Leaving very early from our friends bungalow
in Leonardo we travel to Fort Hancock, which is located on Sandy
Hook. Arriving at the Main Gate we are greeted as VIP's, one of
my Fathers cousins is married to a Master Sergeant in the Coast
Artillery,and we now go to the Parade Ground. Near Headquarter the
Forts saluting cannon is firing off rounds, one for each of the
States, forty eight in all.
Now comes the parade of the troops-first in line are members of
the Third Coast Artillery Gun Battery soldiers the ones that man
the guns at the fort. Following are the soldiers who are assigned
to the Mine Batterys, these fellows lay and control the mines laid
in the surrounding harbor. Next in line is the Engineers Company,
followed by the Quartermaster Corp contingent. A great and enjoyable
sight for a youngster.
After the review we are escorted to the Enlisted Men's Mess hall
for Lunch. Don't remember what was had to eat but it must have been
Next on the tour of the Fort and it's facilities, a walk around
the area followed.We are shown the Commissary's Bakery which bakes
over a hundred loaves of bread a day.Then on to the Post Exchange
where soldiers were able to buy articles not supplied to them by
the Army, at a reduced price.
Next on the agenda is a walking junket of the reasons for the Forts
The guns that defend New York Harbor. First it' a visit to Battery
Potter with it's 2-12 Inch disappearing guns,then it's on to Battery
Granger with it's2- 12 inch disappearing guns. And then to the 20
inch Mortar Battery four in all, with their associated ammunition
rooms and interconnecting tunnels. Then we are acquainted with the
quick firing 3 and 5 inch gun batterys mounted on reinforced concrete
structures protected by earth filled breast works, hopefully installed
to detect and destroy enemy torpedo boats and destroyers attacking
New York Harbor.
We are also shown the forts two eight inch Railway Guns, these
weapons are mounted on special flat cars and have associated ammunition
boxcars. Rail lines run from the fort and extend down the Jersey
Shore allowing these weapons to travel south, to were they would
be required The fort has several small steam locomotives that are
used to move the guns and ammo cars into positions when needed.
All in all a wonderful day spent at the Fort, with explanations
of it's workings by Master Sergeant Sam, sorry can't remember his
last name. A great treat for a young lad.