To look at me playing in the sand on the beach at a young 2 ½ years old while Mom was standing nearby holding her camera, one would never guess that I was sitting on a not so common island. This crescent shaped tiny piece of land was only 1 ½ miles wide by 2 ½ miles long and located in the middle of a vast ocean. The nearest signs of civilization other than the natives who lived here were over 2400 miles away in any direction, and Dad, Mom, and I lived here in the early 1950s.
Just beyond me, one of the largest lagoon in the world, being 839 square miles wide, encircled this area, and right above where the peaceful and colorful reef fish swam in these safe waters was where many Navy ships stopped while passing through. During World War II, this and the nearby atolls were overtaken by the United States government from the Japanese, and we were here because my dad was a lieutenant in the United States Navy. Just a few months from this moment with my mom, would mark the first time out of a dozen or more throughout my life that I would dramatically escape death.