98 Rock
Wilkes Island, Wake Atoll

The "98 Rock" on Wilkes Island, Wake Atoll marks a spot near where a mass grave once filled with the murdered American civilian contractors who were captured when the Japanese invaded Wake Island. On Oct. 5, 1943, after being used as slave labor to rebuild the airfields for the Japanese, the contractors were executed under orders of Captain (later Admiral) Shigematsu Sakaibara fearing an American attack. One unidentified man escaped and carved the inscription on the rock. He was later recaptured and beheaded personally by Sakaibara.

Sakaibara was hanged on June 18, 1947 for the Wake Island Massacre. The bodies of the Americans were removed and reburied in Honolulu, Hawaii.


Close-up of the 98 Rock.


Close-up of the plaque and inscription on the 98 Rock.


Close-up of the plaque on the 98 Rock.


Page published June 12, 2009