THE FMHA “Museum Happenings” is published monthly to keep you up-to-date on Happenings at the Fort Miles Museum. This blog focuses on February and March, and, as noted, the blog will be updated monthly (or more frequently, as needed) thereafter. The blog will also include information about other scheduled events at Cape Henlopen State Park.

FMHA will be conducting Open Houses monthly during the months of February – May.  The Open Houses will be held from 11AM to 3PM the last Saturday of each month (February 25, March 25, April 29 and May 27).  These Open Houses and new World war II themed films and lectures  will continue into the summer months.

Each Open House will present a World War II themed lecture and accompanying film starting with a talk by Dr Gary Wray, President of FMHA and well known World War II historian and professor.  Please note, as shown below, starting times vary.

Saturday, February 25th, 1PM:  The German Submarine Attack on the East Coast of the US.  The film/lecture to be presented in February will center around the numerous German submarine attacks off the East Coast of the United States during World War II and a narrative of the surrender of submarine U-858, which took place at Fort Miles on May 14 1945.

Saturday, March 25th, 3PM:  The Doolittle Raid.  The subject of the March lecture and film will be the initial raid on Tokyo conducted by the famous Doolittle Raiders.  The story to be told revolves around Delaware co-pilot Lieutenant Colonel Dick Cole, who flew in the lead B-25 with General Doolittle.  Autographed copies of Lt Col Cole’s book, Dick Cole’s War, will be available for purchase.  Insights into the the last remaining B-25 aircraft used in the raid located in Georgetown, DE will be presented by Matt Sager from the Delaware Aviation Museum.

Saturday, April 29th, 1PM:  The Battle of Midway.  This presentation will feature the artwork of Paul Rendel, who captured the aircraft and pilots who participated in the battle in a number of oil paintings.  Retired US Navy Captain Bill Manthorpe will provide insights into how the Japanese wartime JN25 code was broken prior to the Battle.  Captain Manthorpe will discuss

the role played by Commander Joe Rochefort, who outwitted Yamamoto and broke the Japanese code.

Saturday, May 27, 3PM:  The Bombing of Europe.  The May film and lecture will feature the B-17 and its famous “Ball Turret Gunners.”  The B-17 aircraft was the most famous bomber used in World War II.

In addition to the lectures, these Open Houses will enable visitors to see all of the Fort Miles Museum exhibit rooms within Battery 519, a Paul Rendel art exhibition in our new second Gallery that will feature rotating exhibitions from local artists of all mediums and the Howard Schroeder Art Gallery featuring works painted by Howard Schroeder while stationed at Fort Miles during World War II.  The newly expanded Museum Gift Shop will also be open for each Open House.

Admission to these Open Houses and the Film and Lecture Series events will be through the main Museum entrance that can be reached by walking through the Artillery Park.  The entrance is located approximately 25 yards from the Artillery Park’s signature exhibit, a 16-inch gun similar to those located at Fort Miles during World War II.  The Open House admission fee is $5.00 per person (children under 7 are free) and provides access to all of the Battery 519 exhibits, the Schroeder Art Gallery and the Paul Rendel art exhibition and sale.  All proceeds will accrue to FMHA to further expand and enhance the Museum.  Visitors wishing only to attend the Film and Lecture Series events will be admitted free and should plan to arrive not later than 15 minutes before the scheduled event.  Donations will gratefully be accepted.

As noted above, once inside Battery 519, visitors can view the Art of Fort Miles Gallery featuring the works of Howard Schroeder, Mary Marshall and Abraxus Hudson.  This is your best opportunity to see a number of Mr. Schroeder’s original paintings in one place.

Battery 519 also features our second Art Gallery displaying the original paintings and prints of Paul Rendel.  The works of Mr. Rendel focus on World War II aircraft as well as landscapes.  The highlight of a visit to this exhibition will be to see a new painting specifically created by Mr. Rendel for the Fort Miles Museum.  Entitled “Liberty’s Silent Sentinel,” it is well worth seeing.  Mr. Rendel will be on hand to discuss his works and answer visitor questions.  Both original works of art and prints will be available for purchase.

While at Fort Miles on the above dates, Open House visitors will have the opportunity to speak with knowledgable Museum docents regarding the various exhibits, visit the Wall of Honor room and walk through the recently opened Artillery Park featuring the 16-inch gun from the U.S.S. Missouri.  This is a great chance to see the expanded Museum.

Also happening in February, March April and May are guided tours of the Artillery Park and Battery 519.  These tours are offered at 11AM and 2PM.  In addition, Lantern Tours of Battery 519 will be also be conducted in February, March April and May, as well as a Fire Power Tour offered in May.  All tours are led by Delaware State Parks interpretative guides. The fee for all tours is $5 per person.  These tours start at the Orientation Building located near the signed Fort Miles parking area.  Check out the “Contact & Tours” tab for details and advance reservations.

Also in March, April, May and June Delaware State Parks will offer scheduled interpretative tours of the the Howard Schroder Gallery at 12:15PM.  These “Schroeder:  An Artist at Fort Miles” tours will offer insightful analysis into paintings which capture some of the sights and scenes of military life at Fort Miles during World War II.

Please see the Contact & Tours tab for complete details of all of the above tours including limitations on tour size and certain age restrictions and other information.

SAVE THE DATE:  Annual Fort Miles Open House on Saturday April 29th, featuring World War II re-enactors, a ceremony to honor new additions to the Museum’s Wall of Honor and a Museum Open House.

Other Upcoming Events for February at Cape Henlopen State Park:

  • Gordon Pond Winter Hike, 11AM, February 4th
  • Volunteer Trail Day, 9AM-Noon, February 11th
  • Seals on the Beach, 11AM, February 25th

See the Delaware State Parks’ website for details!

In Memory of our friend Dan Lyons.

Daniel B Lyons III (1931 – 2016)

FMHA was saddened by the death of Dan Lyons, a long standing and energetic Member

of the FMHA Board.  Dan passed away peacefully at home on November 5 2016.

Dan’s interest in Fort Miles stemmed from his service in the United States Air Force, where he

served as a Transportation Officer.  Following his military service, Dan had a long and successful career in the transportation and logistics industry.

At the same time, as a result of developing an interest in volunteer fire service while attending the University of Maryland, Dan served with the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company.

Dan assisted with the development of the Fort Miles Museum during its infancy and contributed to the implementation and completion of the Wall of Honor that is an integral part of the Museum.  FMHA extends sympathy to Peggy, Dan’s wife of 63 years, and to all other members of his family.  Dan will be missed.