Post-Sandy Ft. Tilden exposes old WW2 Relics

November 11th, 2012 by

As a thank you to veterans I offer this photo: what you're looking at is most likely a very very old (WW1) machine gun placement I stumbled across today at the old Ft. Tilden (on Rockaway) - This concrete foundation has been under sand for decades, and Hurricane Sandy washed away all of that sand covering it. It lasted through the storm (along with all the other old bunkers) even while the road along the beach crumbled away and is now completely destroyed. The dune that separated the road from the beach has also completely washed away.

As for this gun placement - let's just say it was built to last by men that didn't compromise.

This gun placement was one of two, connected to the bunker seen in the above photos - and was known as 'Battery Kessler'. We'll be posting a whole lot about Ft. Tilden sometime in the next year.

The bunkers at Ft. Tilden also survived, all very much intact. As you can see one of them (directly behind the gun turret) now has trees stuffed in it from the water that flowed through.

The storm also up/uncovered a long stick of railroad track. This likely came from somewhere on the Tilden property, given how old it looks and the fact that Ft. Tilden once had it's own military railroad. In different areas this long buried track is also now exposed, revealing rotted out cross-ties and rusted railroad spikes.

More on that in the coming months when we give a deeper dive into Ft. Tilden history.

5 responses to “Post-Sandy Ft. Tilden exposes old WW2 Relics”

  1. nailhed says:


  2. Very interesting finds. I wonder if any of the other New York harbor defense sites revealed anything forgotten. I was thinking about Sandy Hook when the storm first hit shore. Maybe all sorts of new/old stuff to discover.

  3. The concrete structure that was revealed by the storm is not a “machine gun placement” a mount for a 6-inch Model M1900 gun. Installed in 1917 and later upgraded in WW2.

    Interested in the history of Fort Tilden? Check out our new Facebook page:

    Fort Tilden is currently closed to public due to hazardous conditions. Please check the National Park Service web page for updates:

  4. Control says:

    It may be officially closed but I’ve heard from numerous sources that the rangers on duty are ok with people entering (I know someone that walked up and asked them too – they were allowed to enter without any problems).

    I figured it was a larger gun of some sort but was in a rush to post about it. When I saw it immediately after the storm I knew others who are interested in the history of the base would want to know how the storm affected the fort.

    Did you used to run that old geo cities page?

    I’m planning in writing up a longer history on the fort at some point. I’ve been going there for years, well before it became the hipster magnet it is today.

  5. Yes, there were pages on Fort Tilden, Floyd Bennett Field, and Miller Field. Yahoo shut down all of Geocities and I am moving most of the stuff to Facebook for now.

    Feel free to contact me at fort_tilden at h o t m a i l dot com if you have any questions about either location.

    Thanks for posting the great photos of the post storm damage. I have been relying on Google Earth images until I get a chance to get some “on the ground” photos.

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  • About The Author

    Bad Guy Joe

    Bad Guy Joe
    Bad Guy Joe knows more about the NYC underground than anyone else on or below the surface of this planet. He has spent nearly 30 years sneaking into NYC's more forbidden locations. When not underground, he's probably bitching about politicians or building something digital. 
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