Wake Island (also known as Wake Atoll)

Wake Island (also known as Wake Atoll) is a coral atoll having a coastline of 12 miles (19 kilometers) in the North Pacific Ocean, located about two-thirds of the way from Honolulu (2,300 statute miles or 3,700 km west) to Guam (1,510 miles or 2,430 km east). It is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States, administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. Access to the island is restricted, and all current activities on the island are managed by the United States Air Force and the United States Army. The largest island (Wake Island) is the center of activity on the atoll and features a 9,800 foot (3,000 m) runway.

Wake Island (also known as Wake Atoll) is a coral atoll having a coastline of 12 miles (19 kilometers) in the North Pacific Ocean, located about two-thirds of the way from Honolulu (2,300 statute miles or 3,700 km west) to Guam (1,510 miles or 2,430 km east). It is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States, administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. Access to the island is restricted, and all current activities on the island are managed by the United States Air Force and the United States Army. The largest island (Wake Island) is the center of activity on the atoll and features a 9,800 foot (3,000 m) runway.

Wake Island is a tiny island in Micronesia, located 2/3 of the way from Honolulu to Guam, best known for its role in World War II. It is an unorganized United States territory, with no permanent residents, just members of the U.S. military and civilian contractors who manage the facility. Positioned just a few hundred miles west of the International Date Line (UTC +12), Wake Island is “in the future” from most of the world, and the rest of the United States.

Commercial air service to Wake has been discontinued, and the atoll is no longer generally open to visitors. The airstrip remains available as an emergency landing site for trans-Pacific flights; if you don’t have official business there, that’s perhaps the most likely circumstance in which you’ll visit the place. In non-emergency situations, a “Prior Permission Request” must be filed to use the airstrip (and will probably be denied) +1-808-424-2101.

The island does not have a navigable harbor; the lagoon is cut off from the ocean by a coral reef, and itself is rarely deeper than a few meters at high tide.

It is absolutely beautiful.

Most parts of the islands are easily accessible on foot, though sturdy shoes are recommended to protect from sharp coral rocks in many places. There are also roads on the islands; trucks, minivans, and full-size vans are available to authorized personnel. +1-808-424-2227.

You could visit on the island:

  • The beaches and lagoon are highly praised as examples of tropical beauty.
  • The “98 Rock” is a memorial for the 98 U.S. Prisoners of War who were forced by their Japanese captors to rebuild the airstrip as slave labor, then blind-folded and killed with machine guns on 5 October 1943. An unidentified prisoner escaped, and scratched “98 US PW 5-10-43” on a large coral rock near their mass grave, on Wilkes Island at the edge of the lagoon. He was recaptured and beheaded by the Japanese admiral, who was later convicted and executed for these war crimes. The rock still bears the original inscription and a small plaque identifying it; a bronze plaque naming the victims has been placed at the site.
  • There are also memorials for the military and civilian personnel who died defending the islands from the Japanese take-over.
  • The remains of Japanese fortifications during World War II are still visible around the islands.
  • The “PAAville” hotel and China Clipper dock are in ruins.

Sharks swim in the waters of the Pacific around Wake Island.

Fish taken from the lagoon have been found to contain unsafe levels of arsenic, making regular consumption unhealthy. Periodic episodes of ciguatera poisoning occur from consuming local reef fish.

Wake Island has no natural fresh-water sources, so huge catchbasins for rainwater have been built, which are supplemented by a desalinization system for seawater. Brackish water is used for some purposes (such as sewage) so take note of what water is safe to drink.(Source: wikitravel.com)

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