The First foothold on territory in the Hawaiian Islands resulted from the lease of land for a coaling station at Honolulu in 1860. This station practically fell into disuse shortly after it was built due to the policy that required warships to use sail power wherever possible. Commencing in 1879, the station was placed in charge of the Consul General, who was allowed a personal fee of twenty-five cents for each tons of coal handled.
Development of the Naval Establishment
When Queen Liliokalani was dethroned in the palace revolution of 1893 (17 January), the military influence of the USS Boston, in Honolulu Harbor, insured its success. In 1895, when the Royalists attempted a counter-revolution, and American warship's presence (USS Philadelphia) dampened the possibility for success. The provisional government under Sanford Dole made the final appeal for annexation when the military necessity of the islands became apparent. In 1898, as the U.S. attempted to transport troops, livestock and equipment to the Philippines, the importance of the islands as a depot or reshipping point became obvious. Annexation was approved on 6 July 1898, and on 12 August 1898, the U.S. flag was run up over the palace. Within a month Commander
Z.L. Tanner was given orders to proceed to Honolulu for temporary duty to prepare planes for wharves, coal sheds, and warehouses for naval purposes. He was also instructed to make a survey of Pearl Harbor which might be utilized "sometime in the future." Contracts were let this same year for increasing the capacity of the coal sheds from 1,000 to 20,000 tons and the construction of two piers. The Presidential proclamation of November 1898, reserved certain land in Honolulu and Hawaii for naval purposes and coal sheds.
In May 1899, Commander .F. Merry was made naval representative with authority to transact business for the Navy Department and its Bureaus. He immediately assumed control of the Coal Depot and its equipment. To supplement his facilities, he was assigned the Navy tug Iroquois and tow coal barges. Inquiries that commenced in June culminated in the establishment of the "Naval Station, Honolulu" on 17 November 1899.1 On 2 February 1900, this title was changed to "Naval Station, Hawaii."2
The creation of the Naval Station afforded the Navy Department an opportunity to explore into territorial outposts. In October 1899 the USS Nero and the Iroquois made
extensive surveys and sounding of the waterways to Midway and Guam. One of the reasons for these explorations was for the selection of a possible cable route to Luzon.
A coal famine and an outbreak of the bubonic plague were the only two incidents that hindered the Commandant from fulfilling his primary functions. Because of the severe coal shortage in September 1899, the Commandant sold coal to the Oahu Railway and Land Company and the inter-Island Steam navigation Company, Limited. Although this indicated the affinity of economic ties with the Navy, it was to a certain extent counteracted by the quarantine of the naval establishment from December 1899 to February 1900, because of the bubonic plague. Approximately 61 deaths were recorded in Honolulu for this period. Work was consequently delayed on nascent Navy projects in Honolulu Harbor.
From 1901 to 1908 the Navy devoted its time to improving the facilities of the 85 acres that constituted the naval reservation in Honolulu. Under the Appropriation Act of 3 March 1901, this tract of land was improved with the erection of additional sheds and housing. Improvements included a machine shop, smithery and foundry, Commandant's house and stables, cottage for the watchman, fencing, ten-ton wharf crane, and water-pipe system. The harbor was dredged and the channel enlarged to accommodate larger ships. On 28 May 1903, the first battleship, USS Wisconsin,
Entered the harbor for coal and water. however, when the vessels of the Asiatic station visited Honolulu in January 1904, Rear Admiral Sials Terry complained that they were inadequately accommodated with dockage and water.
Under the Above Appropriation Act, Congress approved the acquisition of lands for the development of a naval station at Pearl Harbor and the improvement of the channel to the Lochs. The Commandant, under the direction of the Bureau of Equipment, attempted to obtain options on lands surrounding Pearl Harbor that were recommended for naval use. This endeavor was unsuccessful when the owners of the property refused to accept what was deemed to be a fair price. Condemnation proceedings, under the Hawaiian law of eminent domain, were begun on 6 July 1901. The land acquired by this suit included the present Navy Yard, Kauhua Island, and a strip on the southeast coast of Ford Island.3 The work of dredging the coral reef that blocked Pearl Harbor progressed rapidly enough to allow the gunboat, USS Petrel, to proceed to the upper part of Main Loch in January 1905.
One of the early concerns of the growing station was that the Army would make claims on its property. Because of their facilities, as wharves, cranes, artesian wells, and coal supplies, many requests were made by the Army for their
use. By February 1901, the Army had made application for the privilege of establishing on Navy docks movable cranes for handling coal and other stores, a saluting battery and a flag staff on the naval reservation, and an artesian well of its own. All these requests were rejected by the Bureau of Equipment on the theory that, once granted, they "will practically constitute a permanent foothold on the property, and end in dividing it between the two Departments, or in the entire exclusion of the Navy Department on the ground of military expediency as established by frequency of use."4 However, the Army Depot Quartermaster at Honolulu contracted for the sinking of an artesian well on the Naval Station with the Commandant's approval, who, in turn, acted on a recommendation of the Bureau of Yards and Docks.5 The flow of water obtained amounted to over a million and a half gallons per day, sufficient for all purposes of the Army and navy. The Bureau of Equipment felt that is word of caution was justified when the Depot Quartermaster in 1902 let it be known that any water used by the Navy from the artesian well was "only given by courtesy of the Army."
Despite the warnings of the Bureau of Equipment, the War Department, the Department of labor and Commerce, and the Department of Agriculture had secured permission to settle no the naval reservation. By 1906, the Commandant believed that it was necessary for the Bureau of Yards and Docks to develop a policy on the future of the station. The docks were being used to a greater extent by the Army transports, than by Navy ships, and the Army was actually attempting to get possession of Quarantine Wharf (which was built by the Territorial Government on the Naval Reservation, with the understanding that it could be taken over at any time by the Navy Department upon the payment of its appraised value.) In 1903, the Department of labor and Commerce received about seven acres for an Immigration Station. The Department of Agriculture had, in the meanwhile, secured part of the site intended for a hospital as an experimental station. The Commandant felt that, if the station was going to develop beyond a mere coaling depot, these territorial encroachments on the part of other departments should be stopped, particularly when they were enjoying the benefits of naval appropriations.6 "On the other
hand," he wrote, "if it is the intention to improve Pearl Harbor and eventually abandon this station every effort should be made to begin work there as soon as possible. . . . I am informed that important commercial interests will make a strong effort next year to have Pearl Harbor improved, and I think that will be an opportune time for the Navy Department to make efforts in the same direction."7 By 1910, when it was planned to move the Commandant's headquarters to the Pearl Harbor Station, the Commandant felt that the lands of the Navy Department in Honolulu should not be surrendered to any of the other government departments. The Commandant, referring tot he congestion of the New York Navy Yard by the sale of the Wallabout land and the inadequate wharfing facilities of the Portsmouth (N.H.) Yard, stated that the property should be retained "until its value to the Navy Department has passed beyond question.8 To forestall any claims by the War Department, he pointed out their possession of 15,000 acres on the island of Oahu, and that their "argument for absorbing further naval property is not clear."
Until the transfer of the Naval Station to Pearl Harbor, the naval reservation in Honolulu remained nothing more than a rather elaborate coaling station. The major interest were the shipping and weighing of coal and the checking of invoices. No repairs were performed on Navy vessels. The regular labor force took care of the yard and the buildings, except for the few machinists who were irregularly employed. When the USS Iroquois, the station tug, needed urgent repairs, the Commandant sought bids from the local firms, the Honolulu Iron Works Company and the Cotton, Neill, and Company. The former company refused to submit a bid because of the lack of competent labor in its plant, while the latter placed a bid that the Commandant considered excessive. it was his opinion that it would be more economical for the vessel to be repaired at Mare Island, although the vessel would consume more than 230 tons of coal on the round trip. he felt that such a procedure would serve as a "reminder that the government is not altogether at the mercy of the local firms."9
The station grew slowly, and not always at an even pace. By the end f 1905, the Wireless Station was functioning and had established a record for sending messages to a distance of 140 miles, and receiving at 225 miles; by 1907 this record
had been increased to 250 and 260 miles, respectively. A recommendation for a branch hydrographic office was made in 1905. At the same time, authority was issued by a Joint Army-Navy Board to appropriate 50 acres at Waipio peninsula and to purchase 12 acres at Bishop's Point for defensive reasons.
The officer personnel to operate and maintain this station were rather limited in numbers. It was not until 1908 that six officers were assigned to the station for permanent duty.10 An insight into the problems of the Commandant is revealed in some of the correspondence of Rear Admiral Samuel W. Very. In the nineteenth endorsement to a letter by the Medical Officer requesting a typewriter, which became involved in official red tape due to an improperly filled out voucher, the Commandant indicated his responsibilities. He typed on his own personal typewriter that "all correspondence passing through the Commandant's officer here, necessarily received the personal attention of the Commandant. There is no Aide. There is no trained clerk. . . Without the personal attention of the Commandant, all correspondence and much
other work would have been at a standstill. . . . The Commandant, besides doing all the typewriting and other clerical work of his own office, sending and receiving important code-cablegrams, supervising out-of-door work, attending the wants of the Fish Commission, Steamer Albatross and the needs of the officer-less crew of the Iroquois, and the entertaining of the French Commodore who was present with his flagship" was "overwhelmed with petty details which could not be delegated."11 As the occasion arose he would sign his correspondence not only as Commandant, but also as "Acting Civil Engineer," "Head of Department," "Captain of the Yard," and "Ordnance Officer." Rear Admiral Very's assistant, who was making a survey of Welles Harbor for the Engineer Corps of the Army when the above endorsement was written, also performed duties as Assistant Lighthouse Inspector, Inspector of Customs and of Immigration, Head of the Departments of Yards and Docks, Construction, Equipment, Ordnance, and Steam Engineering. He also discharged special functions for the Marine Corps supplies and looked after the cable station at midway. And, in addition to all these difficulties, the Admiral was embarrassed by the paucity of the library which was bequeathed
him by his predecessors. "Many mercantile houses of the better class," he wrote, "place at the disposal of their manager a better supply of works of reference."
The period from 1908 to 1919 was one of steady and continuous growth of the Naval Station, Pearl Harbor, with the exception of the discouraging collapse of the drydock in 1913. The Act of 13 May 1908 authorized the enlargement and dredging of the Pearl Harbor channel and lochs "to admit the largest ships," the building of shops and supply houses for the Navy Yard, and the construction of a drydock. Work progressed satisfactorily on all projects, except the drydock. After much wrangling with Congress to secure an appropriation of over three million dollars for its construction, it was wrecked by underground pressure. it was not until August 1919, after the expenditure of approximately $5,000,000, that the project was completed. It was during this time, in August 1913, that the station was finally moved from Honolulu to its new quarters in Pearl Harbor. The physical plant was improved at the total cost of twenty million dollars by 1919 (21 August) when it was finally dedicated. yet, with all of this money available for the development of Pearl Harbor as a first-rate Pacific base, the bureaus checked the Commandant closely on his expenditures.
"We are considerably in the air here," he wrote, "as to the future of the Station, and there are things occurring which make duty here less pleasant than it has been, but we are hoping to be able to appease the Department and get into such relations as will remove the annoyance."12 The Department was quite active in disapproving "necessary purchases in advance of formal approval" and the Admiral's tendency to juggle accounts by dipping into maintenance appropriations to pay holiday wages to laborers when he could not have the job absorb the costs. With the collapse of the drydock, property claims to the Damon Tract and the rights of way for pipe lines vexing him, he was anxious to "convince people in Washington that we are really trying to do the best we can."
With World War I, the demands to establish Pearl Harbor as a first-class naval base capable of taking care of the entire fleet in case of war, precluded its usefulness as a commercial harbor. The hopes of the Matson Steamship Co. and the American Hawaiian Co. were smashed by this development, just as it doomed the private fishing rights of property owners along the shores of the harbor during World War II.
By 1919, the purchase of Ford Island having been completed, the Army and Navy shared the facilities of Luke Field. The embryonic aviation crew that arrived in December 1919, which included nine officers, forty mechanics and four seaplanes, became the Naval Air Station of 1920.13 It was under the impetus of this growth of air power that Rear Admiral W.B. Fletcher, then Commandant of the new 14th Naval District,14 stated that:
Seaplanes, brought by swift carriers within reaching distance, could rise from the lee of the nearest reefs to the northward and westward, or the neighboring islands or from the sea itself, swoop down on Pearl Harbor and destroy the plant unless an adequate defense was provided.
He suggested the building of airstrips on Necker Island, French Frigate Shoals, Layson Island and Johnston Island, a task not really accomplished until 1941-42.
The post-World War I period was characterized by a irregular growth of the Naval Operating Base. Appropriations tended to diminish with the economies of the twenties. In 1921, the Naval Station in Honolulu was forced to close because of insufficient funds. Only three training flights were allowed in the Hawaiian area during 1921. The only funds that were allotted tended more to improve the
channel than to develop or enlarge the base. Although SecNav reports referred to Hawaii as the "crossroads of the Pacific," nothing could be done to take advantage of its position. Lip service was the token of esteem given the hopes of expanding Pearl Harbor and Kaneohe Harbor in 1920.15
The years of peace and the maintenance of the status-quo afforded the Commandant the leisure to devote some of his interests to affairs not strictly limited to the growth of the naval station. one of his primary tasks seems to have been concentrated on an attempt to get a favorable press for the Navy. The Commandant or his representative faithfully attended the monthly luncheon meetings of the Federal Business Men's Association and assisted i carrying out the functions of that organization.16 he or members of his staff delivered lectures, attended meetings, etc. In his reports he attempted to follow the local social, economic, and racial peculiarities of the islands, making numerous comments of his own to his superiors in Washington. in an intelligence report of 1928, the Commandant accused the Territorial Governor of playing politics on the racial issue. He felt that the Governor and his administration
resented the "keen interest manifested by Army and navy officials in the population problems of the islands.: It was his opinion that prominent business men regarded the Army and navy establishments as constituting the fourth largest industry in the islands, after sugar, pineapples, and the tourist trade. of the three "oriental blocs," the Chinese, Filipinos and the Japanese, the latter were considered the most objectionable because of their great numbers and their "dual citizenship." The sugar planters were caustically referred to for their exploitation of cheap labor or their fostering of Filipino immigration.17
it was the Commandant's opinion that both the geographical location of the Hawaiian Islands and the racial compositions of its peoples warranted special attention. These racial misgivings seemed to be supported by the Ala Moana Case (Massie Case, 1932) and the local reaction. The Commandant was inclined to believe that the racial composition of the people created a social condition fraught with many dangers. He claimed that the attitude of local men of Oriental and mixed blood was that "if the white men are taking our women, we will take their women, and by force if necessary." He recognized that the chief factor contributing to this attitude was the "considerable number of enlisted
who live with Oriental and half-cast women" in an unmarried status. To avoid notoriety, he requested the Bureau of Navigation for authority "to summarily transfer to the United States men who bring public scandal and disgrace on the naval service because of being involved in the kind of cases when the private acts of enlisted personnel involved an arrest by the civilian authorities as a result of such a liaison, but only where it is apparent that a conviction cannot be obtained before a courts-martial."
The Commandant, Rear Admiral Yates Stirling, believed that these conditions endangered the islands as a potential military and naval reservation. Appearing before a Federal Commission making a law-enforcement survey in the Hawaiian Islands in 1932, he advocated the establishment of a commission form of government:
The large number of aliens is a matter of grave concern to our National Government and years of study by civilian, military, and naval authorities, of the probable attitude of certain of the island-born Orientals has led to the conclusion that but doubtful reliance can be placed upon their loyalty to the United States in the event of war with an Oriental power.
The present system of self-government tends to increase the number of voters and consequently of politicians and potential office-holders from amongst racial mixtures, bred for centuries with ideas of government, of social and living standards, so diverse from our American ideals that the social and
political conditions in these islands will have a tendency to drift further and further from such ideals and thus make the islands more and more difficult to control in time of emergency.
it is true that ours is a democratic government under a constitution, and it is also true that one of our basic principles of government is against legislation without representation. But do we apply this axiom of government to our ships of war and to our military reservations.
In his Annual Report for 1933, he felt it was necessary to endeavor to improve civilian relations after the experiences of the previous year. He pointed with pride to the voluntary cooperation of the Territorial Government in the observance of navy Day; his attendance at sessions of the Territorial Senate and Legislature where he was "cordially received;" his review and inspection of the Honolulu City and County Police Department; and his liaison with the Chamber of Commerce, American Legion, Rotary Club, etc. Yet, in spite of the overtures of good will, many civilians who were staunch supporters of the Navy could not afford to come openly to its defense. Even as late as 1935 the navy experienced difficulty in securing its reserve quota for I-V-(S).18
An embarrassing problem that beset the Commandant in 1922 and persisted until 1927 was the question of precedence. The problem evolved when Major General Summerall questioned the seniority of Rear Admiral E. Simpson in 1922. The Admiral was perturbed and felt that protocol was endangered unless he was supported. ". . . As matters now stand," he wrote, "awkward situations are liable to arise at any time because in this small community we are continually present together at all kinds of functions at which our presence is more or less official and we have to be placed right."19 In his letter to the head of the Office of Operations, he expressed a hope that the Department would "put up a big fight to sustain me in my senior position." The problem raged in many manifestations for some years and resulted in at least two contradictory decisions of the Attorney General. The actual solution of the precedence of Rear Admirals of the first and second half with Major Generals or Brigadier Generals was not made until the Hill Bill was passed in 1927.
relations with the Army and the civilian population were not benefited by the refusal to permit either to attend public boxing matches in the Navy Yard (1924). The Commandant, Rear Admiral John McDonald, felt the exhibitions
were ungentlemanly because the audience booed and made disparaging remarks concerning the contestants and the referee. on one occasion, when Admiral McDonald attended, he told the audience to cease their booing and when they seemingly refused, he ordered the bouts stopped and the audience, which included civilians, as well as Army and Navy personnel, to go home. "The whole trouble at the large arena," he wrote, "was due to the conduct of the enlisted personnel from the Army and civilians from Honolulu."
By 1934, approximately $42,000,000 had been spent on the development of Pearl Harbor, Within the confines of the Navy Yard, as well as the district, were now located Minecraft, the Fleet Air Base, and the Submarine Base. When the Fleet visited Pearl Harbor that year for maneuvers, all Fleet units, except the Ranger, Lexington, and Saratoga, were berthed without difficulty. These latter three vessels were forced to anchor off the shores of southern Oahu to avoid the risk of running aground. Entrance into the Pearl Harbor lochs required large ships to back off on their screws to make the difficult turn at the end of the channel. As early as 1920 commanding officers of the Arkansas, Idaho, and Wyoming regarded the channel as difficult to navigate. From 1921 to 1928, eleven ships went aground along its sloping
reefs. The appropriations of 1936 tended to remedy this defect and increase the facilities of the Navy Yard to the position of a major overhaul base on the same footing with Mare Island and Puget Sound. By 1940 appropriations for the improvement of the naval establishment had exceeded $100,000,000, with $47,000,000 spent between January and August of that year. Concomitant with this growth was a growth in naval personnel: 586 enlisted men in 1925, 703 in 1930, and 1,049 in 1936.20 The Commandant in 1937 felt that the naval establishment had undergone the development that the base deserved.
As the only outlying advanced base in the Pacific,, and because of its important strategical position on the main defense triangle, it is essential that it be in all respects ready to receive and service the Fleet before "M" day in a Pacific War, otherwise it will fail in the full accomplishment of its mission.21
Although these developments of the naval establishment grew progressively, some of the shortages that characterized the World War II period were evident. Housing became scarce in Honolulu with the slowness of building construction and the increase in tourist trade (1935-1937). On the base there were only twelve quarters for officers.
With the increased importance given the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard there were certain administrative problems that were becoming quite pressing. By the organization of the Naval Operating Base in 1928, the navy yard and the district evolved as two separate organizations. Collateral duties of the Commandant, Public Works Officer and Supply Officer tied the two units together. According to General Order Number 110, the Naval Operating Base, Pearl Harbor, consisted of District Headquarters, Navy Yard, Supply Department, Submarine Base, Air Station, Ammunition Depot, Naval Hospital, Marine Barracks, Radio Station and Receiving Barracks.
One awkward problem that was considered pertinent to this operating base was the independence of the Submarine Base from the Commandant of the district. The Naval Manual of 1927 placed the Submarine Base under the command of the Commandant and directly under the command of the Commanding Officer, Inshore Patrol. However, General Order 164 removed the command of the Submarine Base from the Commandant and placed it under the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet. The situation was declared "anomalous" because the Commandant's authority did not extend over all activities within the confines of the naval reservation. This was especially
evident when the Submarine Base also contained the Receiving Barracks for the Navy Yard, over which the Commandant did have jurisdiction. The Commandant stated:
The building up of a second little navy yard by the Submarine Base is out of the control of the Commandant. He can make no inspections of the personnel or material of the Submarine Base without infringing on the authority and rights of the Commander, Submarine Division, Battle Fleet. The situation is not similar to the Naval Air Station, where he can advise, inspect and point out good and bad things in the Naval Air Station organization, training, etc., without interfering with the internal administration.22
It was also believed that the dual side system of the Captain of the Yard and the Manager, as established by General Order Number 53, should be changed. The Commandant felt that it would be wise to revive the long-discarded title of "Executive Officer of the Navy Yard" and make him second in command to the Commandant. By making a line officer junior to the Executive with the title of "Captain of the Yard" and placing him at the head of the Military Department of the Yard, the military organization would be improved. Another perplexing issue was the position of the Supply Officer. With only twenty per cent of his issues made for the Industrial Activities, the Commandant was
opposed to having him placed under the Manager of the Yard.
The Supply Department of the Operating Base and of the Navy Yard should be a distinct department until a District Supply Depot is established.23
In 1929, the Commandant, after a year's experience, found that in order to properly perform his duties, his time was devoted 65 per cent to the district and 35 per cent to the navy yard.24 He stated:
Owing to the fact that the island of Oahu is primarily an advanced base for operations to the westward, it is fortified and has a large Army garrison. The relations between the Commandant and the Commanding General are very close. It is necessary for the two to be in constant communication and touch with one another, perfecting plans for the defense of the island and plans for cooperative exercises to train the personnel of both services. Necessarily, this means that the Commandant has as his paramount duty perfecting the defense of Oahu and arranging for the accommodation of the Fleet should it come to Hawaii, in other words, District duty.
On 1 November 1932, the 14th Naval District was placed under the command of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet.25 The Commandant was "designated as the responsible representative of the Navy for dealing with his district, with agencies of other federal departments, with the local populace and civil authorities, with business and shipping interests, with the press, and in connection with visits by persons, vessels, or aircraft of foreign nationality. In all such matters, the
commanders of naval units present within his district will deal with or through the district commandant." This statement actually condoned the Commandant's actions, with the exception of the last sentence, which had characterized his behavior since the establishment of the Old Naval Station. The letter, however, qualified control over "Fleet units based or present within or in the vicinity of the district under his command." The Commandant requested, without success, from CNO a clarification of his actual status to forces afloat, the Submarine Base, and the Fleet Air Base. In the organization chart for 1935, the Fleet Air Base and Submarine Base, as well as the Ammunition Depot and the Hydrographic Information Office, were described as being "not directly under the Commandant of the District." He had authority only to direct their operations in times of emergency. It was
probable that these activities would be placed under his command during wartime for the purpose of coordination, particularly in the case of the Submarine Base and the Fleet Air Base, which had become units of the Naval Local Defense Forces.
It represented a situation not fully clarified until the Commandant became a subordinate of CinCPac and the promulgation of General Order Number 121, placing NAS, Pearl Harbor, under his command.
An examination of the district organization of 1935 indicates a close similarity to the one that characterized the war years. The district organization was kept alive by the appointment of its limited supply of officers to collateral or additional duties. Many yard officers held collateral duties on the district staff; for example, the Industrial manager was District Material Officer, the Captain of the Yard was Port Director (N.T.S.), the Supply Officer and the Public Works Officer of the yard also served on the district staff. The District Personnel Officer and District Operations Officer were one and the same person as well as the Chief of Staff and U.S. Army Liaison Officer. It might be noted that collateral duty followed no set procedure. Collateral jobs were often the accidents of time, place, availability, and the man. As Admiral Bloch pointed out in February 1941:
The staff of the Commandant is designed to coordinate preparation for war and provide for smooth expansion of district activities on a war operating bases, or in the event of a sudden emergency to be ready to make the best use possible of the means actually available. The staff of the Commandant, with reduced personnel, operates in peace time as nearly as practicable in the same manner as in war time.
In the pre-war organization plan for the district (February 1941) the differences between this island district and continental districts were emphasized.
The district activities comprise the main base, Oahu, together with the branch bases, auxiliary air stations and other naval stations located in other islands, but all depending on the main base for maintenance and support. A primary district purpose is to hold and use the islands to provide base position, base security, and base facilities for the operating Fleet, and to serve the Fleet and district operating forces in supply, repair, salvage, overhaul, and maintenance to the maximum degree permitted by existing and improvised facilities. outside of the purely naval facilities and installations now here or to be provided, there is little in the way of commercial activities of naval interest in the islands. For example, the Navy industrial plant is the major industrial activity in the islands and is much larger than all the civilian industrial plants combined. in a sense, the whole district is the naval base, and unlike continental naval districts, it is almost wholly dependent upon sea communications to the mainland for supplies and personnel.
With the unusual concentration of naval activities in the Pearl Harbor area, this pre-war organization continued the system of dual yard and district functions. The logic of such a procedure was seen in the limited personnel, the necessity of maintaining a war organization, at least on paper, and the similarity of duties. By Bureau of navigation orders, two Navy Yard heads of departments, the Supply Officer and the Public Works Officer, were assigned additional duty
on the District Headquarters Staff. The regulations, to confuse any attempt at a clear-cut definition of authority or responsibility, indicated that the staff work of these officers was to be performed "under the direction of the Commandant of the Navy Yard who is responsible to the Commandant of the District for its performance."26 On the district staff were some officers, also, whose functions pertained to yard or base functions, as the District Material Officer and District Civilian Personnel officer. Straddling both the yard and the district with a major emphasis on the latter were the positions of the District Operations Officer and District Personnel Officer. The District Operations Officer fulfilled a myriad number of duties that included inshore and offshore patrol, district craft, captains of the port, station ships, receiving station, etc. In this pre-war set-up, it was also indicated that the Port Director (N.T.S.), District Marine Officer, District Communications Officer, District Supply Officer, District Public Works Officer were so intimately connected with the command and coordination functions of the district Commandant that these officers were not only in full administrative command of each office, but were also members of
the headquarters' staff group. When the Coast Guard came under the operation of the Navy Department in 1941, the Coast Guard District Commander was made an advisor on the staff of the Commandant. For military operation, the organization was placed under the Commander, Inshore Patrol. with logistics, supply, upkeep and internal control under the senior Coast Guard Officer.
1. General Order #530, 17 November 1899.
2. General Order #538, 2 February 1900.
3. Vide Real Estate Division, Public Works Office and Legal Office.
4. Vide Appendix, Chapter I, 14 February 1901.
5. Appendix, Chapter I, 9 January 1902.
6. The Corps of Engineers (Army) and the Light House Board had made specific requests for a part of the reservation. "Pearl Harbor may not be occupied in a dozen years or more," wrote Rear Admiral H.W. Lyon, "possibly not at all; and in the meantime I should consider it suicidal on our part to give up any of the land or to hamper ourselves in any way." (13 June 1906)
7. Appendix, Chapter I, 30 June 1906.
8. Appendix, Chapter I, 5 April 1910.
9. Appendix, Chapter I, 22 January 1907.
10. (1) The Commandant, (2) Captain of the Yard (also C.O. of the Iroquois and Ass't. to the Inspector of the 12th Lighthouse District, (3) Surgeon, (4) Paymaster, (5) Paymaster's Clerk, (6) Marine commanding officer.
11. 16 December 1907.
12. Rear Admiral Moore, 22 December 1913.
13. General Order Number 548, 17 September 1920.
14. The Hawaiian Islands became the 14th Naval District in 1916.
15. SecNav Report, 1921.
16. Annual Report, 1932.
17. Intelligence Report, 1927.
18. Vide Chapter on Intelligence.
19. Vide Appendix, 12 May 1922.
20. Ninety-nine officers in 1925, 127 in 1936.
21. Annual Report, 1937.
22. See Appendix, 18 June 1930.
23. See Appendix, 21 January 1929.
25. CNO Ltr. Op-13A/EM, Serial 320915, 24 Sept. 1932.
26. Comd't. Of Navy Yard and 14th Naval District, Rear Admiral G.C. Bloch.