World Battle II Lookout Tower – Cape Might Level State Park

Might 22, 2024 – Cape Might, NJ

Problem: Straightforward

Map: Cape May Point State Park Area Map

Parking: 536 Sundown Blvd, Cape Might, NJ 08204


Overview:

Formally referred to as Fireplace Management Tower No. 23, this lookout tower is New Jersey’s final remaining restorable World Battle II tower. It was a part of the immense Harbor Protection of the Delaware system referred to as Fort Miles, enjoying a serious position in coastal defenses.

Fire Control Tower No. 23

Fireplace Management Tower No. 23

Fort Miles was a set of fireside management towers and gun batteries, plus barracks and assist buildings, on each side of the Delaware Bay. By World Battle II the navy used a spread-out collection of towers and batteries, whose firing ranges overlapped, to guard a big territory. Its largest weapons and headquarters have been situated on the Delaware facet, in what’s now Cape Henlopen State Park, because the transport channel hugs the Southern shore of Delaware Bay.

Designed by the Military Corps of Engineers, the Tower was constructed right here in June, 1942 (after the bombing of Pearl Harbor) through the use of a sliding tube-shaped kind. A hoop of bolstered concrete was poured. When that solidified, the shape was slid up and extra concrete was poured. The entire Tower was shaped this fashion aside from the highest, which required a type of its personal. The entire course of took solely 2-1/2 days. The Tower is 71 ft tall and 17 ft in diameter and consists of six ranges.

Fire Control Tower No. 23

Fireplace Management Tower No. 23

Troopers stationed within the tower peered by means of its eye-like slits, scanning the ocean and bay for German warships and submarines.

Fire Control Tower No. 23

Fireplace Management Tower No. 23

This Azimuth instrument is a telescope-like gadget utilized by the US to triangulate the positions of German vessels throughout World Battle II.

Azimuth instrument - Fire Control Tower No. 23

Azimuth instrument – Fireplace Management Tower No. 23

Had any been observed, the lookouts would transmit info to the Battery 223, situated alongside the shore at Cape Might Level State Park. Battery 223’s weapons have been by no means fired at an enemy, although there have been drills and dwell hearth exams.

Telephone Box - Fire Control Tower No. 23

Phone Field – Fireplace Management Tower No. 23


Latest Historical past:

Just like the Cape Might Lighthouse, Fireplace Management Tower No. 23 is owned by the State of New Jersey, particularly, the Division of Environmental Safety, Division of Parks & Forestry. As was the case with the Cape Might Lighthouse, the State sought to switch administration of sure historic websites to non-profits and organizations that have been in place to revive, keep and function them.

Fireplace Management Tower No. 23 was listed on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations on Nov. 17, 2003. In 2004, the Mid-Atlantic Heart for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) — now Cape Might MAC (Museums+Arts+Tradition) — signed a 20-year lease for the tower after elevating $1 million and receiving public grant funding. Cape Might MAC restored the tower in 2008–09 and opened it to the general public in April 2009.

The award-winning restoration venture included: constructing spiral staircases within the Tower in order that the general public can safely climb to the highest; development of a picket walkway from the road to the Tower, and a deck round its base, to protect the delicate dune atmosphere; changing the lacking home windows and doorways; recreating historic particulars, comparable to the unique picket ladders, and outfitting the watch room and viewing platform on the prime; putting in interpretive panels alongside the walkway and at each degree within the Tower; introducing lighting and security alarms; and upgrading the present car parking zone throughout Sundown Boulevard and connecting it with a cross-walk to the Tower.

The group continues to take care of and interpret the location for members of the general public.

Cape Might MAC is at the moment elevating funds to assemble a guests welcome middle for the location.


Visiting the tower:

Though the World Battle II Lookout Tower is a part of Cape Might Level State Park, it’s on a separate parcel of land, situated on Sundown Blvd, close to Sundown Seashore.

They promote shirts, hats and different souvenirs (obtainable on-line additionally) that assist assist its upkeep. I bought a pleasant t-shirt for $16.00.

T-shirt - World War II Lookout Tower

T-shirt – World Battle II Lookout Tower

If you’re fascinated with visiting this World Battle II Lookout Tower, please name forward (609) 884-5404 or verify their calendar to insure that they’re open. At the moment, admission to climb the tower is $8 for adults and $5 for kids (ages 3-12). It’s FREE for Energetic Army & Veterans.

World War II Lookout Tower - Cape May Point State Park

World Battle II Lookout Tower – Cape Might Level State Park

The Tower might be reached by means of an accessible boardwalk which crosses environmentally delicate dunes. Alongside the boardwalk are interpretive panels explaining the Tower’s historical past and position in homeland protection throughout World Battle II.

World War II Lookout Tower - Cape May Point State Park

World Battle II Lookout Tower – Cape Might Level State Park

The decrease flooring of the Tower is accessible and a small store presents Tower mementos and bottled water. For many who don’t climb, the employees has assembled a binder with pictures and knowledge, and might present a wealth of data on the Tower’s historical past.

World War II Lookout Tower - Cape May Point State Park

World Battle II Lookout Tower – Cape Might Level State Park

Inside, spiral staircases wind their strategy to the sixth flooring recognizing gallery. Climb the 102 steps, the place Observers will reply questions and share historical past concerning the tower.

World War II Lookout Tower

World Battle II Lookout Tower

There are altering displays alongside the best way to spotlight various matters of historical past, associated to the tower. Interpretive panels and pictures clarify the tower’s perform, whereas a Wall of Honor pays tribute to native residents who served throughout World Battle II.

World War II Lookout Tower

World Battle II Lookout Tower

Over 160 veterans pictures are on show.

World War II Lookout Tower

World Battle II Lookout Tower

World War II Lookout Tower

World Battle II Lookout Tower

The World Battle II Lookout Tower is a straightforward climb, with displays and knowledge on totally different flooring as you climb to the sixth flooring recognizing gallery.

World War II Lookout Tower

World Battle II Lookout Tower

World War II Lookout Tower

World Battle II Lookout Tower

An interpreter on the prime will clarify the tools used and the position of those that manned the Tower in the course of the warfare.

World War II Lookout Tower

World Battle II Lookout Tower

Wanting west in direction of Sundown Seashore and the Atlantic Ocean.

World War II Lookout Tower

World Battle II Lookout Tower

Throughout the street from the Tower is the place the Northwest Magnesite Firm as soon as stood. The plant operated 24-7 throughout WW II making firebricks mandatory for the manufacturing of metal.

World War II Lookout Tower

World Battle II Lookout Tower

To the west are the stays of an experimental concrete ship, the SS Atlantus. One among twelve constructed throughout World Battle I as a result of shortage of metal in the course of the warfare. Confirmed impractical after a number of Trans-Atlantic journeys due to its weight. The Atlantus was used to move American troops again residence from Europe and in addition to move coal in New England. On June 8, 1926 a storm hit and the ship broke freed from her moorings and ran aground 150 ft off the coast of Sundown Seashore. A number of makes an attempt have been made to free the ship, however none have been profitable.

SS Atlantus

SS Atlantus

SS Atlantus the day she ran aground, June 8, 1926

SS Atlantus the day she ran aground, June 8, 1926

SS Atlantus the day she ran aground, June 8, 1926

Under is a postcard of the SS Atlantus after it ran aground in in 1926.

SS Atlantus

SS Atlantus

The Cape Might Lighthouse as seen from the recognizing gallery, simply south of the tower.

Cape May Lighthouse

Cape Might Lighthouse

On the rear of the Tower is the All Veterans Memorial, an “everlasting flame” monument with benches in a contemplative setting.

Eternal Flame sculpture - Fire Control Tower No. 23

Everlasting Flame sculpture – Fireplace Management Tower No. 23

If you end up completed testing the tower, you could wish to take a brief journey to Cape Might Level State Park (a 4 minute drive) and take a stroll out on the seaside to see Battery 223. Fireplace Management Tower No. 23 and Battery 223 labored in tandem as a part of New Jersey’s coastal protection.

From 1940-1945, Cape Might was bustling with navy exercise. The Military, Navy and Coast Guard have been all stationed right here. The Navy had been right here since World Battle I, when it established its air base. The remainder of the navy presence was newly established for the upcoming warfare. Because of the lack of current infrastructure, in addition to the fast want for companies for the troops, a number of Cape Might motels have been referred to as into service as barracks and hospitals. The Admiral, Cape Might’s largest beachfront lodge, was used to deal with naval officers and their households. Even non-public properties have been utilized by the navy, as lodging have been tight, particularly within the winter; solely a restricted variety of homes had warmth. Some
residents opened up their homes to share. Others supplied particular person rooms to the navy and the civilian employees.


Battery 223:

Constructed within the fall of 1942 and accomplished in June 1943 as a part of the Harbor Defenses of the Delaware, Battery 223 is fabricated from thick bolstered concrete with a considerable blast proof roof. Though initially lined with earth, as we speak it’s absolutely uncovered and set upon wooden pilings, an incongruous man-made object inside the pure setting of the seaside. Its flooring plan has twenty rooms together with a number of shell rooms, a plotting room, a switchboard room, a latrine and a chemical warfare room amongst different options.

Battery 223 - Cape May Point State Park

Battery 223 – Cape Might Level State Park

In the present day, Battery 223 is situated on the seaside inside Cape Might Level State Park. When it was first constructed, it was situated 900 ft from the shore; by the Nineteen Seventies, nevertheless, its pilings have been underwater as a consequence of seaside erosion that’s extreme at this location. In 2005, to stave off the erosion, the Military Corps of Engineers started a seaside replenishment venture that introduced 1.4 million cubic yards of sand to the Cape Might seashores. This venture set Battery 223 again from the shoreline, re-establishing it within the sand because it was initially constructed.

Battery 223 - Cape May Point State Park

Battery 223 – Cape Might Level State Park

The 6-inch weapons on Battery 223 may hit targets that have been 9 miles out. This technique trusted mathematical triangulation by means of coordinates supplied by base-end stations, sometimes called hearth management towers, which have been despatched on to goal the weapons. From the towers, coastal artillery troopers scanned the horizon for enemy exercise.

Battery 223 - Cape May Point State Park

Battery 223 – Cape Might Level State Park

There have been 4 towers in New Jersey which served Battery 223 after it was accomplished. Fireplace Management Tower No. 23, the closest to the battery, supplied vary discovering for Battery 223 solely. It had two azimuth devices and solely served this battery.

Battery 223 - Cape May Point State Park

Battery 223 – Cape Might Level State Park

Battery 223 was decommissioned in 1944. The Navy took over the Military services in 1953. Though no paperwork has been uncovered concerning the Navy’s possession of the battery particularly, information about Fireplace Management No. 23 verify that the Navy took over all of the Military sources at Cape Might Level.

Battery 223 - Cape May Point State Park

Battery 223 – Cape Might Level State Park

Beneath the Navy tenure, there was a Quonset hut on prime of Battery 223; it was used for radio communications. A concrete pad was poured on the roof to accommodate this construction; remnants of the pad stay as we speak.

Battery 223 - Cape May Point State Park

Battery 223 – Cape Might Level State Park

Many of the batteries, hearth management towers, barracks and auxiliary assist buildings that have been erected on each coasts between 1940-1945 have been misplaced. The World Battle II system that is still isn’t interpreted; it survives as a result of it was forgotten, not as a result of it was valued.

Battery 223 - Cape May Point State Park

Battery 223 – Cape Might Level State Park

The navy lands, together with Battery 223, turned Cape Might Level State Park in 1962.

Battery 223 - Cape May Point State Park

Battery 223 – Cape Might Level State Park


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