TracesOfWar needs your help! We miss photos of important sights in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany. Submit your photos to input@tracesofwar.com and it will be published!

Our Colonies in the War: No. 4 - Ascension

The War Illustrated, Volume 7, No. 177, Page 682, March 31, 1944.

Thirty-four square miles Ascension Island occupies an important place in the war effort of the British Empire. Discovered by a Portuguese, Joao da Nova, in 1501, on Ascension Day, it remained uninhabited until after the arrival of Napoleon as a prisoner on St. Helena, when it was garrisoned by the British Government and administered by the Admiralty, who names the island H.M.S. Ascension. In 1922 it became part of the dependency of the colony of St. Helena and passed into the jurisdiction of the Colonial Office.

Most vital role played by Ascension Island is a wireless station relaying messages from all parts of the word. The company of Cable and Wireless Ltd. are in charge of this important work; they control a 300,000-mile chain of telegraph routes. Except for a handful of native guano workers, the cables staff, their families and servants, are the only inhabitants: they have transformed this island of 39 craters, dominated by the 2,500-ft. Green Mountain, into a habitable link in the chain of the Empire. Position of Ascension is 2,000 miles from W. Africa, it is equi-distant between W. Africa and S. America and is 3,350 miles by air from the nearest West Indian port.

It has also become a ferry-point for Allied planes; a U.S. aircraft comes in to land through a cloud of sooty terns or Wideawake birds. U.S. Army tents in an area where engineers have hacked out of the mountainous terrain runways for the planes passing through the island.

Previous and next article from Britain's Colonies in the War

Britain's Colonies in the War: No. 3 - W. Indies

Mar1944

Britain's Colonies in the War: No. 3 - W. Indies

Under Democratic Constitution offered to Jamaica by the British Government in Feb. 1943, and which it was announced was accepted by the people on May 19, 1943, for the first time in history they will

Read more

Britain's Colonies in the War: No. 5 - Fiji

Apr1944

Britain's Colonies in the War: No. 5 - Fiji

Pacific paradise in peacetime, large areas of the Fiji Islands are now training-grounds in tropical warfare for U.S. troops. The map shows Fiji's strategic importance; its productiveness is symbolized

Read more

Index

Previous article

This Trawler Helped to Send a U-Boat to its Doom

Mar1944

This Trawler Helped to Send a U-Boat to its Doom

Fish was the quarry of H.M. trawler Imperialist before the war; now she hunts U-boats. Since early 1940, when she discarded fishing nets for guns and depth charges, the Imperialist has gained for hers

Read more

Next article

Bloody is the Fighting for the Ruins of Cassino

Apr1944

Bloody is the Fighting for the Ruins of Cassino

In the streets and in the hills around Cassino, on March 29, 1944, the 5th Army were fighting with utmost gallantry against an enemy fanatically defending a position which, after weeks of battle, had

Read more