Yap Visitors Bureau
Myths and Legends
A Timeline of Yap's History
How Wa'ab Became Yap

When the first ship to anchor at the central islands arrived. A canoe of local warriors from the remaining islands went out to greet the ship and through sign language communicated their desire to have the captain come ashore for discussions. As they boarded the warrior's canoe the ship's captain pointed towards the shore and asked the name of the nearby landmasses. Thinking that the Captain was pointing at a canoe paddle held by a navigator in the bow, the warriors responded proudly – “Yap”. The name was duly recorded by the Captain and it stuck, so to this day the islands of Wa'ab are known to the outside world as Yap, - (canoe paddle)!"

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Crashed Zero in Yap1944 Allies begin bombing Colonia, the Japanese airfield at the southern end of the island, and the airfield under construction in Tomil.

1944 allies U.S. Army 323rd Infantry, 81st Division seizes Ulithi unopposed. Island is rapidly turned into a massive staging area. At one point over 1,000 ships were anchored in the Ulithi Lagoon.

1945 Americans occupy island after
Japan's surrender.

1947 Chamorros, who had moved to Yap during the Japanese administration, are resettled on Tinian by the U.S. Navy.

First simple church1948 First Protestant church opens.

1952 Navy administration ends. Interior Department takes over the island on June 21st, and King W Chapman is named Yap's first civilian administrator.

1957 Yap votes to allow sale of alcoholic beverages for the first time to Yapese.

1963 Loran station built. Airport opens.

1964 Bridge across Tagreng Canal linking northern and southern Yap for the first time since World War II opens.

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