The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has interviewed the International Midway Memorial Foundation (IMMF) twice regarding the financial and operational mismanagement of Midway by the FWS. The GAO arrived on Midway on April 7, 2015 and will remain on Midway for two weeks. Mr. Mike Daak, newest member of the IMMF’s Board of Trustees (see below) had planned to be on Midway with the GAO but Dan Clark, Midway Refuge Manager stated he could not accommodate him at that time. Under these circumstances, an opportunity was lost for the IMMF to work along side the GAO, thus improving their ability to analyze FWS’ management of the historic structures and buildings, as well as the buildings and structures needed for public visitation.
The IMMF has also brought the issue of FWS’ mismanagement of Midway’s financial and operational responsibilities to the attention of Congressman Louie Gohmert, Chairman of the newly founded Natural Resources Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee.
The Foundation is particularly concerned about the following: (1) FWS’ demolition of the four historic cable buildings, built in 1905, to facilitate the installation of the first trans-Pacific underwater cable telegraph line from San Francisco to the Philippine Islands, which subsequently permitted the total secrecy of communications between Midway and Pearl Harbor (the cable being closed down from Midway to the Philippines) during the Battle of Midway. The cable buildings were not maintained by the FWS and were thus allowed to deteriorate, and were then destroyed; (2) FWS’ wanton neglect of structures and buildings that are absolutely necessary in order for the private sector to operate and maintain Midway’s infrastructure (e.g. the two large fuel tanks are no longer functional, depriving the Atoll of potential revenues which would support a public visitation program); (3) FWS’ policy of demolition by neglect of buildings and structures leading to the ultimate destruction of all building and structures, except for those absolutely needed by FWS. This issue will continue to be followed in the summer edition of the newsletter.
Mr. Mike Daak was appointed to the Board of Trustees on March 18, 2015. Mr. Daak has been working with the IMMF on issues regarding FWS’ mismanagement of the financial and operational aspects of Midway Atoll, including the lack of historic preservation and the closure of Midway to public visitation. Mr. Daak is also responsible for new members joining the Foundation. He has worked as a military contractor for most of his career. He was employed as a Navy contractor on Midway for six years in support of the Navy’s Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) program and was the Communication Department Manager for Midway Phoenix Corporation for an additional six years. Welcome aboard, Mike, and thank you for your efforts.
The Foundation will be presenting its sterling silver Battle of Midway Medallion to the winner of the U.S. Naval Academy Battle of Midway Essay Contest, on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at the Naval Academy ceremony by your chairman.
I have contacted the U.S. Naval Institute Press this month and they are still reviewing my manuscript which is entitled Pacific Rivalry at the Turning Point.
Chris and I wish everyone a happy Easter.