Near Pensacola Beach in Escambia County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Battery Van Swearingen
—Fort Pickens —
All alone in the glaring sun...scanning the horizon...looking for but hoping not to see an enemy ship or plane—guard duty was no picnic for the Coast Artillery during World War II. Soldiers stood guard around the clock in three- or four-hour shifts. At night "you'd hear something moving," one soldier said, "and you couldn't tell if it was a German off a U-Boat or not." The battery, built in 1898 for two 4.72-inch Armstrong rifles, was converted into a range-finding station for Battery Payne in 1922 and used throughout World War II.
This battery was named for Capt. Joseph Van Swearingen of the 6th U.S. Infantry. He was killed on December 25, 1837, in a skirmish with Seminole Indians at Okeechobee, Florida.
Erected by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
Location. 30° 19.653′ N, 87° 17.716′ W. Marker is near Pensacola Beach, Florida, in Escambia County. Marker is on Fort Pickens Road 10.5 miles west of Pensacola Beach Boulevard (Florida Route 399), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. This portion of Fort Pickens Road is one-way. Marker is at or near this postal address: Fort Pickens Road, Gulf Breeze FL 32561, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers Battery Payne (within shouting distance of this marker); Battery Langdon (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line but has been reported missing); Battery Cullum, Battery Sevier (about 500 feet away); Colonial Power Struggle (approx. 0.2 miles away); Hurricane Ivan (approx. 0.2 miles away); Battery Trueman (approx. 0.2 miles away); Apache Prisoners (approx. 0.3 miles away); Fort within a Fort (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Pensacola Beach.
Also see . . . Fort Wiki article on Battery Van Swearingen. (Submitted on January 2, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Categories. • Forts, Castles • War, World II •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 221 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.