The United States Navy took over the island and utilized it as a naval air facility during World War II. It served primarily as a base for long-range air patrols in the Pacific from 1941-1946. During that time, a total of 6,000 soldiers were stationed on the atoll. A seaplane runway was dredged, merging the atoll's two western lagoons into one. The troops also joined three of the islands into one and built a landplane runway about one mile long.
©Bishop Museum Archives