Harbor Defenses of Sitka, Alaska


LOCATION : Biorka Island (Fort Peirce)




6-inch Battery 291
SCR-296 Radar Site

When the Basic Plan for the Harbor Defenses of Sitka was completed, the Army built a modern 200 series gun battery, which had two six-inch guns on barbette carriages with a range of 27500 yards.  Battery 291 required base end stations for fire control, searchlights, and one SCR-296 radar set.  Only three support facilities were constructed for Battery 291: the concrete base end station on Ataku Island, the base end station and searchlights on Little Biorka Island, and the SCR-296 radar set on a hill just behind the battery.  All three support facilities were considered part of Fort Peirce.  The Battery Control (BC) Station for Battery 291 was located


The BC on top Battery 291, Biorka Island - Summer 1998


on top the magazine between the guns.  The concrete work for this battery was completed.  Only three feet of rock and dirt needed to be placed on top of the battery for concealment.  The Battery was abandoned at 98% completion.  Planned base end stations on Kita Island and Golf Island were never constructed.

Today Biorka Island is home to a drug rehabilitation camp, weather radars, and FAA navigational Aids including an NDB and a VOR.  The roads on the island are in good shape.  Roads lead to both battery 291 and the SCR-296 tower site which has antennas on it today.  Battery 291 is overgrown.


Photos and additional information:


Army Documents of Biorka Island


Recent photos of Battery 291 and the SCR-296 radar installation


WWII Era Photos of Biorka Island


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