Journey to a Hidden Island
There is a gorgeous, remote island just off of St. Thomas, Water Island is known for its rugged beauty and spectacular views and only has a population of 200. The island has no hotels, taxis, gas stations, shops, nor a main town.
At almost 500 acres, Water Island is the smallest island in the main USVI chain, which also comprises St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. The island is accessible by a short, eight-minute ferry ride from St. Thomas’s Crown Bay Marina, a five-minute drive from the airport.
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Water Island got it’s name because the ponds on the island were fresh water and Pirates use to stop here to fill up their water kegs. But in the 1940s, the island was purchased by the US Department of Defense to use during World War 2 as a base to protect U.S. submarines deployed in the Virgin Islands. The water ways to the fresh water ponds were dredged into water ways and are now salt water.
Photos shared by Pat and Eddy Cheesboorugh – U.S. Army Military serving on Water Island in the 1940s
Beach test area that lead to main base
Coastal Gun Mount
Underground munitions storage at Fort
U.S. Army Trucks parked at main base
That was then. This is now. Virtual tour of Water Island US Virgin Islands
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