We recently received a letter from World War II veteran Jess Hargrove who was stationed in the Galapagos Islands in the Christmas season of 1942 as part of the US Army’s efforts to monitor movement in and around the Panama Canal. While their strategic position for the US during the war is one of the lesser-known aspects of the archipelagos, Jess describes Albemarle Point as “a very hospitable place.” He writes that the climate was absolutely perfect, and having his radio room adjacent to the ocean was “definitely a plus.”
Although the location and history of the areas he was stationed in were “a complete mystery” to his unit at the time (he told us that they had no maps available), a recent article in the Kansas City Star on Lonesome George spurred him to ask the Conservancy about the little-known military history of the islands. We were happy to fill him in on the location of Punta Albemarle and Pto. Villamil where he also spent some time. We even sent him a map to remind him of his unique stay in Galapagos.
For those interested in more of the human history of Galapagos, we invite you to visit the History section of our website or visit John Woram’s Galapagos website. You can also learn more about the history and sites of each Island on our interactive Island-by-Island map.
Of course, we welcome any and all questions you may have and will endeavor to do our best to answer them.
Galapagos Conservancy Staff