Picture of 16 inch gun at Fort Miles

Fort Miles Museum and Historical Area


Fort Miles Museum and Historical Area Overview

Lying amidst rolling sand dunes, on a high bank overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, is the Fort Miles Historical Area, home of the Fort Miles Museum. The central features of the museum include Battery 519, six barracks buildings, a fire control tower, an orientation building, and the Fort Miles Artillery Park. The museum tells the story of Fort Miles, a key piece of our nation's coastal defense, from World War II through the early 1970’s.

The history of Fort Miles exemplifies America’s call to action to stem the tide of war against German invasions along the Atlantic Seaboard that, at the onset of World War II, appeared virtually unstoppable. The gun batteries of Fort Miles, secret state-of-the-art installations built within the massive sand dunes of Cape Henlopen, were designed to defend against the powerful German navy.

With more than 2,500 soldiers stationed on high alert, the heavy guns, mine fields and searchlights of Fort Miles defended the vital trade centers of Wilmington, Philadelphia, and beyond. As America moved into the cold war, the role of Fort Miles shifted to highly classified missions defending against the threat of Soviet submarine operations off our coastline.

Fort Miles is a special place for history enthusiasts, veterans, families, or anyone interested in learning about Delaware stories, Delaware heroes and Delaware’s role in WWII. Take a guided tour, enjoy an interpretive program, visit the art gallery, take in a special event, and celebrate the "greatest generation" in our nation's history.

21 centimeter guns

Featured Program: Fort Miles Historical Association Film and Lecture Series

Featured Program: Fort Miles Historical Association Film and Lecture Series

Battlegroup Spruance Raymond Spruance was a little-known, but important US Navy admiral who led the advance across the Pacific Ocean to defeat Japan in WWII. His battlegroup was key in defeating the Imperial Japanese Navy and storming the islands in the Pacific. Seating is limited to 60 and tickets are available that day in the Fort Miles Museum. For more information on the film and lecture series please call (302) 645-0753. Free Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 1 p.m.

Add to Calendar America/New_York Featured Program: Fort Miles Historical Association Film and Lecture Series Battlegroup Spruance Raymond Spruance was a little-known, but important US Navy admiral who led the advance across the Pacific Ocean to defeat Japan in WWII. His battlegroup was key in defeating the Imperial Japanese Navy and storming the islands in the Pacific. Seating is limited to 60 and tickets are available that day in the Fort Miles Museum. For more information on the film and lecture series please call (302) 645-0753. Free Fort Miles


The Fort Miles Museum

Museum exhibits and artifacts within Battery 519, a 15,000-square-foot fortified underground chamber, bring to life Delaware’s wartime stories of submarine encounters and surrender, daring actions of civilian pilots, and hometown heroes who sacrificed for our freedom. The Museum’s collection of armaments provides visitors a unique opportunity to experience first-hand how state-of-the-art technology from an earlier day was used to defend the homeland.

The grounds of the Museum are open 8 a.m. to sunset daily. The Museum Orientation Building is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. March 3 – June 10 and Tuesday through Saturday June 13 – September 9. Public access to the museum is only available through guided tours and open houses.

Upcoming Events

Fort Miles Historical Association Film and Lecture Series

Saturday, February 23, 2019

11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Patton and the Desperate Tank Attack February 23 General Patton was one of the US Army's most outspoken and controversial leaders of WWII. Although his behavior often got him into hot water, his brash and daring nature was central to many military successes. Free

Add to Calendar 2/23/2019 11:00:00 AM 2/23/2019 1:00:00 PM America/New_York Fort Miles Historical Association Film and Lecture Series Patton and the Desperate Tank Attack February 23 General Patton was one of the US Army's most outspoken and controversial leaders of WWII. Although his behavior often got him into hot water, his brash and daring nature was central to many military successes. Free Fort Miles

Featured Program: Fort Miles Historical Association Film and Lecture Series

Saturday, March 23, 2019

1 p.m.

Battlegroup Spruance Raymond Spruance was a little-known, but important US Navy admiral who led the advance across the Pacific Ocean to defeat Japan in WWII. His battlegroup was key in defeating the Imperial Japanese Navy and storming the islands in the Pacific. Seating is limited to 60 and tickets are available that day in the Fort Miles Museum. For more information on the film and lecture series please call (302) 645-0753. Free

Add to Calendar America/New_York Featured Program: Fort Miles Historical Association Film and Lecture Series Battlegroup Spruance Raymond Spruance was a little-known, but important US Navy admiral who led the advance across the Pacific Ocean to defeat Japan in WWII. His battlegroup was key in defeating the Imperial Japanese Navy and storming the islands in the Pacific. Seating is limited to 60 and tickets are available that day in the Fort Miles Museum. For more information on the film and lecture series please call (302) 645-0753. Free Fort Miles

Featured Program: Basic Archaeology Workshop

Saturday, April 6, 2019

1 p.m.

Ever wanted to be an archaeologist? Did you know that Delaware State Parks has a program for members of the pubic to get involved hands-on in archaeology projects? Join State Parks’ archaeologist, John McCarthy for a program of illustrated lecture and hands-on activities that cover basic archaeology terms, regional cultural history, and field and laboratory research techniques. The workshop prepares attendees to become active participants in Time Traveler-only projects at locations across the state. Attendees receive the embroidered Time Travelers logo patch. Free

Add to Calendar America/New_York Featured Program: Basic Archaeology Workshop Ever wanted to be an archaeologist? Did you know that Delaware State Parks has a program for members of the pubic to get involved hands-on in archaeology projects? Join State Parks’ archaeologist, John McCarthy for a program of illustrated lecture and hands-on activities that cover basic archaeology terms, regional cultural history, and field and laboratory research techniques. The workshop prepares attendees to become active participants in Time Traveler-only projects at locations across the state. Attendees receive the embroidered Time Travelers logo patch. Free Fort Miles