edsanders.com - Typhoon Pamela on Guam 1976

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There are over 100 pictures here, so you must be patient... I'll be adding text as time permits.

Here are some messages and links to people you can read if you're having to wait for the pictures to load:

Zap me an e-mail if you want to be included here. Might help you locate old buddies, share memories, etc. edsanders@edsanders.com. Please mention for me to include it on the site in the message. Thanks!

your pamela site is awesome. i missed the storm by 5 years. i spent 5 0f my 20 air force years on the wonderful island of guam and loved every minute. i did put a link to this page on my homepage http://wdtran.com/bill/ in the my assignments section. you really should add a guest book to this page. i think it would really help. then everybody could read everybody's comments. thank you for all the good hard work it takes to put up and maintain this site. bill erickson, usaf, msgt, retired. st petersburg, fl. mailto:billy@ij.net

Just checked your website and thought I would let you know I liked it. My wife and I had just finished cleaning our base housing and were getting ready to rotate back to the States when Pamela hit. It smashed my station wagon between two other cars in the parking area at the Terminal. I took alot of pictures of the aftermath on the island. I still have several issues of the Pacific Daily News (local paper) with coverage of Typhoon Pamela.

I was in Guam from September 72 to February 73 (TDY) and July 74 to July 76.

I was in the 43rd AMS and 43rd Supply Sq Orderly Rooms.

Again, nice job on your pages.


I happened upon your site and was very interested. I arrived at Anderson in July 1977. I spent 2 1/2 years in the very same barracks. I was with the 54th weather squadron as a jet eng. mechanic. Your photos of the base after Pamela gave me my first glimpse of all the trees that used to stand around the buildings. As you know, that wrap around view of the Pacific beyond the golf course was incredible. I lived at the other end of the same wing on the second floor and also the third. The barracks were completely refurbished in 1979 about six months before I left. I also lived off base with a couple friends in a house that we rented.

I can't believe it's been 18 years since I was there. I look back with a great deal of fondness for that Island. I explored a great deal of it while there. Caving, diving, flying in the Navy aero club, driving around the island by car or motorcycle were among the most enjoyable things to do. I also took a lot of 35 mm photos both on and off base.

I would enjoy hearing about your time there and comparing thoughts on the island.


Harley Oakes

Web sites and e-mails of folks who were or are on Guam

Enjoyed looking at your photos. I also was on Guam during Pamela as a teacher at Agat Jr. High which was destroyed. I owned a house which came through with only sand blasted. I remained on the Island for 2 1/2 months without electricity. During June and July I was a teacher at GW High School for Driver Education. Sold house and returned stateside in August just after power was restored on that day where I was staying. campnj@jerseycape.com Jay Otto

Hey, thanks for the pics from Typhoon Pamela. I was there then: Civilian; My senior year in High School... (the typhoon made for lots of unique "senior year" stories to tell).

My folks are still on Guam. My sister & family and my brother & family live there also. The devastation from Paka was similar to Pamela. They tell me the eye of Paka was 3 hours long!

Hopefully there'll be a website with pics from Paka soon...

Anyway, thanks for "Pamela" memories.

Linda Ahlborn

And her other half

On May 21, 1976 I was 18 years old and was stationed at the Ship Repair Facility in Guam when Super Typhoon Pamela hit. I was unlucky enough to have duty that day and had to spend the entire storm stuck on a floating drydock.

When the storm was at it's peak, I was dumb enough to let my curiosity about the storm get the best of me. Me and a couple of other sailors tied some rope around our waists, secured the other end of it down below decks, and with movie camera in hand we ventured outside. I have never felt anything so intense in all my life. The drydock broke loose from several of it's anchor chains and crashed into the pier creating a hole so large in the side of the drydock that you could have driven an 18 wheeler through it. We began taking on water and began to list a little. Since it was a floating drydock there was little fear of us sinking. We were stranded on the drydock for 2 days with no food or water, so we waited to be rescued.

I haven't experienced anything quite like that typhoon since, but it made me respect mother nature and become more aware of the weather around me. I live in Texas and do experience a tornado now and then but nothing like May 21st 1976. The one thing I remember vividly is the roar of the winds, a sound I hope I never have to experience again.

Please add my comments to your page.

Dan McNew, Dallas, Texas

My children, Michael, 12, & Barbara, 9, & I, Mary, rode out Pamela in our "typhoon-proof" quarters next door to the dental clinic in Lockwood Terrace on the Naval Station, familiarly known as "Big Navy". (My former spouse, Wayne, was stationed aboard the Proteus. Of course, he went out with the ship.) The 3 of us spent the worst of the storm in the bathroom with candles, a radio & our 2 cats. (The only other time I have known such pitch blackness was inside Carlsbad Caverns when they turned out the lights!) The sounds of the wind and various objects hitting the walls of our house were terrifying. Our house was made of cinder block with wooden window frames set into the walls. The wind drove the rain between the window frames & the walls! We managed to stay dry in the bathroom by blocking the door & window with towels that we would wring out several times an hour. We 3 spent about 4 hours cleaning up the water in our house after the storm was over.

The DJ on the radio managed to stay on the air throughout the storm. He played every song ever written that has anything to do with rain, water, wind, storms, etc. I wish I remembered his name to be able to thank him for helping keep ourt spirits up!

We went outside when the eye passed over & I remember seeing clothing and other items blown into our yard from inside other people's homes.

We went 11 days without electricity which meant no hot water, cooking, refrigeration, A/C or laundry. We were able to eat 1 or 2 meals a day in the mess hall at the Marine barracks. When the crews came through turning the electricity back on, everyone still in housing went out & applauded them.

To this day, I get nervous & frightened when the wind blows harder than usual, especially during a rain storm!

The 3 of us bought "In the eye - Typhoon Pamela" t-shirts later. When Wayne came back with the ship, he wanted to get one also. Michael told him he couldn't because "We went through the storm, Dad. You didn't."

Except for the typhoon, I really enjoyed Guam. Would like to exchange e-mails with others who have lived there. If you consider it suitable, please include this message on your web site.

Mary Gallagher (formerly Shook), San Antonio TX, scifinut13@satx.rr.com

The following pictures are from the FAA radar screens on Andersen AFB Guam as Typhoon Pamela approached the island in 1976. I took them with a Mamiya C-330 camera with 120 film. Some weather people wanted copies of these pictures, but a couple of weeks later I was stationed in Hanscom AFB, MA, and found the photo hobby shop had just been closed. I was also unable to get permission to use the base photo shop to reproduce the pictures. Now with the Internet, I can share them with everyone.

So far I havn't had time to get my photo lab up and running, so have copied the contact sheets I made many years ago using a digital camera.

The first picture is when the typhoon was about 200 miles out.

These pictures were taken before the typhoon reached the island. The wind was picking up, but we were still able to go outside. I went over to the dorm where I lived at the time to "batten down the hatches." This picture is taken from the dorm area towards the flightline.
This is looking from the door of my room looking towards the squadron offices.
Looking from my room towards the bowling alley and photo/ceramics hobby shop.
Back to the radar screens. You can see the wall clouds are beginning to form.
As they eye of the typhoon passed over we were able to go outdoors for a few minutes. You can see the remains of a building that was above the FAA building.
Back to the radar screen.
Another dash outside just as the other side of the wall cloud was about to hit.
No mure excursions outside!
The wind and pressure changes were tearing the doors out by their casings. We drilled holes through them, fished cable through and hitched the doors to the floor and a wall. Fortunately the floor had lift up panels with a framework to hitch to.
Hitching down the doors.
This was the view from my dorm room looking toward the ocean before the typhoon.
I accidently hit the shutter release while on the roof of the bowling alley. This is looking toward the dorm I lived in. The wind was still blowing pretty hard.
Outside of our squadron offices.
I lived on the second floor at the far right of this picture.
In front of the squadron offices again.
My room was the second one in from the end on the second floor on the right.
The back of a soda machine in front of the squadron offices.
Parking area in front of the squadron offices.
First floor of the dorm with uprooted tree roots.
Looking toward the squadron offices from my room.
In front of the passenger terminal.
The Auto Hobby Shop.
Auto Hobby shop.
The "Gray Ghost", a B-52 used by the fire department to practice on. It was upright before the typhoon.
A storage building flipped over.
A palm tree speared a window in the chaplain's office.
Buildings that were above the FAA building, I think the commissary? Zap me an e-mail if you know.
The base library.
Inside the base library.
The library again.
A couple of trailers flipped over.
A wall was blown out of the base post office and letters were everywhere.
Colonel Dan Roberts, Air Terminal Manager. One of the best leaders I have ever known.
A building in "Tin City." They survived amazingly well. A lot of history happened here. A lot of the extra people needed on the base during the bombing of North Vietnam lived in these buildings and in tents nearby. Later during operation New Life, Vietnamese escaping Vietnam were processed here on their way to other countries.
A car flipped upside down in the housing area.
The light cart Col. Roberts and I "liberated" to power the lights and reefer in our air freight terminal.
Looking toward the chapel from the top of the bowling alley.
The store that sold products from around the Pacific. I forget the name of it.
A Guamanian worker probing for the drain in front of the passenger terminal. There was quite a lake there.
Same lake looking from the flight line at the passenger terminal.
Looking from the back side of my dorm room toward the golf course and ocean.
Looking from the back side of my dorm room toward the housing area.
Along the back balcony from my dorm room. There wasn't any electricity to use the dryers (or anything else) during the two weeks before I left the island.
Looking toward the north end of the island while the waves were still high.
One of the hangars at the upper end of the flight line.
Same hangar.

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