There are five Fort DeRussy
locations in the United States, but let’s look at Fort DeRussy
Hawaii, located at the west end of Waikiki Beach
near the Hale Koa Hotel
. This Fort DeRussy
, named after General René Edward De Russy (1789–1865), is home to one of Honolulu’s most beautiful public beachside sanctuaries, Fort DeRussy
Beach Park. For the benefit of Honolulu residents, military and civilian visitors, Fort DeRussy
officially became a designated Armed Forces Recreation Area in 1950.
Today, the public is free to enjoy this Waikiki oasis, where coconut palms and monkeypod trees provide shade to low, grassy hills, picnic benches, volleyball courts, exercise areas and public grills. In addition to the well-maintained greenscape, Fort DeRussy
is also home to the US Army Museum of Hawaii
, located in Shore Battery Randolph.
Built in the early 1900s to protect Honolulu and Pearl Harbor from attack, Fort DeRussy
featured large cannons in two battery locations within the fort. Years later, the cannons were replaced with antiaircraft guns. In 1950, most of the fort’s guns were retired, and the Coastal Artillery was officially disbanded by the US Army on June 28 of that same year.