Camp Langdon

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Camp Langdon (1909-1963) - A U.S. Army Camp established in 1909 as New Military Reservation on New Castle Island, Rockingham County, New Hampshire. Later renamed Camp Langdon in 1940 after John Langdon, Revolutionary War Patriot, a founding father of the Unitrd States and four time Governor of New Hampshire. The Camp became a part of Portsmouth Naval prison system in the 1950s and was sold to the town of Portsmouth in 1963.

History

Part of the Harbor Defense of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Established in 1909 as New Military Reservation, an expansion cantonment area for Fort Constitution and Fort Stark.

World War I

During World War I the reservation served as a headquarters for the harbor defense and as a cantonment area where most of the harbor defense personnel stayed during World War I.

After World War I two 3-inch M1917 anti-aircraft guns and a searchlight station were placed here as the only anti-aircraft battery in the harbor. Both guns were removed in the early 1930's.

World War II

In 1940 the military reservation again served as a headquarters and cantonment area for the harbor defense as the prewar buildup expanded the facilities. In 1940 the name was changed to Camp Langdon. As the headquarters for the Portsmouth Harbor Defenses, it consisted of a headquarters building, mess hall, barracks, hospital, chapel, PX and other support buildings. In 1943 WACs were also assigned to the camp. With the WWII Modernization program, new gun batteries were constructed and old obsolete batteries were deactivated. Camp Langon serving as a support base for these activities.

Post World War II

After World War II the property was turned over to the Navy and Marine Corps as an annex to the Portsmouth Naval Prison. The camp reopened 2 Apr 1954 as a part of the Navy Retraining Command, a program to restore men to duty. Closed for economic reasons and sold to the town of Portsmouth in 1963.

Current Status

Now a municipal park. The town library is now located here. The original WWII era Army Fire Station still exists. Building foundations still exist inside the park.

Location: New Castle, Rockingham County, New Hampshire.

Maps & Images

Lat: 43.06458 Long: -70.71425

See Also:

Sources:

  • Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 500.
  • Hope, Norman E., Waiting for the Enemy Memoirs of a World War II Soldier in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, The Coast Defense Journal, Vol 15, Issue 3, Page 60.
  • Kramer, Katy, Portsmouth Naval Prison, Arcadia Publishing, 2016, 128 pages.

Links:

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