Fix on the Rising Sun

the Clipper Hi-jacking of 1938---and the Ultimate M.I.A.'s

by Charles N. Hill



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 10/27/2000

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 8.25x11
Page Count : 216
ISBN : 9781588203632

About the Book

Fix on the Rising Sun is more than a tale of piracy and murder. It is, as well, a "bill of indictment" which may ultimately close the books on one of the darker events in aviation history: the disappearance, on July 29, 1938, of Pan American Airways' trans-Pacific flying boat, Hawaii Clipper. And if a proper Epilogue is ever written, it will document the recovery, from a concrete tomb, of her nine crew and six passengers-the Ultimate MIA's of the War in the Pacific.

But the Hawaii Clipper did not simply "disappear:" she was hi-jacked to Truk Atoll by radical officers of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Her fifteen crew and passengers were murdered and entombed within a slab of wet concrete on Dublon Island at Truk Atoll and, quite inexplicably, the United States Government continues to keep this secret for the Japanese government - and from the American People - as it has, since 1938.

The charge of piracy is well documented and supported by evidence transmitted from the Clipper during her final flight under American colors - westbound out of Guam. An exhaustive analysis of the flying boat's last five reported positions demonstrates that her flight reports were deceptive and that her falsely reported approach to Manila was in conflict with Pan American Airways' usual flight policies. Most importantly, the analysis clearly indicates Japanese involvement in piracy by radio-deception and suggests not only the Clipper's destination, but her true position at the instant that her radio signals ended abruptly - on approach to an Imperial Japanese Navy seaplane base, at Ulithi.

As to the fate of Hawaii Clipper's nine crew and six passengers, the 1964 report, asserting that they had been entombed in a concrete slab, came from two Micronesians, known to have had close ties to the Imperial Navy's Fourth Fleet, as contractors, at Truk, in the late 1930's. (As the foundation of the Fourth Fleet naval hospital, the slab was the later site of numerous medical war crimes.)

And, while this account, as related to the author by Joe Gervais (who interviewed the former Truk contractors in 1964), does not constitute "hard evidence," it surely stands, for all its wealth of detail, as consistent with the documented facts of the Clipper's loss.

Beginning with the Air Safety Board of the CAA, which left the case open in 1938, many have pursued the elusive Clipper, with limited success, and one can only speculate as to their respective reasons for eventually abandoning her. Perhaps it became apparent to each of them that there are forces, not only interested in, but actually intent upon, preventing this story from ever reaching the public eye. Most assuredly, there is reason to believe that Hawaii Clipper might unlock many doors to the past and that, beyond those doors, sixty years of history may prove to be little more than a house of cards.

If the victims of flight 103 of Pan Am's Maid of the Seas, which was destroyed by a bomb over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, are deserving of the national memorial which has been dedicated to them, then, surely, the dead of PAA's Hawaii Clipper deserve, at the least, a decent burial. Then, too, it should be apparent that the only valid deterrent to international crime, whether committed by rebels - or by empires - lies not in threats of retribution under the Law, which is so often corrupted by policy, but only in the absolute assurance that Truth will not suffer silently for long, or lie buried, forever.

Although the primary aim of this book is the recovery of the fifteen Ultimate M.I.A.'s, Truth, alone, is a goal worthy of pursuit, as well, and if this quest is successful, then the Truth, unveiled at last, may serve both our peoples: the Americans - and the Japanese.

About the Author

Charles N. Hill was only seven months old when Japanese naval aviators attacked Pearl Harbor, but soon after, with one of his two uncles serving in North Africa and, later, in Italy, and the other held as a prisoner of war by the Japanese in the southern Philippines, the two concurrent wars came to serve as a very personal backdrop to his early years.

By the summer of 1945, it was customary for neighborhood boys to play "war," almost incessantly. They seldom fought the Nazis in their games, and, because he was younger and smaller than many of the boys, Charles spent most of his time, in play, as a "Jap." Late in 1945, Charles' mother received word that her brother, Major Robert Nelson, had starved to death aboard a Japanese POW maru-one of the infamous hell-ships-en route to Japan, on January 20, 1945, two and a half years after Roosevelt had ordered the surrender of the Philippines. Charles recalls that his mother's reaction to the notification of her brother's death actually terrified him. He never played a "Jap," after that, nor was the war ever discussed at his mother's table, even as it is forbidden in Japan, even today.

But reading was not forbidden, so Charles immersed himself in a study of the war, at one time owning a library of four thousand volumes, half of it pertaining to the Pacific War. The catharsis washed away his learned hatred and replaced it with a more objective interest. In 1974, he became intrigued by the Klass/Gervais book, Amelia Earhart Lives, and began his own pursuit of the lady whom he then regarded as a victim of the Japanese. Today, he knows that the Japanese were her victims, but his pursuit of Earhart continues, and the 1938 Clipper hi-jacking, he believes, will eventually open a "back door" into the "imagination-staggering" saga of the woman whom he is convinced was "twice a traitor."

But his quest has not been without hazard or adversity. In November, 1989, Charles was invited to speak at Purdue University, at a symposium of the Amelia Earhart Research Consortium, a shortlived organization of the best informed private Earhart researchers in the U.S. Upon his arrival at Purdue, Charles learned, to his surprise, that Joe Gervais, of all researchers, was not scheduled to attend. Contacted by phone, Joe firmly told Charles, "Pack your bags and get out of Purdue," and explained that the "silent partner" of the AERC was a C.I.A. operative and that the symposium was serving as a C.I.A. "sting" operation, aimed at determining who knew what about Amelia Earhart. Charles thought that Joe's charge was too bizarre to be true, and so he foolishly ignored Joe's warning.

Two weeks later, Charles was advised by his employers that he had been declared to be a "security risk" and that he would have to be terminated as soon as he had completed a then-current project. Since then, both he and his wife have found it nearly impossible to secure regular employment, yet, the idea that they might be victims of a U.S. Government blacklist seemed as absurd as Gervais' claim of a C.I.A sting against Earhart researchers. But, in 1996, the former "silent partner" of the AERC advised Charles that he had been employed by the C.I.A. in 1989 and that the symposium had, indeed, served as a covert C.I.A. operation: the blacklist was quite real and continues to be-an oppressive reality.

Charles was graduated, in 1972, cum Laude, with Honors in English, from the University of Cincinnati, but draws upon Coast Guard electronics training, whenever he can, for his livelihood. He lives with his wife, Carol, and their sons, Ian and Charles, in the shadows of the American Dream, hoping, eventually, to complete his next book, Twice a Traitor.