Wake Island, about halfway between Midway and Guam, is an atoll consisting of the three islets of Wilkes, Peale, and Wake. The islets were discovered by the British in 1796 and annexed by the U.S. in 1899. In 1938, Pan American Airways established a seaplane base, and Wake Island was used as a commercial base for several years. On Dec. 8, 1941, it was attacked by the Japanese, who took possession on Dec. 23. It was surrendered by the Japanese on Sept. 4, 1945.
See also Encyclopedia: Wake Island.
Fact Monster/Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.