Fort Ward (2)
Fort Ward (2) (1901-1938, 1942-1958) - Construction began 1 Feb 1900, completed in 1901 on Bainbridge Island, Kitsap County, Washington, Named Fort Ward in G.O. 84, 12 Jun 1903, after Colonel George H. Ward, 15th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Bvt. Brigadier General, U. S. Volunteers, who died, 2 Jul 1863, of wounds, received at the battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the U.S. Civil War. Abandoned as a coastal defense in 1928 and turned over to U.S. Navy in 1938. Decommissioned by the Navy in 1958.
Endicott Period (1890-1910)
Part of the Harbor Defense of Puget Sound. Built to protect the Bremerton Navy Yard and the Rich Passage.
Construction on the first of five concrete gun batteries was begun in 1899 and they were all complete in 1903. The gun batteries were all accepted for service on the same day, 18 Jan 1904, although some of them were not yet armed.
Construction on the fort itself began 1 Feb 1900 but was limited to a few temporary buildings and use was made of several existing farm buildings as Officer and NCO quarters. It appears that the Fort was garrisoned by a detachment until 1910 when serious water and sewer infrastructure were emplaced and quarters for Officers, NCOs and enlisted men were built. Quarters for 4 lieutenants, 6 NCOs, 2 firemen, and 106 enlisted men were built in 1910. A Post Exchange/Gym and a bakery were also built in 1910. In 1911 additional support buildings were added.
In 1912 an Administration Building, Guardhouse, and Quartermaster buildings were added. An electric power plant was installed in a corner of the firehouse.
World War I (1917-1918)
In 1919 a new 12-bed hospital was built to replace the original 5-bed hospital.
The Fort was placed in caretaker status on 26 Jun 1924. Abandoned as a Coastal Artillery Station and withdrawn from the Puget Sound Harbor Defense 1 Mar 1928.
World War II (1941-1945)
In 1938, three years before World War II, the U.S. Navy established a top-secret radio listening post on Fort Ward to eavesdrop on enemy communications in the far east. Antennas were installed on the post and existing buildings were converted into a top-secret listening post-code-named "Station S". "Station S" listened in on Japanese naval Morse Code communications 24 hours a day. This station operated from Aug 1939 to Mar 1953.
Fort Ward State Park, Kitsap County, Washington. No period guns or mounts in place. Most of the fort buildings remain, repurposed by civilian owners. The major buildings no longer existing include the C.A.C. barracks and the hospital. Most of the gun batteries can be visited or viewed.
Visited: 18 Apr 2010, 20 Jul 2008