PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Fort Stevens State Park in Astoria is the only military fort in the United States that was attacked during WW2, and it marked an important day 80 years ago.
According to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, the park was named after the territorial governor of Washington in 1862, who died in the Battle of Chantilly. The fort has been a military outpost through the 20th century.
During WW2, it was attacked by a Japanese submarine on June 21, 1942.
“It didn’t actually become a park until the state started acquiring land there between 1955 and 1974,” said Chris Habel, a spokesperson for Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
In the present day, those who visit the park have access to a small museum explaining the history of the area along with earthworks, which are recreations that date back to that early period. There are also actual bunkers used during WW2 that held the artillery and cannons that were used to defend the mouth of the Columbia River.
“Thankfully, in these times, we’re getting a lot more joy out of that place as a park,” Habel said.
The park has a campground, extensive trails, and places to paddle and bike.
If visiting the park, OPRD says to be “extremely careful” when lighting a campfire due to dry conditions.