171. Battery Lewis Battalion, Fort Hancock Archives, c1944, GATE

As American and British soldiers stormed Normandy 70 years ago today, the chances of enemy attack on the east and west coasts had faded, but the U.S. Army’s Coast Artillery Corps remained on guard protecting the harbors of America’s major coastal cities. At the Navesink Military Reservation on the Navesink Highlands in Middletown, NJ, the 245th Coast Artillery Regiment manned the 16-inch guns of Battery Lewis (above, in 1944) and the 6-inch guns of Battery 219 overlooking the entrance to Sandy Hook Bay and New York Harbor. The Army established the 245-acre Reservation in 1942 as an extension of Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, and the Monmouth County Park System has preserved it as part of the 787-acre Hartshorne Woods Park. We’re completing a National Register Nomination of the Reservation for the Park System, which is currently planning the rehabilitation and interpretation of the massive Battery Lewis (below, as it appears today) to open it to the public.

13. Battery Lewis, Casemate 2 2.24.14 CW Zink

 

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