The National Geographic Society marker was placed there to commemorate an expedition to see a total solar eclipse in the late 30's, It was removed along with all the other salvageable materials. Sadly all the historical building are gone. Photos are all that remain of the south side.
On February 14, 1942, the USS President Taylor ran up on a coral reef. The front anchor was ordered to be dropped but the anchor chain broke and only the rear anchor was in place. That night, a storm came up and pushed the ship further inland. Attempts were made to remove the ship, but failed. After WW2, the ship was sold in 1952 for scrap. In 1954, it was salvaged as you see here.
I was stationed on Canton Island in 1944/1945
I knew it looked like him! He didn't change much through the years.
No air conditioners
The station went from 50 watts to 500 Watts and a 250 ft tower. Because of our location, frequency we were heard half way round the world. Received a DXers card and tape from Germany! Other reports of years of daily excellent reception in New Zealand till the station was shut down.
It was used as a tug (to help with docking supply ship) and a small fishing platform. It had a large diesel engine for power. No sail! I had operated it.
I had been working for a while on a project that would have re-opened up Canton Island for Eco-Tourism and some other things. Unfortunately - with someone in the Kiribati government announcing that "we are sinking" with the rise of the ocean, its tough to find investors now. I think all we can do, for the time being, is share our memories.
When I was a youngster growing up in Burbank, Calif. we used to watch them fire missles from Pt. Mugu; Now I know where they went.