Visited 22 Jun 2009 – Battery 131 was a 16″ gun battery built late in World War II and finished just as the war was ending . The battery was accepted for service 7 Jun 1945 midway between VE Day and VJ Day. This battery had two huge 16″ Mark II-M1 naval guns installed on M4 Barbette carriages casemated in a massive reinforced concrete structure.
This battery was located on Camp Hayden which is now a Callam County Park called the Salt Creek Recreation Area/Camp Hayden.This park is located on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula of Washington State near Port Angeles. The battery itself is very accessible and you can actually drive through both gun emplacements. The battery is big as you can see from the photo of my rental car parked in the #1 gun pit. The only downer is that all the interior rooms are locked up.
They do have a nice display of 16″ shells on the side as you drive through the emplacements and it is interpreted well. I did walk across the top of the battery but nothing to see up there that I could find. The center entrance is locked up and all you can see is a bit of the interior through the grating. The plotting room for the battery is located a short distance behind it but, sadly, it is also sealed up
Salt Creek Recreation Area/Camp Hayden is a great park and the lower area has some really great RV slots facing right out on the Straight of Juan de Fuca, as you can see from the photo , the view is terrific. There are no sanitary connections at the RV slots but the sanitary dump is very close and convenient. This is a great place to park your RV!
There are remnants of fire control stations and Meteorological/Spotter stations to be seen right on the lower level.
We used Camp Hayden as a base for exploring the area and for a trip to Victoria BC via the ferry at Port Angeles and we wish we had the time to drive out to Neah Bay and see what remains out there.
This post was written by JohnStanton on July 7, 2009