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Otto Gans Wake Island POW


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#1 Navybean

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 11:01 AM

Group I picked up locally about 10 plus years ago.   Otto Gans was a civilian dock worker assigned to Wake Island at the begging of WW2.   Otto was on the island when the Japanese invaded and he was taken prisoner in 1942.  Otto eventually was transferred to China where it appears he spent the war.  The group includes a teak wood cane with what appears to be a aircraft aluminum sheath.  cane is very ornate with a lot of carvings covering areas he was imprisoned.  Also include in the group is a teak wood pipe holder again with locations of his time as a POW.  Also in the group is a POW I.D tag front with his POW info and the back with a drawing of Wake island.   Last in the group is a named soap dish,  not sure when he would have received this.   I have found some info on Otto on line which confirms his time on Wake and as a POW.  Otto was located in Shanghai Prison.  Looking at the I.D. tag it is interesting how "Ileland".  It would appear he was moved to Shanghai in 44?  I.D. tag has 44 following Otto's name and lists Wake in 1942 

Hope you enjoy this group and any input on this individual would be greatly appreciated.  thanks Mike 

 

  

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#2 Navybean

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 11:02 AM

more pictures of this group

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#3 Navybean

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 11:03 AM

more pics 

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#4 Navybean

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 11:05 AM

more pics 

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#5 Navybean

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 11:06 AM

some more pics 

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#6 sundance

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 11:24 AM

Great group. Beautiful carving on that cane.



#7 aznation

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 11:39 AM

Awesome grouping, especially the carved cane!  Congrats!



#8 Navybean

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 12:03 PM

Awesome grouping, especially the carved cane!  Congrats!


Thanks for the comments it is a great group. Long time to have been in captivity for a WW2 era POW

#9 Navybean

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 12:04 PM

Great group. Beautiful carving on that cane.


Thanks for the comments, the cane was the first item I received in the group the remainder came to almost a year later.

#10 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 02:38 PM

CPNAB was " Contractors Pacific Naval Air Bases" . Most of the Wake Island Civilians that worked for CPNAB were contracted by MK (Morrison Knudsen).  There is a good chance he worked for them. I will take a look. I have quite a bit of material er from civilians captured on Wake Island. 

 

I especially like that dogtag!! 

 

Kurt



#11 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 02:47 PM

I could not find him in the MK employee book. He must have worked for one of the other companies,

 

Kurt



#12 Navybean

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 04:28 PM

I could not find him in the MK employee book. He must have worked for one of the other companies,
 
Kurt


Thanks for looking Kurt, could he have been assigned to the clipper fleet?

#13 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 04:48 PM

The CPNAB was assigned contracts based on the need to build air bases for land aircraft all over the Pacific. They had contracts in Hawaii, Guam, wake Island, and midway at the beginning of the war . They did not necessarily support clipper aircraft facilities since they landed in the water and PAA owned them.

Kurt

#14 Navybean

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 05:42 PM

When I found Otto a few years ago on the ADA site it listed him as a “dock worker”
Kurt thanks for the info on the PNAB. Was not sure what that was but sure makes sense now

#15 manayunkman

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 10:51 PM

He was a Stevedore.

 

Amazing group.



#16 Navybean

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 03:14 AM

He was a Stevedore.
 
Amazing group.


That sounds correct for what I recall his job was thanks

#17 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 06:06 AM

Even companies constructing Air Fields need stevedores when working on an island!

 

Kurt 



#18 manayunkman

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 06:13 AM

Somebody needs to unload the crazy boat!!




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