Marcus Island is an isolated island in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. It has an area of 1.2 sq km. The closest island, however, is Farallon de Pajaros of the Mariana Islands, which is 1021 kilometres (634 mi) west south-west of Minamitori Shima. There is an airport available on the island. Formally a part of the ANZC after Japan lost control of the island after Doomsday
The first discovery and mention of an island in this area was made by a Captain Arriola in 1694.Its location was left unrecorded until further sightings in the early 19th century. Japan annexed the island, called Minami Torishima, in the late 19th century but ceded it to the USA after World War II. The US Coast Guard built a LORAN radio station on the island to help ships navigate that region of the Pacific. Even though the US relinquished sovereignty over the island to Japan in the 1960s, the US Coast Guard continued to operate the LORAN station.
The base was far too insignificant to be a nuclear target in World War III, although the USSR may have had long-term plans to attack it conventionally had the war lasted longer. The 20-odd Coasties manning the station escaped to Hawaii soon after the Doomsday event, leaving Marcus uninhabited.
In 1992, the American Provisional Administration, with help from Australia, sent a team to Marcus to refurbish the LORAN station. The operation was part of the ANZUS powers' revived interest in world exploration after the successful round-the-world journey of the Benjamin Frankin the year before. Putting the station online helped re-open the northwest Pacific Ocean to modern navigation, opening the route to Japan and the Asian coast.
The APA continued to administer Marcus as a separate territory until it was disbanded in 1995. Marcus was one of the few American territories directly transfered to the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand without holding a referendum, since there was no civilian population. It was also one of the few former uninhabited US islands that Hawaii did not claim in its long-simmering territorial dispute with the ANZ Commonwealth.
The island is currently used for weather observation and has a radio station, but little else. Because of its isolation, it is of some interest to amateur radio hobbyists in the ANZC. The island is considered as a separate country for amateur radio awards.