Interview With Norman H. Myhre

From the interview with Norman H. Myhre of Port Townsend conducted by Oran DeBois at the Fort Worden History Center on October 7, 2003. Mr. Myhre served in the US Navy at Fort Worden Harbor Entrance Control Post on Artillery Hill from 1942-43. Here he discusses how the townspeople treated sailors while he was here:

“Good. Matter of fact, we had a sheriff who was a big help. (Peter Naughton was Jefferson County Sheriff in the 1940’s) There were times when we would go downtown and catch the 11:00 o’clock truck going back up on Artillery Hill. There were guys who were there maybe during the afternoon and they had a little too much to drink. Rather than let the Shore Patrol pick them up, he would send them up the stairs at Delmonico’s and let them sleep it off util the truck came in. Then he’d get them back down and keep them out of trouble. What a guy, you could sure see how he felt toward the servicemen and how they admired him.”

Mr. Myhre also submitted a handwritten memoir describing his service at Fort Worden. Here is an excerpt:

…”I was on the Signal Tower crew here at Hudson Point. Then the Army and Navy set us up in a better tower on top of Fort Worden. Here we could keep track of and contact all the ships entering and leaving the Straits. We would give the Navy ships their berthing instructions for those entering.

When we had fog to contend with, we had a Navy PC cutter to check out their ships and smaller boats for us. The cutter was moored at the Fort Worden dock. The navy had sonar gear between Point Wilson and Whidbey Island. The sonar crew was a big help during the night and also with foggy weather.

In our Fort Worden signal tower, we had two signal lights that were both 12 inch and we had one arc light that was 24 inches. With the 24 inch light, we could contact ships that were many, many miles out. Below our signal tower, which was underground, we had quarters for Army and Navy duty officers. This was a 24 hour operation for all concerned. The Navy got along very well with the Army.

…We had about 60 Navy personnel at HECP Fort Worden. We had about six officers.”

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