Our last adventure for this Delaware visit with the Morgans includes a quick drive through Cape Henlopen State Park. This 5193 acre park features a campground, biking trails, Historic Fort Miles, 6 miles of beach, disc golf, an extensive list of fascinating events and a World War II Observation Tower combining a multitude of attractions into a coastal playground for all ages. Many of the park’s services are limited or closed this late in the season which is just as well as we only have a couple of hours and wind up storming through Historic Fort Miles like advancing troops with our objective in sight. This area definitely deserves a more thorough visit than we can spare today. We hope to one day return and sign up for the Battery 519 Lantern Tour which I have been told is historically enlightening and very exciting (think darkness and loud gun reports).
What is remarkable about our visit is that Storm’s father served at Fort Miles as a plotter on a 16 inch gun during WW II and Storm has clear recollections of his father’s photos and stories from his posting here. As we circled the guns, we tried to imagine Sgt. West here “back in the day.” After we toured the fort, I returned to Barbara’s (Storm’s sister) house to ransack her closets and bookshelves for pictures of Fort Miles and Storm’s dad “back then.” I was determined to ferret out the picture that Storm remembered of his very skinny young dad in a 16″ gun with his head protruding from the barrel end and a big ole grin plastered across his face after he inspected the barrel bore (never found the picture…darn!). After an exhaustive search of Barbara’s office I unearthed 3 albums of wonderful photos of WW II Fort Miles taken by a photographer with a great eye for the story, the best of which are shared in the video and photo gallery below.
The big gun in my video below was actually moved to Fort Miles from the USS Missouri and yes, before you ask, they really do have artillery demonstrations at Fort Miles (check out the holiday event schedules there), but the part about Cape May is purely fantasy on my part 🙂
Photos from the Lost (and recently found) Albums and from our visit to Cape Henlopen