THE FMHA “Museum Happenings” is published monthly to keep you up-to-date on Happenings at the Fort Miles Museum. This blog focuses on APRIL AND MAY, 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 in APRIL and MAY.

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 all Film and Lecture Series events start at 1PM and will be completed by 3PM.

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, 1PM: 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.

The April 29th Open House is the annual “Delaware Goes to War: VICTORY IN EUROPE” OPEN HOUSE hosted by Delaware State Parks and FMHA. Throughout the day visitors can talk with re-enactors from the 261st Coastal Artillery and German re-enactors. One of the re-enactments depicts the surrender of German u-Boat 858 at the Fort Miles mine planting pier (now the CHSP fishing pier).

In addition to the films and 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 the Museum 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 Museum admission fee is $5.00 per person (or $15 for a family package). Free admission for children ages 7 and under when accompanied by a paying adult. Museum admission provides access to all of the Battery 519 exhibits, the Schroeder Art Gallery featuring works by Howard Schroeder, Abraxes Hudson and Mary Marshall, the Paul Rendel art exhibition and sale as well as the Film/Lecture Series event. Note, however, seating is limited for the Film/Lecture Series events and will be available on a first come, first served basis.

All proceeds will accrue to FMHA to further expand and enhance the Museum. As noted above seating is limited for the Film and Lecture series events.


In addition to viewing a number of Howard Schroeder paintings in the Schroeder Gallery, Battery 519 visitors may also access 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 April, May and early June are “DISCOVER BATTERY 519” 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 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.

Finally, in 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 reservation 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 March and April at Cape Henlopen State Park:

Volunteer Trail Day, 9AM-Noon, April 8, May 13

Spring Migration Bird Walks, 8AM, April 4, 11, 18 and 25

Ospreys Return!, 11AM, April 8

(Fish) Feeding Frenzy, 2PM, April 1, 8,15, 22, 29

49th Great Delaware Kite Festival, 10:30AM – 3PM, April 14

Egg-Case Hunt, 11AM, April 18

Earth Day Hike, 11AM, April 22

Driving on the Beach, 9:30AM, April 22 and May 20 (dates subject to change)

Eco-Artists, 11AM, May 6

An Evening with Horseshoe Crabs, 7:30PM, May 9 and 24

Petals in the Park, 11AM, May 13

Seashore Safari, 9AM, May 27

Dolphin Watch, 9:30AM, May 28

Visit the Delaware State Parks website for details or call 302-645-6852.