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About Tern Island

An introduction with general information about Tern Island in the French Frigate Shoals of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.
Tern Island in the French Frigate Shoals

Photo Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Tern Island is a mostly submerged island almost completely covered by an airstrip built by the United States Navy in 1942. Today the island is maintained by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as a field station of the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge.

Facts About Tern Island
SIZE: About 26 acres
ISLAND: Tern Island
ATOLL: French Frigate Shoals
ISLAND GROUP: Northwest Hawaiian Islands
LOCATION: About 490 miles northwest of Oahu Island
WITHIN: Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Tern Island Naval Airfield (1942-1946)
The United States Navy built a naval air station on Tern Island. after the 1942 Battle of Midway. Creating that air station required enlarging the island enough to allow it to accommodate a 3,300 foot airstrip. That based was operated by the Navy until 1946 as an emergency landing site for aircraft transporting military personnel and equipment between the southeast Hawaiian islands and the Midway Atoll. Today the remains of that airfield include the runway, a seawall, and a few of the buildings.

Tern Island Coastguard Station (1952-1979)
Tern island was operated as a United States Coastguard station between 1952 and 1979. The station was mostly destroyed in 1969 by a tsunami (tidal wave) but it was later rebuilt

Loran Coastguard Station
- Loren Transmitting Tower (125 feet)
- Loran Receiving Antenna (65 feet)
- Qunset Huts

French Frigate Shoals Airport

About the French Frigate Shoals

All of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands

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See also
Blog With Hawaii Tourism Posts
Facebook "Hawaii for Visitors" Page
Twitter "Hawaii for Visitors" Feed

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