NAVFAC LEWES, DELAWARE
DEDICATED AS A
STATE HISTORICAL SITE
By LCDR Stuart Brown
Commander Undersea Surveillance, Norfolk, VA
On 28 July, 2007 NAVFAC Lewes was dedicated
and as a State Historical Site. A plaque bearing the
seal of the former NAVFAC Lewes was unveiled and
christened during a short ceremony. The site and the
remains of some her support facilities are slowly
being restored and their locations marked
prominently with plaques noting their purpose and
significance during NAVFAC Lewes’s period of
Leading this effort is a CAPT William Manthorpe,
USN (RET). A veteran of IUSS, SOSUS, and a
resident of the Delaware Coast, CAPT Manthorpe
along with local IUSS Alumni have enthusiastically
pursued preserving what’s left of NAVFAC Lewes as
an important piece of SOSUS history.
NAVFAC Lewes was originally known as Naval
Facility Cape May, New Jersey. NAVFAC Cape May
was commissioned 15 August 1955 and was
destroyed during the Ash Wednesday Storm of
March 1962. Following this all of NAVFAC Cape
May’s equipment was shipped by LST 12 miles across
the Delaware Bay to Lewes, Delaware, and was
reactivated on the site of Fort Miles, Delaware.
Naval Facility Lewes was commissioned 1 May 1962
following the deactivation of Naval Facility Cape
May. NAVFAC Lewes served the Navy well for
many years and in September, 1977, LCDR Peggy
Frederick took charge as the first woman to assume
command of an IUSS Naval Facility. NAVFAC
Lewes was decommissioned 30 September 1981,
CUS Current Operations Officer, LCDR Stuart Brown and
after 26 years of dedicated service. IUSS Alumni member, CDR Edward Dalrymple USN (RET),
unveil a plaque dedicating the NAVFAC Lewes administrative
building as a Delaware State Historical Site.
Former NAVFAC Lewes members and IUSS Alumni pose for Foundation of NAVFAC Lewes Terminal or “T”-Building on
a photo during the dedication ceremony. Pictured from left to Fort Miles. What remains of an artillery bunker still stands just
right Front Row are: OTASN Clark, USN (REL), ENS behind where the building once stood.
Madsen, USN (REL), OTCS Fred Johnson, USN (RET), OTCS
O.B. Corning, USN (RET), Mrs. Angela Rose, (Career IUSS
CIV), OTCS Jack Fessler, USN (RET), SOSUS Senior Chief
Jim Ciolek, USN (RET), OTCM Bada Atanacio, USN (RET).
Back Row: CDR Ed Dalrymple, USN (RET), STG2 Jack
Mueller, USN (REL), Mr Frank Gambino. Not Pictured: Mr
Earl Williams AT&T (RET), CDR Jim Moses, USN (RET),
SOSUS Senior Chief Bill Compton, USN (RET), STGCS Keith
Stevenson, USN (RET).
IUSS Alumni Member and NAVFAC Lewes Historian, CAPT
William Manthorpe, USN (RET) provides the group of IUSS
Alumni a brief historical overview of NAVFAC Lewes and
IUSS in general.
The original “SOSUS” cable that once terminated into
NAVFAC Lewes’s “T” building now lies exposed on the beach
just seaward of the former facility.
Former Ocean Systems Technician and CUS N2 employee, Mr.
Keith Stevenson, provides IUSS Alumni an update on where
IUSS is today and where it is going.