Harbor Defenses of Sitka, Alaska


LOCATION : Makhnati Island (Fort Rousseau)




6-inch Battery 292
155mm gun battery
HDCOP/SCR-582 Tower

Makhnati Island was designated Fort Rousseau, and became the headquarters for the Harbor Defenses of Sitka when a 1.8 mile causeway through seven islands was completed in 1943.  The causeway connected Makhnati Island to Fort Ray and NAS Sitka on Japonski, Alice, and Charcoal Islands. 

A four gun 155mm battery was emplaced on Makhnati Island in 1942.  Two of these guns (No. 2 and No. 3) were removed when the modern 6-inch Battery 292 which had two six-inch guns on barbette carriages with a range of


Makhnati Island from Kirushkin Island - Summer 2000


27500 yards.  Battery 292 was completed and lacked only a "firing computer."  The Battery Commander's (BC) station for Battery 292 was in the upper level of the combination BC and Coincidence Range Finder (CRF) station located on top of the magazine between the guns.  Battery 292 required base end stations for fire control, searchlights, and one SCR-296 radar set.  All support facilities were considered part of Fort Rousseau: the concrete base end station on Kayak Island, the base end station on a tower and two searchlights on Clam Island, and the SCR-296 radar set on Abalone Island.  All support facilities were completed for Battery 292.  When construction was cancelled for Batteries 290 and 291, it was sped up for Battery 292 in late 1944.

The Basic Project plan for the Harbor Defenses called for the Harbor Defense Command Post / Harbor Entrance Control Post (HDCP/HECP) and the Harbor Defense Command Observation Post (HDCOP) and SCR-582 radar to be constructed on Makhnati Island.  All Construction was completed on Makhnati Island.

Today the causeway to Makhnati Island is in a state of extreme disrepair and tough to negotiate.  Locals visit Makhnati Island and the causeway frequently, however the structures on the islands are very overgrown. 


Photos and additional information:


WWII Era photos of Makhnati Island      Page 2


Recent photos of the 155mm Battery

  Recent photos of HDCP/HECP   Recent photos of Battery 292  
  Recent photos of the HDCOP and SCR-582 Tower   Army documents of the Makhnati Island installations  

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