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    Jarvis Island (Bunker) Unorganized Incorporated Territory United States

Location
Lat 0°22′ S Long 160°01′ W Small island 1.75 square miles, in the southern portion of the Line Islands. Located roughly halfway between the Hawaii Islands and Cook Islands. Also known as "Bunker Island".

Millersville Colony
On March 26, 1935, the U.S. Government established a colony named "Millersville" administered by the U.S. Department starting May 13, 1936. The settlement was only a cluster of tents and wooden shacks built from the shipwreck of the Amaranth and later stone dwellings for a radio station, refrigeration and a weather station were established. A white wooden day beacon was established on the western shore.

At the start of the Pacific War, a Japanese submarine surfaced off the west coast of Jarvis Island. The inhabitants incorrectly believed it was a US Navy submarine to rescue them. Instead, the submarine shelled the area with its deck gun then departed. On February 7, 1942, USCGC Taney evacuated the colonists, then shelled and burned the remaining dwellings. Jarvis Island was uninhabited for the remainder of the war.

Jarvis Island Landing Ground
During 1935-1941, colonists cleared a crude aircraft landing area on the northeast side of Jarvis Island with a T-shaped marker which could be seen from the air using stones. No airplane is known to have ever landed on Jarvis Island. Sometime after the February 1942 evacuation, this landing area was shelled by the Japanese, leaving crater holes in the landing ground.

Today
Part of the unincorporated, unorganized territory of the United States, administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States Department of the Interior as part of the National Wildlife Refuge system.

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Last Updated
August 25, 2018

 

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