Kingman Reef is a triangular formation at 6' 24" N, 162' 24" W about 920 miles south of Hawaii and 35 miles north of Palmyra. It is a bare reef, 9 by 5 miles, running north and south the long way, with one corner of the triangle pointing north. Inside the reef lies a lagoon of considerable depth. The only land area is on the east side, where a small islet rises about 3 feet above sea level at high tide.
Kingman was discovered in 1798 by the American Captain Fanning, but it was named after Captain Kingman, who visited the reef in 1853. It was annexed by the US in 1922 and made a US Naval reservation in 1934. In 1937, Pan Am began air mail service between Hawaii and New Zealand using flying boats, and they used Kingman Reef's sheltered lagoon as a stopover. A schooner was anchored there as a sort of hostel and supply ship. The route was abandoned after a seaplane was lost off Samoa in 1938. Kingman Reef is still under control of the US Navy and permission to visit is only occassionally granted.
Past DXPeditions include the following:
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Last updated 30 October 2000