“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Corolla in Currituck County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

A Nation's Defense

A Nation's Defense Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., July 20, 2013
1. A Nation's Defense Marker
Inscription. Due to its remote location on the Currituck Outer Banks, the Whalehead Club has been used in various ways for national defense. Shortly after Ray T. Adams purchased this property, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) and the U.S. entered World War II. German submarines soon prowled the eastern seaboard looking for vulnerable ships. By April 1942, German “U Boats” sank half a million tons of shipping. During a one-month period, they destroyed a ship every day off the North Carolina coast. Thus, Adams leased the Whalehead Club to the Coast Guard for the duration of the war.

The Coast Guard’s duties first included the rescue of merchantmen from sinking ships. Mounted beach patrols protected this remote coastline from landing by enemy agents. Soon, the Whalehead Club became a receiving station for Coast Guardsmen waiting reassignment after basic training.

During the Cold War, when the “space race” between the U.S. and Soviet Union reached its peak, the Whalehead Club again contributed to national defense. The Atlantic Research Corporation, specialists in rocket fuel for military and space programs, found Corolla Island’s remote location perfect for the largely classified work they carried out here (1962-1969), including development of a solid rocket fuel that gave the U.S. an advantage
A Nation's Defense Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., July 20, 2013
2. A Nation's Defense Marker
over the Soviet Union in the production of large booster rockets.

Picture captions are (top to bottom):
Smoke from a static-firing test. Photograph (provided for the marker) courtesy of Gene and Shirley Austin.

A test motor on a support stand. Photograph (provided for the marker) courtesy of Gene and Shirley Austin.

Fifth Naval District Barracks on Currituck Beach.
Erected by Whalehead Club Curritcuck Heritage Park, Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, N.C. Wildlife Education Resources Commission.
Location. 36° 22.432′ N, 75° 49.892′ W. Marker is in Corolla, North Carolina, in Currituck County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Ocean Trail (State Highway 12) and Club Road. Click for map. Marker is within Whalehead Park, alongside the canal, about a 1/4 mile west from the entrance to the park. Marker is in this post office area: Corolla NC 27927, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Swimming Pool on the Outer Banks (within shouting distance of this marker); The Caretaker's Residence (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Boathouse (about 300 feet away); The Knights (about 400 feet away); The Whalehead Club (about 400 feet away); Corolla Island Bridges (about 500 feet away); Waterfowl Resting Area (about 500 feet away); Duck Blinds (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Corolla.
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 212 times since then and 16 times this year. Last updated on , by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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