Saturday, July 9, 2011

2011 Old Fort MacArthur Days Pictures

We didn't get to Old Fort MacArthur Days last year because we forgot, (DOH!), but we set aside the time for it this year. It's always fun to go and see the reenactors, and talk to them. It's rather strange to see a Roman Centurion talking to a Viet Nam USGI, and hearing them talk about their computer problems! I think I learned more about smoothbore vs rifled muskets this year than I knew before, and had an absolute blast talking to the guy that owns the M29 Weasel you'll see in the pictures. He'd always wanted one, and was at a Military Vehicles Collectors meet a few years ago where he saw one for sale. It turns out he couldn't afford the fully restored one, so he bought FOUR that were in various states of disrepair, and built the one good one you see here. The Browning M1919 air-cooled 30cal on it is set up to "fire" propane, and he said it works very well. And he said the neighborhood kids just go nuts when he fires up the Weasel, and brings it out.
The other interesting thing we saw was the guy in the red jacket playing this very strange, hand-cranked stringed instrument. I'd never seen or heard anything quite like it, and it turns out it's a Hurdy Gurdy, also called a "Wheel Fiddle". Look for the guy in the red jacket holding it in his lap.
This year I took some pictures of the displays inside the tunnels that honeycomb the hills under and around Battery Osgood-Farley. Sorry for the dark shadow in the middle of the ones I used with my flash. I forgot to take off the sunshade on the lens, and the built-in flash will cast a shadow if it's on.
If you're ever in the Los Angeles/San Pedro area, drop in at the Fort MacArthur Military Museum. It's a very interesting place, and one of the last remaining examples of a Coastal Defense Installation around.
Unfortunately we missed the "Live Fire" this year of the artillery. We got there a bit later than I wanted to, and were over on the other side of the park when they started. We could hear them firing (boy, could we), and could see the smoke, but weren't able to make our way over there in time.

Enjoy the pictures!


  1. Excellent pix, DrJim! We have been to the battery and museum, but Ft. MacArthur Days looks like so much more fun.

  2. Yeah, it's a ball!
    Once a year they have a "Behind The Scenes" tour that takes you into all the places that are normally off-limits to the public. One of my friends took it (I was out at-sea), and she told me it was amazing.
    They also do a "Great L.A. Air Raid" event in February that we missed this year because it was raining.
    Turns out we had the wrong date!

  3. I love the WW2 Reenactors. They the majority of them belong to a group called the California Historical Group. They be at Marching through History in October


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