Interview With Walter R. Carroll

From the interview with Walter R. Carroll of Everett, WA conducted by Carter Huth by phone from the Fort Worden History Center on May 11, 2004. Mr. Carroll served in the National Guard as a high school student and would come to Fort Worden for two weeks in the summers. Here he talks about his role firing the guns on Artillery Hill:

“I was a shot heaver on one of those five inch guns, five or six inch, I can’t remember. ….We’d go over there and camp for two weeks and we learned to use those disappearing rifles. …They were about 20 feet long. So this missle weighed about 100 pounds and I’d give the kick the missile and throw it into the breech and the powder would come in behind me and they’d slam the breech and fire them. We used to fire at a target out in the bay. It was a tugboat pulling a target. Of course we’d compete with Battery A, I think they were from Mount Vernon.

Those missles weighed around 100 pounds, I’d put those into the breech and then they’d shove the powder back in behind it and that powder bag was probably 15 or 20 pounds of powder. It was in a white, round bag and they’d jam it in behind the missle. They’d slam the breech shut and then they’d get their coordinates on the telephones and they’d fire them. By golly, we knocked them out of the water.

We stayed up on the hill there in tents, up on top of the hill where the batteries were. I was over there probably about a year ago and they let me go up on the hill. It’s so grown up I didn’t recognize hardly anything.”

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