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    Johnston Island Johnston Atoll United States

Johnston Island is located in Johnston Atoll. Named in honor of Captain Charles J. Johnston, commanding officer of HMS Cornwallis (1801). The island was 19 hectares, and expanded to 241 hectares using coral fill during the 1930s.

Wartime History
During 1934, the U.S. Navy took over Johnston Atoll. During 1936, the U.S. Navy began constructing a seaplane base, airfield and refueling facilities on Johnston Island. On February 14, 1941 Johnston was designated as a Naval Defensive Sea Area and Airspace Reservation.

Johnston Airfield (Johnston Seaplane Base)
Used during the war part of the ferry route form Hawaii to the South Pacific

Japanese missions against Johnston
December 15, 1941 - June 1942

During 1948, the USAF assumed control of Johnston and the atoll was used for high-altitude nuclear tests during the 1950s and 1960s. Until late in 2000, Johnston Atoll was used as a storage and disposal site for chemical weapons. By May 2005, munitions destruction and cleanup was completed.

Since then, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Air Force are discussing future management options. Presently, Johnston Atoll and the three-mile Naval Defensive Sea around it remain under the jurisdiction and administrative control of the U.S. Air Force (USAF).

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019


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