10 Interesting Facts about Fort Monmouth
Fort Monmouth has a long and fascinating history that many don’t know about. People living or working within the Fort may not be aware of how impactful it truly was. Our goal is to bring Fort Monmouth’s full and interesting past to light and show New Jersey what a gift it truly is. Here are 10 interesting facts about Fort Monmouth:
1. Fort Monmouth was the home of various technological breakthroughs and advancements.
Some of these innovations include the development of the FM radio, radar, walkie-talkies and night vision goggles.
2. Fort Monmouth was known as the Black Brain Center of the U.S.
African American electrical engineer Thomas E. Daniels stated that in the 1940’s and 1950’s Fort Monmouth was a place where black scientists and engineers could find jobs and advance their careers. Dr. McAfee was a lead on project Diana, which bounced communications signals off of the moon.
3. Fort Monmouth’s name honors the Soldiers of the American Revolution who died in the Battle of Monmouth Court House in 1778.
The battle pitted the Continental Army, commanded by General George Washington, against the British Army in North America, commanded by General Sir Henry Clinton.
4. From 1917 to 1957, the US Army Pigeon Breeding and Training Center was based at Fort Monmouth.
The unit’s assignment was the training and usage of homing pigeons for communication and reconnaissance purposes. During World War II, the force consisted of 3,150 soldiers and 54,000 war pigeons, which were considered an undetectable method of communication, read more about his work at Fort Monmouth here.
5. Senator Joseph McCartny investigated the Army Signal Corps at Fort Monmouth for an alleged communisit infiltration.
The year the Army-McCarthy hearings took place, McCarthy was discredited and saw a resulting decline in popularity. The senate censured him and his career in politics was essentially, over. Read more in our previous blog.
6. New York City and Washington D.C. Signal Corps’ Laboratories merged together at Fort Monmouth and experienced great success.
The two merged with the existing Radio Laboratories in 1929 to form the consolidated “Signal Corps Laboratories.”
7. Fort Monmouth is referred to as the “Soul of the Signal Corps.”
The Fort housed the official Time capsule of the Army Signal Corps and hosts the Avenue of Memories, a set of trees and monuments dedicated to Signal Corp soldiers who died in World War II.
8. In 1920, Fort Monmouth experienced a mysterious fire with an unknown origin.
The fire took place at Camp Vail and destroyed government property then valued at over $500,000.
9. Fort Monmouth was home to the 389th Army Band.
This was the official band of the Army Materiel Command and served all subordinate commands when musical support was required for military and official functions. They also supported Army recruiting and participated regularly in community events.
10. Infamous Sovient spy, Julius Rosenberg, worked as a radar inspector at Fort Monmouth.
The Fort accused and convicted him of stealing proximity fuze plans and passing them on to the Soviet Union. It was later proven that he was, in fact, a spy. Read more about Julius and his wife, Ethel and their time at Fort Monmouth here.
Next time you’re in the area, reflect on the many stories of Fort Monmouth. It is wonderful to think about the many achievements that existed here before us.