- 1United States Minor Possessions - Pacific Ocean:
- 1.1Baker Island
- 1.1.1Flora and Fauna:
- 1.1.1National Wildlife Refuge:
- 1.1.2Ruins and Artifacts:
- 1.2Howland Island
- 1.2.1Flora and Fauna:
- 126.96.36.199Prehistoric Settlement:
- 188.8.131.52Sightings By Whalers:
- 184.108.40.206U.S. Possession and Guano Mining:
- 220.127.116.11Itascatown 1935–1942:
- 18.104.22.168Kamakaiwi Field:
- 22.214.171.124Japanese Attacks During World War II:
- 126.96.36.199National Wildlife Refuge:
- 1.2.1Earhart Light :
- 1.3Jarvis Island
- 1.3.2Geography and Ecology:
- 188.8.131.52Nineteenth Century Guano Mining:
- 184.108.40.206Millersville (1935–1942):
- 220.127.116.11International Geophysical Year:
- 18.104.22.168National Wildlife Refuge:
- 1.4Kingman Reef
- 1.4.1Political Status:
- 1.4.1National Wildlife Refuge:
- 1.4.2Amateur Radio Expeditions:
On 7 December 1886, the American Guano Company sold all its rights to the British firm John T. Arundel and Company, which made the island its headquarters for guano digging operations in the Pacific from 1886 to 1891. Arundel applied in 1897 to the British Colonial Office for a license to work the island on the presumption that the USA had abandoned their claim. The United Kingdom then considered Baker Island to be a British territory, although they never formally annexed it. The United States raised the question at the beginning of the 1920s and after some diplomatic exchanges, they launched in 1935 the American Equatorial Islands Colonization Project and issued on May 1936 Executive Order 7358 to clarify their sovereignty.
This short-lived attempt at colonization, via the American Equatorial Islands Colonization Project, began when American colonists arrived aboard the USCGC Itasca, the same vessel that brought colonists to neighboring Howland Island, on April 3, 1935. They built a lighthouse and substantial dwellings, and they attempted to grow various plants. The settlement was named Meyerton, after Captain H.A. Meyer of the United States Army, who helped establish the camps in 1935. One sad-looking clump of coconut palms was jokingly called King-Doyle Park after two well-known citizens of Hawaii who visited on the Taney in 1938. This clump was the best on the island, planted near a water seep, but the dry climate and seabirds, eager for anything upon which to perch, did not give the trees or shrubs much of a chance to survive. King-Doyle Park was later adopted as a geographic name by the USGS. Its population was four American civilians, all of whom were evacuated in 1942 after Japanese air and naval attacks. During World War II it was occupied by the U.S. military.
On August 11, 1943, a US Army defense force arrived on Baker Island as part of the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign. In September 1943 a 5,463-foot airfield was opened and was subsequently used as a staging base by Seventh Air Force B-24 Liberator bombers for attacks on Mili Atoll. The 45th Fighter Squadron operating P-40 fighters operated from the airfield from September 1 – November 27, 1943. By January 1, 1944 the airfield was abandoned.
LORAN radio navigation station Baker was a radio operations base in operation from September 1944 to July 1946. The station unit number was 91 and the radio call sign was NRN-1.
Flora and Fauna:
Baker has no natural fresh water sources. It is treeless, with sparse vegetation consisting of four kinds of grass, prostrate vines and low-growing shrubs. The island is primarily a nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat for seabirds, shorebirds, and marine wildlife.
Several varieties of shorebirds and other species inhabit the island and nearby waters, some considered endangered. The ruddy turnstone, bar-tailed godwit, sanderling and Pacific golden plover are considered species of least concern. The bristle-thighed curlew is considered vulnerable on the national conservation priority scheme. Green turtles and hawksbill turtles, both critically endangered, can be found along the reef.