Crusty old Joe's

Kodiak Alaska Military History

The official web site of the Kodiak Military History Museum

Kodiak Alaska Military History
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These links change often. You may report broken links to me by email. Last checked 2018 May 13.



Other Coastal Defense Bunkers



USCG Bouy Tender Ironwood. Click on the picture for a web page about its history and decommissioning.
USCG Storis, WMEC38
USCG Firebush, WAGL-393; WLB-393
The St. Mihiel (san mee YEL) ferried many troops to Kodiak during WWII. The USS St. Mihiel, AP-32, 8213 tons, named for a French town (about 150 miles east of Paris, 20 miles South of Verdun, in Meuse) involved in World War I, was one of the ships used to evacuate wounded from the battle of Attu. This is from page 78 of The Forgotten War Volume Four. According to an article by Charles Gum in Alaska Geographic, World War II in Alaska, Vol 22, No 4 page 48, the St. Mihiel was a World War I liberty ship converted into a troop carrier. Mr. Gum arrived in Kodiak on the ship September 16, 1941. Prior to WWII she was an Army ship. John R. Fahey was a radioman aboard her. More on Navsource.
US Navy Ship Kodiak LSM 161 wasn't named Kodiak until 1959. This picture was taken in the fifties and came from Tom V. ( Click on the thumbnail for the full image (210,477 bytes). According to Jane's 1958-59 (page 407) this class displaced 743 tons beaching (1095 tons full load), 196.5 feet long at water line, 203.5 ft overall, 34.5 ft beam, 8.5 ft draft. They carried 2 - 40mm AA guns. Diesel 2 shafts, BHP 2800 = 12.5 knots. Complement 59. Could carry 5 medium tanks.
Corky McFarland photo 1949 SANTIAGO Beached near the VFW in Monashka Bay in 1941 because the soft iron riveted hull started leaking. Was used as an oil lighter. Also see photo of this ship at a dock in Womens Bay circa 1940. A map showing this dock is on our maps page.
Catwalk leading to ALGONQUIN in Womens Bay, 27 Dec. 1940 NAS Kodiak (VFW collection) She was built in 1898 as a steam and sailing ship and converted during the war to navy ship YAG29. See page 248 Vol 2, The Forgotten War for more pictures. Algonquin (Cutter) - The former Coast Guard cutter Algonquin was chartered by Siems-Drake-Puget Sound and towed to Kodiak by the Patricia Foss following installation of a 1,200 kilowatt generator by the Puget Sound Bridge & Dredging Company serving as a generating plant there in connection with Air base construction. Gordon Newell, Maritime Events of 1940, H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest.
Navsource has a page on her but if you search Navsource there are more images. Hauling out YP-73 on seaplane ramp, Womens Bay, 10 April 1941 NAS Kodiak (VFW collection) YP-73 was grounded and lost at Kodiak 15 January 1945.
Shuttle boat at Long Island dock. (Dan Vesper photo)
SS Tanana, Womens Bay (VFW collection)
SS Mary D and SS Cordova, Womens Bay - 21 Nov 39 (VFW Collection)
USF&WS Eider, circa 1939 (Norman Sutliff collection)

Photo of USNS Albert M. Boe
from collection of Jean-Yves Brouard
added 9 September 2015
The STAR of KODIAK (Originally the USNS ALBERT M. BOE, #248849, hull No. MC-3132) was the last one built in 1945. She was built on ways No. 10 at one of the shipyards, New England Shipbuilding Corp., South Portland Maine. The keel was laid on 11 July 1945. It was launched 26 September 1945 and delivered 30 October 1945. She is type Z-EC2-S-C5 which is a BOXED AIRCRAFT TRANSPORT. The Liberty was 441 feet long and 56 feet wide. Her three-cylinder, reciprocating steam engine, fed by two oil-burning boilers produced 2,500 hp and a speed of 11 knots. Laid up on 22 January 1954 in the Olympia National Defense Reserve Fleet in the Columbia River near Olympia, Washington. Sold 7 August 1964 to Zidell Explorations, Inc., Portland Oregon for $65,533 for non-transportation use. This ship was brought from Blaine, Washington in 1965 to serve as an Alaska Packers seafood processing plant after the 1964 tsunami washed out their shore-based plant. She is situated, firmly aground, next to the ferry dock in downtown Kodiak. On January 19, 1995, the Tyson Seafood Group bought her from All Alaskan Seafoods. She was originally named for Albert M. Boe (1916-1944), a merchant seaman killed in an explosion aboard "USAT FS-214" in 1944. Engine, (no longer aboard). List of Liberty Ships. [revised 27 Sep 2008]
Tug Commissioner and barge William Muller, 24 May 1940 higher resolution 258k
Photo from Harry A Isom USAT U.S. GRANT, 10,352 tons, made several trips including 1124 men on 3 September 1941. (USN AP-29)
USNS Frederick Funston, * ferried naval personnel and families to Kodiak. She was operated by the Navy's Military Sea Transportation Service, was built in 1942 at Tacoma, Washington, and is named in honor of Major General Frederick Funston, a medal of honor holder who served as a colonel in the Spanish-American War. A troop and dependent carrier, the Funston has a length of 492 feet, a beam of 70 feet, a weight of 11,969 gross tons, and a cruising speed of 16 1/2 knots. She is seen here in Seattle's Elliott Bay. Thanks to Judie Freeman for the photo and information. Also see Timothy Smith's page. The MSTS Frederick Funston is mentioned in many issues of the KODIAK BEAR in 1951.
Chuck Roberts sailed on the USNS James O'Hara through Kodiak circa 1953.
USS Wright, AV-1, visited Kodiak July 9, 1938 and issued a postal cover.
USAT Brig. Gen. M.G. Zalinski at Army Dock Kodiak
Casco, Seaplane tender for Fleet Air Wing FOUR
Another FAW4 tender was USS Williamson
USS Namakagon AOG-53 a Patapsco class gasoline tanker was homeported at Kodiak between 1947 and 1953. more
Submarines Cusk, Rasher, Carbonero and Tunny in Kodiak 1958.
USS Cusk (SS 348) arrives in Kodiak 1958.
USS SPICA delivered Army personnel 6 July 1941
The SS YALE, a retired ocean liner, was used as a floating hotel in Kodiak for defense contractors during WWII. She was never a US Navy vessel. more more

There are many large anchors around town. They measure six feet and seven inches wide at the widest part of the flanks. The harbor department has placed some of them as decorative items. They may have been left when the Navy departed. Does anybody have the true story on these? Some of the inscriptions read:

1 43      BALDT-52       US NAVY      PSF
231       PSF            A4901        8-48
              231             5      5

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Main index        This page updated 12 May 2015, 9 September 2015, 15 April 2016, 3 August 2017, 28 June 2019, 16 April 2020, 16 October 2020