Fort Stevens, situated near Astoria Oregon and the other Columbia River forts reached their peak of activity during World War II. Approximately 2500 men stationed there. As late as 1994, Battery 245, a new gun emplacement was completed, with two 6-inch rifles that had a range of about fifteen miles, almost double the range of the 10-inch rifles. Also a 90mm AMTB battery was placed on the south jetty.
On the night of June 21, 1942, Fort Stevens saw its only action when a Japanese submarine (the I-25) fired 5.5 inch shells in the vicinity of the fort. The shelling caused no damage. The Fort Commander refused to allow return fire. The incident made Fort Stevens the only installation to be attacked by an enemy since the War of 1812.
Shortly after World War II, Fort Stevens was deactivated as a military fort. The development of improved air power and guided missiles made coastal artillery forts such as Fort Stevens obsolete. By 1947, all of the guns were removed and much of the fort was turned over to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps used the area as their headquarters for maintenance activities at the mouth of the Columbia River. In 1975, Oregon State Parks leased the old fort area and are currently restoring and interpreting Fort Stevens.
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