Other Hawaiian Islands

Redoubt Alexander | Redoubt Barclay | Fort Elizabeth | Defenses of Hilo | Fort Hipo
Ho'oki'o Fortifications | Defenses of Kahului | Fort at Kailua | Fort Kamakahonu
Fort Kekuanohu | Camp Kilauea | Kure Island | Fort at Lahaina
Defenses of Lihue/Nawiliwili Bay | Fort Mailekini | Midway Islands | Pakuhiwa Battleground
Defenses of Port Allen/Hanapepe | Tern Island | Camp Waiakea | Fort at Waimea

Honolulu Area - page 1 | Pearl Harbor Area - page 2 | North Shore O'ahu - page 3

Last Update: 13/OCTOBER/2007
Compiled by Pete Payette - 2007 American Forts Network

Hawai'i Island

Fort Mailekini
(Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site)
(1812 ? - unknown), Kawaihae
An ancient heiau that was fortified by John Young, a former British sailor, for King Kamehameha I. Located adjacent to Pu'ukohola Heiau.

Fort Kamakahonu
(1819 - 1855 ?), Kailua-Kona
This was once a place of worship (heiau) that had been fortified with an 18-gun battery by King Kamehameha II. The guns came from the wreck of the Lark. Also known as Fort at Kailua. This fort never saw action and all that remains is a mass of rocks on the shore adjacent to the Kailua Pier. The Kailua Pier and Seawall were built in 1900 from the original stones of the fort and the earlier heiau. The Ahu'ena Heiau was reconstructed (at one-third scale) on Kamakahonu Rock in 1975 by the Bishop Museum. See also Kona's Fascinating History: Kamakahonu Rock from Donald B. MacGowan

Camp Waiakea
(1898), Waiakea
A temporary camp established by American troops, located across the river from downtown Hilo.

Hilo Defenses
(1941 - 1945), near Hilo
A mobile field battery of 155mm guns was set up in December 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Four 4-inch naval guns were later emplaced in 1942. Exact locations undetermined.

Camp Kilauea (U.S. Military Reservation)
(Hawaii Volcanoes National Park)
(1916 - present), Volcano
A HI National Guard training area and military rest and recreation center established on about 50 acres within the confines of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, also established that same year. Used as a POW camp in WWII.

Maui Island

Fort at Lahaina
(1832 - 1854), Lahaina
A Hawaiian 30-gun fort built to protect against foreign intrusions, constructed similarly to the Honolulu Fort, but smaller. It was about 275 feet square, with 15-foot high walls built from coral blocks. It was also used as a prison, and was the center of civil authority. It was later demolished, and the coral blocks were used to construct the nearby Hale Paahao prison. Most of the guns were sold in Honolulu for scrap in 1857 (a few still remain). See also Lahaina Town from HawaiiWeb.com

Kahului Defenses
(1940's), Kahului and Kihei
A mobile 75mm gun battery was emplaced in late 1941. Four 4-inch naval guns were emplaced in 1942 (locations undetermined). Numerous concrete machine-gun pillboxes were constructed on the beaches from Kahului to Lower Paia, and from Kihei to Kamaole Beach on the southern shore. Many still exist.

Lana'i Island

Ho'oki'o Fortifications
(1778), near Lana'i City
Hawaiian stone ruins at Ho'oki'o Battleground, located on the Munro Trail east of town.

In 1778 warriors from the Big island, led by Kalani'opu'u, laid seige to Lana'i. The last stand occured here in Maunalei Gulch. Eventually the Lana'i warriors were starved out and the invading forces massacred and pillaged the entire island. Ho'oki'o Notches are carved in the middle ridge of the gulch. This is where Lana'i warriors fortified their stronghold.

Moloka'i Island

Pakuhiwa Battleground
(1736), near Kawela
A Hawaiian battleground located on the south shore east of town, just west of Waiakuilani Gulch.

In 1736 invading forces from O'ahu fought the combined forces of Molokai and Hawai'i on this site. Even though O'ahu warriors were more powerful, the spiritual strength of the Molokai fighters won the battle after five days of fighting and the O'ahu chief, Kapiiohookai, was killed. Archaeologists studying this area say the number of bones found here indicate that the death toll was in the thousands. In 1794 Kamehameha I, in his effort to unite the islands, also landed his invading force near Kawela. It is said that his canoes stretched for over four miles. However, he was successful in his assault and for his victory captured and later married the child bride, Keopuolani, one of Maui's highest-born chieftesses. The Pukuhiwa Battleground along the coast is still littered with stones slung from slingshots during the battle. Nearby is Puuhonua, a temple of refuge where defeated warriors could take sanctuary. As this area was the site for many savage acts and death, the area is considered by locals to be haunted with the spirits of the "Night Marchers". Many people have reported seeing and hearing the warriors on their march to the sea. Located on Highway 450 east from Kaunakakai. Around the mile marker #13 on the ocean side of the highway is the Warrior Sign indicating the site. The actual battlefield extends from mile markers 6 to 13.

Kaua'i Island

Fort Elizabeth (State Historical Park)
(1815 - 1860), Waimea
Also called Fort at Waimea, or Fort Hipo by the Hawaiians, it was originally a Russian-American Fur Co. seven-gun fort. There were a powder magazine and armory, barracks, Officers' quarters, and the trading house. The Russians came here after being forced from Honolulu. In 1817 they were forced to leave from this location as well. The fort was garrisoned by King Kamehameha III's troops until 1853, but a captain and a few soldiers continued to live here until 1860. The Hawaiians mounted up to 40 guns of various calibers, but the fort itself was probably not well-maintained. This was the only Hawaiian fort to fire its guns in anger, during the "Battle of Wahiawa" in 1824, the last major battle of Hawaiian unification. It was reported to have 22 guns at that time. The government dismantled the fort in 1864 and had the 38 remaining guns shipped to California for sale. Two guns were lost in the bay during transport. The five-pointed star-shaped lava rock ruins of the outer walls still exist.

Port Allen / Hanapepe Bay Defenses
(1941 - 1945), near Port Allen
In 1941 there was initially only one 75mm field gun emplaced near Port Allen, moved from Ahukini. Camp Kauai (1941 - 1942) was built at Salt Pond, near Burns Army Air Field (built 1920's) (present-day Port Allen Airport), with four field-emplaced 155mm guns. Two guns were later moved to Ahukini. Replaced by Battery Monument (1942 - 1945) two casemated 7-inch naval guns located near the Baldwin Monument (1938) at Numilla. Also emplaced in the area were two 4-inch naval guns in 1942 (location undetermined). A combined BC station-plotting room, and two magazines were also built. Only one magazine still exists. A fire-control station southwest of Numilla still existed (ruins) in the early 1980's. A few ammunition storage bunkers also still exist along the Hanapepe River north of Port Allen.

Lihu'e / Nawiliwili Bay Defenses
(1941 - 1945), Lihu'e
In 1941 there were initially two 75mm field guns emplaced, one later moved to Port Allen, replaced later with two 155mm guns in field emplacements, moved from Port Allen. The two 155mm guns were not yet operational when port facilities at Nawiliwili Bay were shelled by a Japanese submarine on December 30, 1941. The field battery was replaced by Battery Ahukini (1942 - 1945) two casemated 7-inch naval guns to protect both Ahukini and Nawiliwili Bays. Located near Lihu'e Airport, between the runway and the ocean-side cliffs. A BC station, plotting room, and two magazines were also built (still exist ?). Also emplaced in the area were two 4-inch naval guns in 1942, probably at Ninini Point (?). An SCR-271 radar was built north at Crater Hill, near Kilauea Point, in 1940, operational in 1942. The radar station was tunneled into the crater rim. There were about 150 concrete machine-gun pillboxes located on the beaches throughout the island. There may be historical information at the Kaua'i Veterans' Center Military Museum in Lihu'e (admission fee).

A U.S. Marine AA battalion established a supply depot and camp at Kapaa in 1944. AA guns may have been emplaced here.

Special thanks to John Bennett of the CDSG for information on Kaua'i's WWII defenses.

Kokee Military Reservation
(Koke'e State Park)
(Koke'e Museum)
(1940 - 1945), Koke'e
An SCR-271 radar station was built in July 1940, operational in 1942, at the former Koke'e C.C.C. camp (1935).

Kilauea Military Reservation
(Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge)
(1940 - 1945), Kilauea
An SCR-271 radar station was built in July 1940, operational in 1942, at Crater Hill, tunneled into the crater rim overlooking the nearby Kilauea Point Lighthouse. Crater Hill was included within the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge in 1988. Public access to Crater Hill is by guided hiking tours only. The Kilauea Point Lighthouse was built in 1913, and was blacked out during WWII.

Hanalei Russian Forts
(1816 - 1817), Hanalei
Two small Russian earthwork forts were built here, named Redoubt Alexander and Redoubt Barclay. No remains. Redoubt Alexander was located on a site above the mouth of the Hanalei River, adjacent to the present-day Princeville Sheraton Hotel, where a small pavilion with historical information is located.

Northwestern Islands

Tern Island
(Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge)
(1942 - 1946), Tern Island
Part of the French Frigate Shoals island group. The U.S. Navy constructed an airstrip to prevent Japanese submarines from using the vicinity as a refueling stop for Marshall Islands-based seaplane bombers. Anti-aircraft defenses were probably located here. The Coast Guard operated a LORAN station here from 1952 - 1979 (originally located on East Island from 1944 - 1952). The old airstrip almost completely envelopes the entire island. Abandoned after the war, it was cleared and refurbished in the 1980's for use as the supply base and headquarters for the resident Refuge personnel. The Hawaiian Islands NWR encompases all islands and reefs from Nihoa Island to Pearl and Hermes Atoll. Public access by Special Use Permit (Tern and Laysan Islands only).
Pacific Wrecks.com
(some info courtesy of John Bennett of the CDSG)

Midway Islands
(Midway Islands National Wildlife Refuge)
(1867/1904 - 1908, 1940 - 1946/1996), Midway Islands
Claimed by the U.S. in 1859, and first occupied by the U.S. Navy in 1867 as a coaling station. The atoll (composed primarily of Sand Islet and Eastern Islet within a six-mile circular reef) was originally known as Brooks Island, and has a total land area of only two square miles. A commercial cable station was established on Sand Islet in 1903. Sand Islet was first garrisoned by Marines in 1904 to protect the cable station and to guard against poachers. Two 6-pounder "quick-fire" guns were emplaced but were withdrawn after a magazine explosion. The commercial seaplane base was built in 1935, also on Sand Islet. The Naval Air Station was established on Eastern Islet in August 1941. A Marine Defense Battalion defended the atoll beginning in September 1940. The initial Sand Islet defenses were Battery A (two 5-inch naval), Battery C (two 5-inch naval), Battery D (four 3-inch AA), a two-gun AMTB battery (3-inch naval) adjacent to the cable station, and a radar station. The initial Eastern Islet defenses were Battery B (two 5-inch naval), Battery E (four 3-inch AA), Battery F (four 3-inch AA), and a two-gun AMTB battery (3-inch naval). Divided between both islets were thirty .50-cal. AA MG, thirty .30-cal. AA MG, and several searchlights. The Japanese bombarded the island defenses in December 1941, but made no attempt to land. The island was heavily reinforced after the fall of Wake Island, which included four 7-inch naval guns (two each on both islets), four additional 3-inch naval guns on Eastern Islet (New Battery E), and eight additional 3-inch naval guns on Sand Islet (New Battery D and New Battery F). In May 1942 were added 18 dual 20mm AA guns and eight 37mm AA guns (four on each islet). Infantry defenses included 81mm and 60mm mortars and 37mm anti-tank guns. The Japanese attacked in force in June 1942, but were repulsed. The defenses were deactivated in 1946. The four 7-inch guns were removed and relocated to O'ahu. The emplacements for Batteries A and C still remain and two restored 5-inch guns are now located at the Navy Memorial on Sand Islet. One 3-inch gun (AA ?) still remains in situ on Eastern Islet. Two concrete pillboxes still remain on Sand Islet, one on South Beach and the other on West Beach. Access to the atoll had been previously restricted before the Naval Air Station closed in 1993, and the entire atoll became a National Wildlife Refuge (separate from the Hawaiian Islands NWR) in 1996. Tours are conducted during the non-nesting season only.
Battle of Midway history from U.S. Naval Historical Center || Historical info by NPS
History of Midway Island || Pacific Wrecks.com
(some info provided by John Eckersley of the CDSG)

Kure Island
(1942 - 1946/present), Kure Island
The western-most island in the Hawaiian Island chain, also known as Ocean Island, located about 50 miles west of Midway Island. The U.S. Navy constructed an airstrip in 1942. Anti-aircraft defenses were probably located here. A Coast Guard LORAN station was in operation from 1961 - 1992. Public access restricted.
(info courtesy of John Bennett of the CDSG)


Thanks to Neil Dukas for providing info and material on the military sites of the Kingdom of Hawai'i.

Honolulu Area - page 1 | Pearl Harbor Area - page 2 | North Shore O'ahu - page 3

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