February 7, 2016

2277 UNITED STATES (Midway Islands) - The aerial view of the islands

Midway Islands is an atoll in the North Pacific Ocean, located roughly equidistant between North America and Asia, as its name suggests. It is near the northwestern end of the Hawaiian archipelago, about one-third of the way from  Honolulu (Hawaii), to Tokyo (Japan). It is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States, inhabited by 40-60 members of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), which administers the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.

It consists of a ring-shaped barrier reef and several sand islets. The two significant pieces of land, Sand Island and Eastern Island, provide a habitat for millions of seabirds. The  2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami caused many deaths among this bird population. A 1.5m high wave completely submerged the atoll's reef inlets and Spit Island, killing more than 110,000 nesting seabirds. However, scientists on the island do not think it will have long-term negative impacts on the bird populations.

The Battle of Midway (4-6 June 1942) was one of the most important battles of the Pacific campaign. The United States Navy defeated a Japanese battle group marking a turning point in the war in the Pacific Theater. USAAF aircraft based at the original Henderson Field on Eastern Island joined the attack against the Japanese fleet, which suffered losses of four aircraft carriers, one heavy cruiser, and hundreds of aircraft, losses that the Japanese would never be able to replace.

During the Korean War, thousands of troops on ships and aircraft stopped at Midway for refueling and emergency repairs. With about 3,500 people living on Sand Island, Midway also supported the U.S. troops during the Vietnam War. During the Cold War, the U.S. established an underwater listening post at Midway to track Soviet submarines. The Navy facility on Midway has been operationally closed in 1993, and the Navy assumed responsibility for cleaning up environmental contamination.

About the stamps
About the first stamp, featuring a portrait of George Washington, I wrote here. The last two are part of the series Medal of Honor: World War II, about which I wrote here.  

Midway Atoll - Wikipedia

Sender: Denise 
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 24.03.2014

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