The Coast Guard Tower at the Inlet is one of just a few still standing in the United States today. A unique piece of Ocean City’s history, plans for it began in 1938 after the Coast Guard leased a small piece of land at the south end of the Boardwalk. Work on the 50-foot tall steel tower was completed in 1939 at a cost of $5,000.
The tower was an important part of coastal defense in World War II. Manned 24 hours a day it was used to monitor the offshore shipping lanes where German submarines sunk several merchant ships in 1942. During the Cold War era of the 1950s and ‘60s Russian subs patrolled off the coast. The Coast Guard was tasked with reporting any planes that flew by and logging in every boat that went in or out of the Inlet.
The tower reverted back to the Town of Ocean City on Dec. 6, 1977. No longer manned, it remains a silent spectator looking out on the wide Atlantic Ocean.
To purchase one of Bunk Mann’s books, click over to www.vanishingoc.com.