Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Hilo Coastal Defense

A key goal in the Pacific was to hold Oʻahu Island as a main outlying naval base and to protect shipping in the waters around the Hawaiian Islands.   The War Department looked to much larger reinforcement of Hawaiʻi; this led to plans for garrisoning the other islands of the Hawaiian group.  And, Hilo was a natural choice.

In 1908, construction began on the Hilo Bay breakwater along the shallow reef; piers were built and extended by 1927.  A mobile field battery of 155-mm guns was set up in December 1941. Four 4-inch naval guns were later emplaced in 1942.  The Hilo battery was abandoned in 1945.  The exact locations are undetermined.

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