Oahu    RED HILL
Underground Fuel Storage Facility

Where Oil RUMBLES down the hill.


The Red Hill Site is located on the southern end of the Island of Oahu, Hawaii, approximately seven miles northwest of downtown Honolulu. The Site is situated within the Red Hill Fuel Storage Facility which is operated by the Fleet and Industrial Supply Center (FISC) and is secured from public access. 

The entire Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage project includes a reinforced concrete fueling pier and an underground water-pumping station. Construction on the Red Hill facility began the day after Christmas 1940. While the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, had little effect on the work site itself (which was mainly underground), the arrival of World War II in the Pacific did increase the demand for skilled laborers, especially welders, at the Pearl Harbor navy base. Nevertheless, work on the storage facility proceeded virtually without interruption. Work on the first tank was completed in September 1942, and the entire project was finished in September 1943, nine months ahead of schedule.

Each vertical storage tank is 100 feet in diameter and 250 feet high. Lined with quarter-inch steel plate, each reinforced-concrete tank was rigorously tested during construction for leaks and pre-stressed with high-pressure grouting between the tank and the surrounding rock wall.
While it required the labor of more than 3,900 workers in round-the-clock shifts to construct, the Red Hill facility is operated today by only four Navy staff members.
During Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Red Hill was used as a transfer point for fuel moving from the U.S. mainland to the Persian Gulf.

!--History  and  Heritage of Civil Engineering RED  HILL  UNDERGROUND  FUEL  STORAGE FACILITY Conceived in the early years of World War II as a plan to bury four fuel  containers horizontally in a hillside at the U.S. Navy facility at Pearl Harbor,  Hawaii, the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility ultimately encompassed  the design and construction of 20 vertical storage tanks—each large enough to  contain a 20-story building—buried in the volcanic hillside and connected by  tunnels to a harbor-side pumping station more than two-and-a-half miles away.  Using existing rock as a construction shell, the project made use of innovative  mining and construction methods that included building each tank from a  central vertical shaft drilled 30 feet in diameter and removing all excavated  rock through an elaborate system of conveyor belts specially made by the  Goodrich Tire Company. Protecting more than 250 million gallons of fuel used  by Navy fleets around the world, the Red Hill facility has operated virtually  unchanged since its completion. Honolulu, Hawaii Constructed 1940-1943

"We had about 4.5 million barrels of oil out  there and all of it was vulnerable to .50- caliber bullets. Had the Japanese destroyed  the oil, it would have prolonged the war  another two years..." ­ Admiral Chester Nimitz,     Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet Buildings


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