Grande Island, ex Fort Wint, Update Visit 2021-01-22

Zd856. Number 2 Gun of Battery Hall. The present management of the Grande Island Resort appears to have even less resources to keep the Coastal Defense Gun Batteries of the former Fort Wint presentable and accessible.

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After being absent from the Philippines for 15 months, I had the desire to visit the island again. Searching the internet and contacting old contacts, I made contact and offer this information:
Facebook Page, click here:

Two good phone numbers: 0939 128 0203 and 0965 799 6691

An email address: grandeislandsales@gmail.com it is good address and did the trick for me.

They offered a day tour for 3000 peso, to include, the boat transportation and three meals. I wanted to see the island bad enough and paid the high price. The staff was very friendly, like in most local businesses. I didn’t meet any manager or investor/owner of the enterprise and don’t know anything about them.

I believe this resort was opened in 2004, that the investors are Chinese, the investors or the managers may have changed hands since then, but I just don’t know!

This is just a short overview of the visit; later perhaps, I will make more detailed presentations.

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Zd857. This is the ferry boat terminal to the Grande Island Resort, built just before 2004; it is still there and serves the same purpose. I was told that the boat will pick me up here at o800 Hours.

Zd858. These 2 big boats have been here since 2004, they will not be used for my purpose today. I noticed that some crew members were on board. This original 2004 boat landing was a lot more elaborate, much of has rusted too much and is torn down now. By the way, this was the site of the Navy Officer Boat Landing here. The former Navy Officer Club, now a casino, is just to the right. The Enlisted boat landing was about 100 meter to the left and I stepped ashore onto Philippine soil for the first time in 1962, and liked this place ever since.

Zd859. This outrigger boat picked me up; I was the only visitor today. These out rigger boats are fine to make landings on the beach but are not so good for these types of landings. But the Subic Bay water was very calm today, as they should be this time of the year. In the background used to be the actual geographical Cubi Point, the Leyte Carrier Wharf and the Officer Beach. Today we see a large grain port and container port.

Zd860. I was surprised to see this jeepney on the old Fort Wint Pier/Wharf, which is now used by the Grande Island Resort. The resort greeted me with a welcome drink drove me to the reception. They offered to give me a ride here and there but I said: I’ll walk.

Zd861. I’m standing in the middle of the former Navy ball field on Grande Island, which are now a lagoon and a swimming pool. The building in back is the function structure, reception, dining hall etc.

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For your orientation I will present now some Grande Island/Fort Wint maps:

Zc294. A Fort Wint 1921 map.

Zc285. Fort Wint-Grande Island 1919, this great drawing came from an U.S. Navy oiler ship web page.

Za516. The Grande Island ex MWR map on a piece of plywood still existed in 2006.

This Grande Island ex MWR map on a piece of plywood still existed in 2006. It was standing where the Navy cottages were and were the new cottages are now. But after 2006 it disappeared. MWR stands for Navy Morale, Welfare and Recreation Department. This is the unmarked copy.

Za517. This is the Legend for the Grande Island ex MWR map on a piece of plywood in 2006.

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Second Segment

I had two specific goals in mind to find things and I failed.

Zd862. What was this, I wanted to try to find it? This is a cropped portion of a prior 1932 picture of Fort Wint on Grande Island in Subic Bay. This was my search item # 1 and I searched on the 22nd Jan. 2021

Zd863. This was part of my Garmin GPS hand held devise walking track on Grande Island the former Fort Wint to look for my search item #1. I did not find it. I was actually walking on an old road. That road is indicated on the Navy MWR map, posted earlier on this page. It was difficult to walk because of the overgrown condition but was doable.

Zd864. What was this, a flagstaff (from a Spanish war ship, like on Corregidor, just yoking?). I wanted to try to find it? This is a cropped portion of a prior 1932 picture of Fort Wint on Grande Island in Subic Bay. This was my search item # 1 and I searched on the 22nd Jan. 2021

Zd865. This was part of my Garmin GPS hand held devise walking track on Grande Island the former Fort Wint to look for my search item #2. I did not find it. It was difficult to walk because of the overgrown condition but it was doable. But I did find a building foundation, made out rock and is cemented. It is about 30 feet square and the foundation is about 2 feet high. I saw two big concrete blocks (perhaps 3x4x6 feet in size) and a wooden mast, tarred, and with an about 5 feet long metal peak.

Zd866. This was my Garmin GPS track walking on Grande Island, the former Fort Wint. I forgot to turn of the device and had to correct the data. It was about a 12km walk; about 3 hours actual moving, 5 hours total elapsed time and I even had an elevation gain of 123 meters.

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The next 4 items are great images of Grande Island in the 80s and 2 aerial shots of Fort Wint on Grande Island which were shot prior 1932. Here they are presented as whole images but are seriously reduced in resolution. Each picture will have an URL which can be used to download the picture in high resolution.

Zd867. This is an aerial photo of Fort Wint on Grande Island in Subic Bay prior 1932. Received this picture from NARA via CDSG member Karl Schmidt, he had it numbered #21.
This picture can be downloaded in high resolution with this URL, click here:

Zd868. This is an aerial photo of Fort Wint on Grande Island in Subic Bay prior 1932. Received this picture from NARA via CDSG member Karl Schmidt, he had it numbered #20.
This picture can be downloaded in high resolution with this URL, click here:

Zd869. This is a 1983-02-14 Grande Island picture from NARA via Wikipedia with Battleship New Jersey BB-62 and a LSD or LPD passing each other. Now that is a Navy picture, it makes a sailor like me, proud as heck; did diving work under that Battle wagon in Subic and served on two LSDs.
This picture can be downloaded in high resolution with this URL, click here:

Zd870. This is a 1983-02-14 Grande Island close-up picture from NARA via Wikipedia when used by the US Navy. It has a lot of history, starting with Spanish American War, then the Philippine American war; the Marines prepared it for coastal defense and then the Army took it over and built Fort Wint, etc.
This picture can be downloaded in high resolution with this URL, click here:

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Third Segment

In this segment I visited 4 out of the 5 Army Coastal Gun Batteries and other military structures. As I said before this presentation is just a short overview of the visit and only few images are presented. In the future maybe I will/may present more.

Zd871. No 1 Six Inch Disappearing Gun of Battery Hall. As I said before, the present management seems to have fewer resources in keeping the guns accessible than 2 years ago when my friend Charlie and I visited.

Zd871a. For this 3rd segment of 10 images, this former Navy Moral, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) map is provided. I marked on it the various venues or items of this 3rd segment. But it also has a note for the fourth and last segment.

Zd872. Battery Flake and the road that leads to Battery Warwick and passé by the Fort Wint Telephone Exchange also called the SBR.

Zd873. The Fort Wint Switch Board Room (SBR), I knew the building was here since 2004, and then it could be seen from the road; but I never looked inside until this visit. It is large, has two rooms and is located behind Battery Warwick and the berm dirt of that battery is invading the SBR.

Zd874. The Fort Wint Switch Board Room (SBR), I knew the building was here since 2004, and then it could be seen from the road. So, this time I took advantage of this visit, entered and took pictures. The building is now completely hidden because of the vegetation, in the about 20 years since my first visit after the bases closed. I had to go thru bushes to get this view.

Zd875. Battery Warwick is still locked up and we can assume that the Doppler radar on top of it is being used or as at a minimum kept secure. There are personnel here and they have a vicious looking dog. I understand Terry McGovern (of CDSG Fame) was unable to enter during his 2nd Feb. 2020 visit.
Battery Warwick has become personal to me. A very close friend and fellow Navy Diver (we served together in 4 different Commands) participated as paid volunteer to take the 10 inch guns apart and ship them to Washington State. I have made 2 albums about this event:
ex Fort Wint on Grande Island Visit with Charlie 2018-07-20
Battery Warwick Guns are not forgotten.

Click here for the 1st album:

And click here for the 2nd album:

If you ever want to visit pressure the resort management to get it open or go directly to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) which manages the Subic Bay Freeport (SBF).

Zd876. This is Battery Jewell, in this picture the growth of vegetation looks worse than it is. But it is worse than two years ago. Here I noticed that the three Navy watch towers have be removed from the island in the last 2 years.

Zd877. The Fort Wint Mining Casemate, The wires to the mines run out from under this structure thru two small tunnels, I have crawled thru one of them in the past. Until two years ago all doors and windows were closed. This one door was opened in the last 2 years, thank you to the resort. Naturally I went inside to have a look.

Zd878. This is pretty much the end of the right end of the Casemate. I did not have a flashlight and I promptly fell over this machinery base, in front of me here in this image and lost my virus shield. I was glad to have looked inside. Next visit, I will look a little closer!

Zd879. This is one of the Fort Wint power house coal bins, this one is attached to the ex Army building, the Navy used as a hotel. I took this picture when I was searching for what might have been a Fort Wint Flagstaff. There is another coal bin at the other end of the power house.
On my map I marked two buildings with the number 9. I believe those two ex Army buildings were used by the Navy as a hotel and restaurant. The resort, right now is just using them as storage and they do not look very taken care of. The flat concrete roof of the power house is pretty much shot. I would not want to go on top now, I did in 2004.

Zd880. This is the swimming pool, which, I assume, was built by the Navy. In 2004 it didn’t have water but it was clean and no trash was in it. If you look on the Navy map it is next to the road that runs parallel to the 7 cottages. I assume those cottages were built by the Navy also. Those buildings and this pool are trashed now from all the commercial activity on Grande Island since 2004.
I did not look at the cottages this time, or Battery Woodruff, the Mine Control,-Radio and one Fire Control Building this time. All these structures are intermingled or are near parallel to the cottages.
And we know Battery Woodruff is blown up and not very much is left.

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Fourth and last Segment.

This section is about the Grande Island Resort. Grande Island was not used for any purpose after the Naval Base closed in 1992. In 2004 or just before that, investors got a deal with the new Subic Bay Freeport management to develop it as a resort. It opened in 2004 or shortly thereafter. Some of us had a sneak view in 2004 and that event has been presented in our forum.

I’m not a businessman but I dare say that the Grande Island Resort never became a resounding success. I lot of money has been put in but I don’t think the investor got their money back. Less they have another goal? The prices quoted to me were high and I paid 3000 peso for a day visit. I think very few visitors are actually visiting.

Here, I present 9 pictures of the resort:

Zd881. This is an old resort map posted a few years ago, and is not available anymore. I marked it up to indicate that some roads are barely accessible anymore and one is completely grown over.

Zd882. This is the dining room in the resort main structure, it also houses the reception and a bar area. And the building has a function room and it is has mostly glass walls to the poolside.

Zd883. The resort has a very large pool but it is being cleaned right now.

Zd884. That structure in back camouflages the wave making structure. The former Navy base ball field was converted to a lagoon but the wave making system was never used or a very short time only.

Zd885. The main features of the Grande Island Resort were these chalets, they replaced everything on the island north shore, of what the Army Fort Wint and later the Navy recreational service had there. But the large trees and other tropical landscaping are impressive.

Zd886. The main features of the Grande Island Resort were these chalets, they replaced everything on the island north shore, of what the Army Fort Wint and later the Navy recreational service had there. But the large trees and other tropical landscaping are impressive.

Zd887. At the round circle stood the 2004 reception structure. It was built out of native materials and apparently had to go.

Zd888. On the east side of the island is the Grande Island Diving Locker and other structures to support recreational activities.

Zd889. We are about to land where we started out this morning, the former Navy officer boat landing which is now the Grande Island Resort Terminal. I enjoyed the trip. After all, that was my goal, to get an update on this historical Island in the famous Subic Bay.

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