Living History at Ft. Hancock, NJ (October 30-31, 2004)
On October 30-31, 2004, the Army Ground Forces Association (AGFA) in conjunction with the National Park Service manned Battery Gunnison (New Peck), Fort Hancock, NJ, as part of the overall Ft. Hancock Day event. The objective of the event was to interpret the coast artillery at Fort Hancock in Oct 1941, just prior to the United States entry into World War Two.
Members of AGFA participating were Andy Bennett, Mike Murray, Jonathan Prostak, Rob LaBerta, Shawn Welch, Andy Grant, Larry Winchell, Stephen Turner, and Mike Bonaccorsi. Interpretation, including uniforms and equipment, was designed to present a view of the Coast Artillery at Fort Hancock in October of 1941. Bolling Smith of the Coast Defense Study Group also attended and provided technical support.
One of our major restoration goals was to make the breechblock of the No. Two 6-inch M1900 rifle (SN 22) functional.
This effort required many hours of labor that included rust removal, lubrication, and testing parts. The most significant task involved removal of accumulated dirt and debris embedded in the breech screw-box threads for several hours on Friday and Saturday. Our reward Saturday evening was being able to close the breech. The smiling face of the battery 1st sergeant when the breechblock would finally fully close into the screw box clearly demonstrates our success!
In our restoration of the breechblock, we removed rust from the mushroom face and applied high-quality ordnance grease to protect the block and ensure its proper functioning. The remainder of the rust will be removed from the block prior to our next major public event in May 2005.