Fort Dawes

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Fort Dawes
Part of Harbor Defenses of Boston
Deer Island, Boston, Massachusetts
Battery Davis at Fort Funston in San Francisco, similar to Battery 105 at Fort Dawes.
Fort Dawes is located in Massachusetts
Fort Dawes
Fort Dawes
Location in Massachusetts
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Type Coastal Defense
Site information
Owner Massachusetts
Controlled by Deer Island Waste Water Treatment Plant
Open to
the public
Site history
Built 1942
Built by United States Army
In use 1942-1946
Demolished ca 1991
Battles/wars World War II
6-inch gun at Fort Columbia State Park, Washington state, similar to Battery 207.

Fort Dawes was a World War II Coast Artillery fort located on Deer Island in Winthrop/Boston, Massachusetts. It was part of the Harbor Defenses of Boston.[1]


The site's military history began in 1906 as the Deer Island Military Reservation, acquired for fire control and mine field control as part of the Taft program.[2]

During World War II, Fort Dawes was initially the site of a target detection radar for the harbor defenses and Battery Taylor (two 3-inch M1902 guns moved from nearby Fort Strong), both completed by late 1942.[2] Also in 1942, construction began on Anti-Motor Torpedo Boat Battery (AMTB) 944, with two fixed and two towed 90 mm guns, along with the Harbor Entrance Control Post (HECP) for Boston Harbor--the installation that kept track of all vessels entering and leaving the harbor.[3] AMTB 944 replaced Battery Taylor in October 1943, whose guns were placed in storage at that time.[2][4]

Fort Dawes can also lay claim to the largest collection of "artillery that never was" in the harbor defenses of Boston. Battery 105 and Battery 207 began construction in 1942. Battery 105 was completed as a large bunker housing magazines and fire control for two 16-inch guns, like those at Battery Murphy in Nahant and generally similar to the guns of Battery Long at Fort Duvall. By the time the emplacements had been finished, however, WW2 was being won, and the need for the battery was deemed to have passed, so it was never armed. The nearby battery of two 6-inch guns, Battery 207, was also never equipped with guns, for the same reason.[3][2][4]

In 1946 AMTB 944 was disarmed, and within a few years the site was abandoned.

In the early 1990s all of the military facilities on Deer Island were demolished and the earth stripped away for the construction of the Deer Island Waste Water Treatment Plant. All vestiges of Fort Dawes were destroyed.[3]

See also


  1. Harbor Defenses of Boston at
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Fort Dawes at
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Grigorieff, Paul. "Fort Dawes". Retrieved 11 August 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Berhow, p. 205
  • Berhow, Mark A., Ed. (2015). American Seacoast Defenses, A Reference Guide, Third Edition. McLean, Virginia: CDSG Press. ISBN 978-0-9748167-3-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Lewis, Emanuel Raymond (1979). Seacoast Fortifications of the United States. Annapolis: Leeward Publications. ISBN 978-0-929521-11-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links