Claimed for Spain by Álvaro de Mendaña
named Isla de San Francisco; not
Visited by British Capt. Samuel Wake
20 Dec 1840
Charles Wilkes of the U.S.
Expedition lands on the island.
4 Mar 1866
of Bremen, Germany, wrecks on the
eastern reef of Wake Island.
General Francis V. Greene
(b. 1850 - d. 1921) from
raises the U.S. flag.
Commander Edward D. Taussig (b.
1847 - d. 1921),
on the U.S.S.
formally takes U.S.
possession; island remains
Unincorporated territory of the U.S.
Administered by U.S. Navy Department,
it to Pan American Airways (Pan
U.S. Naval Air Station, Wake Island
23 Dec 1941 - 4 Sep
1945 Occupied by Japan
4 Sep 1945
Administered by the U.S. Navy
(Wake Island Naval Air Base).
U.S. Navy delegates administration of
Wake to the
Civil Aeronautics Administration (from
1958, the Federal
Aviation Agency [both
within Department of Commerce to 1 Apr
then under Department of
4 Sep 1962 -
24 Jun 1972 Administered
by U.S. Department of Interior;
administration is carried out
by the caretaker,
the Federal Aviation
Final scheduled Pan Am passenger
through the island.
24 Jun 1972
Wake Island an unincorporated
territory of U.S.
24 Jun 1972 - 1 Oct
1994 Administered by U.S.
Air Force (Wake Island Air
4 Apr 1975
– 3 Sep 1975 U.S.
forces on Wake support the movement of
refugees from South Vietnam.
designated National Historic Landmark.
1 Oct 1994
Administered by U.S.
Army Space and Missile
Defense Command (Wake Island
16 Jan 1997
Administered by U.S. Department of
activities on the island managed by
Army, from 1 Oct 2002 by U.S. Air
6 Jan 2009
submerged waters part of the Pacific
Remote Islands Marine National