Fort Ebey

We’ve written before on the coastal defenses of Puget Sound, mostly focusing on the turn of the 20th century Taft/Endicott period forts such as Ft. Casey.  The beginning of World War II saw a massive investment in more modern coastal defenses, along both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and such places as the Panama Canal Zones. Bureaucratic inertia being what it is, by the time most of these forts were ready for service, it was abundantly clear, particularly along the West Coast, that no invasion fleet would reach even the central Pacific, let alone Hawaii or the actual continental US.

In 1942, the Coast Artillery Corps decided to upgrade the defenses of Puget Sound with a modern coast artillery battery located a few miles north of the existing Ft. Casey. It was to comprise a battery command post, an SCR-269A fire control radar, and two M1905A2 rapid fire 6” guns mounted on semi-armored barbettes.

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Image via Fortwiki.

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Image via Fortwiki. 6” gun at Ft. Columbia.  Note the older Endicott period emplacements in front of the mount. None are at Ft. Ebey.

A quick look at this image from Google Earth tells us that the fort was well sited to cover any approach to Seattle.

Ft Ebey

Mind you, this doesn’t even take into account the other batteries, including 16” batteries, along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the entrance to Puget Sound.

The only problem is, the battery wasn’t completed and ready for service until March 1944. By that time, the fighting in the Pacific was taking place in the Carolines Islands roughly 5000 miles away. All the effort to complete the fortifications were superfluous to actually winning the war. The guns of the battery were removed sometime shortly after the war. The concrete support structure was not demolished, however. Turned over to Washington state in 1965, it opened as a state park in 1981, and has been a popular park ever since, with its quaint trails and gorgeous view of Puget Sound.

5 thoughts on “Fort Ebey”

  1. You should ask xbrad or Esli about Ft. Ebey, white supremacist Robert Matthews and the Island County Sheriff SWAT team someday.

      1. Huh. I thought you were. I remember catching hell from the girl I was dating who’s dad was an ICS detective. He told her I was involved. Bastage didn’t do me any favors. LOL
        It wasn’t Tim H. was it?

  2. Ken Nelson was involved. There was probably a fourth but for the life of me, I can’t recall who it was. Tim wasn’t involved although we thought about taking a group photo and borrowing his “M60” to add to the two M16 replicas for a nice souvenir to send to the sheriff’s department. Not sure if they would have appreciated it. I am still appalled at the memory of watching a sheriff “clear” his AR15 by cycling all 30 rounds into the chamber and then onto the ground.

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