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Kodiak Alaska History

Navy Base File
11120 Communications

All refer to US Naval Operating base at Kodiak unless otherwise specified.

JCP = Joint Command Post, ROIC = Resident Officer In Charge, NOB = Naval Operating Base, NAS = Naval Air Station, CO = Commanding Officer.


May 27, 1940
Instead of separate crash and fire alarm systems, incorporate them into telephone system like at NAS Seattle.

July 29, 1940
Letter from Henry Stimpson, Secretary of War, to the Secretary of the Navy, requesting the Navy to connect to the Army telephone system.

August 9, 1940
Authority was granted by Lewis Compton, Acting Secretary of the Navy.

August 13, 1940
Leigh Noyes, Chief of Naval Operations, advised the Commandant of the Thirteenth Naval District that the local commanders on the ground would make the arrangements, but that there were no funds available.

August 15, 1940
W. Sihler by direction OIC, crash and fire alarms to be omitted.

September 3, 1940
Crash and fire alarms to be omitted.

September 18, 1940
W. Sihler by direction, OIC Contract NOy-3570 to contractors, Seattle, details of telephone cables in Kodiak and Sitka. Same letter content as below letter.

October 17, 1940
Control tower will be at the south corner of the extreme westerly hangar. Administration building is deferred for lack of funds.

November 13, 1940
S. Sihler, by direction of the OIC, advised the Resident officer in Charge at Kodiak, that contract NOy-3570 would be issued to interconnect the NAS telephone system to the Town of Kodiak.

November 20, 1940
R.E. Thomas, the OIC of contract NOy-3570, issued documents to get the pole line constructed.

December 18, 1940
L.B. Combs, assistant to the Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks, sent three approved copies of supplemental contract No. W-1084-SC158 for a telephone pole line between the NAS and the town.


January 20, 1941
Purchased: [ordered] 600 line Automatic Electric exchange, wired for 400 multiple dial lines, 10 dial, 10 common battery, and 10 magneto trunk lines, crash and fire alarm system, 303 desk type dial instruments. Cost $51,169.

April 3, 1941
R.E. Thomas, by W. Sihler, OIC Contract NOy-3570 to Commanding General, Fourth Army, Roadway blasting on road to Kodiak will endanger telephone line constuction at this time. Navy radio now works well enough it isn't urgent we have telephone line to Alaska Communication System in the town of Kodiak.

June 5, 1941
J. Perry Prospective CO NAS, to ROIC, request date availability of telephone exchange.

June 14, 1941
C.W. Coryell ROIC Contract NOy-3570, to Prospecive CO NAS, it'll be a year before the automatic telephone exchange is installed in the Administration Bldg. I'll sketch a temporary solution.

July 12, 1941
H.N. Keifer discusses need for a switchboard at the navy and the army bases and delivery dates from several vendors. July 14, 1941
Eugene E. Kent, 1st Lt, Office of the Signal Officer, US Army Troops, Kodiak, Alaska, to ROIC Navy Air Base, reference 10-circuit open wire line, 26 pair cable, and repeat coils type C-161 for phantom circuits. Party service to business houses. [Note: photo of Lt. Kent on page 13 of Aleutian Headache.]

July 28, 1941
J. Perry CO NAS to ROIC, request temporary telephones at Commander Patrol Wing Four on ground floor Barracks 2, and one in BOQ.

August 15, 1941
Army purchase of Western Electric 100 line one position type 12 manual exchange for $4,255. [Note: photo of switchboard and installer Tom Desmond on page 15 of Aleutian Headache.]

August 28, 1941
J.B. Jenkins General Superintendent, Interoffice letter to ROIC, lists 31 temporary phone locations required.

September 2, 1941
J. Perry Commander USN, Commanding NAS, to ROIC, lists 28 phone locations.

September 17, 1941
Army purchase of 130 WE type 302AW3 manual instruments and 55 WE type 1653A manual instruments for $3,080.

December 18, 1941
Eugene E. Kent, 1st Lt Comdg Det 14th Signal Serv Co, to ROIC NAS, blasting and other work is damaging lines. Call me at Drum 10 on Army Telephone System 24 hours in advance of blasting.


February 9, 1942
City of Kodiak Ordinance 42. Grants a right-of-way to the Navy for telephone line along Shelikof Highway, Brooklyn Avenue, to the Signal Corps Station on Signal Hill. Mayor R. H. Chadwick by C. Blankenburg City Clerk.

February 10, 1942
Eugene E. Kent 1st Lt Sig Corps, Post Signal Officer to Commanding General Ft. Greely, after repeated requests after many weeks urgently need open-wire line to Kodiak. Will have to run field wire if this isn't complete by time submarine cable interconnecting Long Island via Woody Island to Kodiak Island at Shahafka Cove. Endorsed by Malcolm F. Lindsey, Colonel, Infantry Executive for the Commanding General.

February 11, 1942
C.W. Coryell OIC NAS, probable moving pole line from Buskinville to Army Contonment.

February 13, 1942
C.W. Coryell ROIC by J. L. Piland to General Superintendent, request to advise when five pair of the ten-pair open-wire telephone line to Kodiak will be ready.

February 14, 1942
A.K. Fogg by W. Sihler OIC Contract NOy-3570 to the contractors, additional radio facilities including Intermediate Frequency Direction Finder Station at coordinates North 19470 and East 4590. [Drawing RS-6J-947A not in file.]

February 16, 1942
A.K.Fogg, by W. Sihler, OIC Contract NOy-3570 to JAG, regarding right-of-way easement from New England Fish Company, Mr. Synnestvedt VP.

February 21, 1942
C.W. Coryell ROIC NAS, no operator contemplated for manual switchboard. Dial "9" for Army switchboard. Details of dial "0" crash arrangement (see Nov 5, 1942).

March 14, 1942
J.A. Stelger Asst PW officer to ROIC, need clean air for telephone switch. Endorsed by J.L. Piland by direction ROIC to Inspection Engineer.

March 17, 1942
Info from local inspection report: automatic telephone switchboard, automatic conference system for fire and crash alarm, local telephone nets, attendant's cabinet for connection to the Army system and the local magneto and C.B. lines. (Copied from PW files 7/20/48.)

March 26, 1942
J.H. Newton for the Chief of Naval Operations requests list of radio, telephone, teletype equipment that was procured without prior approval.

April 2, 1942
C.W. Coryell NAS, details of cable pairs to Radio Receiving Building, Admin Bldg, Control Tower in Hangar #3, Operations & Control Bldg, temporary control post at J35, two direction finders, Radio Transmitting Station, intersection of runways #1 and #2, a terminal at rear of J34, Aerological office in Hangar #3, Army Switchboard.

April 18, 1942
Army purchase of a 300 line extension to switchboard, consisting of 3, one position, 100 line WE type 12 manual switchboards for $6,068.

April 22, 1942
From OINC Seattle to ROIC Kodiak: Your 092008 and supplement 433, air conditioning or vent equipment unnecessary for proper function telephone equipment PR 10803 CANCELLED. Provide heat, winterstrip. battery isolation unnecessary. File: Admin bldg, Stiles.

April 23, 1942
From J.A. Stelger to ROIC, Contract NOy-3570. Seattle office has misconstrued the intent of ventilating equipment.

May 20, 1942
G.W. Snyder Prospective CO Submarine & Section base, to PW officer, details of same phones listed below under June 6.

May 23, 1942
G.W. Snyder prospective CO Submarine & Section Base, recommend 200 line bomb-proof automatic telephone exchange.

May 29, 1942
J. Perry CO Submarine Base to Chief BuShips, recommend underground splinter-proof manual telephone exchange.

June 1, 1942
J. Perry CO NAS, to ROIC, start emergency construction of hi-early concrete telephone exchange.

June 3, 1942
Army purchase of 200 Kellogg type 9917 manual instruments, 100 Kellogg type 925 manual instruments, 50 WE type 302AW3 manual instruments for $5,957.

June 4, 1942
C.W. Coryell ROIC NAS, urgently need concrete telephone exchange to replace present sandbag revetment adjacent admin bldg. Estimate $16,000.

June 6, 1942
C.W. Coryell, ROIC NAS, request 150 pair cable from NAS exchange to Submarine Base for following phones:

In priority order.
Location                No. Phones    Date Required
Shannon's Point            1              Now
SH 18's                    1 each (5)     asap
Marginal Pier              3            6 June '42
Officers Quarters          3 each (6)  15 June '42
Barracks                   1 each (8)  15 June '42
Officers Mess              1           15 June '42
Administration Building   18           11 June '42
Subbase Storehouse         1           15 July '42
Consolidated Shop          4           15 July '42
Battery Overhaul Shop      1            1 Aug. '42
Cold Storage               1            1 Sept.'42
Power House                1            1 Dec. '42

June 13, 1942
C.W. Coryell ROIC NAS, Request PBX portion of Navy board be placed into operation by Army personnel.

June 18, 1942
Purchased 85 each Western Electric model 302 BW 3 dial type telephone instruments and 30 each Western Electric model X1653A dial type telephone instruments for $2,361.50

July 11, 1942
Eliminate distribution frame in General Storehouse. Keep one in telephone substation adjacent to Commisary and Cold Storage. Supplement 578, Project 39.

July 18, 1942
A.D. Alexis by W. Sihler OIC COntract NOy-3570, temp project No. Suspense 124 additional telephone facilities for section base.

July 18, 1942
James E. Dyer CO NOB, to ROIC, need telephones at Shannon's Point Boat House for small boats, section base YP vessels, and submarine base ships, and at the so-called "Long Island Dock" south of the contractor's welding shop. This dock is used for NAS small boats. This work is urgently needed prior to the completion of the NAS boat house and the submarine and section base facilities. Arrangements have been made with Signal Officer, USA Ft. Greely, Capt. Kent, to borrow field wire.

July 19, 1942
S.D. Downs, Jr., Colonel, F.A., Executive to ROIC NOB, urgently need ten-pair telephone terminal on the Army end of the new 50-pair cable at south end of Devil's Creek diversion channel across Runway Three. Necessary for new bombardment operations office at the end of Runway Three to the Filter Center, Interceptor Commander and JCB. Note: Can placed before this letter received. 7-21-42 SJR.

July 20, 1942
I.A. Bickelhaupt, ROIC, Project No. 50, provide one telephone line to Shannon's Point and one to Long Island Dock with plug-in.

July 30, 1942
A.D. Alexis by N. B. Green OIC Contract NOy-3570, Project number is 189, Additional Communication Facilities for Section Base.

August 10, 1942
Grant of Right-of-Way to United States of America. Signed by Mayor Nick Miell, Velma Ameling, Warren A. Taylor, Catherine Blankenberg City Clerk, and Warren A. Taylor Notary.

August 11, 1942
From S.D. Downs, Jr., HQ Ft. Greely, to ROIC NOB: Request contractors install telephone communication in Mansfield Ridge (Air Corps Housing Area). Project 150-A.

August 13, 1942
Field Manager Siems, to ROIC, estimate $4,500 for aerial cable line 16,000 feet, Ft. Greely to Kodiak.

August 21, 1942
I.A. Bickelhaupt ROIC to Asst. PW Officer, H.M. Whiting field manager Siems and Frank Steel, electrical engineer, recommends additional 200 lines to exchange. Mentions possible relocation of submarine base to south shore of Women's Bay.

August 31, 1942
From I.A. Bickelhaupt ROIC, remove overhead power and telephone lines above taxiway to clear the taxiway for runway operations.

September 30, 1942
I.A. Bickelhaupt, Dupty OIC to Assistant Public Works Officer, enclosed memo and sketch [in file] by Lt. Luppens for your review in connection with future extensions of the Kodiak telephone system. 100 lines of the proposed additional 200 will be wired for [hunt]. Trunks should be subaqueous. Telephone switchboards listed are NAS, Army #1, Army #2, Army #3, Bell's Flat, Cliff, Woody Isle, JCP.

October 22, 1942
General Superintendent to ROIC, enclosed prints K-3-20478 showing number of pairs and K-4-10009 showing manholes for proposed cable installation.

October 24, 1942
James E. Dyer, CO NOB Kodiak, to ROIC, asking for opinion of submarine cable from Nyman's Penninsula under English Bay to supplement Army telephone lines along Burma Road for ship repair facilities and new submarine base.

November 5, 1942
Ivan A. Bickelhaupt, Deputy District Public Works Officer, to CO's and ROIC Kodiak Army and Navy:
Crash telephone circuit
Dial "0", NAS OOD answers and relays via special telephone to following list of phones:

250 - Commander Alaska Sector
200 - CO
555 - CO quarters
270 - Exec, 
254 - OOD
203 - Ops
227 - Squadron Master at Arms
243 - Intelligence Officer, 
221 - Dispensary
260 - Public Works Officer
234 - Fire Department
218 - Powerhouse
226 - NAS Master at Arms
377 - BOQ office
342 - Navy Command Duty Officer, JCP
310 - Barracks #4 Master at Arms.

Navy Operator - Dial "8"
Calling party can be cut into busy phones. [Also for connection to manual phones.]

These features are not generally known and should be treated as restricted.

While not part of this document, other documents in the file show the following dial features

Dial 11 for test board wire chief
dial 19 for ring-back
dial 9 for Army switchboard

November 9, 1942
A.D. Alexis, OIC contract NOy-3570, to list, contractors are authorized to proceed to expand telephone exchange from 400 to 600 lines.

November 11, 1942
From F.A. Steel, electrical superintendent Siems Drake Puget Sound, to Mr. S.J. Rever, estimated cost of submarine cable from Penninsula to floating drydock $7,500.

November 14, 1942
Purchased 200 line extension to exchange. Cost $11,941.

November 14, 1942
Purchased 150 each Western Electric model 302 BW 3 dial type telephone instruments and 50 each Western Electric model X1653A dial type telephone instruments for $2,827.50

November 14, 1942
C.S. Freeman s/H.M. Bemis Chief of Staff, Commandant 13th naval Dist, to shore activities, request list of radio, telephone, teletype equipment that was procured without prior approval.

November 14, 1942
A.D. Alexis, by N.B. Green, OIC contract NOy-3570, to ROIC, referencing Lt. J.C. Luppens memo to Comdr. Bickelhaupt of 21 Sep., 1942, 400 line exchange increased to 600, outlying manual switchboards are Western Electric Type 12 with lines to the dial exchange as well as direct ring-down trunks between adjacent manual switchboards. Project 189, $90,000, for 200 line switchboard at Cliff Point Submarine Base. Army will provide switchboard at Army Garrison #3 at Russian River. Drawing PS-324E attached showing trunking among switchboards NAS, JCP, HDCP, Army #1, Bell's Flat, Army #3, Cliff Pt., Woody Isl.

November 18, 1942
G.C. Darrell, general superintendent, to ROIC, submitting drawing K-3-10478 for underground telephone lines.

November 20, 1942
Purchased one Western electric 10 line cordless PBX, 6 WE 1563E mine type instruments, 2 WE 1336E mine type instruments, 1 WE 1336J mine type instrument for $976.80

November 30, 1942
B.W. Gillespie ROIC to Commandant NOB, $75,000 for fire alarm system specified by Lt. Robertson is not available.

December 5, 1942
B.W. Gillespie, ROIC, extend exchange from 400 to 600 lines, purchase 200 phones, project Suspense 203.

December 6, 1942
Six pages from J.H. Newton acting Vice Chief of Naval Operations detailing wartime provisions of telephone and leased wire communication facilities.

December 14, 1942
A.D. Alexis, OIC Contract NOy-3570, project 217, expand telephone system from 400 to 600 lines and 200 phones, $25,000.


January 7, 1943
B.W. Gillespie, ROIC, assigns project no. 217 to exchange expansion.

February 3, 1943
George M. Palo, Navy engineer, to ROIC: 1450 phones to be served. Too many for main switch. Suggest following: 300 line manual exchange at Cliff Point and at Bell's Flat. Provision in the two buildings for a 100 line addition. Connect Bell's Flat and Cliff Point with CB trunks and wire for several ring-down trunks for emergencies. Provide 80 line PBX at A&R shop to serve that building and seaplane hangars 1 & 3. Provide a 40 line PBX in landplane hangar, also serves adjacent revetments. Use existing 80 line PBX in JCP, also serve runway area. Also provide several direct lines to these areas. Expand Strowger exchange from 15 to 17 percent connector capacity. Excavate half of basement for expansion.

February 5, 1943
Procedures to be followed in matters regarding priorities on telephone equipment and facilities. From Carl F. Holden by direction the Vice Chief of Naval Operations.

February 11, 1943
S.J. Rever, Navy engineer, to ROIC, endorsed by B.W. Gillespie: Install A&R shop PBX in separate small concrete building, not within A&R shop.

March 13, 1943
James E. Dyer, CO NOB to ROIC: separate splinter-proof building for 80 line PBX for A&R building approved. Estimated cost $1,350. Recommended high priority.

April 7, 1943
G.M. Palo of the Navy Electrical Engineer to Chief, Mechanical & Electrical Department: From verbal request of Mr. S.J. Rever with assistance of Mr. Brudwig from the DRMO's office, suggestions on cable sizes, routes, and trunking to Bell's Flat, Army #1 [present day Nemetz Park] , A&R, and JCP [present day control tower] switchboards. Included in the file is referenced drawing S.D.P.S. PS-347 marked Naval Operating Base Kodiak Alaska Radio Cables, confidential, Civil Dept. file No. K-3, dated 4-6-43.

June 25, 1943
T.C. Matthews electrical inspector, to engineering dept. Locate telephone switchboard for the fuel tanks in the fuel office.

July 23, 1943
NOB Kodiak has 600 line Strowger exchange with one position attendant. Surplus cable on hand should be shipped west. This report details telephone systems at NAF Amchitka, Great Sitkin Island, NOB Adak, Otter Point - Umnak Island, and NOB Dutch Harbor. Kodiak is the only one with dial phones.

July 28, 1943
E.C. Brossard Lt. (CEC) USNR, HQ 13th Naval Dist, Kodiak should send surplus telephone material to Adak.

August 19, 1943
Confidential from A.D. Alexis Director Alaska Division Bureau of yards and Docks by direction of the Commandant, 13th Naval District. Subj: Kodiak, NOB, Telephone System - Status of Materials for. Seven directives to be followed are listed. Purchase requests for Bells Flat exchange, PBX at A&R building, and trunking equipment for the NAS exchange CANCELLED.

August 31, 1943
Summary of drawings by F.A. Wiberg in charge telephone construction: Detail of cables in NAS Industrial Area, Nyman's Penninsula, NAS Area to Shannon Point, JCP and Landing Field Areas, MH #96 to Army Defense Housing, proposed Fire Alarm locations, Defense Housing Area, Vimy Ridge. The 200 line addition to the existing 400 line exchange is complete.

September 11, 1943
H.S. Hall Engineering Officer Army Construction to Superintendent of 41st and 43rd Construction Battalions. Don't use base supply of poles. Cut or use natural timber on site.

November 13, 1943
Purchased 150 each Western Electric model 302 AW 3 manual telephone instruments and 50 each Western Electric model 1653BA manual telephone instruments for $2,362.50



March 20, 1945
Maintenance Stock Control to W. Olson. Detailed order of material for new cable job between Radio Central and Buskinville Transmitter Station. 4600 feet of aerial cable.

June 8, 1945
Memo from Walter T. Steilberg to ---- Alexander. Revisions for electric and telephone services to NAS Admin Bldg #1.

October 16, 1945
J.S. McKinnon Commandant 17th Naval Dist to CO NOB Kodiak. In view of the relocation of the Adak terminal of the Adak-Puget Sound radio teletype link to Kodiak, need alternate 26 pair cable between Radio Central (Communications Building #472) and Buskin Lake Transmitter (Building #37)


February 28, 1946
From R.R. Lyons Commanding NOB Kodiak, to CO Ft. Greeley. Request to run underground cable through areas assigned to Army. Cable No. Com. 1. Drawing K-2-14094 Rev B.

September 27, 1946
From R.C. Sutliff Commander NOB Kodiak, to Commandant 17th Naval District. First contemplated alternate cable and surveyed in 1944. Present 51 pair cable from JCP building to transmitter building at Buskin Lake, mostly above ground, has 15 pair for Army, 22 by Radio Central, 5 bad, 9 spare. Alternate cable is armored, jute covered, installation start October 2, 1946.

November 15, 1946
Memo from Public Works Officer to files. Installation of alternate telephone cable between Radio Transmitter and Radio Receiver Station completed 13 November 1946. 25 pairs good, 1 pair bad.


July 31, 1947
Chief of Naval Operations, W. B. Bailey by direction, approves provision from surplus of a 50-line automatic telephone exchange to serve the Supply Department Warehouses and Marine Post at NOB Kodiak. Undated memo from C.H. Plumlee, by direction, Chief of the Bureau of yards and Docks, to Chief of Naval Operations, says no surplus available at this time. Mentions service to Interim Housing Units in the Bells Flat area. Another memo, same date, from R.C. Sutliff, Commander NOB Kodiak, to Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks, requests either a surplus switch or 16,000 feet of cable and a 100 line addition to the existing 600 line Automatic Electric Strowger office.


May 18, 1948
Navy Department, J.F. Jelley Deputy & Assistant Chief of Bureau, to Commandant All Naval Districts and River Commands: request for telephone data for 1947 and 1948.

June 25, 1948
Memo for file: 432 telephone calls per hour. (Shows numbers 200-799)

July 22, 1948
Commandant 17th Naval District, R. P. Carlson by direction, authenticated by H.T. Cook Flag Secretary, request for BuDocks Data Sheet detailing Navy owned telephone equipment.

July 27, 1948
N.S. Haines, by direction, for Mr. Wright, typist F. Bowman: BuDocks Data Sheet showing $287,690 installed cost of telephone equipment.

August 1, 1948
Memo for files: 1947 - Three telephone men in operation and six in maintenance each makes $3,847 per year. 1948 - Three telephone men in operation and six in maintenance each makes $4,200 per year.

August 13, 1948
Ward Ellis sent a memo to Tom Stiles, Master Mechanic, stating that the telephone electrician should be familiar with the Automatic Electric Strowger exchange type 35E97.

September 16, 1948
Memo from Com17, authority to install the southern terminus of the Anchorage-Kodiak VHF system at the Radio Receiver and Control Station at Buskin Beach.