Midway Atoll Today
Midway Atoll is no longer a military base. Rather, it is run by the US Fish and Wildlife as a reserve. Also, one runway is
maintained as an emergency air strip. Otherwise, landings are only permitted at night since the island is now operated for the
benefit of the wildlife, and day time landings would be hazardous to birds and humans (and less so at night).
Midway today is a ghost town. With less than sixty residents on the island, none of them permanent residents, it is strange
moving around the island and seeing almost no people. All buildings have been removed from Eastern Island, and many
buildings on Sand Island no longer exist. There is now only one landing strip which is located on Sand Island.
The old barracks including the barracks we stayed in will soon be demolished.
The Pan Am Clipper hotels no longer exist, a victim of termites.
A couple of the structures from over one hundred years ago built by the trans-Pacific cable company still exist but they are in
significant disrepair and will probably be demolished.
US Fish and Wildlife contracts with a private company to run most services, and this company hires most of its employees from
Thailand. The old officers quarters are being rehabilitated as lodging for the Thai workers.
Below is one of the Thai workers spraying Roundup on noxious weeds.
One Thai worker works full time in the hydroponics farm
Mostly transportation on the island is golf carts, small vehicles, and bicycles.
Below, Matt, one of our group, rides a bicycle.
My friend Jack Lyon can remember going to this theatre in the early fifties. The building is falling apart so unless a wealthy
benefactor can be found, this building too will go to the scrap heap.
This is the harbor which today is mostly a home to sharks, rafts of albatross, spinner dolphins, and green turtles.
The building below is the seaplane hangar which was attacked by the Japanese during the attack on Pearl Harbor and again in
the Battle of Midway. It is in significant disrepair, but funds have been allocated to fix it up.
Midway House is in good condition. This is where the commander of Midway lived.
"Rusty Bucket" is the location where the navy dumped its trash.
Finally, the wildlife in Midway today would not be in such good shape were it not for the efforts of the volunteers. Below,
volunteers banding a Laysan Albatross chick which is giving them a little shit.