USMC artwork, The Defense of Wake
Fewer still know the story of the un-enlisted -- the civilians
-- who originally went to Wake Island to help build a naval
base and ended up fighting and dying for their country.
Indeed it wasn’t until 1981 that the U.S. government
itself officially recognized those civilians who had served
heroically on Wake as “veterans” of World War
Of the 1,100 civilians, who originally went to Wake Island
to build the Navy base, many lost their lives in the initial
combat for the Island. After the island fell, the survivors
were shipped off to P.O.W. camps in China and Japan to wait
out the rest of the war. 98 civilians were retained on the
island to serve the needs of the Japanese military. Their
time on the island would end in dire consequences.
“Those Who Also Served” is
the story of the men who went to Wake Island to earn good
wages so they could go to college or those looking for travel
and adventure far from their depression era existence in
Middle America. It was those who -- without even the basics
of military training -- took up arms against the enemy when
Who might wish to own a copy of this documentary account
of the civilian contractors and their service on Wake Island
during World War II? The answer is varied and diverse:
- Anyone interested in World War II history.
- Anyone interested in Naval history.
- Family and relatives of the civilians and military who
- Scholars and Educators interested in the plight of non-military
detainees during time of war.
- Anyone interested in another snapshot of what long-time
NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw described in his book as the
It is to these men of Wake Island and to all those who
served their country with little or no recognition and whose
service was all to quickly forgotten, that this film is dedicated.