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This fragmentary film about Midway Island and Wake Island dates to the pre-WWII era, when both were being used as a stop-over by Pan Am Clipper seaplanes and as USA military installations. The film begins with images of the famous Midway Gooney (albatross) birds before showing some of the activities that awaited visitors to the island: swimming, boating, and fishing. At 3:12 a group of visitors takes the "shortest railway in the world" -- a narrow gauge railroad on Wake Island (see below for story about this). At 4:30 the group fishes off Wake. At 6:50 exotic trigger fish are shown in an aquarium, as examples of the fish caught at Wake. On January 20, 1903, the United States Navy opened a radio station on Midway in response to complaints from cable company workers about Japanese squatters and poachers. Between 1904 and 1908, President Roosevelt stationed 21 Marines on the island to end wanton destruction of bird life and keep Midway safe as a U.S. possession, protecting the cable station. In 1935, operations began for the Martin M-130 flying boats operated by Pan American Airlines. The M-130s island-hopped from San Francisco to China, providing the fastest and most luxurious route to the Far East and bringing tourists to Midway until 1941. Only the very wealthy could afford the trip, which in the 1930s cost more than three times the annual salary of an average American. With Midway on the route between Honolulu and Wake Island, the flying boats landed in the atoll and pulled up to a float offshore in the lagoon. Tourists transferred to a small powerboat that ferried them to a pier, then rode in "woodie" wagons to the Pan Am Hotel or the "Gooneyville Lodge", named after the ubiquitous "Gooney birds" (albatrosses). Midway Atoll is roughly equidistant between North America and Asia. Midway Atoll is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States. Midway continues to be the only island in the Hawaiian archipelago that is not part of the state of Hawaii. Until 1993, the atoll was the home of the Naval Air Facility Midway Island. The Battle of Midway, which was fought between June 4 and 6, 1942, was a critical Allied victory of the Pacific campaign of World War II. To construct bases in the Pacific, Pan American Airways (PAA) chartered the 6,700-ton freighter SS North Haven, which arrived at Wake Island on May 9, 1935, with construction workers and the necessary materials and equipment to start to build facilities and to clear the lagoon for a flying boat landing area. The atoll's encircling coral reef prevented the ship from entering and anchoring in the shallow lagoon itself. The only suitable location for ferrying supplies and workers ashore was at nearby Wilkes Island; however, the chief engineer of the expedition, Charles R. Russell, determined that Wilkes was too low and at times flooded and that Peale Island was the best site for the Pan American facilities. To offload the ship, cargo was lightered (barged) from ship to shore, carried across Wilkes and then transferred to another barge and towed across the lagoon to Peale Island. By inspiration, someone had earlier loaded railroad track rails onto North Haven, so the men built a narrow-gauge railway to make it easier to haul the supplies across Wilkes to the lagoon. On June 12, North Haven departed for Guam, leaving behind various PAA technicians and a construction crew. On August 17, the first aircraft landing at Wake Island occurred when a PAA flying boat, on a survey flight of the route between Midway and Wake, landed in the lagoon. The second expedition of North Haven arrived at Wake Island on February 5, 1936, to complete the construction of the PAA facilities. A five-ton diesel locomotive for the Wilkes Island Railroad was offloaded and the railway track was extended to run from dock to dock. Across the lagoon on Peale workers assembled the Pan American Hotel, a prefabricated structure with 48 rooms and wide porches and verandas. The hotel consisted of two wings built out from a central lobby with each room having a bathroom with a hot-water shower. The PAA facilities staff included a group of Chamorro men from Guam who were employed as kitchen helpers, hotel service attendants and laborers. The village on Peale was nicknamed "PAAville" and was the first "permanent" human settlement on Wake. We encourage viewers to add comments and, especially, to provide additional information about our videos by adding a comment! See something interesting? Tell people what it is and what they can see by writing something for example: "01:00:12:00 -- President Roosevelt is seen meeting with Winston Churchill at the Quebec Conference." This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com