PORT ANGELES — The Washington National Guard is taking back a World War II anti-aircraft gun that had been on display at Fort Flagler State Park since 2004.
The 48,000-pound gun with a 30-foot barrel was on loan to the state park near Port Townsend, but the park didn’t expect it would have to return it to the Army, the Peninsula Daily News reported Tuesday.
“Now that we have the room, we want it back,” said Col. Alan Dorow, who supervised the operation.
The weapon will go on display at Camp Murray’s Arsenal Museum, which includes military equipment dating back to Washington’s statehood in 1889.
Nine members of the state National Guard spent two days dismantling the gun and loading it on trucks for Wednesday’s move as a training exercise.
The gun was built for use in World War II, but Dorow did not know its specific history. It fired 120 mm shells filled with shrapnel meant to bring down propeller planes. The gun cannot be fired now. Hydraulics were removed and some components were welded together.
“We would have loved to keep it,” said park manager Mike Zimmerman. “It has become a key part of our interpretive study and will be missed.”
The park is on the location of the 19th century Army fort on Marrowstone Island, near Port Townsend. Along with Fort Worden and Fort Casey, Fort Flagler defended Admiralty Inlet, the strategic entrance to Puget Sound.