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    Sitka Alaska United States

Sitka is located on the western edge of Baranof Island and the southern half of Chichagof Island in the Alexander Archipelago (Alaska Panhandle) in Alaska in the United States. Borders the North Pacific Ocean to the west.

Wartime History
In Sitka, the U. S. Army emplaced three 6" gun batteries, two 90mm Anti Motor-Torpedo Boat batteries, one twin 155mm GPF battery, numerous fire control stations, a big searchlight system, radar stations, and other smaller AA defense. It would take the Army a few years to construct all the necessary defenses, some were never completed, most were never used.

In 1942, the U. S. Army construction around Sitka began to speed up when in 1942 the United States learned that Japan was planning to attack Alaska. The construction costs in Sitka exceeded 30 million dollars. There were at one time 10,000 people stationed at Sitka.

The current population of Sitka is roughly 8,000. Many wartime fortifications and sites remain and have been well documented in an excellent websites specifically related to Sitka, Alaska: Sitka's WWII page by Mathew Hunter with photos of many of the sites described below.

Fort Babcock / Battery 290
At Shoals Point, Under Mount Edgecombe, On Kruzof Island. Abandoned when construction was 88% complete. Had many fire control stations and large support camps abandoned with them. These guns became operational in March/April 1942

Fort Peirce / Battery 291
On Biorka Island. Had 6-inch batteries and was 98% completed when abandoned, as well as fire control stations and support camps.

Base End Station
Located at Ataku Island. It has a large fortified tower for Battery 291 and several other buildings in lesser condition.

Fort Rousseau / Battery 292
On Makhnati Island. Construction was completed by late 1944 and included a 6-inch Battery.

Sitka Seaplane Base (NAS Sitka)
Built 1937 used by the U. S. Navy during the Pacific War.

Fort Ray
Support Facilities For The Defense Of The Sitka Naval Air Station

Anti Motor Torpedo-Boat Battery
Located at Watson Point, located at the spot where the Sea Mart Parking Lot is currently.

90mm batteries
Whale Island, and at Watson Point

Makhnati Island's 155mm batteries
Click For EnlargementToday, both are heavily overgrown. These guns were 155mm GPF (Grande Puissance Filloux) guns, old WWI French artillery pieces modified and put into production in the US. After WWI, these guns were modified to fit "Panama Mounts" (This emplacement was developed in the Canal Zone and so called the Panama Mount.)

These guns did not have the range of their six-inch counterparts but before the completion of the 6-inch gun batteries, they were the front line of defense for Sitka. Later in the war, the GPF guns were slowly replaced by 155mm "Long Toms" with 50% more range, but this never occurred in Sitka

WWII Era construction
There are foundations and concrete bunkers scattered around the town and surrounding islands.

Fire Control Station
On Kayak Island

Fire Control Station and Radar Site
On Abalone Island.

Island Causeway
The Army then constructed a two-mile-long causeway connecting eight islands to Japonski Island and worked on the other defenses. Japonski Island was also connected to two smaller islands: Alice and Charcoal. These islands and the causeway are where Fort Ray was established. Fort Ray was the support camp for all the Army service men and batteries used in the Harbor Defenses. The remains on the causeway and surrounding islands are virtually all there. There has been erosion and some vandalism but the structures are standing.

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Last Updated
September 1, 2018


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