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Stephen Aiken Collection (Closed)
Located at Garapan on Saipan
Founder: Steve Aiken (1979-1983)

The Stephen Aiken Collection existed between late 1979 until early 1983 as an outdoor display on Stephen Aiken's property near Garapan on Saipan.

Stephen "Steve" Aiken was an American born in Long Beach, California. He joined the US Navy at age 17. He served aboard a destroyer in the Solomon Islands that was sunk off Tulagi in 1943. Afterwards, he volunteered for duty on PT Boats in the Solomon Islands. Postwar, he remained in the Navy and learned explosive ordnance demolition (EOD).

During 1955, he was stationed on Guam and retired in 1967 as a master chief, gunner's mate from the US Naval magazine on Guam. He retired to Merizo, Guam and ran a charter boat business until he was offered a job by the Trust Territory government and moved to Saipan.

Click For EnlargementHired as a construction project supervisor for the Trust Territory Department of Public Words, and later was given the title of explosive specialist. In this role, he traveled throughout the Mariana Islands locating and disposing of unexploded ordinance (UXO) on land and in the sea, until he resigned in 1979. Over the years, Aiken assisted the Mariana Islands tourism industry by restoring many World War II guns for display. He also created the Last Command Post monument at Banadero at the northern tip of Saipan.

Click For EnlargementDuring 1979-1983, the Steve Aiken collection was a popular destination for tourists, who posed for photographs with his Zero. The collection was dispersed in early 1983 when Aiken sold the A6M3 Zero and moved back to his hometown of Long Beach, California. He died on June 19, 1983 of a heart attack at age 61 and was cremated on June 23. His ashes were carried back to Saipan and scattered by his daughter, Kelly Tenorio into the sea off Saipan.

A6M3 Model 22 Zero Manufacture Number 3621 Tail Y2-128
Salvaged from Taroa Airfield, displayed on his property during 1979-1983

Type 96 25mm Anti-Aircraft Gun (Single mount)
Displayed on his property

Type 93 Sea Mine
Displayed on his property

Unidentified Japanese gun
Displayed on his property

References
Pacific Daily News "Aiken had one of most explosive jobs" June 29, 1983
Marianas Variety News & Views "Demolition expert Aiken dies" June 24, 1983
Commonwealth Examiner "Steve Aiken passed away in California" June 23, 1983
Commonwealth Examiner "Micronesia explosive expert dies" June 24, 1983
Thanks to Michael Belles for additional information

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Last Updated
May 3, 2016

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