Breaking News – the Towers in WWII disguise!

See Facebook album of towers in disguise here.

Seriously,folks, in my quest to uncover facts about Gooseberry history, this is a treasure! The WWII fire control towers on Gooseberry were indeed disguised to look like ordinary homes!

Cukie Macomber told me this several years ago, but others who might have recalled them that way, didn’t. I wanted proof and after my Gooseberry History presentation last week a Westport neighbor came through with this collection of images. (He wished to be identified simply as “a friend.” Many thanks, friend.!)

Just to be absolutely certain these were indeed taken on Gooseberry, I went to spot southwest of the two remaining towers and took a picture from what I estimate is the same vantage point of the original photographer.

The one picture I seriously question here, however, is that of the gun emplacement. I have found no other evidence there were any guns on Gooseberry. The towers were “fire control” for guns Little Compton, Dartmouth, and New Bedford. That is, they were connected with the gun crews by phone lines and relayed precise target information to the guns.

The guns were never fired in anger and I am told that when they fired a practice round they broke a lot of windows in the area! Bet they did. Two of the guns in Little Compton were 16-inchers that could hurl a shell 25 miles and had been destined for a battle ship. Because of an arms control treaty the battleship was never built, but the guns had been, so they were given to the Army for shore defense.

Questions:

1. When were the wooden camouflage structures removed?

2. Anyone have any other pictures or evidence of a large WWII gun on Gooseberry?

3. Why does the first picture show a low, wooden fence where current remains show a fence that was taller with metal posts?

4. Note the central tower has a little building on top. Why? Part of disguise, or some other purpose? Tower not otherwise camouflaged – why?

Contact me if you have any historical information or pictures about Gooseberry you would like to share – gregstone2@gmail.com.

The full Gooseberry history presentation, updated with these pictures can be found here: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1i003PDRinQpj-AuUYQsAyEakJMPcHHroNmfPqvj1It8/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000&slide=id.g1f87f99a44_0_0

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