Boston Harbor II

Fort Andrews | Fort Banks | Brewster Islands Res. | Calf Island Res. | Fort Dawes
Deer Island Res. | Fort Duvall | East Point Res. | Grover's Cliff Res. | Harvard Ground School
Fort Heath | Hog Island Res. | Fort O. W. Holmes | Fort H. C. Lodge
Battery at Long Island Head (2) | Long Island Res. | Lovell's Island Res. | Nahant Res.
Nantasket Head Res. | Peddock's Island Res. | Camp Prescott | Fort Revere | Fort Ruckman
South Hingham Camp | Fort Standish (2) | Fort Strong (2) | Fort Warren (2)
Watertown Arsenal | Winthrop Res.

Boston's Cold War AAA Defenses
(NOT INDEXED)

Northeastern Massachusetts - page 1 | Boston Harbor I - page 2
Southeastern Massachusetts - page 4 | Western Massachusetts - page 5

Last Update: 11/JULY/2010
Compiled by Pete Payette - 2010 American Forts Network

Harvard Army Ground School
(1917 - 1919), Cambridge
An Army Ground School on the Harvard University campus.

Watertown Arsenal
(The Arsenal on the Charles)
(Arsenal Commander's Mansion)
(1816 - 1967/1995), East Watertown FORT WIKI
Originally an ordnance depot until 1835. This was the primary supplier of field, siege, and seacoast gun mounts and carriages for the U.S. Army from 1885 to 1945. Peak activity was just after World War II, at which time the site encompassed 131 acres with 53 buildings and structures. Operational phase-out began in 1967, with 59 acres sold to the city in 1968 and later developed as the Arsenal Mall, Arsenal Center for the Arts, Arsenal Park, and Harvard University offices and apartment complexes. Forty-seven acres remained under Army control, becoming the Army Materials Technology Laboratory. A small nuclear research reactor was operational from 1960 - 1970. The now restored AMTL complex is now a commercial office park and retail shops (Arsenal on the Charles), opened in 1999, located on Arsenal Street at Arsenal Marketplace, along the north bank of the Charles River. The 1865 Commander's Quarters is still extant at 440 Talcott Ave., now used for special events.


HARBOR DEFENSES of BOSTON
(see also Fourth Cliff Military Reservation - page 4)
Harbor Defense of Boston - FORT WIKI
Boston Harbor Defenses - Overview and History by Paul Grigorieff

Fort Ruckman
(1902 - 1962), Nahant
Originally named Nahant Military Reservation until 1922. A temporary field artillery battery was here in 1898, as well as a mine casemate. An early fire-control station was built on Bayley's Hill in 1907 (no remains). Located here is Battery Gardner (1923 - 1946) casemated in 1944, partially buried. The Boston Area Command - 2nd (North) Group (C2) command post was also here. AA Battery Five (three guns) was here from the 1920's to 1945, on the post parade ground (relocated in 1942). One WWII fire-control tower remains nearby as a private home. The post became a NIKE missile control site (B-17 C) 1955 - 1963.

East Point Military Reservation
(Northeastern University Marine Science Center)
(1902 - 1962), Nahant
A temporary field artillery battery was here in 1898. A searchlight station was here 1917 - 1919. Located here is Battery Murphy / 104 (1944 - 1948), Battery 206 (1943 - 1948) (proposed name Battery Holbrook), and a two-gun 155mm battery (field emplaced 1941, Panama-mounted 1942 - 1943) that is buried (one mount remains). Four fire-control towers were built nearby, three still remain (private property). An SCR-296A radar was also nearby in WWII. The post was proposed to be named either Fort Oliver Wendall Holmes or Fort Henry Cabot Lodge, but was never acted upon. Four 90mm AA guns were here from 1952 - 1956. Became a NIKE missile launch site (B-17 L) 1955 - 1963. Post acquired by Northeastern University in 1967.

Fort Heath (park)
(1895 - 1965), Winthrop
Originally Grover's Cliff Military Reservation until 1899. Located here was Battery Winthrop (1901 - 1945) destroyed 1969, the three-gun AA Battery Four (1930's), and AMTB Battery 945 (1943 - 1946) buried, which replaced a two-gun 155mm field battery (1942 - 1943). A U.S. Coast Guard radio station was built here in 1933. An SCR-296A radar was here in WWII. Became the U.S. Navy Field Test Station, Fort Heath (1946 - 1949), testing new fire-control systems, with a twin 5-inch naval gun turret and two 40mm guns emplaced. Became a NIKE missile radar site (B-21 R) 1955 - 1963 (demolished 1969). The FAA operated a radar here from 1965 - 1986 (now demolished). The entire site is now an apartment complex and city park. Fort Heath Park is adjacent to the Fort Heath Apartments.

Fort Banks
(1889 - 1966), Winthrop
Originally named Winthrop Military Reservation until 1898. Located here was the combined Battery Lincoln and Battery Kellogg (1896 - 1943). Both are covered and built on. Battery Lincoln was converted to the Boston Harbor Defense Command Post (HDCP) in 1943. The Boston AA Gun Group Command Post was also here on post. After 1922 the post was the headquarters for the Boston Harbor Defenses. Became a NIKE missile control site (B-21 DC) 1955 - 1963. Four 90mm AA guns were also here from 1955 - 1958. Battery Kellogg was exhumed and reopened in 1990 for use by the local Civil Defense. The rest of the site is now a housing complex.

Fort Dawes
(Mass. Water Resources Authority - Deer Island Public Access Area)
(Deer Island HarborWalk)
(1898/1941 - 1963), Deer Island
Originally named Deer Island Military Reservation (1898 - 1941), which then consisted solely of searchlight stations (1916), and fire-control and mine observation stations (1906, 1920's). WWII batteries built here were Battery 105 (1944, never armed) (proposed name Battery Spurgin), Battery 207 (1943, never armed) (proposed name Battery Brown), New Battery Taylor (1942 - 1943), AMTB Battery 944 (1943 - 1946), and an AA battery. Also here in WWII was a U.S. Navy radio station, the Boston Harbor Entrance Control Post (HECP) (1941), an SCR-296A radar, an SCR-582 radar, and a mine casemate (1944), which replaced the one at Fort Strong. Beginning in 1948 the post was used for Air Force radar and electronics experiments, as well as Navy harbor defense functions. Four 90mm AA guns were here from 1952 - 1957 (B-22). All remaining structures were destroyed by 1988 for expanding the modern waste water treatment plant. Public access permitted only in the 60 acres of perimeter parkland surrounding the water treatment plant.

Fort Strong (2)
(Boston Public Health Commission)
(1867 - 1960's), Long Island
Originally named Long Island Military Reservation until 1899. The gun blocks and magazines of the 10-gun Battery at Long Island Head (2) (1873 - 1876) still remain, located forward of Battery Ward. Endicott batteries here are Battery Hitchcock (1899 - 1939) (three guns, one gun removed in 1917), Battery Ward (1899 - 1939), Battery Drum (1899 - 1917), Battery Smyth (1906 - 1921), Battery Stevens (1906 - 1946), Battery Taylor (1906 - 1942), and Battery Basinger (1901 - 1947). The two-gun AA Battery Three was built in the 1920's, expanded to three guns in 1935, located near Battery Taylor. A mine casemate was built in 1906, which commanded the northern channel (President Roads) minefields until replaced by Fort Dawes in 1944. The present Long Island Head Lighthouse (fourth), located west of Battery Drum, was built in 1900, replacing an earlier light (1881), and was restored in 1998. The first light was built here in 1819. The post became an 90mm AA gun radar site 1952 - 1958 (B-35), then became a NIKE missile launch site (B-37 L) 1956 - 1961 (control site in Squantum). Several military buildings/structures still stand in disrepair. The island is now owned by the Long Island State Hospital / Boston Public Health Commission. No public access without special permission.

Fort Standish (2)
(Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area and Boston Harbor Islands State Park)
(1880's ? - 1947), Lovell's Island
Originally named Lovell's Island Military Reservation until 1900. An early mine casemate was built in 1895, but discontinued and sealed in 1899. Endicott batteries here are the combined Battery Morris (1909 - 1942) and Battery Burbeck (1907 - 1942), Battery Terrill (1902 - 1942), Battery Whipple (1904 - 1947) modified for WWII, Battery Vincent (1902 - 1920) modified as the two-gun AA Battery Two in 1925, third gun added in 1937 with new emplacement, partially buried, Battery Weir (1906 - 1926) destroyed in surf, Battery Williams (1902 - 1946), and AMTB Battery 943 (1943 - 1946) atop the parapet of Battery Terrill. An earlier two-gun AA battery was built in 1917 near the Engineer Wharf, dismantled in 1923. A U.S. Lighthouse Service Depot operated here from 1874 to 1912. Two range light towers were once here from 1903 to 1940, located behind Battery Terrill. The Oil House still exists. The island was sold to the state in 1958, became a state park in 1962. The Ram's Head seawall has been recently breached, causing rapid erosion to the western shoreline.
{Not to be confused with Fort Standish (1) at Plymouth, see page 4}

Fort Warren (2)
(Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area and Boston Harbor Islands State Park)
(1835 - 1952), George's Island *PHOTOS*
The island was originally defended during the War of 1812. Construction on the new fort was completed in 1857 (the name was transferred from the original Fort Warren (Winthrop) in 1833). The fort was used during the Civil War for training and as a Confederate POW prison. New parapet barbette batteries were built in the 1870's, and a six-gun battery with three magazines was built on the demilune. Several various-sized Rodman guns were emplaced here by the 1890's. These positions were later destroyed by the Endicott batteries. The Endicott batteries here are Battery Stevenson (1903 - 1944), Battery Bartlett (1899 - 1942) partially destroyed, Battery Adams (1899 - 1914), Battery Plunkett (1899 - 1925), and Battery Lowell (1900 - 1920). A mine casemate was built in 1906. The southern-channel (Nantasket Roads) minefields were controlled from here in WWII. This was the headquarters of the Boston Coastal Defenses from 1917 - 1922. The island became a state park in 1958, opened to the public in 1961.

Brewster Islands Military Reservations
(Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area and Boston Harbor Islands State Park)
(1943 - 1950), Brewster Islands
Located on Great Brewster Island was AMTB Battery 942 (1943 - 1946), a mine casemate (1944) and a mine observation station (demolished). Located on Outer Brewster Island was Battery Jewell / 209 (1943 - 1948), a fire-control tower, and an SCR-296A radar. The Great Brewster Island Reservation may have been renamed Camp Prescott in 1943.

Calf Island Military Reservation
(Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area and Boston Harbor Islands State Park)
(1941 - 1946), Calf Island
A searchlight station and an observation post, as well as an SCR-268 radar, were here in WWII. No remains.

Fort Andrews
(Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area and Boston Harbor Islands State Park)
(1897 - 1948), Peddock's Island
Located along East Head. Originally named Peddock's Island Military Reservation until 1900. Endicott batteries here are the combined Battery Cushing (1904 - 1942) and Battery Whitman (1901 - 1942), Battery McCook (1904 - 1947) rebuilt for WWII, Battery Rice (1901 - 1922), and Battery Bumpus (1904 - 1946). This post was the headquarters of the southern group of forts in Boston Harbor during WWI. Inactive from 1927 to 1941. Became an Italian POW camp in 1944-45. Sold to private interests in 1957. Became a state park in 1970. Many of the brick garrison post buildings still exist, although most of the worst-shape structures were razed in 2011-12.
{Not to be confused with Fort Andrew at Plymouth, see page 4}

Fort Revere (State Park)
(1896 - 1960's), Hull
Originally named Nantasket Head Military Reservation until 1900. Endicott batteries here were Battery Ripley (1901 - 1943) buried and built over, Battery Field (1900 - 1917) partially destroyed and buried, Battery Sanders (1906 - 1943), Battery Pope (1906 - 1917), and AMTB Battery 941 (1943 - 1946) which was destroyed and buried. The three-gun AA Battery One was built in 1936, located behind Battery Sanders. A mine observation station was here in WWII. A 36-inch searchlight was mounted atop the water tower from 1916 - 1929. Batteries Sanders and Pope now constitute the state park area of Telegraph Hill, which also includes the Officer's Quarters Museum.

Originally located here on Telegraph Hill was Patriot Fort Independence (1) (1776 - 1782) (see page 2). The remnants were demolished by the U.S. Army in the 1920's build-up of Fort Revere.

Several fire-control towers were built nearby at Point Allerton (1907 - no remains; 1922 - burned in 1926; 1928 - demolished 1978; two in 1942 - one still exists (private), other demolished 1978); and Strawberry Hill (1907, 1942 - both still exist (private)). An SCR-296A radar and an SCR-682 radar were also at Point Allerton. Another SCR-296A radar station was built at Strawberry Hill, but the frame tower was never built.

Fort Duvall
(1917 - 1974), Spinnaker (Hog) Island
Originally named Hog Island Military Reservation until 1922. Located here was Battery Long (1927 - 1948) casemated in 1942 (still exists, built on). Four 90mm AA guns were here from 1952 - 1955. The post became a NIKE missile control site (B-36 C) 1956 - 1974. Now a private condo community since 1985, no general public access.

Webb Memorial State Park in Weymouth was the associated missile launch site (B-36 L) for Fort Duvall. NPS info

ALSO: Two additional WWII fire-control stations still exist at Strawberry Point in Minot (private property). Two others were later destroyed. An SCR-296A radar was also here. There were 30 searchlight positions from Halibut Point to Gurnet Point. The underwater defenses for Boston Harbor consisted of three groups of mines planted in an arc from Fort Heath to Point Allerton. Anti-sub nets and anti-motor torpedo boat booms, and other fixed obstructions, were also utilized in several places. Magnetic indicator loops were placed from East Point to Strawberry Point. See also WWII East Point Indicator Loop Receiving Station by Dr. Richard Walding


Cold War AAA Defenses of Boston
(1952 - 1958), Boston area
Several permanent sites were established for the Army's Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA) Gun Site Program, the precursor to the NIKE missile defense program. Four 90mm AA guns were positioned at each site, with troop barracks and other support buildings. Known sites include:
East Point Reservation (1952 - 1956): on post (B-17).
Lynn (1952 - 1957): near MA 1A and Saugus River (B-10).
Saugus (1952 - 1958): at Main Street.
Fort Banks (2) (1952 - 1958): on post (B-21).
Fort Dawes (1952 - 1957): on post. (B-22).
Fort Strong (2) (1952 - 1958 ?): radar section only, on post (B-35).
Medford (1952 - 1958): at Middle Fells Park (B-90).
Belmont (1952 - 1957): at Concord Ave..
Brighton (1952 - 1958): at Nonantum Street.
Newton (1952 - 1957): at Nahanton Street, near Charles River Country Club.
Hyde Park (1952 - 1958): at Farrar Ave. (B-51).
Milton (1952 - 1958): at Randolph Ave. (B-50).
Quincy (1952 - 1958): at Merrymount Park (B-40).
Fort Duvall (1952 - 1955): on post (B-31).

NIKE missile defense sites (1955 - 1974) are beyond the scope of this website.


South Hingham Camp
(1942 - 1943), South Hingham
An Infantry Battalion coastal defense base camp, with barracks, mess hall, supply huts, and motor pool. Location undetermined. Posted here from May 1942 to November 1943 was HQ 3rd Battalion, 181st Infantry Regiment; "I" Company, 181st IR; "M" Company, 181st IR; and "B" Company, 132nd Combat Engineer Battalion.


Some information for Boston Harbor fortifications was gathered from "The Guns of Boston Harbor", by Gerald Butler, 2001, 1st Books Library.

Northeastern Massachusetts - page 1 | Boston Harbor I - page 2
Southeastern Massachusetts - page 4 | Western Massachusetts - page 5

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