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Wake Island
Wake Island Cancellation on Pre-Stamped Statue of Liberty Postcard

Wake Island Cancellation on Pre-Stamped Statue of Liberty Postcard
Wake Island Cancellation on Pre-Stamped Statue of Liberty Postcard

Wake Island is a part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument with restricted access. It is an unincorporated unorganized territory of the United States under the administration of the Interior Department Office of Insular Affairs. Before the era of regular trans-Pacific aviation, it was dismissed in the words of National Geographic reporter William Burke Miller as, "an uninhabited coral atoll ... barren and overrun by Polynesian rats, birds and hermit crabs." However, between 1935 and 1973 it served as a refueling stop for commercial airliners crossing the Pacific with an interruption due to Japan's occupation of the island during World War II. Before the war, Pan American Airways built extensive facilities on the atoll (including a hotel) as a rest and refuelling stop between Midway Island and Guam on its "China Clipper" service. The first civilian post office on the island was established on may 1, 1951.


Wake Island was a rest stop on Pan Am's China Clipper service between Midway and Guam.

U.S. Trans-Pacific Air Post Stamp
One of two Trans-Pacific Air Post stamps issued by the United States
on February 15, 1937 depicting the "China Clipper" over the Pacfic.


Bibliography

Lawrence, Ken. "The Postal History of Wake Island." The American Philatelist.
     Mar. 2016: 274-295.

Miller, William Burke. "Flying the Pacific." The National Geographic Magazine.
     Dec. 1936: 665-707.

"United States." Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue.


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