Endicott Fortifications of the NW: Fort Casey Part 2.

Fort Casey Part 2

Fort Casey is quite extensive, and I took many pictures covering most of the southern batteries.

Ft Casey Map 1
Map of the southern batteries.

Battery Trevor

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Battery Trevor was designed to cover the eastern reaches of Admiralty Inlet and Keystone Harbor. Named for Civil War hero cavalry officer 1LT John Trevor, the battery was activated in 1905, mounting two 3″ M1903 guns for harbor defense and to engage possible flanking forces. The guns now look down on the WASDOT Keystone ferry terminal.
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Two 3″ cannons are now on display, recovered in the mid 1960s. All the fort’s weapons were gathered for use during WWI or for scrap during WWII to support the war effort overseas. The current display cannons were recovered from Fort Wint in the Philippines,
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Stairs up to the first emplacement.
3 inch gun 4
This M1903 3″ display cannon may have been disabled by explosives. The end of the barrel is raggedly chopped off, suggesting demolition by light explosive. The cannon was recovered from Fort Wint int he Philippines, which was surrendered in the face of Imperial Japanese invasion during WWII. The demolition may have been intended to prevent the cannon from being used by the Japanese Army.

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Northern gun with the full barrel.
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“3 Inch R. F. Model of 1903. Midvale Steel.” The breech blocks for the display guns are missing as the crews at Fort Wint threw them into the ocean prior to surrender to the Japanese during WWII.
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Northern gun.

Signal Hill

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To the west of Battery Trevor, built into Signal Hill, is the switchboard room. It was closed when I visited, however I understand that it is sometimes open, so I’ll have to check back later. The main power room is down the hill from here, and is on the list for future exploration.

Signal and Plotting Buildings

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Atop the central hill of the fort are four little buildings. Two are rounded, and two are square and more deeply buried. Some parks maps label these as plotting offices, while others call them fire control. The appear much like signal and communication buildings used at Fort Worden, so my guess is these rounded buildings were for observation and communication, and the lower buildings were used for fort-wide fire control and plotting.

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These buildings have a nice, clear view of the channel and batteries, giving support to some form of observation and control function.
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Battery Moore and Port Townsend are clearly visible from the lower square buildings. These were likely used to direct fire from all batteries.
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Underground entrance to the plotting offices.
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Inside the square building is a base for a pedestal of some sort. I imagine this was likely telescopic or range finding gear. Behind is a large room that may have housed charts.
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Up the road at the maintenance shed is a searchlight, probably once intended to search for enemy ships in the fog.
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Mobile generator.

Battery Turman

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On the far west side of the fort lies Battery Turman. Completed in 1901, it was one of the first batteries on Fort Casey. The emplacement is named for 2LT Reuben S. Turman, Silver Star recipient who succumbed to wounds suffered during the Battle of Santiagol in the Spanish-American War.
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Battery Turman was equipped with two 5″ guns on balanced pillar mounts. BPM were retractable mounts that telescoped and could be lowered between engagements to protect the gun and crew.
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Battery Turman’s view obscured by thick ocean mist and hard rain.
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Below ground magazines.
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Sealed off magazine.
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The remaining magazine is empty, dark, and wet.
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Admiralty Inlet sees a vast amount of shipping. This illustrates how easy targeting enemy vessels would have been in such close waters.

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Fire Control Ruins

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Park maps label this pit as “fire control”, although older maps claim it is for signals. What remains is a reinforced pit set into a hill, with three concrete pillars of varying heights. I believe the pillars once supported signalling lights or semaphore poles, although it has been very difficult to find any information about it at all.

End of Tour

Being soaked to the skin, cold, and not sure if my equipment would hold up in the weather, I wasn’t able to fully explore everything. On a future trip I want to look at the mortar pits, power room, switchboard, Coincidence Range Finder Station, and maybe further explore the signal ruins. Down near the beach are two searchlight pits, and there are some objects just south of Battery Turman on older mans that also show up on Google Earth, but not newer parks maps. With the bulk of the main batteries out of the way, I can get to these other areas with plenty of time.

Fort Casey’s Endicott period was completed by 1905, at which time a Taft-directed board was reviewing fortifications with Spanish-American War experiences in mind. The Taft board added more searchlights, communication equipment, and electricity as well as tweaking defensive policies, but these modernizations were already on their way to being outdated as the aviation age began. By WWI the Endicott fortifications were hopelessly outclassed by ship-based armaments, and Fort Casey was stripped of weapons for use in Europe, although some construction did continue through 1918.

Fort Casey would see use during WWII as once again fears of enemy fleets contesting the straits into the Bremerton shipyards and major cities like Seattle emerged. In 1942 a new coastal defense program was initiated, and some of Fort Casey was converted for rapid-firing cannons and anti-aircraft emplacements, however by 1944 even these were outdated.

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