Wake Island

Wake Atoll is a U.S. Air Force installation under the control of the Pacific Air Forces Regional Support Center, 11th Air Force, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.



About Wake Island

Wake Atoll is located approximately 2,138 nautical miles west of Honolulu, Hawaii and is a U.S. Territory under administrative control of the Department of the Air Force, and under installation command authority of the Pacific Air Forces Regional Support Center, part of 11th Air Force headquartered at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Entrance to 'downtown'


The coral atoll is made up of three islands: Wake, Wilkes and Peale Islands. It is the northernmost atoll in the Marshall Islands geological ridge and may be the oldest living atoll in the world. The atoll was named after British sea captain William Wake, who arrived in 1796.


Wake Atoll was claimed by the United States in 1898, with formal possession established in 1899. The island was placed under administrative control of the Department of the Navy in 1934. In 1935, Pan American Airways established a seaplane refueling base and 48-room hotel on Peale Island, establishing the atoll’s first permanent residents. Plans were developed in 1938 for an outlying naval base on Wake Atoll; however, construction did not begin until January 1941. On December 8, 1941, the same day as the attack on Pearl Harbor, Wake was bombed by the Japanese. On December 11, 1941, the U.S. Marine garrison and 1,200 civilians, who were completing construction of a major air and submarine base on Wake, were again attacked by the Japanese. The United States held onto Wake until December 23, 1941, when Wake was surrendered to the Japanese. Japan maintained control over the atoll until their surrender in September 1945. 

Administrative control, since World War II, has shifted between the Department of the Navy, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Air Force. The Department of the Air Force first assumed administrative control over the island in 1972. Due to the Army's continued use of the atoll for various missile testing programs, administrative control was transferred to the Department of the Army in 1994. Finally, in 2002, the Department of the Air Force resumed administrative control of the island with the 15th Wing at Hickam Air Force Base assuming support responsibilities for Wake. Today, the island serves as a trans-Pacific refueling stop for military aircraft and supports Missile Defense Agency test activities. Wake is currently managed by the Pacific Air Force Support Center located at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Anchorage, Alaska, and falls under 11th Air Force. 

Contact Us

Wake Atoll is a U.S. Air Force installation under the control of the Pacific Air Forces Regional Support Center, 11th Air Force, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

For more information regarding the installation contact 11th Air Force Public Affairs at (907)-552-2341.


Although located in a remote area of the Pacific Ocean, Wake Island has many of the amenities found on any Air Force Base. Residents and transients live in houses and dorms located in various locations around the island but most residing in the “downtown” area. The downtown area of the island features a dining facility, gym, small general store, barber shop, Drifters Reef Bar, the fire department, library and the island clinic. The gym, open 24-hours a day, has two rooms including a cardio and weights room and a CrossFit room. And at the company store, residents and transients can rent snorkeling equipment, kayaks, tennis equipment, basketballs, footballs and bikes among other items. Island residents also try to stay busy with weekly movie nights at the bar, fun runs, and other planned activities on a regular basis.


With its scenery and historical interest points, Wake Atoll provides residents and transients with a unique and generally unseen view of WWII and aviation history.







 Restoring Wake Island's Guam Memorial: 'Honoring those who came before us', June 13, 2017

 Air Force members celebrate Thai New Year and Water Festival at Wake Island, April 19, 2017 

 Air Force partners for environmental conservation on Wake Atoll, April 26, 2017

Happy holidays from Wake Island Atoll, December 22, 2017

 Battle of Wake Island 75th anniversary: honoring the sacrifice of the Wake Defenders, December 15, 2017









98 Rock – The 98 Rock was inscribed by an unknown escaped American Prisoner of War (later recaptured). It was inscribed to signify the 98 civilian P.O.Ws that were executed October 7, 1943, by the Japanese.


Nitro Rock – Nitro Rock was inscribed when a U.S. Naval ship was in port at Wake Island in 1939.


Marine Corps Memorial“Dedicated to the gallant defenders of Wake, 8 Dec-23 Dec 1941. ‘Enemy on island, situation in doubt.’”


“There were only some four hundred United States Marines who, in the heroic and historic defense of Wake Island inflicted such great losses on the enemy. Some of these men were killed in action and others are now prisoners of war. When the survivors of that great fight are liberated and restored to their homes, they will learn that a hundred and thirty millions of their fellow citizens have been inspired to render their own full share of service and sacrifice.”

                                  - Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 6 January 1942

Harry Morrison and Civilian Construction Memorial – This monument is dedicated to the civilian construction men who participated in the defense of Wake Island during the Japanese invasion December 8-23, 1941, and placed here by those men still living known as the civilian survivors of Wake Island. The men were under the direction of Harry Morrison.




Japanese Memorial

                   "May the souls of the war dead repose in peace."

                   "May peace prevail on the waters of the Pacific forever."

                                  - Wake Island War Monument Reconstruction Association, September 30, 1957



Command Post Historical SiteJapanese admiralty command post built by American civilian P.O.Ws, completed 1942.


 Aircraft Historical SiteJapanese aircraft revetment built by American civilian P.O.Ws, completed 1943.


Peale Island Gun8” gun on Peale Island used for coastal defense during WWII.









Photos of Wake Island



C-130 taking off from Wake Island Airfield


Drifters Reef Bar

Wake Island Fire Department

Lodging in "downtown" area of Wake Island


Remnants of Pan American Airways infrastructure on Peale Island

Former bridge connecting Wake Island with Peale Island

Looking across the lagoon from Wake Island to Peale Island

Coastline of Wilkes Island

Hermit crabs on Wilkes Island

Bird sanctuary on Wilkes Island

A Masked Booby at the Wilkes Island bird sanctuary

Sunset off Wilkes Island

Rainbow of Wake Island