Many thanks to Ed Jerue who emailed me an article he wrote and published in The Coastal Defense Journal in 2004 detailing an interview – with pictures and drawings that he had with Walter “Wally” Bates who served in Battery D, 10th Coastal Artillery Regiment. Wally was routinely rotated between Fort Church in Little Compton (where the big guns were. Warren Point , Little Compton (another place with smaller guns) and Gooseberry where the fire control stations for the guns were.
There were no coastal defense guns at Gooseberry, but there were three buildings that were used to spot enemy targets and relay accurate sighting information to the guns. Wally’s Gooseberry station was on the top floor of the tallest tower which was disguised, at the time, as a lighthouse. My major takeaways from his account are:
* There were no coastal defense guns at Gooseberry, as some have believed there were.
* The underground bunker to the north of the towers was not for a gun emplacement, but to protect the switchboard used to transmit information to the guns which were in Little Compton, New Bedford, and Dartmouth. It apparently was also used for food storage.
* There was a barracks building I have not heard of before and three towers. Now only two towers remain.
* There was a small Navy station which apparently was used to man some sort of detection device that stretched across the entrance of Buzzards Bay to guard against submarines.
* There was a restaurant/bar the soldier enjoyed on the Horseneck side of the causeway known as Stacia’s Restaurant which was apparently destroyed in the hurricane of 1954? – Others probably know of this – but it’s the first I recall hearing about it.
Again, many thanks for this account from Ed Jerue and his permission to post it – it is terrific information that certainly makes clear the role Gooseberry played in coastal defense in wwII.
The following is a PDF copy of the article Ed published
For a detailed presentation on Gooseberry History – with pictures – go here – but this presentation has NOT BEEN updated with the information in the article above.