Fort Saulsbury

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Fort Saulsbury (1917-1946) - A World War I open plan coastal fort established in 1917. Named for U.S. Senator Willard Saulsbury, Sr. who served in the U.S. Senate from Delaware 1859 through 1871. Deactivated 1946.

Fort Saulsbury 1940 Aerial View, Battery Hall on right, Battery Haslet on left

World War I (1917-1918)

Part of the Harbor Defense of the Delaware.

Two World War I reinforced concrete 12" gun batteries were built, both started Aug 1917 and both completed in Dec 1920. The guns were proof fired 15 & 16 May 1930. The Fort was in caretaker status from 1918 until 1940.

Fort Saulsbury World War I Battery (edit list)
Click on Battery links below
No. Caliber Type Mount Service Years Battery Cost Notes
Battery Hall 2 12" LR Barbette Carriage 1924-1945 $ 839,586* Army Guns
Battery Haslet 2 12" LR Barbette Carriage 1924-1942 $ 839,586* Army Guns
Guns to Battery 519, Fort Miles
Source: CDSG

Fort Saulsbury Plan

World War II (1941-1945)

In 1940 a construction program began to support the buildup for World War II. In 1942 the two guns from Battery Haslet were removed to Battery 519, Fort Miles and were emplaced in March 1943. Battery Hall was placed in reserve status 19 Jul 1944. The Fort became a POW camp for German and Italian soldiers. The last POW left Fort Saulsbury on 11 Jan 1946 and the Fort was deactivated.

Current Status

Private property, no period guns or carriages remain.

Location: Slaughter Beach, Sussex County, Delaware.

Maps & Images

Lat: 38.9343347 Long: -75.3317177


  • Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 131
  • U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project of The Delaware, (HDDEL-AN-45), 1 Jul 1945, CDSG


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