edward B Holtzman 20 JUL 1960 – 31 JUL 1961
CO: LT Bryson S Randolph 31 JUL 1961 – 27 JUL 1962
CO: LTJG Bruce Patterson 27 JUL 1962 – 25 MAY 1963
CO: LTJG Walter T Leland 25 MAY 1963 – 25 MAY 1964
CO: LTJG Brent C Mills 25 May 1964 - JUN 1965
CO: LTJG George Archer JUN 1965 - APR 1966
CO: LT Robert Bates APR 1966 - APR 1967
CO: LT Jack E Rader APR 1967 -  APR 1968
CO: LTJG Calvin Dail APR 1968 – 01 APR 1969
CO: LTJG Hank Kofron 01 APR 1969 –  APR 1970
CO: LTJG H F Hirsch APR 1970 - MAR 1971
CO: LTJG Durham Monsma MAR 1971 – APR 1972
CO: LTJG Mark O'Hara APR 1972 – 1972
CO: LTJG Walter Martin 1972 - 1973
CO: LTJG Robert Trainer 1973 - MAR 1974
CO: LTJG E E Rollison MAR 1974 - APR 1975
CO: LTJG Douglas Hertz APR 1975 - MAY 1976
CO: LTJG Dale Hower MAY 1976 - 1977
CO: LTJG Lancaster 1977 – 1978
Last CO: LTJG Arne Heggers 1978 - 1979

Fred's Place Reunion Hall

Old - New

Documentation:

Change of Command letter of relief

01 SEP 1949 - CofC Ltr - pdf
08 SEP 1950 - CofC Ltr - pdf
31 AUG 1951 - CoC Ltr -pdf
13 AUG 1952 - CoC Ltr - pdf
26 MAY 1953 - CoC Ltr - pdf
04 OCT 1953 - CoC Ltr - pdf
08 OCT 1954 - CoC Ltr - pdf
03 OCT 1955 - CoC Ltr - pdf
14 AUG 1956 - CoC Ltr - pdf
10 SEP 1956 - CoC Ltr - pdf
26 JUL 1957 - CoC Ltr - pdf
31 MAR 1959 - PCO Orders msg - pdf
20 JUL 1960 - CoC Ltr - pdf
31 JUL 1961 - CoC Ltr - pdf
27 JUL 1962 - CoC Ltr - pdf
25 MAY 1963 - CoC Ltr - pdf
25 MAY 1964 - CoC Ltr - pdf

01 NOV 1948 - Operational Data Report - pdf
170146Z AUG 1950 - Request Evacuate Msg of station personnel - pdf
170147Z AUG 1950 - Evacuation of personnel msg - pdf
02 AUG 1951 - Continue Station Operation - pdf
31 OCT 1951 - FFS and Niihau; Request for Disposition Instructions - pdf
12 FEB 1952 - Tern Island License for use and occupancy of - pdf
19 MAR 1952 - New Hawaiian LORAN_Chain; Charting_of (pdf)
09 SEP 1952 - Tern Island License for use and occupancy of - pdf
10 NOV 1952 - Disestablishment East Island - pdf
03 DEC 1952 - Atomic Energy Commission Notification - pdf
31 JAN 1953 - Future construction at - pdf
10 JAN 1954 - Storm Damage at - pdf
18 FEB 1955 - Tern Island License for use and occupancy of - pdf
03 FEB 1956 - AC&I Project Report No. 24-56 (Riprap Protection) 25 JAN 1956 - pdf
30 APR 1956 - Personnel Allowance Sheet; amendment of- pdf
09 MAY 1956 - ACI Project for Shore Protection - pdf
12 JUN 1956 - AEC Notification of Radiation Collection is Declassed -pdf
16 AUG 1956 - Commerical Fishing Licences -pdf
19 APR 1957 - Control of Tern Population - pdf
07 MAY 1957 - Emergency Avaition Fuel Storage Guidelines - pdf
22 MAY 1957 - AC & I Projects - pdf
042006Z SEP 1957 - Station Off-Air - Cyclone Della -pdf
042332Z SEP 1957 - Cyclone Della SITREP02 - pdf
050134Z SEP 1957 - Cyclone Della SITREP03 Final - pdf
31 MAR 1959 - Use of station property for Commerical Fishing - pdf
052020Z AUG 1959 - Commence Secure Station for Hurricane Conditions and Evcaation All Personnel - pdf
202213Z SEP 1960 - Request to establish a Navy Telemetry Station - pdf
17 APR 1963 - Station Rehabilitation - pdf
18 MAY 1966 - Tern Island License for use and occupancy of - pdf
13 JUL 1966 - Tern Island License for use and occupancy of - pdf
29 JUL 1966 - Tern Island License for use and occupancy of - pdf
10 NOV 1966 - Station Rehabilitation; information concerning - pdf

Relocation to Kure - pdf

Pictures - click on image for larger picture or flip book

FFS Scrap-Guest Book

Clicking the picture above opens a flip book

1953 - 1974 French Frigate Shoals Scrapbook and Guest Book
Contributed by Durrie Monsma (former CO)

French Frigate Shoals

Picture from google earth

French Frigate Shoals

Picture from google earth

Hawaiian Islands

French Frigate Shoals

Aerial View Loran Station French Frigate Shoals
Year Unknown Aerial

Aerial View Loran station French Frigate Shoals
1943 Aerial

Aerial View Loran station French Frigate Shoals
1961 Aerial

Aerial View Loran station French Frigate Shoals
1961 Aerial

Aerial View Loran station French Frigate Shoals
1960s Aerial

Aerial View Loran station French Frigate Shoals
1972 Aerial

French Frigate Shoals 1961 Radio Acknowledgement
1961 Radio Acknowledgement

Circa Nov 1959 French Frigate Shoals
Circa Nov 1959

Circa Nov 1959 French Frigate Shoals
Circa Nov 1959

Circa Nov 1959 French Frigate Shoals Radio room
Radio Room circa 1959

Photos below were located at NARA Washington DC
US Coast Guard Official Photos c./1948 East Island

c./1948 East Island Barracks/SickBay - CO Hut/rec space
Barracks/SickBay - CO Hut/rec space

1948 East Island
CO Hut/Office/rec space - Barrack/Sick Bay - Mell Hall/Galley -
 Gens/Storage - LORAN Hut/Mechine Shop

1948 East Island
Generator Hut and Loran Hut in background

1948 East Island
Gooney Bird

1948 East Island
From Main Radiator - LORAN Hut - LORAN Gen Hut -
Sta Gen Hut - Mell Hall - Barracks - Barracks/Sick Bay -
CO Hut/Office/Rec Space

1948 East Island
Gen Hut - Garage/Fire pumping sta - Water Tanks

1948 East Island
LORAN Hut

1948 East Island
Mess Hall - Gen Hut - LORAN Hut

1948 East Island
Left - Only Head on island

French Frigate Shoals Crew from mid 60's
Found on Fred's Place
Crew from mid 60's

The below photos were contributed by Bob Pina c./1954

Tern Island Aerial View 1953
Tern Island Aerial View 1953

Tern Island Aerial View 1953
Tern Island Aerial View 1953

Grumman Albatross UF-1G 1954
Grumman Albatross UF-1G circa 1954

1954 French Frigate Shoals Personnel Rotation
Personnel Rotation

1954 French Frigate Shoals crew unloading the plane
Resupply Paul Hutta is the shirtless guy with back to the camera unloading the plane

1954 French Frigate Shoals Quarters
Quarters

1954 French Frigate Shoals Bob Pina at sign
Bob Pina

Thanks Bob!

Below photos were contributed by Shelly Wineland

Tern Island, French Frigate Shoals, circa 1945. Photos were taken by Patricia Young, then a young enlistee who joined the all-Marine traveling cast of All Fouled Up, a musical that toured the Pacific during WWII. The cast was en route to Midway when they had to put down at FFS, where they entertained the small U.S. Navy contingent stationed there. Not surprisingly, an armed guard was posted outside their overnight quarters. Pat later had her costume stolen at Midway and it was last seen hanging in the MAG 23 NCO club.

The photos were taken with Pat's Brownie camera and were briefly confiscated by Navy brass since FFS was then a classified operation. They were returned to her when the troupe returned to Oahu.

The seawall privies in photo #2 look just like the East Island versions described by Bill Senn. Ah, what luxuries we enjoyed by 1971!

Durrie Monsma

1945 USO Tour French Frigate Shoals

1945 French Frigate Shoals Outhouse

1945 USO Tour and their aircraft

1945 USO woman and station crewmember

1945 USO women and station crewmember

1945 USO woman and French Frigate Shoals crewmembers

1945 Aerial view French Frigate Shoals

1945 Aerial view leaving French Frigate Shoals

Thanks Shelly & Durrie!

Jon von Kessel contributed the below photo c./1953

1953 USCG PBY-5A at French Frigate Shoals
USCG PBY-5A

Thanks Jon!