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: Truckin' Through History

Take a ride on a WWII truck as we tour some of the lesser-known remains of Fort Miles. Tours meet at the Biden Center, and tickets go on sale at the Fort Miles Orientation Building each Saturday morning on a first-come, first served basis. Ages 7 and up with a paying adult. Maximum of four tickets per group. Limit 12 per ride. Rides also offered at the same time on September 28 and October 12. $8 per person Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 2:00 PM

Add to Calendar 10/19/2019 2:00:00 PM America/New_York Featured Program: Truckin' Through History Take a ride on a WWII truck as we tour some of the lesser-known remains of Fort Miles. Tours meet at the Biden Center, and tickets go on sale at the Fort Miles Orientation Building each Saturday morning on a first-come, first served basis. Ages 7 and up with a paying adult. Maximum of four tickets per group. Limit 12 per ride. Rides also offered at the same time on September 28 and October 12. $8 per person 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

Battery 519 Tour

Saturday, October 19, 2019

11:00 AM

Battery 519 began construction in 1941 under the threat of war. Tour the battery to learn what the threats were, and how Fort Miles planned to defend the United States from them. Ages 7 and up with an adult. Limit 30. Pre-registration is required by calling (302) 644-5007. Tours take place at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. $5 per person.

Add to Calendar 10/19/2019 11:00:00 AM 10/20/2019 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Battery 519 Tour Battery 519 began construction in 1941 under the threat of war. Tour the battery to learn what the threats were, and how Fort Miles planned to defend the United States from them. Ages 7 and up with an adult. Limit 30. Pre-registration is required by calling (302) 644-5007. Tours take place at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. $5 per person. Fort Miles

Truckin' Through History

Saturday, October 19, 2019

2:00 PM

Take a ride on a WWII truck as we tour some of the lesser-known remains of Fort Miles. Tours meet at the Biden Center, and tickets go on sale at the Fort Miles Orientation Building each Saturday morning on a first-come, first-served basis. Ages 7 and up with an adult. Maximum of four tickets per group. Limit 12 per ride. $8 per person.

Add to Calendar 10/19/2019 2:00:00 PM 10/19/2019 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Truckin' Through History Take a ride on a WWII truck as we tour some of the lesser-known remains of Fort Miles. Tours meet at the Biden Center, and tickets go on sale at the Fort Miles Orientation Building each Saturday morning on a first-come, first-served basis. Ages 7 and up with an adult. Maximum of four tickets per group. Limit 12 per ride. $8 per person. Fort Miles

Battery 519 Lantern Tour

Saturday, October 19, 2019

6:30 PM

In 1943, World War II was in full swing, but it was much different than anticipated. Tour Battery 519 by lantern light and learn about U-boats on the prowl, sailors in distress, and what WWII turned out to be for soldiers stationed at Fort Miles. Ages 10 and older with an adult. Limit 30. Pre-registration is required by calling (302) 644-5007. $5 per person.

Add to Calendar 10/19/2019 6:30:00 PM 10/19/2019 7:30:00 PM America/New_York Battery 519 Lantern Tour In 1943, World War II was in full swing, but it was much different than anticipated. Tour Battery 519 by lantern light and learn about U-boats on the prowl, sailors in distress, and what WWII turned out to be for soldiers stationed at Fort Miles. Ages 10 and older with an adult. Limit 30. Pre-registration is required by calling (302) 644-5007. $5 per person. Fort Miles

Battery 519 Lantern Tour

Saturday, November 9, 2019

5:30 PM

In 1943, World War II was in full swing, but it was much different than anticipated. Tour Battery 519 by lantern light and learn about U-boats on the prowl, sailors in distress, and what WWII turned out to be for soldiers stationed at Fort Miles. Ages 10 and older with an adult. Limit 30. Pre-registration is required by calling (302) 644-5007. $5 per person.

Add to Calendar 11/9/2019 5:30:00 PM 11/9/2019 6:30:00 PM America/New_York Battery 519 Lantern Tour In 1943, World War II was in full swing, but it was much different than anticipated. Tour Battery 519 by lantern light and learn about U-boats on the prowl, sailors in distress, and what WWII turned out to be for soldiers stationed at Fort Miles. Ages 10 and older with an adult. Limit 30. Pre-registration is required by calling (302) 644-5007. $5 per person. Fort Miles