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CDR Thompson

Commanding Officer, Itasca

Itasca’s commanding officer was certain that AE had crashed into the sea between 337 and 045 degrees from Howland at up to 250 miles [units not specified]. This belief directed Itasca’s initial search efforts, however, it was never really clear from any historic account, why CDR Thompson felt the aircraft was so far north of Howland Island.

The only clue to what may have justified this assessment in CDR Thompson’s own mind, is his belief that had AE been south, they would have visually acquired either Baker or Howland Island, the Itasca, the smoke being created by Itasca, and that missing all of this was clear evidence of the aircraft being far to the north.