Once an island used for refuelling for transpacific flights by the Air Force, as well as a stop for Navy ships, the Midway was more or less second to Pearl Harbour in importance to protecting the west coast of the United States. However, since being decommissioned in 1950, it was recommissioned in the late 60s to aid in the Korean and Vietnam wars.
Listed as an unincorporated territory of the United States, the island is administered by the Department of Interior, and has been closed to the public. It is listed as a part of the United States Minor Outlying Islands and was declared a marine national monument in 2009.
Another island listed as a United States Minor Outlying Island, Johnston Atoll has had a much more violent recent history than other island and atolls. The site of nuclear weapon testing, it was severely contaminated in 1962 when a missile, with a live warhead, exploded, spilling radioactive materials such as plutonium all over the launch pad.
Just another minor outlying island that’s listed under the United States Minor Outlying Islands, this was used for Guano mining, though not a lot was performed. Not to mention, the atoll itself is very much unknown given that it hasn’t been explored too much.
Howland Island is another island that’s a part of the United States Minor Outlying Islands, and as such, the United States has an exclusive economic zone extending 200 nautical miles in all directions where no foreign vessels may conduct business without permission given. That said, this island is also well known for being the island on which Amelia Earhart was searching for, but never reached on her flight to Honolulu.
Baker Island is another one of those United States Minor Outlying Islands that was occupied during times of war, and has since been abandoned. That said, remnants from the military do still remain on the island, with the most prominent being a kilometre and a half long airstrip that has since been covered with vegetation and deemed unsafe to use. It is also an exclusive economic zone of the United States of America, and entry is only allowed by permits given by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
A country with a painful history, though a rich one given the location of it being where the silk road ran through. That said, plenty of its rich history was ruined or destroyed in the last few decades due to unrest within the country that I’m sure a lot of people are familiar with. It’s a beautiful place, having had the opportunity to control there during my radar training, offering a enough of a challenge to controllers, but not an overly difficult airport with a solid plan in place.
This island was often occupied by Indonesian fisherman for hundreds of years prior, until a memorandum of understanding was signed in 1974 between Australia and Indonesia, recognising the Ashmore and Cartier Islands as a part of Australia, but allowing Indonesian fisherman access to the exclusive economic zone drawn by the islands, as well as shelter and facilities on the island. In more recent years, however, the island was often used by asylum seekers, who once the island, could claim that they have entered Australian migration zones, and thus, enter Australia as refugees.
Controlling at my 200th country and territory around the world, I took the opportunity to control at Norfolk Island, with strong winds presenting a strong challenge to all pilots who came. Those who came in their spitfires, of course, did experience quite bumpy weather and some interesting skills were displayed, to say the least.
Rising steeply from the ocean floor some 3 kilometres below, this is a popular diving spot that is often illegal to visit. Visiting this island requires a permit from the French government, and not having one could lead to the vessel you used to visit the area possibly impounded and confiscated.
Located in the Mozambique Channel, Europa Island was the centre of attention when used partly to study the breeding habits of green turtles. Other than that, this island remains a possession of France, despite being well over 9 hours away by air.
The Glorioso Islands are two coral islands north of Madagascar, and are considered to be territories of France. At the same time, Comoros and Seychelles lay claim on the island. It is now considered to be marine protected area, preserving endangered flora and fauna that are on the islands.
Another island that belongs to France, Juan de Nova Island has a small garrison with a number of troops stationed there. The island is also a nature preserve, often times having scientists on the island with research work happening every so often.
Tromelin Island is another island in the Indian Ocean with claims being laid by Mauritius and France, though it is administered by France and is named after Jacques Marie Boudin de Tromelin de La Nuguy who rescued enslaved islanders who were on the island for 15 years.
The Netherland Antilles are a group of islands that collectively form the Netherland Antilles. Being made up of Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, they are considered to be a part of the Netherlands, with travel between these islands and the European Union being unhindered due to them being considered a part of the Netherlands.
Guernsey was once a part of mainland Europe some 8,000 years ago, though rising sea levels have since separated them from the mainland. That said, the island wasn’t neglected in the time since, with it being home to one of the world’s largest tidal ranges where locals and tourists often visit.
Jersey, officially known as Bailiwick of Jersey, is a channel island that lays closer to France than it does to the United Kingdom. Despite that, it is considered to be a British Crown Dependency, meaning that it is defended and represented internationally by the government of the United Kingdom. It was once a favourite holiday destination of Karl Marx, and was occupied by the Germans during the Second World War, with remnants of the war still present to this day.