Army Ground Forces



Coast Artillery Living History
Ft. Hancock, NJ (20-21 May 2005)

On May 20-21, 2004, the Army Ground Forces Association, (AGFA) in conjunction with the National Park Service, brought to life Battery New Peck (Gunnison) as part of the park's Coast Defense Days. The objective of the event was to interpret the coast artillery mission at Fort Hancock in May 1943, when the Battle of the Atlantic was approaching its greatest intensity.

The members of AGFA participating were Mike Murray, Jonathan Prostak, Gary Weaver, Shawn Welch, Stephen Turner, and Tom Minton.

The focus of the first day was spent finishing the final removal of the rust on the breechblock and then assembling the block to the gun. As such, we worked in khaki or herringbone twill (HBT) field uniforms.

The assembly, of course, was a greasy undertaking, and T-shirts provided a measure of protection for our uniforms during the more messy aspects of this work. The block itself, while appearing small and light, weighs 100 pounds or more, and when covered with grease, it proved a rather challenging piece of equipment during assembly. With the rust mostly removed, the block has a new and shinny appearance well befitting it's fine craftsmanship.

As opposed to October 2004, the block worked flawlessly. The spring-loaded lock bolt operated as designed thanks to a new compression spring provided by SGT Turner. By noon, we had assembled the block and it worked flawlessly. The second day the remainder of our battery personnel arrived for duty. With concurrent events hosted throughout Fort Hancock by the National Park Service, our uniform the day was khaki.


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