Searchlight #11, Puffin Island


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DEC station, Midway Point

Located approximately 250 miles southwest of Anchorage, Kodiak Island was one of the major centers of Alaskan military activity during World War Two. Facilities on the island included several airfields, a Naval operating base and several other installations.

To protect this important harbor the Coast Artillery Installed a total of 8 major gun batteries, ranging in caliber from 8-inch Naval guns down to the 90-mm rapid fire guns of the anti-motor torpedo boat batteries. The most numerous type of emplacement was the Panama mount, designed for use by a piece of 155-mm field artillery. A total of twelve Panama mounts were completed, grouped into three batteries of four guns each.   

The 8-inch Naval guns were split in to two batteries of two guns each, one to the north at Ft. Abercrombie and the second to the south at Ft. J. H. Smith. A battery of two 6-inch guns was emplaced at Ft. Tidball on Long Island, about 4 miles offshore from Kodiak Island.

In addition to the gun batteries, numerous observation stations and searchlight emplacements were constructed. Some were sited as far as 25 miles south of the city of Kodiak. These outlying sites often included a pair of searchlights and a single observation station, with a small group of housing and support buildings near by.


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