NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
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Kennedy Island
Western, Solomon Islands
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Latitude and Longitude -8.1128, 156.9056 Map

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Equipment Notes: Two-Track Mono; Electrovoice RE50 Dynamic Omni Microphone. Show: Ballard PT-109 Log of DAT #: 5 Engineer: Neal Conan - Kennedy Island Date: May 20, 2002 JC = Jay M. Cohen NC = Neal Conan 0:49 Ambi. Waves lap gently against the shore. 0:50 NC This is Kennedy Island 1:23 Ambi. Barely audible sea-gull? 1:38 - 1:47¿1:56 Ambi. A bird whistles 2:24 - 2:33 A bird sharply and more audibly whistles. "peep¿peep¿" 3:32 - 4:00 (through next statement) A different bird shrills 3:44 NC And this is where they came ashore¿ plum island it was known then, officially, but Kennedy didn't know the name. He called it "bird island," and it has since become known as Kennedy Island. 4:03 Bird regularly shrills 4:11 NC Excuse me! 4:20 Ambi - footsteps with waves still audible, bird shrilling 4:36 louder footsteps, bird sounds louder as well as wave sound retreats to background. 5:00 - 5:16 very clear, loud calling of shrilling bird 5:16 two birds shrill back and forth for a few seconds 5:40 - 6:02 better sound of the same 6:16 New bird noise, however not very loud 6:28 footsteps, twigs being snapped with the birds still audible. 6:56 - 7:45 A new bird, similar to the shrilling bird 7:49 - 8:09 A different sounding bird responds to the shrills. The birds call back and forth regularly and quickly for about 20 seconds. Then, shrilling bird continues. 9:01 New birds, one shrills while one whistles. Perhaps 3 or 4 bird sounds here. 9:12 a bird rapidly "beeps" 9:26 NC Okay¿ 9:26 - 10:26 Ambi - footsteps 9:50 (Some one whistles) It's a Kennedy _____¿ 9:55 NC I got that 10:18 NC's footing slips audibly, gasps 10:26 End of Track 1 / Beginning of Track 2 Interview: Jay M. Cohen 10:37 NC What does it mean to you to be here? 1041 JC Well, you know, as a child of the "greatest generation," growing up with the story of pt 109, and all the incredible heroic feats of the fighting men and women of WWII, esp. in the pacific and the island chains... it's really hard to describe. There's an immortality being on a very small Pac. Island. You feel like it's here just for you in the middle of paradise, the coral, the clear water, broken clouds¿ it's as if nothing could ever disturb this and yet just 60 years ago, coming up on the 60th ann. Of the Guadalcanal in august, this ¿ was an incredible battlefield - planes flying overhead, amer./jap/allied/tokyo express running down this slot right past this island every night¿ Kennedy and pt109 was just one of three pt boats in this area that night trying to intercept those destroyers that were trying to resupply the Japanese. When you look at the scale here and you realize the tremendous feat it was - the great physical condition, John Kennedy and the rest of his crew must have been in. we're standing here in the shade of a tree and you can hear the waves very quietly lapping.. but it's probably 100 % humidity and about 110 in the sun! you can imagine swimming in this, esp. having to stay out of the water and trying to be on land in the daylight so you wouldn't get captured¿ by the Jap who basically controlled these waters and certainly controlled much of the land. It really is timeless, and it's very moving - I never thought a NYC boy growing up, joining the navy to see the world.. all these many years later in the sol. Islands¿ this is esp touching for my wife b/c her father was a career marine officer - artillery. He fought at Tinian, Saipan, went ashore the second day with his artillery in Iwo Jima, and while he might not have been in these specific waters, he's no longer with us, it gives the fam a great appreciation for the sacrifice that gen. Made and continues to make. I just app. The opportunity to be here and appreciate a small part of this history. 13:42 N... (Notes truncated)

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28 Apr 2010 by Ben Brotman
28 Apr 2010 by Ben Brotman
28 Apr 2010 by Ben Brotman