Army Ground Forces



Living History at Fort Hunt

On 18 August, 2000, during the annual picnic of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology at Ft. Hunt Park, Andy Bennett and Shawn Welch (members of Coast Defense Study Group and Army Ground Forces Association), in conjunction with the National Park Service (CDSG member Roy Ashley and Mr. Jay Johnstone, NPS), provided a small coast artillery presentation. The event was organized by COL Edmund Libby (a CDSG member), who is assigned to the Secretariat. He contacted Mr. Roy Ashley of the National Park Service and MAJ Shawn Welch for their assistance in developing the program.

The focus of the presentation was on the acquisition and technical aspects of Coast Artillery and similarity to activities of today such as Army Transformation and design of the 5-inch ERGM and 155mm AGS. Roy Ashley and Shawn Welch provided about a 20 minute discussion of technology advances triggered by the Seacoast Artillery programs of the period 1885 through 1945. Highlighted was the close collaboration of the various branches and services within the Army (Coast Artillery, Corps of Engineers, Signal Corps, Ordnance Department) and private industry and trade groups (Bell telephone labs, Portland Cement association, Brown and Roote, electrical advances and instruction, etc.). Advances in metallurgy, propellants, bursting charges, telephone communications, gunnery, radar, and construction techniques were discussed and connected to current actions of the Secretariat.

A small display consisting of an M1910A1 azimuth instrument, a EE-91 common battery fire control telephone connected to a EE-8 field telephone, photographs and a 90mm case and shot completed the display. Andy Bennett and Shawn Welch wore uniforms of the 1935-1943 period and represented members of the 246th Coast Artillery Regiment which served within the 3rd Coast Artillery District of which Ft. Hunt was nominally assigned.

A short tour of the three 8-inch disappearing rifle battery (Battery Mount Vernon) was conducted by Andy Bennett for about 30 members of the secretariat. Construction and battery service were discussed as well as the relationship to actions of the era to development and acquisition actions of today.

Mr. Johnstone provided a short slide presentation on the "Army Intelligence Operations" at Ft. Hunt during WWII and related the changing missions of the fort during its active life.

The entire event lasted about 2 hours and culminated in an appreciation presentation of his personal coin by Mr. Page Hoeper, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, to Mr. Ashley, Mr. Bennett, Mr. Johnstone and Mr. Welch.


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