Some people think Cudjoe Key is named after the Joewood tree, also known as cudjoewood. Writer John Viele has another theory. He thinks the island is so named because of a fugitive or freed slave who lived on the island and who was named Cudjoe, a common Akan name. The island was first, in 1959, a U.S. Army base, and then taken over by the Air Force, and then it became Homestead Joint Air Reserve Base. In recent years the DEA flies a white radar aerostat (balloon) called Fat Albert to use for drug interdictions. Cudjoe Key is crossed by the Overseas Highway at about mile markers 20.5 -23.