Fort Hunt

  • Travel Genus: Sight
  • Sight Category: Historic District

Originally part of George Washington's Mount Vernon estate, the land that is Fort Hunt Park has undergone several transformations. Batteries at Fort Hunt defended the Potomac River during the Spanish American War; the Civilian Conservation Corps operated a camp there during the Great Depression; and soldiers at Fort Hunt interrogated prisoners, trained pilots in escape and evasion, and combed German documents for intelligence during World War II. The Military Intelligence Service-X program, which communicated via coded correspondence with American POWs in European camps, created and coordinated shipments of escape and evasion kits disguised as humanitarian aid packages. Items included a baseball that contained radio parts and playing cards that had concealed maps. Today Fort Hunt is a favorite spot for picnicking.

Fort Hunt Park is located near the shores of the Potomac River in Virginia. Mixed hardwood forests and open fields provide a variety of habitats for birds and other wildlife. - NPS

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Fort Hunt


Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
1608/06/20 John Smith (Explorer) Explorer The Conoy people encounter Captain John Smith and a small exploratory party of Englishmen. Voyage of Discovery on the Chesapeake
1890/03/00 United States Army Architect To prevent attack from ships coming up the Potomac, the US Army Engineer Board recommends the construction of artillery batteries at Fort Hunt. However, Fort Hunt never came under attack.
1931/00/00 United States War Department Operator In the spring of 1931, the War Department assigns a Negro Reserve Officers' Training Corps unit to train at Fort Hunt. They drilled at the site for two years.
1931/05/00 United States War Department Operator The War Department shuts down Fort Hunt in May 1931 and the 16th Infantry Brigade detachment is transferred by October.
1933/06/00 Civilian Conservation Corps Genesis Of the 3,000 Second Bonus Marchers, 2,657 accept FDR's proposal of a job in his newly created Forest Army, a program which will develop into the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
1933/06/00 Franklin D Roosevelt US President President Roosevelt offers the men of the Second Bonus March jobs in his newly created Forest Army, a forerunner of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
1939/00/00 United States War Department Operator The War Department establishes a secret radio monitoring station at Fort Hunt that is intended to collect information about enemies of the United States which includes monitor radio traffic from Mexico, Japan, Germany and Italy.
1939/06/09 King George VI meets with members of the work relief program at Fort Hunt in Virginia. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth State Visit of Canada
1942/05/15 The US Army uses Fort Hunt as an intelligence center, known as PO Box 1142, designed for the strategic and scientific interrogation of Prisoners of War.
1944/06/00 Lt Cmd Werner Henke, the highest-ranking German officer to be shot while in American captivity during World War II, is killed while attempting an escape from Fort Hunt. He was later buried in the post cemetery on Fort Meade, Maryland.
1946/00/00 Closing in 1946, the 3 units of the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) program accomplishments aided the war effort, the Space Race, and the Cold War because of the importance of the information gathered and the importance of the prisoners held there.

Data »

Particulars for Fort Hunt:
Other Description Endicott system
Profession Espionage
Owner Federal
Structure Type Fortification
Sight Category Historic District
Criteria Historic Event
Area of Significance Military

US National Registry of Historic Places Data »

Accurate at time of registration:

Registry Name:
Registry Address:
Registry Number: 80000353
Resource Type:
Owner: Federal
Architect: U.S. Army
Architectural Style: Other
Attribute: Endicott system
Nominator Name: National Parkway
Level of Significance: Local
Area of Significance: Military
Applicable Criteria: Event
Period of Significance: 1900-1924, 1875-1899, 1925-1949
Significant Year: 1897
Historic Function: Defense
Historic Sub-Function: Fortification
Current Function: Landscape
Current Sub-Function: Park

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