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Hawaii Travel --> Islands --> Oahu --> Attractions --> Craters --> Diamond Head Crater --> Military History of Diamond Head Crater

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The Military History of Diamond Head Crater
Oahu, Hawaii

Diamond Head Crater was an important military outpost from the time it was purchased by the United States Government in 1904 through the end of World War II.

USS Missouri and Diamond Head Crater
The USS Missouri Battleship sailing past Diamond Head Crater on its way from Pearl Harbor to New York City on September 29, 1945
Photo Credit: United States Naval Historical Center



Military Use of Diamond Head Began in 1904
The Federal government purchased Diamond Head Crater for military use in 1904. Fortification of the crater began in 1908 with the construction of gun emplacements and an entry tunnel through the north wall of the crater from Fort Ruger. That tunnel was known as the Kapahulu Tunnel.

Batteries on Diamond Head Crater
Five batteries were built on Diamond Head Crater to house military weapons and artillary:
-1910 - Harlow (northern exterior)
-1913 - Dodge (tunnels through east crater wall)
-1913 - Hulings (tunnels through crater wall)
-1916 - Birkhimer (mostly below ground inside the crater)
-1943 - Battery 407 (tunnels through south crater wall)

Fire Control Station
The Diamond Head Fire Control Station was built at the top of Diamond Head Crater between 1908 and 1910. It contained plotting rooms to direct artillary fire from several of the batteries. From that station observers could triangulate targets and aim the mortar fire from Batteries Randolph and Dudley at Fort DeRussy in Waikiki and battery Harlow at Fort Ruger on the outer slopes of the crater. The Fire control state had four levels and the exterior was camouflaged with rubble embedded in concrete. The four levels and the summit were accessed by ladders and a spiral staircase.

Long Range Guns
Additional defense was provided by long range guns installed on the outer slopes of the crater rim around 1915.

Fort Ruger Historic Park
The military features of Diamond Head Crater are part of Fort Ruger Historic Park.

It is interesting to note that no artillery was ever fired from Diamond Head Crater during a war. Today Diamond Head Crater is a Hawaii state monument and a United States National Natural Landmark.

See also:
- Diamond Head State Monument
- The Diamond Head End of Waikiki
- About South Oahu



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