Destination Dover

Copyright 2014, Scott D. Murdock


We hadn't been to a NASCAR race in four years, so it was time to get out to a track.  We enjoy the racing at Dover International Speedway, Delaware, so that's how this trip materialized.  We added a visit with a friend at Gettysburg, an overnight stay in West Virginia, and some other sightseeing.

Tuesday, 23 Sep 2014

The flight from DEN to BWI was smooth.  We picked up a Mazda CX-5 crossover as our rental vehicle.

Friendship International Airport MD  (3753)  39-10-30, 76-40-10     In the mid-1950s, Friendship International Airport was used by the Air Research & Development Command.  The airport was jointly used with airlines during this time.  Long after USAF use, the airport was named Baltimore-Washington International, and is now called Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).  As we departed the airport, we saw no clues of the Air Force's past use.  After returning from this trip, I learned that Air Mobility Command currently operates a Passenger Terminal in the airport.

We stopped for the night in Winchester, Virginia.

Friday, 26 Sep 2014

After a night in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, and a night in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, we spent a day at Gettysburg.

Gettysburg National Cemetery PA  39-49-10, 77-13-50   On  17 Jul 1915, the New York State monument and the Soldiers' National Monument were declared to be national monuments.  At that time they were listed as War Department property.

We returned to New Cumberland for a second night.

Saturday, 27 Sep 2014

From New Cumberland, we headed southeast.

Harrisburg AF Storage Station PA  (1700)  40-11-58, 76-45-10   In 1942, 2.91 acres were acquired, and at that time it was called Harrisburg Storage Annex.  Another 2.54 were acquired in 1951, and 1.14 additional acres in 1955.  In the mid-1950s the name was Harrisburg Air Force Storage Station, and by the time of disposition that had changed to Harrisburg Air Force Storage Annex.  The property was reported excess in 1961, after 3.68 acres under permit had been terminated in 1960.  The remaining 2.91 acres were disposed of 22 Aug 1962.  The property was used as a parking area for Olmsted Field / Air Force Base, with an underpass leading south under the highway to the base.  There was also some warehouse storage on the site.
(General view)
(General view)

Olmsted AFB PA  (1696, SHYQ)  40-12-00, 76-45-45   This base had its start in 1917, as Middletown Air Intermediate Depot.  By 1939, the flying field portion of the base was called Olmsted Field, and on 13 Jan 1948 it was designated Olmsted Air Force Base.  The base was closed in 1968, with approximately 70 acres retained and established as Olmsted State Airport. -- that property is still in use as an Air National Guard facility.  Today, the flying field is Harrisburg International Airport (MDT).  Most of the northern part of the base is now occupied by Penn State Harrisburg and Capital Business Center.  The warehouse is an interesting type; a ribless, long-barrel thin shell design the Air Force built in the late 1950s.  It appeared to be under preparation for demolition, sadly.
(Chapel)
(Chapel)
(Chapel)
(Chapel and chapel annex)
(Personnel building)
(Personnel building)
(Headquarters building)
(Headquarters building)
(Headquarters building)
(Fire station)
(Fire station)
(Warehouse)
(Warehouse)
(Warehouse)
(Steam plant)
(Steam plant)

Fort DuPont DE  39-34-15, 75-35-10    The fort was first used as Ten Gun Battery in 1863, acquired by the War Department in about 1871, and established in 1898.  It was officially named on 13 July 1899, after Rear Admiral Samuel F. DuPont, USN.  The fort continued to serve through World War Two, and was declared excess on 4 May 1946.  Much of the property is still in use by various government and military activities.  I was disappointed to find that access to the gun batteries was denied.  We only had a glimpse of the side of the mortar battery.
(Sign)

(Probably a cable hut)

(Path to gun batteries)

Battery Rodney-Best DE  39.5714, 75.5815    This 12" mortar battery was named Battery Rodney in 1902 after Caesar Rodney, major general of Delaware Militia and signer of the Declaration of Independence.  The battery originally had 16 mortars, four in each of four bays.  In 1906 the battery was administratively split in in half, with half named Battery Best after Major Clermont L. Best, Artillery Corps.  In 1914 and 1918, half the mortars were removed, to relieve crowding in the mortar bays.  The mortars and carriages were scrapped during World War Two.
(Features on north side of battery)
(Features on north side of battery
)

We settled into lodging in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Sunday we attended the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway, which Jeff Gordon won.

Monday, 29 Sep 2014

Once we checked out of Rehoboth Beach, we spent time in the local area before heading west.

Fort Miles DE  38-46-15, 75-05-15      A portion of land was set aside as U.S. Fort Reservation in 1873, and a six-inch gun battery was operational during World War I.  But, the installation came into its own for World War II.  Established as Cape Henlopen Military Reservation in 1938, it was renamed Fort Miles on 7 Aug 1941 for General Nelson Miles.  Fort Miles had a number of gun batteries, listed separately below.  It also had a number of observation or fire control towers supporting the batteries.  Most of the fort was declared excess by the Army in 1961, and it was discontinued as a Department of the Army installation on 27 Feb 1970.
(Facility 130 - Observation Tower 9)
(Facility 130 - Observation Tower 9)
(Facility 312 - Barracks and Facility 310 - Supply and Administration)
(Facility 313 - Mess Hall)
(Facility 314 - Barracks)
(Facility 322 - Wastewater Treatment Plant)
(Facility 322 - Wastewater Treatment Plant)
(Facility 385 - Observation Tower 8)
(Facility 385 - Observation Tower 8)
(Facility 403 - Mine Storage Warehouse)
(Facility 410 - Post Administration Building)
(Facility 560 - Chlorination Building)
(Facility 560 - Chlorination Building)
(Facility 560 - Chlorination Building and Facility 570 - Observation Tower 12)
(Facility 560 - Chlorination Building and Facility 570 - Observation Tower 12)
(Facility 570 - Observation Tower 12)
(Facility 570 - Observation Tower 12)
(Facility 570 - Observation Tower 12)
(Facility 570 - Observation Tower 12)
(Facility 668 - Observation Tower 7)
(Facility 668 - Observation Tower 7)
(Facility 668 - Observation Tower 7)
(Facility 668 - Observation Tower 7)
(Facility 668 - Observation Tower 7)
(Observation Tower 5 and Observation Tower 6)
(Cable Hut 3)
(Cable Hut 3)
(Perforated Steel Planking in sand)

Battery 118 Smith DE  38-46-13, 75-05-10     Construction on this sixteen-inch gun battery started 24 Mar 1941 and completed 31 Oct 1942.  It was transferred to the Coast Artillery for use on 21 Dec 1943, and was deactivated in 1948.  It became in integral part of Naval Station Lewes in 1962, with the battery called the Auxiliary Service Building. Navy use ended in 1996 with the closure of the Naval Reserve Training Center and return of the land to the State of Delaware.
(Main entrance)
(Main entrance)
(Main entrance)
(Emplacement 1 entrance)
(Emplacement 1 entrance)
(Emplacement 1 entrance and Naval Multi-Purpose Building)
(Emplacement 2 entrance)
(Emplacement 2 entrance)

Battery 22 DE  38.7682, 75.0881     Construction on this 155mm gun battery started 15 Dec 1941 and completed 15 Jun 1942.  It was deactivated in 1944.
(Panama Mount 1)
(Panama Mount 1)
(Panama Mount 1)
(Panama Mount 1)
(Panama Mount 2)
(Panama Mount 4)
(Panama Mount 4)

Battery 221 Herring DE  38-45-55, 75-04-58     Construction on this six-inch gun battery started 15 Jan 1942 and completed 31 Aug 1943.  On 17 Sep 1942 it was named for Lt Col Ralph E. Herring, and it was deactivated in 1948.  The battery structure was taken over by the Navy in 1962 as part of Naval Station Lewes, and a Terminal Equipment Building was constructed adjacent to the front of the battery.  Navy operation stopped 30 Sep 1981.
(General view)
(General view)
(General view)
(General view)
(General view)
(General view)
(Emplacement 2)
(Emplacement 2)

Battery 222 Hunter DE  38.7883, 75.0888     Construction on this six-inch gun battery started 15 Apr 1942 and completed 29 Oct 1943.  It was named for Col Charles H. Hunter on 17 Sep 1942, and was deactivated in 1947.  Navy use began as early as 1949, and the land was formally acquired by the Navy in 1964.  The Naval Radio Station was activated here Jun 1963, though this was short-lived as the radio station relocated to Battery 519 in 1964.  Navy use ended in 1981 when the land was returned to the State of Delaware.
(Facility 240 - General view rear of battery)
(Facility 240 - Main entrance)
(Facility 240 - General view top of battery)
(Facility 240 - Battery Control Station)
(Facility 240 - Battery Control Station)
(Facility 240 - Battery Control Station)
(Facility 240 - Battery Control Station interior)
(Facility 240 - Battery Control Station interior)
(Facility 240 - Emplacement 1)
(Facility 240 - Emplacement 1)
(Facility 240 - Emplacement 1)
(Facility 240 - Emplacement 1)

Battery 519 DE  38.7768, 75.0873     Though originally intended for 16 inch guns, this battery was built for two 12 inch guns instead.  Construction began 15 Nov 1942 and completed 31 Aug 1943.  The battery was deactivated in 1948.  In 1964 the Naval Radio Station relocated here from Battery 222 Hunter.  The land remained under Army control for many years as part of the First Army Recreation Area.
(Facility 640 - General view from Observation Tower 7)
(Facility 640 - Main entrance)
(Facility 640 - Main entrance)
(Facility 640 - Top of battery)
(Facility 640 - Top of battery)
(Facility 640 - Top of battery)
(Facility 640 - Emplacement 1 entrance)
(Facility 640 - Emplacement 1)
(Facility 640 - Emplacement 1)
(Facility 640 - Emplacement 1)
(Facility 640 - Emplacement 2)
(Facility 640 - Emplacement 2)

Lewes Naval Station DE  NDNK  38-46-16, 75-05-13     A portion of Fort Miles (about 593 acres, including Battery 118 Smith) was transferred to the Navy 13 Dec 1961, followed by about 16 additional acres on 21 Sep 1964.  A portion of the land (about 240 acres) was disposed of to the State of Delaware on 31 Oct 1972.  The Navy disestablished the installation in 1981.  It was variously known as Naval Station Lewes, Naval Facility Lewes, Naval Oceanographic Research Station, and SOSUS NAVFAC.  In about 1982, most of the remaining land was transferred to the State of Delaware, except about 15 acres for a Naval Reserve Center.  The Naval Reserve Center finally closed in Sep 1996.
(Multi-Purpose Building)
(Multi-Purpose Building)
(Multi-Purpose Building)
(Multi-Purpose Building)
(Multi-Purpose Building)
(Multi-Purpose Building)
(Multi-Purpose Building)
(Multi-Purpose Building)

First Army Recreation Area DE  38-46-38, 75-05-22    On 26 Jan 1962, a portion of Fort Miles including Battery 519 was retained by the Army for a recreation facility.  In 1978 about half of the land was disposed of, making the size of the installation about 96 acres when it was disposed of to the State of Delaware 23 Oct 1991.  The Air Force had a Fort Miles Recreation Annex, PIN 7437, under Dover AFB as of 1967.  I have not learned the location or size of this Air Force installation, but I suspect it was part of the First Army Recreation Area property.
(General view from Observation Tower 7)
(Facility 600 - Company Day Room)
(Facility 600 - Company Day Room)
(Facility 601 - Supply and Administration Building)
(Facility 601 - Supply and Administration Building)
(Facility 603 - Barracks)
(Facility 603 - Barracks)
(Facility 604 - Barracks)
(Facility 604 - Barracks)
(Facility 606 - Barracks)
(Facility 606 - Barracks)
(Facility 606 - Barracks)
(Facility 607 - Barracks)
(Facility 607 - Barracks)
(Facility 608 - Building)
(Facility 608 - Building)
(Recreation building foundation)
(Six inch gun as used in Batteries 221 Herring and 222 Hunter)
(Six inch gun as used in Batteries 221 Herring and 222 Hunter)
(Eight inch gun on railroad mount)
(Eight inch gun on railroad mount)
(Railroad tracks for future eight inch gun display)
(Sixteen inch gun as used in Battery 118 Smith)
(Sixteen inch gun as used in Battery 118 Smith)

We headed west, stopping for the night in Annapolis, Maryland.

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014

From Annapolis, we had a short drive north to the airport. 

Crownsville Comms Site GWEN 889 MD  (EXVU)  39-00-40, 76-36-20    This Ground Wave Emergency Network site, sometimes listed as Annapolis, was operational from about 1987 until the late 1990s.  It was disposed of 1 Oct 2000. 
(General view)
(Antenna base and signage)
(Antenna tower)
(Equipment shelters)

We turned in the rental at BWI, after driving a mere 947 miles and spending nights in five states on this eight-day adventure.  By dinner time we were home, sweet home in Denver.


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