Doppler Radar - Fort Warwick - Ex Fort Wint - Grande Island

A good article on VHF Omni Directional Radio Range (VOR) navigation aids, which includes DVOR equipment illustrated above is at:


The Vision that the Americans left behind on Grande Island

In 1999 Myrna and I visited some friends in the Philippines. While there we went on a day trip to Grande Island.

As usual I was barely aware of where I was, (Google Earth developed in 2001), but took some photos which I am looking at now in 2017 - from these I am producing a web page on Subic Bay.

Fortunately in the last few years enough information has been published on the WWW for me to make some sort of sense of my travels.

On June 15, 1991, Mt. Pinatubo, only 20 miles (32 km) from Subic Bay, erupted and blanketed NAS Cubi Point and the Naval Base Subic Bay in ash 1 foot (30 cm) deep.

Dependents were evacuated and the Navy began an intense clean-up effort to return the station to normal operations. Within two weeks, they returned the station back to limited operations. Within four weeks, the Navy had restored almost all services to most of the family housing.

By September, most dependents had returned to Subic Bay and Cubi Point, but in the same month the Senate of the Philippines voted to require the United States to withdraw from all of its facilities in the Philippines.

The withdrawal was completed in November 1992 and shortly after NAS Cubi Point became Cubi Point International Airport, later renamed Subic Bay International Airport.

Situated at the mouth of Subic Bay. on beautiful Grande Island. Fort Wint was ideally located to defend one of the world's great natural harbors against enemy warships.

The Fort's importance was four fold:
(1) protected the Navy's small base and the Dry Dock Dewey at Olongapo.
(2) protected Bataan's back door from enemy naval and amphibious attacks.
(3) prevented enemy forces from using the harbor for a supply base only a few miles from our forces on Bataan, and
(4) provided early warning of enemy ships and aircraft proceeding south towards Bataan and Manila Bay.

Fort Wint originally had five fixed batteries that mounted two 10-inch disappearing, four 6-inch disappearing, and eight rapid fire 3-inch guns as follows:

* Battery Warwick, two 10-inch disappearing guns
* Battery Woodruff, two 6-inch disappearing guns
* Battery Hall, two 6-inch disappearing guns
* Battery Jewell, four 3-inch rapid fire pedestal guns
* Battery Flake, four 3-inch rapid fire pedestal guns

However, a system of controlled mines was originally designed to be the island's primary defense against enemy warships.

In 1919. the two 3-inch guns and carriages in emplacements three and four of Battery Jewell were removed and installed in Battery Hoyle. Fort Frank.

During the 1920s. two guns and their carriages were removed from Battery Flake and moved to Manila Bay. They were never replaced.

Grande Island, the former Harbor Defense Fort, still has many fortifications in place including two 6 inch guns.

Since it's abandonment in WWII it was used by the Navy and is now a resort.

Reference: A Short History of Fort Wint by George Munson (

Reference: Naval Air Station Cubi Point (

Reference: Fort Wint, Subic Bay

Map of Fort Wint in 1919

Battery Warwick - showing DVOR (Doppler VHF Omnidirectional Radio Range)  aircraft navigational aid in the background, probably initally installed for the former Cubi Point Naval Air Station

The position of gun No. 1 shown - one of two 10 inch disappearing guns of Battery Warwick. There is a crack in the parapet next to it on the RHS.

The two 10 Inch guns, Battery Warwick, were dismantled in 1968 and were shipped to the former Fort Casey, USA, to replace the 10 inch guns there.

Battery Warwick Operations Center

Local folklore is that a mysterious white lady is seen frequenting Battery Warwick's Operations Center.

Battery Hall - Gun No. 1 in the foreground - Ex Fort Wint - Grande Island, Subic Bay 1999
Battery Hall - Gun No. 2 - Ex Fort Wint - Grande Island, Subic Bay 1999
Rear view of Battery Flake - Ex Fort Wint - Grande Island - Subic bay - 1999
No 1 gun position - Battery Jewell - AntiAircraft gun.
Building 2930 Grande Island, Subic Bay

Karl Welteke writes on 1st Jan. 2018:
Grande Island Utility Building

"This building, I believe was near the Mine Field Control Building. The Philippine Management also built a large utility building there. All buildings used by the Navy (MWR-Moral-Welfare and Recreation) except the hotel and the restaurant have been erased around 2004 by the new Philippine management to establish a resort."

Navy swimming pool - Grande Island, Subic Bay.
Tourists - Grande Island , Subic Bay

If anyone has more information please let me know. Acknowledgement will be given. It appears to be the same building as on the left below - I may have reversed the left-right orientation.

Possibly US Navy quarters for recreational leave

Karl Welteke writes on 1st Jan. 2018:
"These two buildings were used by the US Navy for recreational purpose, at least from the 1960s on. There used to be a sign directing visitors to this hotel and restaurant. Later under Philippine management they were used for the same purpose (Karl believes so)."

"In our forum we have a page that claims that these buildings were used by the State Department and the CIA in the 1950s. This is the URL it also shows a nice picture of the hotel and not so nice pictures of the swimming pool:"
Corregidor Proboards Thread #15

Looking West along Grande Island Beach
Possibly the rear view of the US Navy Recreational Building
Grande Reef Restaurant sign

   Scott Petrill who was with the USN at Grande Island in 1984, kindly sent me some slides (Feb. 2021), from which I have included a selection on this page. These images may help viewers who are familiar with Grande Island to clarify some location details.

Grande Island Hotel
Coal fired Power House - Grande Island Subic Bay 1999
Casa Grande - Grande Island Subic Bay

Karl Welteke writes on 1st Jan. 2018:
Grande Island Navy MWR building

"This building may have been a Navy (MWR) convenience store near the beach. All buildings used by the Navy (MWR-Moral-Welfare and Recreation) except the hotel and the restaurant have been erased around 2004 by the new Philippine management to establish a resort."

Chiquita Island Subic Bay - 1999
Fire Station Number 8on Grande Island"
BatteryFLAKE - Grande Island

Battery Control Station and Magazines No.4, No.5 and No.6.

Grande Island Playing Field - 1984
Pillbox? Grande Island 1984
Subic Bay Custodial Correction Unit - 1984
Barracks Subic Bay Naval Base - 1984
Spanish Gate Subic Free Port Zone

This gate was the entrance to the original Spanish Naval Station established in Subic Bay in 1885. The principal Spanish construction lay to the east along what is now Rivera Point and consisted of an arsenal, several warehouses, and a number of shop buildings.

The base at Subic-Olongapo was used by the Spanish Navy to provide repair, supply, ammunition and medical support for ships. The post was commanded by the second commandancia of the base at Cavite and was considered a subsidiary of that command.

The Spanish Garrrison remained in possession of the Subic-Olangapo base until June of 1898 at which time they were driven out by Filipino forces. The area was formally occupied by the U.S. Navy in September of 1899.

Subic Bay Free Port
USS Kitty Hawk - Subic Bay 1984

In March 1984, Kitty Hawk participated in "Team Spirit" exercises in the Sea of Japan. The Soviet Victor-class nuclear attack submarine K-314 shadowed the task group. On 21 March 1984, at the end of the Sea of Japan part of the exercise, K-314 surfaced directly in front of Kitty Hawk, time was 22:05, too dark and far too close for Kitty Hawk to see and avoid the resulting collision, with minor damage to the aircraft carrier, and significant damage to the Soviet submarine.

Kitty Hawk went to the U.S. Naval Base at Subic Bay in the Philippines for repairs. A piece of one of K-314's propellers was embedded in Kitty Hawk's bow, as were some chunks of the Soviet anechoic coating (a layer of rubber affixed to the sub's steel hull to reduce noise) , from scraping along the side of the submarine. The result was something of an "accidental" intelligence coup for the U.S. Navy.

Reference: USS Kitty Hawk at Subic Bay in 1984

Subic Bay Free Port Zone
Subic Bay Free Port Zone
U.S. Navy Quonset Huts and Basket Ball Court - Subic Bay

     Upper MAU (Marine Amphibous Units of the USMC) Quonset Huts at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ), the former US Naval Base.

Quonset Hut- Subic Bay - Storm Damaged - 1999

For more information on the Subic Bay, SBFZ (Subic Bay Free Port Zone), ex US Naval Base see:

Quonset Hut converted to a residence - Subic Bay
Communication Specialists - Rollright Stones
Kings Men Circle - Rollright Stones

Thus about 5000 years later a magic circle is used in a Doppler VHF Navigational Aid (Photo at the top of this page).