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Team Members

Dan Farnham - Project Leader

Dan is a US Navy veteran, and he’s an employee of Range Generation Next (RGNext), where he works in the Mission Operations Department. He has been on Kwajalein since December 2005, and it was his lifelong passion for WWII history in the Pacific that brought him here. Dan learned to dive shortly after arriving on Kwajalein, and he has logged over 1400 dives around the Pacific, mostly wreck diving. His passion for veteran’s causes, especially the search for MIA’s, led him to create the project to find the Kingfisher, which later became the Kwajalein MIA Project. Dan is very active in the Kwajalein community as well- he is the Post Commander for the local American Legion Post (June 2017-present). In addition, Dan was the president of the Kwajalein Scuba Club from December 2013 to June 2016. He is a PADI Divemaster, and his additional dive specialty certifications include Enriched Air Nitrox, Drysuit Diving, Underwater Photographer, and Self-Reliant Diver among other certifications. .

 

Tim Roberge- Asst. Project Leader

Tim is an 11-year resident of Kwajalein and he is married to Christa Wingfield, another of our team members. He is a proud father of 4 children and 6 grandchildren. Tim has worked for SSFM international of Honolulu, Hawaii as a Quality Assurance Representative for the US Army Corps of Engineers since 2018. Prior to that, he was with the Kwajalein Fire Department as a Fire Systems Technician for 8.5 years. Tim is a 40-year member of IBEW Local 103 in Boston, Massachusetts. Tim began diving when he arrived on Kwajalein and holds his PADI Rescue Diver certification. Tim is also one of founding members of the Kingfisher Project when it started 2011. He has been involved in the location of all 4 of the current crash sites. For the last 5 years Tim has been the Commodore of the Kwajalein Yacht Club. Tim was also a member of the Quality of Life Committee which provided access to funds to improve the betterment of the community. Tim plans on living on Kwajalein until retirement in a few years. When Tim decides to retire, he and Christa will move to the Cayman Islands. No more winters in the Northeast! 

Tim has this to say abolut being on the project- 
You enter the water and begin to your decent to verify a plane with an MIA that had been lost for over 70 years. Then there it is directly below you and you realize that you are the first person to see it since it went down. There was an emotion that I felt that cannot be described. Being involved of this project is one of the most honourable endeavours I will ever participate in.

Christa Wingfield - Fundraising Lead

Photo and bio forthcoming 

Matt Hess

Matt works for Range Generation Next (RGNext), and he is the Supervisor of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and Launch Ordnance team. Matt is a retired Army Senior Explosive Ordnance Technician and combat disabled veteran with 20 years of experience in the field of EOD. He has been a Kwajalein resident since 2013 and was certified to dive a month after arriving on island. He has logged just short of 200 dives within Kwajalein Atoll. Matt is a recent addition to the Kwajalein MIA Project, but brings his enthusiasm and love of diving to the team. Matt also brings valuable expertise to the team with his knowledge of unexploded ordnance (UXO). As a below-knee amputee, he has a deep respect for service members that have made great sacrifices for their country and is eager to assist in finding the Kingfisher and other MIA-related wreck sites in the lagoon. He is a PADI Advanced Open Water/Nitrox Diver.

Pam Hess

Pam is a U.S. Army veteran and former Department of Defense employee. She has been deployed to various countries and her husband Matthew, also an Army Veteran, is a wounded warrior so she knows firsthand of the sacrifices made by service members and their families. Pam left her job with the government in 2008 to be a stay-at-home mom to her two sons Ryan and Sean. She started working part time while her sons are in school for Kwajalein Range Services as an Administrative Assistant in 2014. She is very involved with the Parent Teacher Organization, Swim Team and Cub Scouts on Kwajalein. She learned to dive within two months of arriving on Kwajalein and is honored to assist in any way possible. For Pam, being a part of this amazing project is one way to give back to the Greatest Generation and their families and a way to teach her sons about the sacrifices others have made for their country.

Bill Remick - Sonar Operations Advisor

Bill was first certified for scuba diving on Kwajalein in 1967 while he attended high school. He spent almost 30 years working as a groundwater hydrologist for the State of Arizona and is now retired. Over the years he has maintained a keen interested in Kwajalein and arranged to return for a visit and diving in 1989. Since then he has made 20 trips to Kwajalein, two to Chuuk and three to Palau. While at Chuuk and Palau he dove with author Dan Bailey on expeditions of discovery and photography of underwater ship and aircraft wrecks. Then he assisted Mr. Bailey with the editing of his books on wrecks at those two locales. In 2007, he acquired a side-scan sonar to help locate aircraft in the Kwajalein lagoon. Since that time he has discovered over 30 complete or partial aircraft and small craft/barges around Kwajalein and Roi-Namur. His research and analytical work was the key in locating the Hellcat wreck in 2011. That year Bill teamed up with Dan Farnham to make a concentrated search for the Kingfisher lost somewhere off North Loi Island. In the meantime he has completed a comprehensive book on the history of Kwajalein.

Josh Vance

Josh is a commercial airline pilot and a retired United States Marine Corps Major. He flew KC-130E/F/T/R/J and UC-35D aircraft, in addition to time as an Infantry Officer as a Platoon Commander, Company Executive officer and Company Commander. Josh retired with over 21 years of service in the Marine Corps. He has been deployed to numerous places throughout the world to include five combat deployments to the Middle East. He is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and PADI TECREC Technical Diving Instructor and has logged over 1,000 dives, most while stationed on Okinawa, Japan. He was a founding member of the Kingfisher Project, which was later renamed the Kwajalein MIA Project, and was responsible for locating all of the WWII Veterans involved in the Kingfisher part of the project, and coordinating their reunion on Veterans Day 2012. He also assisted Harrison "Dub" Miller in being awarded several service medals and his three Air Medals for his combat missions flown during World War II, which were presented by his Congressman, Richard Nugent. He keeps in touch with all surviving Veterans and has been instrumental in CONUS-based operations in support of the Kwajalein MIA Project, to include conducting liaison with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), formerly the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC). This coordination has resulted in the assignment of case numbers to all aircraft the team is searching for in the Kwajalein Atoll lagoon. He has played an instrumental part in the search for the Kingfisher and Hellcat and will continue until the team locates all MIA-related aircraft in the lagoon.

Debbie Schmidt - Genealogist

Debbie Schmidt is a retired CEO of a nonprofit agency in Northeast Indiana. She has recently relocated to her hometown of Mt Pleasant, Iowa. She does volunteer work for the Council on Accreditation in New York City; is on her local Habitat for Humanity board and a genealogist.

Grant Day- Archaeologist

Grant holds a Master of Science degree in Industrial Archaeology and Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Anthropology and Public Relations/Advertising. He has over 20 years of expertise in Historic, Industrial, Maritime and Prehistoric Archaeology as well as experience in Architectural History. He is currently serving as the Cultural Resources Supervisor for 11 Kwajalein Atoll islands leased by the Department of Defense within the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and he was recently elected president of the Marshallese Cultural Center and Museum on Kwajalein Atoll. He has a strong working knowledge of cultural heritage/resource management laws and regulations, and experience providing regulatory compliance and consultation to support international, federal, state, local, and commercial projects and research. He has managed archaeological/cultural projects for multiple US federal agencies, including the Departments of Defense/military, Energy, Transportation, Interior, as well as commercial, and academic research projects throughout the United States and overseas. Grant has been researching underwater archaeological projects since the mid-1990s and he has logged over 200 dives, a number of which are related to wreck exploration and scientific research. Grant is a PADI Rescue Diver with PADI certifications in Nitrox/Enriched Air, Wreck Diving, Archaeology, Deep Diving and Drift Diving.

Dr. Nick Bird- Diving Medical Officer

(Photo and bio forthcoming)

Kim Bird

(Photo and bio forthcoming)

Bill Beigel - WWII Casualty Researcher

World War 2 Researcher Bill Beigel of Torrance, California, is the official researcher for the Kwajalein MIA Project. Bill’s role on the Kwajalein MIA Project team is to research military records, such as Navy deck logs, to help identify wrecks, locations, crew members, and rescue personnel involved in missions where American servicemen were lost and not recovered. Since 1999, Bill has researched more than two thousand servicemen and women killed or wounded and taken prisoner in active duty in U.S. military service, along with WW2 veterans who served and returned home. His clients are veterans’ family members, communities, schools and universities, and others, from all over the world. Bill holds a B.A. in History and an M.A. in Geography, both from UCLA. Bill has been involved with other MIA efforts, confirming identities of downed crew members for ongoing recovery efforts for about 77,000 Americans still missing or unrecovered. For more information or to search Bill’s WW2 Casualties Database, please visit WW2Research.com.

 

 

Michael Hayes- Dive Team Leader

Michael is a U.S. Army Veteran having served nearly 10 years. Michael first took up diving as a father/daughter activity but soon discovered it to be a non-medication means to relieve the pain associated with neck/spinal injuries that ended his military career. Michael is sharing his passion for diving with others as a Diver’s Alert Network (DAN) Instructor, Handicapped Scuba Assn (HSA) Instructor and a PADI Master Instructor, certifying over 300 students and a mentor to future and new dive instructors. In the last ten years diving has taken him to multiple countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Central America and now Kwajalein in the Pacific. Michael is currently working towards his Course Director and Technical (Tech/Rec) Instructor ratings. Michael is an amateur WWII historian, which began early in his childhood with a keen appreciation for battles and theaters that his family has fought in. He has been a resident of Kwajalein since 2014, working for Chugach Management Services Inc., as a Project Planner/Scheduler specializing in project management techniques. Michael is also the current President of the Kwajalein Scuba Club (June 2016 – Present) and owner of Dive Kwaj, the local dive store. 

Todd Emmons

(Photo and bio forthcoming)

Paul Gause

(bio forthcoming)

Deo Eddu Keju - R.M.I. Liason

Deo was born in Wodmej, Wotje, Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), but grew up on Ebeye and serves as the principal at Ebeye Public Elementary School. As a child he completed his primary education at that same school prior to being sponsored by a former Kwajalein employee in North Carolina to attend high school and college in the U.S. Deo has a BA in Liberal Arts from the University of Hawaii in Manoa with a specialty in Pacific Islands Studies, a MA in Secondary Education from San Diego State University, and an MA in Theology from St. Meinrad School of Theology in Indiana. As a former seminarian for the Roman Catholic Church in the latter 1990s, Deo has experience in chaplaincy work in hospitals in southwest Indiana, northeast Kentucky, and Oahu, Hawaii. Deo serves as the Ri-Majol interpreter for the Kwajalein MIA Project, and as the advisor for cultural and local tradition and project liaison to the government leaders of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Rick Jameson

(Photo and bio forthcoming) 

Tiareti Boutu

(Photo and bio forthcoming)

Joel Penland

(Photo and bio forthcoming)

Phillip Davis

(Photo and bio forthcoming) 

Hal Parker

(Photo and bio forthcoming) 

Erik Hanson

(Photo and bio forthcoming)

Caitlin Gilbertson- Archaeologist

(Photo and bio forthcoming)

Gail Price

Gail holds a Masters of Business degree and Bachelors of Science degree in Medical Technology. She has worked for 20 years as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist, with a focus on regulatory compliance, point of care testing, and laboratory management. She received her Open Water diver certification in 2012 as a vacation whim, then she got serious about diving when she moved to Kwajalein in 2017. Gail is now certified in Enriched Air/Nitrox, Deep Diving, Peak Profile Buoyancy, and is a Rescue Diver. Gail enjoys traveling the world and learning about history and culture, and for the record - she will never pass up a food tour! In addition to serving on the Kwajalein MIA Project team, she also enjoys fishing, yoga, book club, baking, bible study, beach days and dinner parties with her friends.

John O'Rourke

(Photo and bio forthcoming)

Jon Fichot

(Photo and bio forthcoming)

In Memoriam

Bob Greene

Bob was an employee of Kwajalein Range Services, where he worked as an Information Assurance Security Officer. He had been a resident of Kwajalein for over 9 years. Bob had been diving since his arrival on Kwajalein and had logged over 1600 dives around the Pacific. He was a founding member of the Kingfisher Project which later became the Kwajalein MIA Project. Bob was a strong member of the community and served on the Island Memorial Chapel’s Board, and he also served in various capacities for other community organizations.

 

Bob passed away unexpectedly in March 2017. His wife Connie has been made an Honorary Member of the Kwajalein MIA Project, so she can be a part of the team, and the cause, that Bob gave so much of his time to. He will be sincerely missed by his teammates on the Kwajalein MIA Project. 

In Memoriam

Stan Edwards

Stan was an employee of Chugach Management Services, Inc. and he worked as the Assistant Chief of Fire Prevention for the Kwajalein Fire Department. Prior to coming to Kwajalein, he retired from the fire department in Boise, Idaho following 27 years of service there. He also honorably served our country for a combined 25 years in the US Navy, US Army and Air National Guard.

 

Stan had been a resident of Kwajalein from August 2010 to November 2015. Stan was involved in many things on Kwajalein and loved supporting the US military and our veterans. This was evident by his volunteerism with American Legion Post 44 where he held the position of 1st Vice Commander, and he was one of the original members of the Kingfisher Project, and he remained an active team member of the Kwajalein MIA Project when the project was expanded. He was devoted to helping find and account for missing-in-action servicemen from WWII in the Kwajalein lagoon.

 

Stan passed away in June 2017 in New Jersey, following a long battle with cancer. His wife Paulette has been made an honorary member of the team. He will be sincerely missed by his teammates on the Kwajalein MIA Project. 

Former Team Members

Due to Kwajalein's nature as a military installation, personnel on the island rotate through based on contract lengths and other considerations. Our former team members, while many are no longer here, were vital to the success of the Kwajalein MIA Project in helping us get to this point, and we'd like to mention their names here:

Shannon Paulsen, Jay Monnot, CW4 Shawn Carpenter, Brad Mitchell, Geoffrey Lake, Melina Lake, Curtis Childress, Shawn Mirowitz, Scott Phillips, Brandi Mueller, Jeff Oneal, Melissa Manske, Bryan Harrington, Kristi Harrington, Sam Engelhard, Melissa Engelhard, Ray Arsenault, Spencer Moorman, Mary Elizabeth, Jay Matar, Bill Williamson, Mike Woundy, Natalie Bagley, Bob Raymond, Jessica Holland, Rhonda Gleason.