An old destroyer tender and her hard-working crew fight a different kind of war in the Southwest Pacific.
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Neil G. Carey was born in Vermontville, Michigan in 1922, was raised in small towns and on a farm, and graduated from high school in 1939. Joining the US Navy in 1940, he was assigned to USS Colorado and promoted to turret captain first class in 1942. In 1943 Carey was ordered to ordnance school in Washington, D.C., then selected to be a gunnery instructor. In mid 1944 he was appointed ensign and returned to the Southwest Pacific. in 1940 Carey met Betty Lowman, dugout canoeist, journalist, and lecturer, after she was shipwrecked in the Atlantic. They married in 1941.
Between wars Carey served on an attack cargo ship, a gasoline tanker, and attended the University of California at Berkeley. During the Korean War he served on an attack aircraft carrier as gunnery officer of a destroyer and was awarded a personal combat medal. He resigned from the Navy at the end of the Korean War, and retired with the rank of lieutenant commander.
In 1954, with Betty and their young sons, the family spent three months circumnavigating Vancouver Island, B.C. in a Grand Banks dory. During four months the following year they continued searching for a Pacific coast homesite by exploring the Inside Passage and circumnavigating British Columbia's Queen Charlotte Islands.
Carey has worked as a stone mason, attended Brooks Institute of Photography, and was a supervisor in the motion picture laboratory of the Pacific Missile Range, Point Mugu, CA until 1965 when he and Betty moved to the Queen Charlotte Islands. There, in a remote lagoon, the built a cabin overlooking the North Pacific and cruised year around, photographing and beachcombing. They were the subject of a few TV documentaries. Carey has written many articles and two books, A GUIDE TO THE QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS and PUFFIN COVE about their life in the islands. He edited the books, NO BENDED KNEE, THE BATTLE FOR GUADALCANAL, the Memoir of General M. B. Twinning, USMC, (Ret); FIGHTING THE BOLSHEVIKS, the Russian War Memoir of Private First Class Donald E. Carey, US Army, 1918-1919, and BIJABOJI, Betty Lowman (Carey's) two month vacation in 1937, rowing here dugout canoe from Anacortes, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska.
During Carey's years in the Charlottes, he has worked with scientists, TV crews, loggers, contractors, commercial and sports fishermen, tourists, and explored the Charlottes by land, sea, and air.
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