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LORAN STATION WAKE ISLAND

Station Information

Site Survey: 27 SEP 1948 – USCGC KUKUI
 
Construction Date: Construction started in JUN 1950
Station rebuilt 1959
 
Constructed by:
 
Established:
Commissioned:
16 OCT 1950 - Pre-comm status
1951

Disestablished: JAN 1978  
Operated by:

USCG
Project code name:

 
Unit Identifier:

1950: 14-350580
Mail address: APO, San Francisco, CA 96501
 
AKA:

 
HAM Call Sign:

 
Personnel Allowance: JAN 1953: 1 Officer; 9 Enlisted

Station Mascot: 1950's - Lucky
1960s - Hooligan
1975 - Felix (cat)


Miscellaneous: 12 JAN 1942 - Japanese put all Americans on transports except for 98 civilian workers to be used as force labor. During the transit to POW camps, The Japanese beheaded five American Marines for retribution for the fighting on Wake.

05 OCT 1943 - Japanese executed 98 American civilian workers believing an American invasion to take place.

16 SEP 1952 - Typhoon OLIVE (CAT4/5) destroyed the station Off Air. Station crew took refuge in a WWII Japanese cave.

26 SEP 1952 - Station back on-air

1957 - CO married the only single woman on the island aboard a Standard Oil Tanker by the ship's captain.

1959 - Station rebuilt on Peale Island

Commanding Officers: 1950 - 1951
1951 - 1952
1952 - 1953 LTJG Thomas J. Collins (SEP – SEP)
1953 - 1954
1954 - 1955 LT Marshall K. Phillips 1955
1955 - 1956
1956 - 1957 LTJG Charles E. Mathieu (MAR – 01 APR)
1957 - 1958 LTJG James Fournier (01 APR – APR)
1958 - 1959
1959 - 1960 LTJG James J. Rooney
1960 - 1961 LTJG John W. Kime
1961 - 1962
1962 - 1963 LTJG Edmond G. Case
1963 - 1964 LTJG Eugene J. Hickey
1964 - 1965 LTJG Waustnek
1965 - 1966 LTJG Brian P. Richards
1966 - 1967 LTJG James V. O'Neill (01 APR - ?)
1967 - 1968
1968 - 1970 LTJG Raymond J. Pratte
1970 - 1971
1971 - 1972 LTJG Theodore T. Musselman
1972 - 1973
1973 - 1974 LTJG Robert M.Griswold
1974 - 1975 LTJG Robert D. Innes
1975 - 1976 LTJG Bruce Austin
1976 - 1977 LTJG Michael M. Blume
1977 - 1978 LTJG F. M. Rosa (? - JAN) Decomm CO


Station Operations

LORAN-A

19 18 48.70N – 166 37 17.16E (1960 Mercury Datum)

Chain: Marshall
 
Station Letter designation: 1H1 "W"
 
Radio Call Sign:
 
Declared Operational date: 011300Z MAR 1951 
 
Operations Ceased: 312400Z DEC 1977
 
Station Operation: Single SLAVE/SECONDARY (SS)
 
Station pair:
Loran rate:
Coding delay:
Baseline:


WAKE ISLAND (S) - ENIWETOK (M)
1L0; 1H1
1000us
Approx. 535 Nautical miles
On-air testing date: 24 JAN 1951
 
On-Air: 1L0: 011300Z MAR 1951
1H1: 1970
 
Off-Air: 1970: 1L0 Change of rate
312400Z DEC 1977 Loran-A service terminated
 
Monitor Rate: Cross rate monitoring 
 
Equipment: OCT 1950 - UE-1 Timers, T-137A Transmitters 128Kw
 
Antenna: Vertical radiator, 120ft
1971 - new 119ft vertical tower installed with one piece fiberglass rods
 

Fred's Place Reunion Hall: OLD NEW

Awards:

U.S. Air Force Outstanding Unit

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04 APR - 03 SEP 1975

U.S.C.G. Humanitarian Service Medal

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04 APR - 03 SEP 1975

Documents:

16 JUN 1950 Signal radiation issues - location of antennas - pdf

17 JUN 1950 Signal radiation issues - location of antennas - pdf

30 AUG 1950 Signal radiation issues - location of antennas - pdf

09 OCT 1950 Notication of Pre-commissioning - pdf

22 JUN 1956 Oversea Loran Station Survey - pdf

Pictures:

Ed Stewart 1970-72 photo collection

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(courtesy of Jim Rooney)

LTJG Jim Rooney and BMC Lurther Furgueron (Station Chief) c./1959

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(courtesy of Jim Rooney)

CO's quarters and office c./1959

1. In 1959, the station's mascot was an older dog named "Lucky". When my father asked why the name, the answer was that he was the grandfather of most (if not all) of the dogs on Wake Island.  :-))
2. Behind the CO's quarters was an old Japanese bunker. They dug out the bunker and located quite a few supplies including a 55-gal drum of white paint. They ended up painting all the station buildings, considerably sprucing up the station from the previous unpainted concrete. Later that year the District Commander came around and was convinced that someone smuggled by air (at considerable cost) the paint to the island.

Reconstruction of the station was at least several years prior to 1959.  Can't remember exactly when.  First iteration at Wake was destroyed by a typhoon which occurred about 1950.  The concrete pad floor of the first quonset type construction we converted to an outdoor movie area.  We had lots of "legitimate" deals going on that truly served the purpose of morale.  For the year I was there the loran efficiency increased every month to a high 99+percentage. Wonderful tour. Fantastic crew. BMC Luke Furgeron was a truly competent high performer as XO. Probably the best command I every had.  I should write a book. Made great friends in the CG and out.  I wish I could go back to see Peale, Wake and Wilkes again.

Loran Station Wake Island and Eniwetok were Loran-A slaves to Kwajalein which functioned as the Master station.  Wake received 7 NMPX movies every week on the Navy SAR aircraft that flew up from "Kwaj" every Saturday to exchange crew and aircraft.  We received the U.S. Mail six days each week, and had permission (like many) to operate on the ham radio band with our ham licensed ham Chief ET.  That was good for about six months of the year.  With the Vietnam build up passenger carrying prop-driven aircraft were landing pretty much around the clock for a fuel and feed stop before continuing to Japan and other Asian points west.  The first Pan-Am 707 jet landed about a month or so before I was relieved.  Years later I discovered that the same 707 jet engines were also on the CGC DALLAS I commanded later on in the 70's.  
 

Thanks Jim!

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Station mascot "Hooligan"

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(courtesy U.S. Coast Guard c./Dec 1966)

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