239-Johnston Atoll souvenir
Johnston Atoll is a very small island in the North Pacific previously used by the US military for chemical weapons storage and destruction. It closed in 2004 and has since become a wildlife refuge.
The base plate for these souvenirs is a 2001 design for the unofficial flag of Johnston Atoll. It is thought these souvenirs were sold from 2003 onwards and there are probably 3 different batches.
Following contact by members of ALPCA with the man who was in charge of the entire operation on Johnston Atoll for two years prior to its evacuation by the Navy, it has been confirmed that these plates were made only as souvenirs and were never used on vehicles. As part of a promotional campaign some plates were placed on vehicles, photographed, and then immediately removed. In particular, some versions with "FIRE" and "POLICE" were photographed prior to sale to collectors.
Identification of vehicles on Johnston Island was accomplished in 3 ways:
1. sometimes a DOD number was painted directly onto the vehicle.
2. some U.S. Government plates were issued and these were similar to all other U.S Government plates.
3. some vehicles which were barged to the island retained their original plates – in most cases from Hawaii.