Handy Island

Handy Island
"The Air War Finds A Handy South Atlantic Island" was the caption on this Peter Hurd painting of Ascension Island, from Life Magazine, April 1945. It was the only place for pilots to refuel between Natal and West Africa.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ascension Archives

A very kind volunteer at the Ascension Island Heritage Society has now catalogued the two boxes of papers I sent her after my father's death. The boxes contained my father's letters, papers, lists of military men he served with, and drafts of articles about this strange island where he was stationed for two years during World War II.

I was thrilled to see that this part of the work was completed.  It means researchers in the years ahead will have a new resource about the part America played in the history of this British Overseas Territory.  And there is a bonus.

Volunteer Shari Parkhill, who will soon be leaving Ascension after many years on "the rock," put together a collection of my father's memoirs and tales, about his time as a US soldier on the island, into a Heritage Society Publication.

The booklet is on its way to me from across the Atlantic, and I can't wait to see it. I don't know if it will be available to the public, along with the other publications of the Heritage Society, but I do hope it will.  This is their email address if you would like to find out: heritage@atlantis.co.ac                       

My humble father would be amazed and so proud to know that this has happened.

Capt. William Ashley Chapman on Ascension Island, 1943.

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