Crusty old Joe's

Kodiak Alaska Military History

The official web site of the Kodiak Military History Museum

Long Island
Deer Point guns SCR-296A Radar SCR-582 Radar BD-74 Telephone Switchboard Home Page

Fort Tidball was active during World War II on Long Island, adjacent to the city of Kodiak on Kodiak Island, Alaska, USA. Named for Brevet Major General John C. Tidball. All land on Long Island was procured by the government on June 14, 1941. The island is now entirely owned by Lesnoi Inc. and is only reachable by chartered boat from Kodiak. It's about a half-hour trip. There are no facilities on the island. All of these building have been abandoned for many years except for some informal recreational use. The headquarters complex buildings are completely gone.

George Reynolds has some information and photos.

Long Island was home to Group No. 2, Batteries No. 4 & 5, SCR-296A, SCR-582, B1/4, B2/4, B3/4, B1/5, B2/5, B2/6, B3/6, S/L's No. 14, 15, 16, 17 & 18.

Group No. 2.
The Group 2 command post was at Deer Point. This was a two-level 45-foot wooden tower with the group CP and OP on the upper floor and a surveillance radar on the lower. This station was to be equipped with an M1 DPF, class 3. There is evidence that the CP/OP was never activated.

Listed as first in tactical importance to the Kodiak area is Battery 5, construction No. 296 at Castle Bluffs. Construction of this battery was completed on December 8, 1943. This station has a large two-level underground concrete bunker containing electric generators, the spotting and plotting room, the magazines, and a telephone switchboard. This battery had two 6-inch M1903A2 guns on M1 mounts with a maximum range of 27,100 yards. These guns are located at an elevation of 117 feet. It was provided with 2000 rounds of ammunition stored in two reinforced concrete magazines located at the emplacement. The fire control switchboard for Ft. Tidball was located in this emplacement. The battery command station was located 400 feet SW of gun mount No. 1 on a 50-foot, one-level, wooden tower, and was equipped with an M2 DPF, class 2.

Battery 4, construction No. F 42-4, listed as fourth in importance, was located at Deer Point, site 12, on Long Island. Battery 4 was equipped with four 155mm 1918M1 guns on Panama mounts. The maximum range for these guns is 19,000 yards. 4080 rounds of 95 to 100 pound projectiles were stored in the battery magazine. These ten magazines were concrete as well as steel igloos located at the emplacement and at the Lake Dolgoi area.

Other armament at the gun batteries consisted of two 40mm, four .50 cal, and two .30 caliber automatic weapons and 26,880 rounds of various ammunition stored in steel igloo automatic weapons magazines. In addition to this, each searchlight location was equipped with two .30 caliber machine guns and 14,700 rounds.

Click on this thumbnail for a bigger map of the island.

The Steel Radar Tower

SCR-296A (700 MHz) radar tower from World War II. There were three of these in the area. The one at Ft.Abercrombie is completely gone except for the concrete piers. The one at Round Top at Chiniak is still intact. These photos of the tower on Long Island were taken by Joe Stevens from a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter piloted by Tom Walters June 22, 1998. There was also a SCR-582 radar on Long Island at Deer Point on a short wood tower.

click on thumbnail for bigger view

More on the Long Island SCR-296A radar

Coastal Defense Gun Battery 5 (296)

Aerial view of battery with North Cape off to the top of the picture. This bunker containins a BD-74 telephone switchboard on the lower level and the battery spotting and plotting room. Photo June 22, 1998.
This is the lower level entrance to the bunker. It is located to the left just under the trees in the above photo.
Both of the 6-inch M1903A2 gun barrels are missing. This is gun No. 1 looking toward the battery command post.
The splinter shield of the north gun, No. 2, is upside-down.
Little remains of the M1 mount after the guns were blown up. One of the upper level portals to the bunker is in the background behind Curt Law. This is the doorway through which the ammunition was carried. There are two intact guns similar to these at Fort Columbia State Park, Chinook, WA.
This is tactical battery number 5 completed December 8, 1943. It was part of Group 2 command at Deer Point which was organized under Headquarters Command Post at Artillery Hill, Ft. Greely. They were supplied with 1300 type AP projectiles and 700 type HE 90 pound projectiles. This battery of two 6-inch M1903A2 guns had a maximun range of 27,100 yards. The ammunition was kept in reinforced concrete emplacement and battle allowance magazines.

They were also supplied with two 40mm automatic weapons with 1512 type HE projectiles and 168 APC rounds. They had two .50 cal. machine guns with 4200 API and 1050 tracer rounds. Finally, they had two .30 cal. automatic weapons with 11760 AP and 2940 tracer rounds. The automatic weapon ammunition was kept in a steel igloo at the same site.

Google Earth locator to this bunker (57-46-52 N, 152-14-11 W)

The buildings

These photos by Curt Law August 2, 1998.

Joe Stevens investigating one of the many Quonset huts.
Each Quonset hut had an electrical panel with two circuit breakers.
Moss covers everything.
Several electrical poles are still standing. Ft. Tidball had an extensive overhead electrical distribution system.
Even though this mess hall has collapsed, the sink is in comparatively good condition.
The roof over the water heater has collapsed at this latrine.
A few fixtures are still in place in some wooden buildings.
Rumor has it that this building is rotten.
Interior partition in the latrine.
Another latrine.
If somebody would turn the water on, I'd take a shower. Even the floor lattice boards are still there.
I told those guys to clean those sinks, not clean them out.
The huts have numbers painted on them to help the Corps of Engineers cleanup contractor tell where they are.
This interior clearly demonstrates the roof framing. The KIMSUL Insulation (by Kimberly Clark) is still hanging in there.
A few of the interiors are in very good condition. Unfortunately none of the huts has all of the floor boards.
The forest is peaceful.
Few wheels have marred these roads lately.
You can walk for some time and still the woods are full of huts.

This is a very small sample of the buildings on Long Island. This only covers one area on the north end near Castle Bluff.

Click on this thumbnail for a bigger map of the island.

In Quonset hut Q-1 we found a painting of a PINK ELEPHANT on one of the masonite wall panels. It wasn't attached any longer and was laying on the floor. We rescued the painting. The 404th Bomb Squadron had a pink elephant for their insignia. As far as we know, there is no connection between the 404th and Long Island (Ft. Tidball). However, what is know is shown on Don Eubank's web site.

From: (WB7TCV) Jay Carlson Jcarlson (at)
My father was at Kodiak in 1941 and 42 while in the U.S. Army.






1940 July 12
(Kodiak Mirror)
Island Leased
Long Island, off the coast of Kodiak, made famous by Barrett Willoughby the novelist, has been leased by the government to the Alaska Fur Corporation for a period of 10 years. For a number of years the island was fur-farmed by A.W. Bennett, who later moved into the Anchorage district.

1944 October 10
Charles E. Bryan, PO Box 63, Kodiak
Cattle grazing lease for Long Island. Permission to enter the reservation may be obtained from post S-2.
James R. Nichols, Maj. C.A.C. Adjutant

The cattle were at one time owned by Tommy Gallagher.

Johnny Reft may be the current owner of the cattle. [May 6, 2003]

* (Note: If largest photo version doesn't load, it may be only available on our
CD-ROM of the website.)

Main index This page updated 2006 December 30