Shown here, Camp Wissahickon, located on the western shore of Cape May Harbor near Cape Island Creek and today’s Garden State Parkway, trained over 8,000 sailors for World War I.
CAPE MAY – It was hoped that World War I, “The Great War” to those who experienced it, would be “the war to end all wars.” While it failed on that account, Cape May played a role in World War I that is less understood than its role in World War II.
Join the Friends of the World War II Lookout Tower on Saturday, April 8 at 1 p.m. at the Cape May Lutheran Church, 509 Pittsburgh Ave., for “More on the War: Cape May’s Role in World War I.”
The year 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the United States’ active involvement in World War I. The Friends continue to commemorate this anniversary with another richly illustrated presentation on Cape May’s underpublicized and underappreciated role in the war effort. This presentation follows up a very popular program on this topic in January. Historians Richard Gibbs and Dr. Robert E. Heinly will present more rare photographs of Naval Section Base Nine and Camp Wissahickon.
Admission is free to members of Friends of the World War II Tower, MAC Tower Observers, World War II veterans and children 18 and under. Admission for the general public is $5. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Dr. Robert E. Heinly at (609) 224-6032.
The Friends of the World War II Tower is an affinity group of the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). Inquire about joining the Friends group and get discounted admission on future Friends events.
Adults are asked to bring a young person with them so the group can advance one of its primary goals, which is developing in the younger generation an understanding and appreciation of not only Cape May’s important role in World War II, but of the traits of patriotism, loyalty, and self-sacrifice so characteristic of the people of these war years.
The World War II Lookout Tower (Fire Control Tower No. 23), located on Sunset Boulevard, was used for spotting enemy ships during World War II and aiming guns for nearby coastal artillery fortifications. MAC restored the tower in 2008-09 and opened it to the public in April 2009. Family members can honor loved ones through memorial plaques mounted permanently at the site.
An All Veterans Memorial was dedicated at the Tower on May 19, 2012 and is open throughout the year for quiet contemplation. Armed Services Day is celebrated annually at the Tower in May. The next celebration will be on Saturday, May 20, 2017.
This event is presented by the Friends of the World War II Tower, an affinity group of the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). MAC is a multifaceted not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. MAC membership is open to all. For information about MAC’s year-round schedule of tours, festivals and special events, call (609) 884-5404 or (800) 275-4278, or visit MAC’s website at www.capemaymac.org.