This page updated 2001 June 26

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Kodiak Alaska

Military History

Photo by Brian K. Glass 1981

Spruce Cape

In 2000, Spruce Cape is in use as a military training base. It is not open to the public. Prior to this and after the loran transmitting operation, the USCG operated a loran monitoring station in the two Quonset Huts mentioned in the Norman Glover interview. During early 2000 the loran monitoring equipment was housed in a fiberglass shelter adjacent to the 1951 Quonsets. The original 1951 antenna base is being used to support a fiberglass whip antenna for loran monitoring. There is a survey marker adjacent to this antenna marked SURVEY MARKER US COAST GUARD LORAN 1950. There are two diesel generator sets with GM engines and Delco alternators model YI-4664 100Kw 240/416 volts 1800 RPM. Generator N0. 1 serial 4-F-56, generator No. 2 serial 5-H-56. Our visit was on March 17, 2000. These very large Quonset structures are slated for demolition in 2000.

Conditions 2000 March 17

Reference exhibit 40B and 44B of the ANNEX:
There are remains of WWII searchlights and 90mm gun batteries. The two gun mount foundations are in place with concrete and steel rings. The two searchlight bunkers and the two DEC bunkers are there. One searchlight bunker has a front door and a back door like the one at Piedmont Point, the only two known here with that arrangement. This S/L No. 20 is used as a storage building. S/L No. 19 is open, showing no recent use. It has a very long front ramp for the light to roll out on. The DEC bunker closest to the point, for S/L No. 20, has a navigation light and day marker on top. Adjacent to this DEC there are two small concrete undergound structures and a hollowed-out area suggesting a wooden sub-grade structure. One concrete structure is similar to another farther around the point, not near any other structure nor near any feature on the Annex maps. There was no evidence of the batery command post. We found foundations piers on about a 20 foot square for the Navy signal tower and the lighthouse. We found remains of the base end station B3/5 consisting of foundation piers and a large pile of rotten, moss covered wood. There was a concrete floor originally on a high level. We did not find any evidence of the radio beacon aerial. Three very tall wooden poles with climbing steps remain of the 1951 communications antenna. There are many modern structures for the current users of the site.

Loran Station 1951

Norman Glover


During WW II Spruce Cape was part of Fort Abercrombie. There was a battery of four 90mm Anti Motor Torpedo Boat guns, similar to the battery on Puffin Island. This was battery No. 8 (AMTB), Ft. Greely, a seperate battery under the command of the Harbor Defense.

The 100 acres of land for site 15 at Spruce Cape was procured 14 June 1941 and title was vested in the United States 25 September 1943. Army structures listed in the Harbor Defense Annex of 1944 include, on the north side: navy signal tower (the only navy structure found on Kodiak Army drawings), radio beacon aerial, base-end station 3/5 (Station No.3 for battery No.5 on Castle Bluffs Long Island), four Quonset huts, searchlight maintenance shed.

On the south side there was: a light house, searchlights No. 19 & 20, their Distant Electrical Control or DEC, mess hall, infirmary, recreation hall, administration, warehouse, three steel igloo magazines, power house, two officer's quarters, two Quonset Huts, ten Pacific Huts, an un-named structure, a wooden two-level battery command post completed in November 1943, a small ready ammo bunker and four 90mm gun mounts, two of them mobile and two fixed. The gun mounts were completed on 30 December 1943. The two M1A1 mounts were kept in central storage, and the T3 mounts were emplaced. Their maximum range was 19,500 yards. Spruce Cape had two .30 caliber machine guns with 11,760 HE rounds and 2940 tracers, the standard for all searchlight installations.

The battery command was equipped with an SCR-593 radio receiver, an SCR-547 "Mickey Mouse" radar, and an M1 range finder.

This site is shown on maps included in the Annex, Exhibits 40B and 44B.

WWII photos from Underwood album

37 Navy light
38 Navy light
39 Navy light
40 Navy light
41 Navy light
42 Navy light
52 Underwood's Spruce Cape Home

March 2000 pictures

below photos by C. Law
There are two concrete structures underground with access doors on either side. They are either side of the cape tip, one next to the DEC bunker with the navigation beacon.
There are remains of a dozer at two places either side of the cape tip.
Searchlight 20 seen from it's DEC. Reference annex exhibit 40B.
Communications antenna from 1951 loran station.
There are three wooden poles remaining from the 1951 communications antennas.
The guy wire hardware on the 1951 antennas looks new.
Metal building near the center of the penninsula, not near anything else. Probably water supply. Probably post 1951 construction.
USCG survery marker dated 1950 at old loran transmitting antenna site. (Present loran monitoring antenna.)
below photos by J. Stevens
WWII DEC for S/L 20 seen from S/L.
Sea side of WWII S/L 20. (Building used for storage.)
Between S/L 20 and it's DEC and across the road are three concrete pads where buildings once stood. They don't show on the WWII annex map.
Just inshore from SL/20 DEC is this unexplained concrete structure. DEC in background.
WWII DEC for S/L 20 closest to tip of cape, shows day boards and beacon
WWII DEC for S/L 20
Remaining foundations for WWII LIGHT HOUSE shown on annex exhibit 40B. All four are present and are on about 20 foot spacing.
Six unexplained piers in vicinity of RADIO BEACON AERIAL on annex exhibit 40B.
WWII Foundations for SIGNAL TOWER NAVY on exhibit 40B. Curt is standing on one of them, the other three are barely visible in the winter grass. It would be very hard to find them in summer.
In the middle of the penninsula, not near the metal building above, it this very tall pole with crossarms. There is an underground coax running toward the building complex, but the terrain is very steep and overgrown. We couldn't trace it all the way.
Inside of one of the two unexplained underground structures. The photo is looking in one door and out the other which comes out through a short four foot high tunnel to the beach. The floor is about eight feet above the beach.
Unexplained concrete structure being used for storage. Near the WWII LIGHTHOUSE. It is square, no other ports except the door and the chimney shown. Very similar to the one by S/L 20's DEC.
Quonset huts from the 1951 Loran station. Slated for demolition in 2000. Modern structures in background. View toward west.
Quonset interior.
Generators described in text and power panels.
Hallway connecting the two Quonsets. This is where the bend occurs.
Reefers in Quonset.
The most recent occupants of the Quonsets left this.
1951 Quonsets looking east.
DEC for S/L 19, see annex exhibit 44B.

1981 pictures by Brian K. Glass, Loran Monitoring Station

Photo by Brian K. Glass 1981 Jan of 81 from a Coast Guard C130
Photo by Brian K. Glass 1981 Base newspaper with LorMonSta on front page
Photo by Brian K. Glass 1981 view from station toward town
Photo by Brian K. Glass 1981 Station mascot: Bing He was "transferred" to us when one of our remote Loran Stations was closed. He was flown in by the USCG and even had orders. Was a great dog.
Photo by Brian K. Glass 1981 Picture of Quonset huts taken from Spruce Cape Point during summer of 1981 on the longest day of the year at 10:00PM.
Photo by Brian K. Glass 1981 1981 Station patch, Loran Monitoring Station.
GOA 7960 : Gulf of Alaska 7960 khz
NORPAC 9990: Northern Pacific 9990 khz
S/L = Search Light
DEC = Distant Electrical Control (where the S/L was controlled.)