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    Peale Island United States Minor Outlying Islands United States
Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
USN February 24, 1942

Click For Enlargement
Kirby Crawford 1967
Peale Island is a small island in the northwest of Wake Atoll surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. To the southeast is to the north of Wake Island. To the southwest across the lagoon is Wilkes Island. In 1899 the United States took possession of Wake Atoll. Today Wake Island is unorganized, unincorporated territory and is considered part of the United States Minor Outlying Islands of the United States of America (USA).

Prewar, connected by a causeway to the northwest tip of Wake Island. Peale had the terminal and seaplane area for Pan American (Pan Am) flying boats. Before the start of the Pacific War, the U.S. Navy (USN) began construction of a Naval Air Station, that was never completed.

Wartime History
On December 11, 1941 in the early morning, Japanese destroyers Yayoi, Mutsuki and Kisaragi attempt to bombard Peale Island and Wilkes Island but are engaged by shore batteries with Battery "B" commanded by 1st Lt Woodrow W. Kessler on Peale Island scoring a 5" hit on Yayoi that causes minor damage. Afterwards, the Japanese invasion is suspended and withdraws.

On December 23, 1941 occupied by the Japanese for the duration of the Pacific War. During early 1942 the first American aircraft flew a photographic reconnaissance mission over Wake and Peale Island.

American missions against Peale
February 14, 1942–August 6, 1945

Peale Island Seaplane Base
Built prewar, used by the Japanese

Japanese 8" Coastal Gun
Emplaced by the Japanese on northern coast of Peale Island

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Last Updated
February 24, 2021


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