World War II and Japonski Island History
Below: draft of a sign introducing the Japonski, Charcoal, Alice and Harbor Island portions of the NHL, by Matt Hunter:
Two-sided map of Sitka Sound and Installations on Japonski and Causeway
Here is a printable pdf - for printing on legal size paper - of the WWII installations on Sitka Sound and on Japonski and neighboring islands, and the Causeway.
As always, treat historic resources with respect, so the next generation can learn from them, too.
Below are high-definition maps of Japonski Island utilities from 1945, and a map of the federal facilities in 1966. Enjoy!
World War II Significance of the Japonski Island Boathouse
The Japonski Island Boathouse is part of the Sitka Naval Air Station and its Harbor Defenses, now designated a National Historic Landmark as the only defense installation in the North Pacific at the outbreak of WWII.
These installations were on islands throughout Sitka Sound, and the Boathouse was the only repair facility for over 50 Army and Navy craft.
After the war, the military installations were re-purposed as a federal hospital and a high school for Natives. The Boathouse was used for maintaining the Shore Boats, ferries between the now-vanished federal community of Mt. Edgecumbe and the town of Sitka until a bridge was built in 1972.
While other buildings have been razed or remodeled, the Boathouse remains exactly as it was when built in 1941, offering a rare glimpse into what WWII servicemen, and members of the Mt. Edgecumbe community in the 1950s and 60s, saw and experienced.
Japonski Island History
Articles written by Bob DeArmond that ran in the Sitka Sentinel in the early 2000s, on the history of the Japonski Lagoon and on the WWII Causeway.