Picture of 16 inch gun at Fort Miles

Fort Miles Museum and Historical Area


About Fort Miles

Lying amidst rolling sand dunes at Cape Henlopen State Park, on a high bank overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, is the Fort Miles Historical Area, a former World War II military base that was a key piece of our nation's coastal defense from World War II through the early 1970’s. Today, Fort Miles is home to the Fort Miles Museum, encompassing a gun battery, six barracks buildings, a fire control tower, an orientation building, and an artillery park.

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."

21 centimeter guns

Featured Program: Defending the Dune - CANCELLED

Come celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! The biggest battle Fort Miles saw was the battle to save the Great Dune. This program will explore how local residents stopped the army from destroying a special area and made history with the first environmental protest on an American military base. For ages 10 and older with an adult. Limit 60. Pre-registration is recommended by calling (302) 644-5007. Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 12:00 PM

Add to Calendar 4/22/2020 12:00:00 PM 4/22/2020 1:00:00 PM America/New_York Featured Program: Defending the Dune - CANCELLED Come celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! The biggest battle Fort Miles saw was the battle to save the Great Dune. This program will explore how local residents stopped the army from destroying a special area and made history with the first environmental protest on an American military base. For ages 10 and older with an adult. Limit 60. Pre-registration is recommended by calling (302) 644-5007. 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 nation.

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 available only through guided tours and open houses.

The Great Dune Overlook Events Venue

This new rental venue is available for weddings, concerts, meetings, reunions and many other types of events and gatherings. The site offers the best of both natural and cultural history, with an easy transition from the outdoor pavilion to the inside area, along with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, miles of picturesque dunes, and breathtaking views, all in the heart of historic Fort Miles. For rental information, visit the Fort Miles Historical Association website.


Upcoming Events

Discover Battery 519 - CANCELLED

Friday, April 10, 2020

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 4/10/2020 11:00:00 AM 4/11/2020 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 - CANCELLED 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

Discover Battery 519 - CANCELLED

Saturday, April 11, 2020

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 4/11/2020 11:00:00 AM 4/12/2020 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 - CANCELLED 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

Artillery Park Walk - CANCELLED

Saturday, April 11, 2020

1:00 PM

Join our historic interpreters for a walk of the Fort Miles Artillery Park. Learn more about the different artillery pieces that helped protect the entrance of the Delaware Bay. For ages 7 and older with an adult. Limit 20. Please call (302) 644-5007 to preregister. Free

Add to Calendar 4/11/2020 1:00:00 PM 4/11/2020 1:45:00 PM America/New_York Artillery Park Walk - CANCELLED Join our historic interpreters for a walk of the Fort Miles Artillery Park. Learn more about the different artillery pieces that helped protect the entrance of the Delaware Bay. For ages 7 and older with an adult. Limit 20. Please call (302) 644-5007 to preregister. Free Fort Miles

Battery 519 Lantern Tour - CANCELLED

Saturday, April 11, 2020

7:30 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 World War II turned out to be for soldiers stationed at Fort Miles. For ages 10 and older with a paying adult. Limit 30. Pre-registration is required by calling (302) 644-5007. $5 per person

Add to Calendar 4/11/2020 7:30:00 PM 4/11/2020 8:30:00 PM America/New_York Battery 519 Lantern Tour - CANCELLED 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 World War II turned out to be for soldiers stationed at Fort Miles. For ages 10 and older with a paying adult. Limit 30. Pre-registration is required by calling (302) 644-5007. $5 per person Fort Miles

Discover Battery 519 - CANCELLED

Friday, April 17, 2020

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 4/17/2020 11:00:00 AM 4/18/2020 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 - CANCELLED 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

Discover Battery 519 - CANCELLED

Saturday, April 18, 2020

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. $5 per person.

Add to Calendar 4/18/2020 11:00:00 AM 4/18/2020 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 - CANCELLED 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. $5 per person. Fort Miles

Cape Invasion - CANCELLED

Saturday, April 18, 2020

12:30 PM

The military built Fort Miles to prevent an invasion, but they landed anyways. Not foreign troops, but foreign plants. Explore the park on this history and nature program and discover for yourself who’s winning the battle of Cape’s ecology. Meet at the Fort Miles parking lot. Dress to explore outside. For ages 10 and older with an adult. Limit 20. Pre-registration recommended by calling (302) 645-6852.

Add to Calendar 4/18/2020 12:30:00 PM 4/18/2020 1:30:00 PM America/New_York Cape Invasion - CANCELLED The military built Fort Miles to prevent an invasion, but they landed anyways. Not foreign troops, but foreign plants. Explore the park on this history and nature program and discover for yourself who’s winning the battle of Cape’s ecology. Meet at the Fort Miles parking lot. Dress to explore outside. For ages 10 and older with an adult. Limit 20. Pre-registration recommended by calling (302) 645-6852. Fort Miles

Truckin' Through History - CANCELLED

Saturday, April 18, 2020

2:00 PM

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

Add to Calendar 4/18/2020 2:00:00 PM 4/18/2020 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Truckin' Through History - CANCELLED Take a ride on an historic WWII troop carrying truck as we tour the park looking at some of the lesser-known remains of Fort Miles. Tours meet at the Biden Center, and tickets go on sale at the Fort Miles Museum each Saturday morning on a first-come, first served basis. For ages 7 and up with a paying adult. Maximum of four tickets per group. Limit 12 per ride. $8 per person Fort Miles

Featured Program: Defending the Dune - CANCELLED

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

12:00 PM

Come celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! The biggest battle Fort Miles saw was the battle to save the Great Dune. This program will explore how local residents stopped the army from destroying a special area, and made history with the first environmental protest on an American military base. For ages 10 and older with an adult. Limit 60. Pre-registration is recommended by calling (302) 644-5007. Free

Add to Calendar 4/22/2020 12:00:00 PM 4/22/2020 1:00:00 PM America/New_York Featured Program: Defending the Dune - CANCELLED Come celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! The biggest battle Fort Miles saw was the battle to save the Great Dune. This program will explore how local residents stopped the army from destroying a special area, and made history with the first environmental protest on an American military base. For ages 10 and older with an adult. Limit 60. Pre-registration is recommended by calling (302) 644-5007. Free Fort Miles

Delaware Defense Day - CANCELLED

Saturday, April 25, 2020

10:00 AM

Join us as we celebrate Fort Miles' role in defending Delaware during WWII. See firing demonstrations, hear live music, explore Battery 519, and much more. The Fort Miles Museum will be open for $5 per person. For more information call (302) 644-5007.

Add to Calendar 4/25/2020 10:00:00 AM 4/25/2020 4:00:00 PM America/New_York Delaware Defense Day - CANCELLED Join us as we celebrate Fort Miles' role in defending Delaware during WWII. See firing demonstrations, hear live music, explore Battery 519, and much more. The Fort Miles Museum will be open for $5 per person. For more information call (302) 644-5007. Fort Miles

Discover Battery 519 - CANCELLED

Friday, May 1, 2020

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 5/1/2020 11:00:00 AM 5/2/2020 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 - CANCELLED 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

Discover Battery 519 - CANCELLED

Saturday, May 2, 2020

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 5/2/2020 11:00:00 AM 5/3/2020 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 - CANCELLED 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

Artillery Park Walk - CANCELLED

Saturday, May 2, 2020

1:00 PM

Join our historic interpreters for a walk of the Fort Miles Artillery Park. Learn more about the different artillery pieces that helped protect the entrance of the Delaware Bay. For ages 7 and older with an adult. Limit 20. Please call (302) 644-5007 to preregister. Free

Add to Calendar 5/2/2020 1:00:00 PM 5/2/2020 1:45:00 PM America/New_York Artillery Park Walk - CANCELLED Join our historic interpreters for a walk of the Fort Miles Artillery Park. Learn more about the different artillery pieces that helped protect the entrance of the Delaware Bay. For ages 7 and older with an adult. Limit 20. Please call (302) 644-5007 to preregister. Free Fort Miles

Discover Battery 519 - CANCELLED

Friday, May 8, 2020

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 5/8/2020 11:00:00 AM 5/9/2020 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 - CANCELLED 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

Discover Battery 519 - CANCELLED

Saturday, May 9, 2020

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 5/9/2020 11:00:00 AM 5/10/2020 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 - CANCELLED 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

Discover Battery 519 - CANCELLED

Friday, May 15, 2020

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 5/15/2020 11:00:00 AM 5/16/2020 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 - CANCELLED 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

Discover Battery 519

Saturday, May 16, 2020

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. $5 per person.

Add to Calendar 5/16/2020 11:00:00 AM 5/16/2020 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 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. $5 per person. Fort Miles

Featured Program: Truckin' Through History

Saturday, May 16, 2020

2:00 PM

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

Add to Calendar 5/16/2020 2:00:00 PM 5/16/2020 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Featured Program: Truckin' Through History Take a ride on an historic WWII troop carrying truck as we tour the park looking at some of the lesser-known remains of Fort Miles. Tours meet at the Biden Center, and tickets go on sale at the Fort Miles Museum each Saturday morning on a first-come, first served basis. For ages 7 and up with a paying adult. Maximum of four tickets per group. Limit 12 per ride. $8 per person Fort Miles

Discover Battery 519

Friday, May 22, 2020

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 5/22/2020 11:00:00 AM 5/23/2020 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 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

Discover Battery 519

Saturday, May 23, 2020

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 5/23/2020 11:00:00 AM 5/24/2020 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 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

Battery 519 Lantern Tour

Saturday, May 23, 2020

8:00 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 World War II turned out to be for soldiers stationed at Fort Miles. For ages 10 and older with a paying adult. Limit 30. Pre-registration is required by calling (302) 644-5007. $5 per person

Add to Calendar 5/23/2020 8:00:00 PM 5/23/2020 9:00:00 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 World War II turned out to be for soldiers stationed at Fort Miles. For ages 10 and older with a paying adult. Limit 30. Pre-registration is required by calling (302) 644-5007. $5 per person Fort Miles

Discover Battery 519

Friday, May 29, 2020

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 5/29/2020 11:00:00 AM 5/30/2020 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 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

Discover Battery 519

Saturday, May 30, 2020

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 5/30/2020 11:00:00 AM 5/31/2020 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 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