CHICHI JIMA            BONIN ISLANDS               OGASAWARA

                                                                Welcome Rock
                                                                                              WELCOME  ROCK
Photo courtesy of John LaPlant

What better way to welcome you to my Chichi Jima, Bonin Islands, Ogasawara web site that a picture of WELCOME ROCK seen above.  It sits just at the entrance of Futami Ko, the harbor at Chichi Jima.  The mouth of the harbor is to the immediate right of this picture.  As of March, 2012, this web site, in some form, has been in existence for 15 years, and has been a source of considerable pleasure by allowing me to establish contact with many individuals who have some type of Chichi Jima connection, and others who are just interested individuals.  

I was indeed fortunate to be able to spend two years on Chichi Jima while serving as a Medical Officer at U.S. Naval Facility, Chichi Jima from 1964 to 1966.  I continue to consider these to be the best two years of my life.  I am now a retired eye surgeon and live in Butler, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, with my wife Elsie (Mayumi) who was born on Chichi Jima and is the daughter of Willie and Nobuko Savory.  She of course is a direct descendent of Nathaniel Savory, one of the islands original settlers.  

The primary value of this page is in the LINKS  that I have provided below.  Some are authored by me, but most are links to other web sites with some relevance to Chichi Jima.  In this LINKS section you can check the current weather on Chichi, track the typhoons during the typhoon season, see some pictures of modern day Chichi, and read some of the history of the island and its interesting people.  Remember that when you travel to one of these links, you can return to this page by clicking the "Back" button of your browser.  I would also suggest that if there is any particular photograph or article that has special interest for you, that you save it to your hard drive, because many of the links belong to other people, and you can not depend on them being there at a later date.  In February 2012, I have deleted some of the previous links that no longer worked, and added some others that I have found since last editing this page. As of March 2012, all the links are working.  In addition, you can find quite a few videos of Chichi Jima on  youTube.com.  Just type Chichi Jima, Bonin Islands, Ogasawara into their seach box.  

In the links section below, you will find a link to photographs supplied to me by Carol Pobst. Her father was Chief Petty Officer Pobst, the first Officer in Charge of NAVFAC CHICHI JIMA. Carol and her mother Rose accompanied Chief Pobst to his assignment at Chichi Jima. She was about 9 or 10 years old at that time which would have been about 1949 or 1950. I never had the opportunity to meet Carol personally, but we did have several phone conversations during which she authorized me to publish her pictures on this website. Carol and her mother Rose have both passed on and I regret that it took me so long to make her pictures available.



  



                                                                    LINKS  THAT  WILL  INTEREST  YOU
Joint Typhoon Warning Center                                                          Track the typhoons in the area
Chichi Weather by Weather Underground                                         Another source for Chichi weather
John LaPlant's Chichi Web Site
                                                         Nice web site by a former Chichi  Navy Weather Man
Another Old Chichi Guestbook (Inactive)                                          Check for someone you might know
Old Chichi Jima Guest Book (Inactive)                                              Check for someone you might know
Ogasawara DXpedition                                                                        Japanese Ham Radio Group with Good Pictures
Notes From The Life Of Nathaniel Savory                                         Some early island history
A Letter From Yankeetown                                                                 One Naval Officer's Wish For The Future
Bonin Islands Historical Event, A Missing Link                                By a crewmember who was there
Home To Chichi Jima                                                                           Additional early island history
History of the Bonin Islands                                                                Rare book on early history--doubt you will find this in your library
Japan Capitulates                                                                                 Pictures of the surrender aboard the USS Dunlap                                             
Chichi Jima Marine Vignette--by Bill Monks                                     Relive the experiences of the Chichi Jima Marines at the surrender
Background Information On The Bonins                                             From a Chichi Jima Marine publication written by Bill Monks
The Chichi Jima Marine Webpage                                                      These are the guys who demilitarized the Bonin Islands after the surrender
Ogasawara Elementary School                                                             Nice site sponsored by Chichi Jima's Elementary School
In Memoriam to Frank Curley                                                              Pennsylvanian lost near Haha Jima--WW  II
Childress, Texas Vet Lost Near Chichi Jima                                       Another sad story
Connie Christuk's Story                                                                        Connie was a crewmember on the USS Dunlap
Chichi, The Way I Prefer To Remember It                                          Copy of a Navy brochure sent to incoming personnel
Wrecks of Ogasawara                                                                            Article by Charles T. Whipple--good pictures
Captain Beechey's "Discovery" of the Bonins                                    Another early historical account
Pacific Daily News                                                                                 Guam's Daily Newspaper
Marianas Variety                                                                                   Publication out of Saipan
Bouchan's Chichi Pictures                                                                     These pictures supplied by Clint Nirdlinger
USS Banner AKL-25                                                                             A Ship Transformed
More Chichi Pictures                                                                             Language unknown--just click on the small pictures for a real treat
Institute of Boninology                                                                          In Japanese--nature pictures
Commodore Perry's Visit to the Bonins--June 1853                           More information for the history buffs
Pictures by Ham Radio Operators on Chichi                                       Click their photo gallery box
Giant Squid Photographed at Chichi Jima                                            From National Geographic Magazine
Pasco's Ogasawara Diving                                                                    Good pictures, and a lot of good links on this site
Landscape of Ogasawara                                                                      More Chichi pictures
Ogasawara Tourist Association                                                            In Japanese--they should have an English version to promote U.S. tourism
A SUB-SAILORS VISIT TO CHICHI JIMA                                      Pictures contributed by a crew member
Bonin Island Historic Eventsó A Missing Link                                     r




                                                                                       PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS

The U.S. Naval Facility on Chichi Jima was closed down when the islands reverted back to Japan in July 1968.  I must admit that I certainly had mixed feelings about this event when it happened.  However it now seems obvious that, on balance, it was a good thing for the Bonin Islanders.  The Japanese government built the islands into a national park and made many infrastructure improvements that I seriously doubt that our U.S. Navy would ever have provided.  This also allowed much easier travel for the islanders to Japan and elsewhere.  It also made the attractions and natural beauty of the islands available to tourists which allowed some of the islanders to become involved in businesses associated with tourism.  

When I served there as Naval Medical Officer, there were essentially two groups of people on the island, ie., the military and civil service people, and the Bonin Islanders, ie., those that had been allowed to return to the island after the war.  These essentially were those who could prove descendency from the original island settlers.  There were approximately 120 "Bonin Islanders" living on Chichi when I was there.  Many of the islanders who were middle aged or elderly when I was there have since passed on.  At the time of the reversion in July 1968, a window of opportunity for immigration to the United States was opened to those islanders who desired to immigrate.  As a result of this, some of those islanders who were teenagers and young adults did choose to immigrate, thus reducing the "islander" population.  Others chose to migrate to mainland Japan.  It would appear that those who chose to remain behind have gradually been absorbed into the Japanese society, with the result that the "islander" group as we in the Navy knew them, will soon be extinct.  I have to say that this does sadden me in that the "islanders" were a very unique group of people with a very unique history; a group that had to take enormous risks and overcome many hardships.  I wish for those that still remain, the best things that life can give, and that the wahoo never stop biting.  

Those who are interested in Chichi's history as related to World War II, should try to find a copy of the book "George Bush: his World War II Years", by Robert B. Stinnett.  The ISBN numbers for this book are  0-02-881043-0 and 0-02-881048-1 .  I understand that this book is no longer in print but some libraries do have it and I have even seen it for sale on E-bay on several occasions.  It has quite a few pictures of wartime Chichi as well as a detailed description of George Bush's shoot-down and rescue there.  


                                                                                     CONTACT  INFORMATION
Please be assured that we are interested in hearing from ANYONE with an interest in the islands, whether they be current or prior residents of Chichi,  U.S. military personnel, or individuals who have immigrated from Chichi to the United States, or elsewhere.  Also, note that there is a "Guest Page"  associated with this site where one can leave a message and view messages that others have left.  There are two old, inactive guest pages listed in the LINKS section that can be checked for possible acquaintences.  We would be glad to receive e-mail, postal mail, or even telephone calls.

E-Mail         chichidoc (at) gmail.com    Insert the @sign in place of the word "at".  I do this to foil the spammers.  

Postal Address:         John L. Wick, M.D.                                        Amateur Radio Callsign    K3HPS
                                   1000 North McKean Street,
                                   Butler,  PA  16001  

Telephone                 724-679-7211

                                                            

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As we used to say
                                                                       CHICHI  IS  PEACHY