Fort De Russy (2)
Fort De Russy (2) (1904-1949) - An Taft Period Coastal Fort first established in 1904 in Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii. Named Fort De Russy in G.O. 15, 1909, after Bvt. Brigadier General René Edward De Russy (Cullum 89), a graduate and later Superintendent of the United States Military Academy who served in the U.S. Civil War as a designer of fortifications. Redesignated as a Armed Forces Recreation Center in 1949.
Taft Period (1906-1915)
Part of the Harbor Defense of Honolulu.
The 1 Feb 1906 report of the Taft coastal defenses board recommended that Hawaii, specifically Honolulu and Pearl Harbor, be protected by coastal artillery batteries. The list of recommended armament included sixteen 12" mortars, six 12" guns and four 6" guns. Initially, four forts were established to provide the gun batteries, Fort Kamehameha, Fort Ruger, Fort De Russy and Fort Armstrong. Fort De Russy was to receive the largest of the batteries, with two 14" guns, and two smaller 3" guns.
World War I (1917-1918)
Post construction began in 1916 with the construction of two company barracks buildings and a multipurpose building that housed the headquarters, px, theater, guardhouse and dispensary. Next built was a set of field officer quarters and six sets of company grade officer quarters followed by six sets of NCO quarters. World War I did not affect service at the fort very much but after the end of the war an additional barracks and a bachelor officers quarters were added to the post. The post plan above reflects the state of the post in 1922. The large area behind the barracks is a marshy area not then suitable for building so most of the buildings are grouped around the gun batteries. The marsh was filled in during the 1920s and added some 22 acres to the post. The close proximity of the post buildings and civilian buildings to the gun batteries caused significant damage when the batteries were fired with full service charges and full service firings of the 14" guns were discontinued in the 1920s and did not resume until World War II.
World War II (1941-1945)
The buildup for World War II began in late 1939 and early 1940 when it became increasingly probable that a war was coming. When the war began on 7 Dec 1941 Fort De Russy escaped direct attack from Japanese aircraft but suffered several impacts from 5 inch naval anti-aircraft shells. Battery Randolph and Battery Dudley were manned and prepared for a possible invasion.
The 14" guns of Battery Randolph were test fired with full service charges on 13 Dec 1941 for the first time since the 1920s. Additional test firings at Battery Randolph took place on 29 Jan 1942 (1 round per gun), 6 Feb 1942 (1 round per gun) and 18 Feb 1942 (10 rounds gun #1, gun #2 malfunctioned and did not fire).
The post itself underwent an expansion during the war that saw many temporary World War II structures built to accommodate the increase in personnel. The expansion probably peaked in late 1943 or early 1944.
The two batteries of Fort De Russy were obsolete at the beginning of the war being outgunned and outranged by the battleships of the day. Both batteries were placed in caretaker status by the end of 1943 when six new 90mm AMTB were emplaced around the island for harbor protection. On 12 Aug 1944 the guns and carriages of both Battery Randolph and Battery Dudley were ordered salvaged leaving only four 90mm AA guns on the post and by 1946 those were gone.
Cold War (1947-1991)
Redesignated as a Armed Forces Recreation Center in June 1949 and used as a Rest & Recreation (R&R) site for service members in conflicts since 1949.
Part of Fort De Russy Recreation Center, Honolulu County, Hawaii. The U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii is located in Battery Randolph on the grounds. Nothing remains of Battery Dudley and Battery AMTB - Fort De Russy. Includes the Hale Koa Hotel, a Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) facility that is entirely self sustaining without any government funding.