Navy Surveying Expedition to the Phoenix and Samoan Islands, 1939

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Under the auspices of the United States Navy, the surveying expedition to the Phoenix Islands [Kiribati] and Samoan Islands in 1939, took place aboard the USS Bushnell. Lasting for 16 weeks, the survey’s focus was collecting and preserving fish in the South Pacific Ocean. Leonard P. Schultz served as a naturalist on this expedition, and was dispatched by Smithsonian Institution to make collections for the US National Museum. Several of the officers and men aboard the USS Bushnell assisted in collecting activities including; Comdr. J. M. Lewis; Lt. Comdr. W. B. Coleman; Lt. H. N. Coffin; Lt. J. H. Fortune; Lt. T. D. Shriver; Lt. B. L. Talman; Lt. Comdr. (SC) L. A. Klauer; and especially Comdr. (MC) H. D. Hubbard. The Bushnell departed San Diego on April 1 and reached Pearl Harbor, Hawaii ten days later. From there, the group went on to the Phoenix Islands [Phoenix Group] and other islands of the Pacific Ocean. Major locations visited during the expedition include Canton Island [Kanton], Enderbury Island [Enderbury Atoll], Hull Island [Oronoa], McKean Island [McKean Atoll], Swains Island, Rose Island, and Tutuila Island [Tutuila]. Collections of the fishes from this expedition total over 14,000 specimens, along with hundreds of other specimens of mollusks, crustaceans, insects, and corals. Collections of lizards, plants, and bird skins were also made.


Schultz, Leonard P. (1943) “Fishes of the Phoenix and Samoan Islands collected in 1939 during the expedition of the U.S.S. "Bushnell."

Date Range

1939 - 1939


  • Animals
  • Entomology
  • Herpetology
  • Ichthyology
  • Birds
  • Mollusks
  • Plants
  • Botany
  • Ornithology


  • Orona
  • Tutuila
  • Pearl Harbor
  • Kiribati
  • Kanton
  • McKean Island
  • Samoa
  • Enderbury Island


Expedition name