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The Last WWII Quonset Hut?


Subdeacon Joe

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Oak Harbor WWII quonset hut may be the last of its kind

 

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OAK HARBOR — A hidden relic of the World War II-era solution to “Oak Harbor’s first housing crisis” is in danger, and members of the PBY Memorial Foundation are scrambling to save it.

An old Quonset hut stands, covered from view by blackberry bushes, off Highway 20, just south of city limits. The run-down metal structure may not look special, but researchers from the PBY Naval Air Museum have discovered it is one of the last remaining units in the original configuration from the Navy Homoja housing program, which began in 1943.

“It took several trips and a lot of research, but we confirmed that it was, in fact, a Homoja hut,” said Wil Shellenberger, president of the PBY Memorial Foundation.

As far as researchers know, it may be the only one remaining.

Wil Shellenberger stands in what he believes is the last Quonset hut from the WWII-era Homoja housing program that’s left in its original configuration. The PBY Memorial Foundation is trying to save it from demolition. (Laura Guido / Whidbey News-Times)

Wil Shellenberger stands in what he believes is the last Quonset hut from the WWII-era Homoja housing program that’s left in its original configuration. The PBY Memorial Foundation is trying to save it from demolition. (Laura Guido / Whidbey News-Times)

The owner of the hut donated it to the foundation. The real challenge lies ahead, Shellenberger said.

Engineers from the building moving company Nickel Bros have confirmed the structure is sound enough to relocate. However, the foundation needs about $30,000 to move it off the property, and there’s only about a month left to raise funds.

Normally, there would be grant money available, but there isn’t enough time, Shellenberger said.

The foundation is asking businesses, nonprofits and people for donations. The hope is to restore the hut to how it looked when it was being used as housing from the early 1940s to the mid-1960s, and turn it into a museum exhibit.

Oak Harbor resident Scott Hornung said he and his family lived in Homoja housing for “two tours,” in March 1957 and December 1960.

 

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Very interesting story. There are about 10+ Quonset huts still in use at the Southern New Mexico Fairgrounds outside of Las Cruces, NM. They are in much better condition due to the dry weather and county maintenance of the fairgrounds.... { I was a board member for the fair}

The fairgrounds was a POW camp for Germans? during WWII I've always been told. I hope those folks can save their Quonset hut!

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When I went to Boot Camp at MCRD (Marine Corps Recruit Depot) San Diego, Ca. in 1969, we were in Quonset Huts. 20 Marines in each one times 4 and one for the 3 Drill Instructors. We had to rake the dirt in nice straight lines and paint the rocks white.  We were 1st Battalion, 2nd and 3rd Battalions got new cement 3 story Barracks with nice  tiled heads and showers. Ours were also in Quonset Huts. 

Quansot huts.jpg

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7 minutes ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Things like this baffle me sometimes. If the damn thing was so special why is it in the shape that it is?

Because it was a “hidden” relic I guess.

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18 minutes ago, J-BAR #18287 said:

Some excellent chili and burgers can be had at Casper’s, near downtown Springfield, MO.

 

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Any place that looks like that has to be good. :D

Reminds me of an old burger joint from when I was in the Navy in Chicago. This place was in Wisconsin and it was a train car. Fantastic burgers.

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2 hours ago, J-BAR #18287 said:

Some excellent chili and burgers can be had at Casper’s, near downtown Springfield, MO.

 

78CCF9F3-36A4-4EE6-84B3-41967C70282C.jpeg.fa743514c59b41eeb7a3a85216407195.jpeg

Looks good

Now I want to go to Missouri :lol:

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We had a group of wood buildings put up during WW II to house workers and Naval personnel  associated with the E.W. Bliss company. They lasted until the late '60's/ early 70's when a mall was built at the site. i actually got to see inside one when one of my married classmates lived there. Growing up, they were called The Projects. Most of that Mall is gone now, replaced by a Super Wal-Mart:blush:

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My wife's parents lived on a Quonset hut that had been converted to civilian housing, therer were 2 of them at the end of the street they lived on, both were built on a cinder block foundation/basement. Not sure if they're still there.

 

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Mid century eclectic?

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22 hours ago, J Bar Binks, #47015 said:

I was stationed at NAS Whidbey for three years in the '70's. :)

Lived in one of Whidbey's quonset huts briefly back in 1958. Back then, dad was getting advanced training to fly the new A3D just before we shipped to Iwakuni.

 

I still remember that red brick colored sheet flooring. What was that stuff made of?

 

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