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Author Topic: Kwaj Diver returning to Kwajalein  (Read 2885 times)
Kwajdiver
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« on: July 27, 2009, 11:47:43 AM »

Hello All,

A few of you know this from the chat room the other night.   Friday I fly out of Tampa heading back to Kwajalein Atoll, in the Marshall Islands, for yet another tour.  They made me an offer that I couldn't refuse.  With tax free money and all my room and board paid for I'm on the way back for at least 2 years.

Kwajalein is located 2400 miles southwest of the Hawaii Islands.  I've spent three tours, fourteen years there as a Department of Defense contractor.  We do missile testing (incoming and outgoing) and our RADARS track anything and everything put into space.

The big blue bus is going on a consignment lot for sale.   I'll still tune into the board from time to time, just to give my two cents worth.  However, with all the scuba diving and boating I'll HAVE to do   Grin  living a island 3 miles long by 1/2 mile wide, I may not be on as much.


Bill


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Auburndale, Florida
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Kwajalein Atoll, RMI
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2009, 12:02:17 PM »

Hi Bill,

Kwaj was one of the places I heard lots about when I was working on the Eastern Test Range on Ascension Island.

We had quite a few folks that were veterans of that area.

I almost had a coronary the first time I saw taxes taken out of my check, after almost 5 years tax free.   Shocked

Best of Luck and Safe travels to both of you.....
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2009, 01:59:52 PM »


 Bill,

    Well I guess that precludes me from showing up for dancing lessons.

     Good luck to you both and if you get board of the tropical life you'll know where
    to find us (hiding under the snow)

   Skip
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Snow disappeared......Now where did I put that bus?
cody
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2009, 02:35:22 PM »

Bill, take me with you lol, wow thats a tropical paradise, I'm adoptable you know and I don't eat much. lol
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« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2009, 04:21:42 PM »

Bill,

April and I wish you all the best. Stay in touch and don't be surprised if we take you up on your offer to visit.

Paul
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2009, 04:44:46 PM »

Many moons ago I built the engines for the aircraft that ran supplies to the islands there, Global Associates. They flew the DeHaviland Caribous out of Oakland to the missile range. We got a call from Global that one of their Caribous was limping in on one engine. The aircraft had one engine we built and a surplus Gov overhaul on the otherside. We waited sweating bullets for them to make it home which they finally did just barely. We found out it was our engine that brought them home it made us feel great. They were Pratt Whitney R2000-7M2 1450 horse power twin row radials.

http://www.dhc4and5.org/Kwajalein.html



« Last Edit: July 27, 2009, 05:32:38 PM by Airbag » Logged
Dreamscape
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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2009, 07:43:29 PM »

Hey Bill, Good luck on your adventure! Hope you don't get sunburned! Enjoy the dives, send me some pictures please. I used to dive, havn't done that in 4-5 years. I sure miss it!

Stay in touch with your busnut buddies, OK?

Take Care my Friend!

Paul
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Becky and Paul Lawry, On The Road
Travel Blog - http://dreamscapetravels.wordpress.com/
Bus Blog - http://dreamscapesilvereagle.wordpress.com/
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Kwajdiver
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« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2009, 07:54:30 PM »

My first tour, during the late 70's early 80's I flew many an hour on Caribous, great plane.  Yes, they could fly on one engine.

When you have worked the test ranges for a number of years, they label you a RANGE RAT.   Being I started on the Easten Test Range, three tours of Kwajalein Missile Range, and one tour on the Alaska Early Warning Radar Range, guessing that labels me a Range Rat.

Bill
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Airbag
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2009, 09:20:03 PM »

My first tour, during the late 70's early 80's I flew many an hour on Caribous, great plane.  Yes, they could fly on one engine.

When you have worked the test ranges for a number of years, they label you a RANGE RAT.   Being I started on the Easten Test Range, three tours of Kwajalein Missile Range, and one tour on the Alaska Early Warning Radar Range, guessing that labels me a Range Rat.

Bill

You be careful out there and check in once in a while. I hope your bus sale goes your way, so you can get another when you return.
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2009, 05:26:49 AM »

Bill,

We are going to miss you. Have fun.

God bless

John
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2009, 04:48:06 PM »

Bill , The way the market is right now, If you are only going to be there for two years, why not just keep it. Alot of us nuts probably spend that much time
working on them before they get their first road trip. Some one I,m sure has a place to park a bus. I had two in my back yard could get another there again
That's if you don't mind the disease it might catch parked next to an EAGLE  Grin

Just a thought but the space is here (Murrells Inlet , SC )
ED
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Ed Brenner
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Kwajdiver
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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2009, 04:51:22 PM »

Thanks for the offer Ed. Truth be known, I don't know how long I may stay.  Thinking I would like a smaller weekender. 

Bill
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« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2009, 05:02:39 PM »

Bill,

Maybe when you return you will get an Iggle Grin Grin Grin. Not smaller, but maybe better??? Grin Grin Grin

God bless,

John
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« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2009, 06:51:52 PM »

Thanks for the offer Ed. Truth be known, I don't know how long I may stay.  Thinking I would like a smaller weekender. 

You're gonna get out there and go native aren't you?  You might never come back you bum. 

Have fun.  We're all jealous.

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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2009, 07:45:58 PM »

Hey Kw,  I will come and get your coach and keep it running [up and down highways] and it won't cost you a DIME.  I would be more than happy to accomadate a good ole fellow Bus Nut like Me and you.  Do I get brownie points for this thought??
Best of luck to you and stay safe.

Gomer


P.S.  Offer still stands   
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« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2009, 06:14:59 AM »


And i had just googled Kwaj the other day, not what I thought it meant Wink


Just store the bus, you'll prolly be back before it sells.

Best of luck on your adventure and keep us posted.

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« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2009, 07:24:08 PM »

It must be BIG BIG bucks to get you exited to go there, after youv'e allready been there.

Ray D
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« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2009, 07:09:10 AM »

Bill,

I just saw it on Google Earth, man that place is small. What the heck do you do there for fun and relaxation? Sure is pretty though. Cool I'll bet you see the island in less than a day!

Paul
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Kwajdiver
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« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2009, 07:45:39 AM »

Paul,

Less than an hour would be more like it.  It's only three miles long and 1/2 a mile wide.   My living quarters are right in the middle of the island.  My work, is out near the far end of the runway.

I;ve spend 14 total years out there.  You would not believe how active the island is.  The Kwajalein Scuba Club is the most active in the world.  They do 1200 - 1400 dives a month.  Google it, they have a sweet website with lots of photos.    Smiley

I've been sooooo, stressed the last couple of days.    Cry           This packing everything away is crazy.    Roll Eyes    Will be soooo glad to get on the plane, and relax....

Bill
In Auburndale, Florida


'
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« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2009, 08:01:31 AM »

Kwaj is an interesting place from a WWII history point of view.

It was the first time Allied forces penetrated prewar Japanese holdings, and came as a complete surprise to the Imperial forces that they could be beaten in their own back yard.

The battle of 31-Jan-44 to 03-Feb-44 resulted in an almost total destruction of Japanese forces on the island.

My father was on the Cruiser Pittsburgh that supported the operation and he came home with pictures of that and other battles the ship had been in.

Interestingly, dad's ship was hit a few times during the war by shell fire, bombs and even Kamikaze planes but the worst damage it took was during a typhoon in 1945 which took 104' of the bow off.

The ship limped on to Guam and the bow was towed in. A false Bow was welded in  place and the real bow was reattached in Hawaii.

Here is a link to some more photos:  http://busconversionstuff.com/galleryBCS/thumbnails.php?album=4

« Last Edit: July 30, 2009, 08:55:47 AM by Dallas » Logged
Dreamscape
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« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2009, 09:11:29 AM »

My Dad was on the USS Tucker DD-374 on 7 Dec 1941. They survived that attack but was later sunk after engaging a mine field near Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides. He saw lots of action in the South Pacific, may have even been there, I'll have to find out.

Nice diving site Bill, I'll have to drool all over my laptop later, Thanks.

Paul
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Becky and Paul Lawry, On The Road
Travel Blog - http://dreamscapetravels.wordpress.com/
Bus Blog - http://dreamscapesilvereagle.wordpress.com/
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Kwajdiver
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« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2009, 06:07:51 PM »

Busnuts,

I'm landed safely on Kwajalein, believe my body has caught up to the time zones.  I was tough for a couple of days.  Been working, mostly getting badges, computer passwords etc.  The worst thing, when not at work, I'm on dial-up computers... I had forgotten was ssssslllllooooowwww, was.

Just wanted to drop in and say hello.

Bill
Kwajalein, Republic of the Marshall Islands
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« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2009, 06:15:08 PM »

Tech Mobile Anywhere Internet

Plus about $60/month gets you a reasonable facsimile of high speed.  Its not DSL but its a lot better than dialup.
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2009, 06:40:03 PM »

Bill, glad to hear things are settling down and you can soon start enjoying your free time there.
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Dallas
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« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2009, 08:01:57 PM »

Wow!
I'm impressed, these new fangled internet doodads can even translate the bit or bytes or pixels or whatever into english from them ferign telephones!
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« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2009, 09:06:43 PM »

Pretty sure that won't work where he is,......too far to the west by probably a couple of thousand miles or more. Smiley
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« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2009, 04:16:03 AM »

Hey Bill,

Glad you arrived safe and sound! Met any busnuts yet? Roll Eyes

Have a great time diving and take lots of pictures!

Take Care,

Paul
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Becky and Paul Lawry, On The Road
Travel Blog - http://dreamscapetravels.wordpress.com/
Bus Blog - http://dreamscapesilvereagle.wordpress.com/
______________________________________________________

Our coach was originally owned by the Dixie Echoes.
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