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How to Use the Images

 

Inquiry Question

Historical Context

Maps

Readings

Photos 1 & 2
Photo 3
Photo 4
Photo 5

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Visual Evidence

Photo 6: Ammunition magazine on Midway. [Photo 6] with link to larger version of photo.
(National Park Service, E. N. Thompson, photographer)

Photo 6 shows one of the surviving ammunition storehouses on Midway. It also shows some of the atoll's famous albatrosses. These birds stay out over the open ocean for months at a time, landing on the surface of the water only to fish and sleep. They come to Midway for mating and nesting. Their dramatic, ungainly mating dances led American GIs to call them "gooney birds." Collisions with the birds damaged hundreds of planes--sometimes seriously. The Navy tried to drive the birds off by blowing smoke from burning old tires. They tried to scare them with loud noises from mortars and bazookas. They shipped adult birds off to distant islands; the birds came right back. They hauled 2,000 baby albatrosses to an island 250 miles away; the adults came back to Midway, where they were born. Finally, the Navy gave up.

Questions for Photo 6

1. What might be some of the particular difficulties of constructing buildings at Midway?

2. How do you think the men stationed on Midway felt about the albatrosses?

* The photo on this screen has a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a larger version of Photo 6, but be aware that the file will take as much as 40 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.

 

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