Battery Mishler (1900-1941) - Battery Lyman Mishler was built at Fort Stevens (1) between Aug 1898 and Jun 1900 and was transferred for service on 28 Jun 1900 at a cost of $302,014 (included Battery Lewis and Battery Walker). Originally one of three sets of emplacements called Battery Lewis, Battery Mishler was separately named in G.O. 20, 25 Jan 1906, for Bvt. Capt. Lyman Mishler (Cullum 1883)who was killed in action on 21 Feb 1862 at Valverde NM during the U.S. Civil War. Deactivated in 1941 and converted into an HECP/HDCP.
Endicott Period (1890-1910)
Part of the Harbor Defense of the Columbia.
A concrete Endicott Period battery facing the mouth of the Columbia River with two, 10" rifles on disappearing carriages. The battery was unusual in that had two 360-degree ARF (all-around fire) emplacements that allowed full coverage of the area.
Construction began on 28 Oct 1898 and both emplacements were turned over to the Commanding Officer of Fort Stevens on 28 Jun 1900. The two 10" rifles arrived in November 1899. One carriage arrived on 18 Apr 1900 but the remaining carriage was not in place until August 1901. In December 1901 the guns were successfully test-fired.
Legend has it that one of the early firings of one of these rifles killed six of the crew. The problem was that the guns were surrounded by thick walls on all sides in the circular gun pits. This would create a concussion effect when the gun was fired. If crew members did not protect themselves from the concussion effect by jumping and saying "ahh" when firing the gun, they could suffer major internal injuries and shattered bones.
There was a casualty at Battery Mishler. One of the gun crew did not make it fast enough to the enclaves in the wall when the gun was fired. The recoil of the gun hit the crew member and killed him. This was the only confirmed military causality at Fort Stevens.
World War II (1941-1945)
At the beginning of World War II in 1941 both emplacements and the rifles were covered with timbers and then with earth and sod to camouflage the battery. The control structure in the lower gallery was sealed and pressed into service as a Harbor Defense Command Post (HDCP) and Harbor Entrance Command Post (HECP) for controlling the defense of the Columbia River entrance. After the war in 1946-47, the rifles and carriages were scrapped. A concrete roof that still exists was built over the two emplacements.
Cold War (1947-1991)
In Sep 1950, just after the start of the Korean War, the Air Force established Fort Stevens Air Force Station (759th AC&W) on the Fort Steven post. The Air Force Station provided long-range radar surveillance using CPS-5D and TPS-1B radar sets mounted on the concrete roof of Battery Mishler. The unit headquarters was located in the "Guard House" and the control structure of Battery Mishler served as the operations and maintenance center for the squadron.
Fort Stevens Air Force Station moved to Naselle AFS in Washington Feb 1952.
This is the only example of the 10" ARF battery left in the world. Battery Heileman at Fort San Jacinto had one 10" ARF emplacement but the battery was destroyed. Fort Michie's, Battery Davis contains the remains of ARF emplacement, albeit for a single 16" gun.
The Battery is in poor condition and not accessible to the general public except by guided tour. No period guns or carriages in place. ---
Visited: 22 Aug 2008, 18 May 2008, 20 June 2007