Seward's WWII Coastal Artillery

These bunkers and buildings are nearly identical to the military facilities in Sitka, although they are in better condition than the ones close to Sitka which get visited by partying teens and grafittin vandals. As in Sitka, even the closest bunkers to Seward can be reached only by a boat trip and hike, and the more distant ones are much more inaccessible (I didn't even consider trying for those, while they'd probably be more interesting they'd require more time than the single weekend I had.

A rented kayak brought me out to the old army dock at Caines Head. The main bunker of battery 293 is at the top of the bluff overlooking the ocean access to Seward (a vital rail/sea link during WWII).

A plaque on the hill overlooking the dock.

The trail through the forest passes by a few ruined quonset huts and ammunition bunkers, finally reaching the rear doorway to the bunker. A weatherproofed blueprint was placed nearby by the forest service or whoever it is that maintains the trails. (They only maintain a few, by wandering off into the forest one can find a lot more buildings and structures that have been forgotten by the general public).

This is a generic Central Traverse Magazine bunker, a common type built all over the US coastline. Two 6 inch cannons (6" was the diameter of the projectiles) were mounted one on either side of the bunker in shielded ring mounts. The reinforced bunker between them protected the crew (at least the ones not manning the guns) and the ammunition stores from attack.

The rangefinding and fire control pillbox atop the bunker. There were several of these on islands around the area, they would each take range and bearing to targets and transmit the data to the central fire control personnel, who would calculate the direction of the gun and how much powder to use to hit their target.

A view from the command bunker, the eastern view across the channel is the only one that doesn't have trees blocking it these days.

A hidden bunker elsewhere in the forest that doesn't see many visitors, due to it's being forgotten by the forest service trail maintenance teams.

The former garrison town on the south beach has decayed into almost nothing. The most intersting things I found were an original fire hydrant and a few porcelain light fixtures and lumps of coal. There were old telephone poles all through the woods, but the locals had climbed every one of them and collected the valuable glass insulators.

If I were in charge there would have been some sort of really awesome bunker built into this outcropping.

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