Camp Wellfleet

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Camp Wellfleet
Wellfleet, Massachusetts
A soldier peering at the angle of his artillery gun
A gunner checking the elevation on his gun
Camp Wellfleet is located in Massachusetts
Camp Wellfleet
Camp Wellfleet
Location of Camp Wellfleet
Coordinates 41°53′51.14″N 69°58′27.78″W / 41.8975389°N 69.9743833°W / 41.8975389; -69.9743833Coordinates: 41°53′51.14″N 69°58′27.78″W / 41.8975389°N 69.9743833°W / 41.8975389; -69.9743833
Type Gunnery/Rocketry/Bombing Range
Area 1,738 acres (2.7 sq mi; 7.0 km2)
Site information
Owner Department of Defense
Open to
the public
Yes
Site history
Built 1942 (1942)
In use 1943 (1943)-1961 (1961)
Fate Demolished in the 1960s, now the headquarters of the Cape Cod National Seashore

Camp Wellfleet is a former United States military training camp. It occupies about 1,738 acres (7.03 km2) of land located along the Atlantic Ocean in the Town of Wellfleet, Massachusetts. The 548th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion (75mm Gun) used the Camp for a firing range from 1954-1956. The majority of the site (1,688.8 acres) is owned and maintained by the National Park Service, as the administrator of the Cape Cod National Seashore. The Town of Wellfleet owns a portion (49.2 acres) of the site. It was officially opened on March 19, 1943.

Military use[edit]

For almost 19 years, the former Camp Wellfleet property was used by the U.S. Government for military training purposes. The United States Army also conducted several surface removal clearances prior to property transfer. The property was used by the Army as an anti-aircraft training center from 1942 to 1944. In 1944, the United States Navy obtained a permit to use a portion of the property as a temporary bomb target, and it became a sub-installation of Naval Auxiliary Air Facility Hyannis.[1] The Navy returned the site to the Army in 1947, and after World War II it was used as a training center for guardsmen and reservists.

National Park usage[edit]

In 1961, the site was declared excess and conveyed to the United States Department of the Interior by President John F. Kennedy to establish the Cape Cod National Seashore. The periodic discovery of ordnance in beach areas heavily used by the general public, coupled with the potentially large volume of ordnance suspected to be at the site, resulted in the Corps’ initiation of an Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) at the site.[2]

In the decades since the military used the property, various ordnance items, including anti-aircraft projectiles, bazooka rounds, smoke grenades, and small arms ammunition have been recovered. The majority of this was found along the beach and dune areas due to wave action and erosion.

Site today[edit]

It is not uncommon to find bazooka and anti-aircraft rounds on the beach today. Recently, a helicopter was flown overhead to find ammunition and duds that might someday turn up.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]