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Words From an Ex Naval Photographer on the Hilo Tsunami Photos

Yesterday, I posted a video of newly released photos of the aftermath of the 1960 Hilo Tsunami.

I have begun dialog with Charles Hansen, the US Navy Photographer that was granted access to the Big Island the day after the Tsunami hit and hopefully he will be sending more pictures soon.

… I am now feeling guilty for sitting on these meaningful images for 50 years.

I was a young US Navy man at the time, stationed at NAS Barbers Point, Oahu. We were on the big island on vacation and staying at the military rest camp up on the mountain. We had a shipmate and his family (Warrant Officer Moo Thick Soo Hoo) on board the SS Lurline and visited them. We knew that the wave was coming and arrived on the scene the next morning. As US Navy photographers and were able to gain access and photograph the destruction…

… I have many photographs from that era. Can you imagine a young 20 year old fresh out of Naval photo school being sent to that beautiful Hawaiian Territory (1958) and asked to document it. I was in heaven.

I had two pictures published in Life magazine during the two years that I was there…three full pages dedicated to those two pictures. Fifty years later and I am still bragging about them…

3 Responses

  1. All files, in high resolution, have been placed with the museum in Hilo, Hawaii. Thank you for your efforts with this. Charles Hansen

  2. […] anyone know who these folks are that are in these pictures taken by Charles Hansen in […]

  3. Damon please thank Mr. Hansen for sharing these pictures on youtube. The people of the Big Island will appreciate these so much. And thank YOU for finding it for us.

    Mr. Hansen, it would be so wonderful if you could share these pictures with the Tsunami Museum also.

    Aloha, Damon’s Mom

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