Alternate History

Midway Atoll (Yellowstone: 1936)

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Midway Atoll
Timeline: Great Nuclear War
OTL equivalent: Midway Atoll
 -  US Formal Possession August 28, 1867 
 -  Reclaimed by American Asiatic-Pacific Zone 1938 
 -  Japanese Occupation  
 -  1939  

Midway Atoll (alternatively called Midway Island or Midway Islands) is a 2.4-square-mile (6.2 km2) atoll in the North Pacific Ocean. Its name is derived from the fact that the atoll is situated equidistantly between Asia and North America, as well as being halfway around the Greenwich Meridian in the United Kingdom. Prior to the Yellowstone Eruption of 1936, it formerly served as an air field and a naval station for American forces in the Pacific as part of the American Pacific-Asiatic Zone. The decisive Battle of Midway was fought near the islands.


On July 5, 1859, Midway Atoll was claimed for the United States under the Guano Island Acts of 1856 by Captain N.C. Brooks of the sealing Gambia. On August 28, 1867, Captain William Reynolds of the USS Lackawanna formally took possession of the atoll for the United States;  the name changed to "Midway" some time after this. The atoll became the first Pacific island annexed by the U.S. government, as the Unincorporated Territory of Midway Island, and administered by the United States Navy. Midway is the only island in the entire Hawaiian archipelago that was not later part of the State of Hawaii.

In 1903, the Commercial Pacific Cable Company took up residence in the island in order to establish a trans-Pacific telegraph cable. The workers introduced non-native flora and fauna to the islands. The same year, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt placed the island under the direct control of the United States Navy.

In 1935, operations began for the Martin M-130 flying boats operated byPan 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 the Yellowstone Eruption of 1936. This only lasted less than year since these trips were known to be expensive for the average American during the 1930s. What remained of the population cut off from the mainland U.S. evacuated into the nearby Territory of Hawaii, in which they settled there when it became a Republic. As part of the American Asiatic-Pacific Zone, the islands were placed under the jurisdiction of Hawaii. Marines and naval vessels were stationed in the island.

The Empire of Japan attacked U.S. Navy installations in Midway after the Battle of Midway. The islands were soon occupied by the Japanese.

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