Paul Roberts: Return to Adak, Alaska 2000

See also Paul Robert's First Tour of Adak

Photographer: Paul Roberts. Text by Paul Roberts.

When I first arrived I attended the mandtory security lecture. When I asked the civilian security officer about the underground hospital, he said that it was a myth. Well, I told him I used to go into some type of WWII underground facility. We finally learned later in our visit that the military blew up the rooms back in the 80's.It was a popular place to smoke your mj in the 70's (not me).

One veteran arrived at Adak in 1942. He was a crew member on a PBY. We found where the strip used to be by lake Andrew, and the remains of the PBY hanger that blew down during the war. There are historical markers around the island now.The other vets were on the island later in the war and after. The only vet that fought on Attu was the ordnance disposal serviceman that lives in NJ now.

My old barracks was empty of course, but my room was twice as big as it used to be. Two rooms were made into one with a bathroom, shower, etc! I went into the communication building at Comsta, but it was eerie. I was by myself with a flashlight, and of course the building was empty. With no windows I would have been in trouble if my light went out! Most of my trip I was driving the WWII vets and their wives around the island. The navy let us use a 15 passenger van. Only 4 Navy persons remain on the island. It was nice of the LT to lend an old RM2 the van!

I did not get all the way to Zeto Point, but I took a couple of pictures on the way. The old people were waiting for me in the van. That day was rainy, but sunday was rare! My favorite spot was off limits. That was the bluff at the base of Adagdak where it meets the sea wall (dump area) Unexploded ordinance is the reason. I used to walk through a mine field!! One of the vets was with bomb disposal durining WWII and two years ago he located 23 land mines for the civilian contractors that are cleaning up the island. The day we left they found some hand grenades at the other end of the sea wall by Clam Lagoon. These contractors are using Ground Searching Radar, and satellites to pin-point the items. A few days ago they found another land mine in a stream.

One of the most exciting places was the Weapons Storage Facility or whatever they used to call it. I got to go inside the facility. A contractor was storing the unexploded ordnance in one of the "Seven Doors of Doom" as we used to call it.

Table of Contents
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 Page 2 (15 photos) Arrival, Reeve Aleutian Airways, officer's housing, Finger Bay, VP Hangar, group photo.
 Page 3 (10 photos) Visit to Commsta (NSGA), Clam Lagoon and the Zeto Point Seawall.
 Page 4  (15 photos) Continue Clam Lagoon with Zeto Point Seawall, Candlestick Bridge from the east side, and a special feature; the "Seven Doors of Doom" weapons storage facility.
 Page 5  (11 photos) Some downtown views. Mount Moffett, the Commissary and Exchange, two inside the Fish & Wildlife building (notice the work of other Adak page contributors; Bill Wiseman's photos of Caribou on the wall, Michael Gordon's Adak relief map on the wall). Sweeper Cove, piers, fishing boats.
 Page 6 (10 photos) Old buildings north of the main runway east end, sometimes known as the Contractor Camp. Clam Lagoon and Candlestick Bridge from the west side. Seals.
 Page 7 (10 photos) Commsta Barracks, cabins on the tundra west of Commsta, Bob Reeve High School (BRHS), 4 scenes from Bering Hill.
 Page 8 (10 photos) Bering Hill: Marine Barracks, Galley, Recreation Center; stained glass in the chapel. The Adak National Forest and Pet Cemetary. A few trailing photos of mainland Alaska, Matanuska River near Wasilla, and an Iditirod Trail marker at Wasilla.