Cape May in Cape May County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Cape May during World War II
The Army, Navy and Coast Guard all had bases in the area.
Throughout the war years, Cape May continued to operate as a coastal resort and promote itself to visitors. Tourism, however, sometimes came into conflict with military necessity. All along the coast, the military pressed light control regulations to protect shipping from submarine attacks. However, Cape May businessmen fought these blackouts and dimouts, requesting extension of hours. After several months of losing ships, the military prevailed and notices were distributed throughout the community explaining blackout regulations and recommending opaque materials to prevent any light from escaping from windows.
The changes in Cape May were not just evident at night but were a part of daily life. It was illegal to take photographs of the ocean. Fishing around bridges or causeways was no longer allowed. As 1942 progressed, there was increased military activity on the coast. In April, the Civilian Aircraft Warning Service predicted air raids of Atlantic Coast cities. In May, the entire Eastern Seaboard
Cape May residents participated in the war effort in many ways. They joined in the rationing that was occurring all over the country. They also volunteered to man the coastal lookout towers that were established along the beachfront to look for enemy airplanes and ships.
It was in this atmosphere of blackouts, sinking of U.S. ships by submarines, and predictions of air raids that fire control towers like this one were built in New Jersey.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, World II. A significant historical year for this entry is 1940.
Location. 38° 56.617′ N, 74° 58.004′ W. Marker is in Cape May, New Jersey, in Cape May County. Marker is on Sunset Blvd. (County Route 606), on the left when traveling west. Marker is located near the World War II Lookout Tower. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cape May NJ 08204, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Construction of Fort Miles (here, next to this marker); History of Coastal Defenses (a few steps from this marker); Fire Control Tower No. 23 (a few steps from this marker); The Top of the Fire Tower (a few steps from this marker); Construction of Fire Control Tower No. 23 (a few steps from this marker); The abrupt end of Fort MilesLandscape (a few steps from this marker); S.S. Atlantus (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cape May.
More about this marker. The background of the marker contains a silhouette of the area showing Fire Control Tower No. 23. Also present are a U.S. Coast Artillery Corps recruitment poster and a photograph of “Naval Air Station Cape May [which] was at the eastern end of the city, where the Coast Guard Base is today.”
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 20, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 930 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 20, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.