A CT-Story from Lew Bearden

Although I was never stationed on Midway, I and one other CT (Ed/Hunk Hanna) had a very unusual experience
involving Midway. In the May 1961 time frame, we were returning from Japan on a MAC flight from Tachikawa AFB,
enroute to the states via Hawaii. I was a CTR2 at the time and Ed was a CTR3. We had been serving on the
USS Saint Paul (CA 73) as part of the Direct Support Attachment assigned to the Flag Allowance for COM7THFLT,
and were both going to attend Russian Language School at the Naval Intelligence School in Anacostia, MD (DC).
We were supposed to refuel in Midway. Due to heavy fog, we were unable to land at Midway, ran low on fuel after
three attempts at landing, and had to make an emergency landing on a small Coast Guard LORAN Station on the last
Westward Island of the Hawaiin chain (Kuri or Kiwi Island, I think?). There were 20 Coast Guardsmen stationed there,
and they were on the runway expecting us to crash. The runway was very short and was not supposed to be able to
handle a plane the size we were on. I do not remember the model A/C but it was a four engine plane and we had a full
load of people, including some dependants and civilians. We made a safe, but shaky landing and spent the night,
mostly sitting in the recreation room. The next day, the Sea and Air Rescue folks spent the day flying us, four or five
at the time, over to Midway on small airplanes. Only then was the crew of the MAC flight allowed to take off by
themselves, with a small load of full (to lessen the weight). We then got a hot shower, were fed well, and then took off
for Honolulu to complete our trip. The story made headlines in the Pacific Stars and Stripes. End of story.

Lew Bearden CTICS(SS)/Ret