Fort Fisher highlights its World War II role in upcoming program

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Fort Fisher will highlight its role in WWII during an upcoming program on Saturday, Oct. 15. (Courtesy photo)
Fort Fisher will highlight its role in WWII during an upcoming program on Saturday, Oct. 15. (Courtesy photo)

KURE BEACH— Fort Fisher State Historic Site will host the program “Fort Fisher’s World War II Experience” next weekend.

Visitors can join Fort Fisher staff from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, when the historic site will reflect on, and commemorate, the lesser-known history of the fort as an antiaircraft training base during World War II, according to a release from the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Fort Fisher is where a large number of American servicemen and women lived and trained during the 1940s. On Saturday, military and civilian re-enactors will set up displays on the old Fort Fisher airstrip and portray what life was like for a World War II solder at the base and on the homefront.

The program will include free presentations by three distinguished historians — speakers Wilbur Jones, Cliff Tyndall, and Krystal Lee — who will tell all about southeastern North Carolina’s role in the war, including Fort Fisher, Camp Davis and Wilmington. The historians will speak at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m., respectively. The program is free, open to the public, and intended for all ages.

Fort Fisher State Historic Site is located at 1610 Fort Fisher Blvd. S. in Kure Beach.

During the Civil War, Fort Fisher, the largest earthen fortification in the Confederacy, once protected the port of Wilmington and the vital blockade running trade on the Cape Fear River. After two massive naval bombardments the fort fell to a Union assault on Jan. 15, 1865. With the capture of Fort Fisher, Wilmington’s port – “the Lifeline of the Confederacy” – was closed to foreign trade.

Fort Fisher State Historic Site is now part of the Division of State Historic Sites in the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.