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Kodiak Alaska Military History

World War II Plotting Bunker at Chiniak


This is the plotting and spotting room for battery No. 1. It was completed on 24 December 1943 and was gas-proof. It contained the fire control switchboard room for Ft. J. H. Smith. Telephone cables from this building went to the gun emplacment, to Miller Field, and to points west. It is located 1400 feet south of the eight-inch gun emplacement. There are no Quonset hut remains in the area even though there were many dozens at one time. On our Chiniak map it is about halfway between "B" and "D". The road is washed out just past "B" and road access is from "C" past the DGPS transmitter on the road by the taller tower.

It is normally full of water. Boots are usually required. This day the weather had been unusually dry and we went in with regular shoes.

Click on a picture to see the full 640 x 480 version. Text and web page design by Joe Stevens. Photos by Joe Stevens and Curt Law.

Photos 1-5 taken 7/31/98.

The pictures

1 - The walls of this concrete bunker are still completely covered with an insulating panel made of wood shavings. The panels are about an inch thick at this bunker but other bunkers have thicker ones. The panels are on inch-thick wood battens. The floor is covered with a very thick tile made by Carey. They are 12 by 24 by 1/2 inch. The floor tiles run one foot up the walls then the insulating panels begin and cover the remainder of the walls and the entire ceiling. The floor tiles seem to be stuck down with tar.

2 - This interior paneled door had apparently been on the switchboard room.

3 - Even though the details of this command bunker are somewhat different from the one at Abercrombie, the entrance doors are similar with two entrances. One is larger and could have been just for equipment movement. The larger door is single thick. There are air vents within the walls just outside the large door.

4 - The smaller of the two entrances has a reefer type latch on the inside of the door.

5 - The outer door is very heavy steel as if to resist bomb blasts. The walls of the main rooms are more than four feet thick. This view is from the outside of the bunker. This bunker is underground and is overgrown. It is hard to find. There is evidence of frequent campfires just outside.

6 - The interior is in very good condition.

7 - Even when you get close it's hard to see this bunker.

8 - Map of part of Ft. J. H. Smith showing the location of the plotting room.