The other day I was looking at a 1978 topographic map of the Tumwater area prepared and published by the Defense Mapping Agency Topographic Center and an interesting detail caught my eye. Just west of the Olympia Airport, about where I'm guessing Newmarket St. and 76th St. intersect today, a crescent shaped structure has the designation "Machine gun bunker (abandoned)." [see attachment for more detailed view]
The existence of that place was news to me. I even worked near that spot (Timberland Regional Library Service Center) just about the same time this map was created.
According to the monograph, Olympia Airport : master plan update (1995), the land was used as an airstrip since the 1920s. But then, during the Big One ...
"Immediately after the start of U.S. involvement in World War II in 1942, the military obtained control of the airport and all Olympia civilian aviation activity was relocated to Eastern Washington and Idaho. The airport was renamed Olympia Army Air Field. It was operated as a satellite facility to McChord Field located approximately 21 miles to the northeast. The U.S. Army lease of the airport included the entire property and all on-site facilities. An additional 1,000 acres were acquired by the military for the airport. As a result, the basic appearance of the current airport was established with 1,392 acres including three paved runways, 3.6 linear miles of paved taxiways, and 24 hardstands providing service areas for the P-38 military aircraft based at Olympia. The airport was operated as a training base for pilots flying these aircraft. The 55th Pursuit Group, consisting of 30 officers and 180 enlisted men, was based in Olympia for the duration of the war. Immediately after the war the airport served as a site for surplus military aircraft."