Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bolsa Chica and WWII

Back for one more pass at Bolsa Chica in Huntington Beach. During WWII, the Bolsa Chica Gun Club's land became part of our nation's coastal defense. Bunkers were built on the ridge behind the old clubhouse, and the area was dotted with large gun emplacements. The photo above by Doug McIntosh shows one of the bunkers being demolished in 1994. The image below shows the area from the air in 1954.
The most noticable extant features of the WWII era at Bolsa Chica are the round concrete gun emplacements along the edge of the bluff. (Not shown in this photo.) These were never actually fitted with guns. The contractors didn't build them to the military's specifications. Ironically, these "rejects" are the once piece of this defense outpost that still stands today.
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Sorry I didn't get a chance to post over the holiday. As always -- many, many thanks to our veterans.

5 comments:

Doug said...

I am sorry that this WWII feature was destroyed. As more & more of the WWII generation passes on, I feel we need visible physical reminders to help us keep the past in focus.

Chris Jepsen said...

Agreed.

I remember these bunkers in the 1980s, when the entrances were mostly filled in with dirt to discourage shenanigans. Even partly obscured, they were a fascinating reminder of a time when we feared attack by the Japanese. For us youngsters, it helped make a historical abstraction much more real.

Amtraker-Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amtraker-Mike said...

Here are some photos of the "Panama" style gun mounts at Bolsa Chica

http://www.ftmac.org/BolsaChicaPanama.htm

Not in OC, but I think the best WWII preserved sites are in White's Point Nature Preserve in San Pedro

http://www.pvplc.org/land/white_point/

I've been to the Gun Emplacements at White Point Nature Preserve which are IMPRESSIVE structures! (see photo 2)
http://www.pvplc.org/land/white_point/photos.shtml

Preservation Projects at Whites Point
http://www.ftmac.org/WhitesPoint.htm

What Do Base Ends Stations Look Like?
http://www.ftmac.org/BESLook.htm

However, for my parents and their family WWII was spent living in a Relocation Center
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_American_internment

Granda (aka Amache) Relocation Center in CO (my Mom's family)
http://www.amache.org/

Poston Relocation Center in AZ (my Dad's family)
http://parentseyes.arizona.edu/wracamps/

I agree with Doug "we need visible physical reminders to help us keep the past in focus."

The best preserved Relocation Center is in CA!

Manzanar National Historic Site
http://www.nps.gov/manz/index.htm

Chris Jepsen said...

Wow! Thanks for all the interesting and educational links!