Hard for me to believe but for all the time I’ve spent in and around Port Townsend, Fort Worden and Fort Flagler, I had never visited Fort Casey. This past weekend, late Sunday afternoon, my wife Chris, our friends Ken and Joan Fulton returning from a weekend urban sketcher event in Vancouver BC checked into NCO building number one at Fort Casey for a one night stay before returning to Vashon. At daybreak Monday morning I quietly exited our unit and drove up to the forts batteries. I assumed I would see something similar to Fort Wordens concrete bunkers and empty gun stations. When I crested the hill, took in the view of the batteries, I could not believe my eyes when I saw the big 10″ disappearing guns on display. Were they always there and I just didn’t know it? Then I read the interpretive signage and realized these two guns came from Fort Wint, Subic Bay, the Philippines and were reinstalled here at Fort Casey in the mid 60’s.
Fort Wint on Grande Island in Subic Bay was an US Navy recreation center frequented by the author on a number of occasions when our ship was in port for refueling in the early 60’s. In those days these 10″ guns were rusting away amid the jungle foliage at the old abandoned fort. As a young seaman I spent time with my shipmates exploring these relics and once my tour of duty was over, I never expected to return to the Philippines or to see these guns again.
Here is my sketch of the big gun along with a smoky English Bay at dusk sketch in Vancouver.