Prior to World War II, Wake Island was a United States territory and a strategic base for the U.S. in the Pacific. It was also the site of another Pacific battle, having been attacked by the Japanese shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 8, 1941. The battle lasted a total of 15 days during which American soldiers, despite overwhelming odds and untenable conditions, were defeated by the Japanese. Thereafter and until their surrender at the end of the War, the Japanese occupied Wake Island. Today, Wake Island remains a territory of the United States, and is utilized by the Air force as a refueling stop for military aircraft, and as an emergency landing facility. Due to the heroism under extraordinary conditions exemplified by the Defenders of Wake Island, as they came to be known, it is fitting that a monument be erected there to commemorate the battle.
Created by James M. D’Angelo, MD (IMMF founder), the Wake Island monument design has been completed and approved by the American Battle Monuments Commission. The U.S. Air Force, which has jurisdiction over the island, has recently rejected the request to place the monument there. Together with Friends of Wake Island, the Foundation will continue to search for ways to have this decision reversed. The cost of the monument is estimated to be $20,000.00, and a fund-raising effort will be undertaken if final approval is granted by the Air Force. If you are interested in supporting this effort, please contact us.