World War II on North Hutchinson Island!

From "The View"

Edited by Carolyn Leaman

We all know that our Island was used as a training area for the Seabees and the Under Water Demolition Teams. The Island was under constant attack from these men and detonation of all kinds of Military bombs took place -- some from aircraft and others from the actual landing of troops on the shores.   The Island was armed and used as a training ground for the landing to take place in the Belgium area of Europe in the 1940's.

The shores of our beach were armed with "scullies", Belgian Gates,   and other horrible looking pieces of armor. The men were taught to land with this in place because that was what had been put on the beaches in Europe.   The armor that was put in place filled the area from the Moorings in Vero Beach to the inlet at Fort Pierce.

Families started to build on the Island after the 40's. The first developments were Fort Pierce Shores, the tri-plexus along AlA, and the villas across from the old Radisson. The County was called on to help clear those beaches so that the new residents could use them. Bulldozers were brought in and the "scullies" or horns as they called them were removed.  Over the years, this happened quite often.

Ocean Resorts was one of the first businesses that occupied the Island. There was a camp ground before it and many of our residents still remember camping there in the late 60's and 70's. During the late 80's, early 90's, one of our residents son was injured on one of the horns or "scullies"   His knee was torn and a doctor had to repair the damage. This was brought to the attention of the North Beach Association. The Association started a long battle with the County and the U. S. Government. Letters were sent to Congressmen for their cooperation in getting the debris out of the water-most of which was in the vicinity of the Avalon Parks, Ocean Resorts and Bryn Mawr.

Contracts were signed by Congress for millions of dollars over four different contracts to remove the debris. Equipment was moved in and over several years, it was finally finished. Live bombs were recovered along the beach in Vero Beach along with dead bombs. The Military knew they were there but did not have the funds to remove them. The contracts took care of everything that could be found. The Belgian Gates were all found in the beach in front of Ocean Resorts. Many of the residents were there to take pictures and watch as these huge pieces of railroad tracks, welded together were removed from the ocean.    It took many phone calls, letters, and threats of suits, fax messages and arguments with the Corps of Engineers. We finally won and even thought there may be one or two more uncovered with winter storms.  We now feel that our beach is not only beautiful but safe.