JPAC Mission: Wake 98

JPAC Mission: Wake 98

Among its many challenging missions worldwide, the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command continues to pursue the Wake Island project: to identify remains that were found on Wake in 2011. It has been two years since the discovery on the north beach of Wake in a location near the generally-accepted site of the massacre of the American contractors on October 7, 1943. JPAC’s team of forensic anthropologists traveled to Wake to excavate the site,...

Read More

Human Cargo

Human Cargo

During World War II thousands of American, Allied, and other prisoners of war were transported on ships to Japan or Japanese-held territory. Generally packed below decks into the ship holds like so much cargo, the prisoners endured such unspeakably vile conditions that many survivors recalled the voyage as the worst ordeal of their POW experience. In the ultimate irony of war, Allied forces bombed and torpedoed a number of these unmarked...

Read More

O Pioneers!

O Pioneers!

In 1899, the year that Commander E. D. Taussig took formal possession of Wake Island for the United States, journalist Margherita Hamm scoffed at the acquisition as a “mere dot on the waste of waters.” Early twentieth century surveys of the remote atoll revealed remains of old Japanese fishing camps and a shipwreck or two, but no evidence of permanent human habitation. Fishermen, feather-hunters, passers-by, and scientists did not stay...

Read More