JPAC Mission

JPAC Mission

A significant discovery of skeletal remains occurred on Wake Island in the spring of 2011 when the beach eroded on the north shore. The Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) sent a team of forensic anthropologists to recover the bones and examine the site. JPAC, based at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, sends forensic anthropologists all over the world to investigate and recover remains from our nation’s wars. DNA analysis is employed to...

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Diving Wake

Diving Wake

I promised myself that if I ever got to Wake Island I would do just about anything to dive there. Not only is it a diverse and robust marine environment, but much of Wake’s history is tied to that obstinate coral reef, especially on the south side. The encircling reef comes closest to shore off Wilkes and Wake, making it the only viable option in 1941 for the close approach of ships – both friend and foe. On December 1, 2011, our two small...

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Postwar Wake Island

Postwar Wake Island

After the Japanese surrendered Wake Island at the end of World War II, the United States Navy resumed authority over the atoll. Within a couple of years the navy turned administration over the Department of Commerce, and the CAA (FAA after 1958) maintained airfield operations from 1947 to 1972, paving and extending the runway. Commercial airlines including Pan American Airways and Transocean Airlines established facilities on Wake and military...

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Building for War

Building for War

Building for War: The Epic Saga of the Civilian Contractors and Marines of Wake Island in World War II  tells the story of Depression-era civilian contractors who come to a remote Pacific atoll in 1941 to build a naval air station. One of a dozen Pacific projects contracted by the United States Navy, Wake is the most challenging in terms of distance and physical features. Read an excerpt from Building For War Introduction Chapter 4...

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Where is Wake Island?

Where is Wake Island?

Where’s Wake? You can see it near center top of this map, west of Hawaii, north of the Marshall Islands. Click the map for a larger view. You may also view the map as a PDF...

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