Palmyra, an atoll in the Central Pacific Ocean, containing some 50 islets with a total area of some 10 sq km (4 sq mi), is situated about 1,600 km (1,000 mi) ssw of Honolulu at 5° 52′ n and 162° 5′ w. It was discovered in 1802 by the USS Palmyra and formally annexed by the United States in 1912, and was under the jurisdiction of the city of Honolulu until 1959, when Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States. It is now the responsibility of the US Department of the Interior. The atoll is privately owned by the Fullard-Leo family of Hawaii.
Kingman Reef, nw of Palmyra Atoll at 6° 25′ n and 162° 23′ n, was discovered by the United States in 1874, annexed by the United States in 1922, and became a naval reservation in 1934. Now abandoned, it is under the control of the US Department of the Navy. The reef only has an elevation of 1 m (3 ft) and is awash most of the time, making it hazardous for ships.