Living History at Fort Mott, NJ (December 11, 2004)
On December 9, 2004, the Army Ground Forces Association (AGFA), in conjunction with New Jersey Parks and Recreation, hosted "Fort Mott Mobilizes - the effect of the attack on Pearl Harbor on the coast defenses of the Eastern United States." The objective was to interpret the coast artillery at Fort Mott in Dec 1941, just after the American entry into World War II.
Members of AGFA participating were Mike Murray, Rob LaBerta, Shawn Welch, Andy Grant, Larry Winchell, Stephen Turner, and Mike Bonaccorsi. Bolling Smith of the Coast Defense Study Group also attended, providing a display of coast artillery optics and technical support/interpretation.
The weather for the event was unusually bad, with temperatures in the mid 40s and intermittent rain/snow mix throughout the day. However, even the bad weather did not discourage people from coming out, including two Boy Scout troops. People actually began arriving an hour before the official start time and continued throughout the day in a steady flow. The final count of visitors was over 400.
Given the flow of visitors, and with the temperature being higher than last year, we decided to take groups of 5-10 people with one or two "soldiers" on a tour of the gun line and the group command and fire control tower. In the photo above, Tech Sergeant LaBerta and Pvt Bonaccorsi prepare to take a group on a tour.
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