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Fort Barrancas

Pensacola, Florida
Escambia County

This site is located in the Northwest region of the state.


Fort Barrancas may be reached by using the Main Entrance of Pensacola Naval Air Station about one mile south of Barrancas Avenue (SR292) on Navy Boulevard (SR295). SR 292 leads southwest from Pensacola to the Perdido Key Area. On the island, turn left onto Johnson Beach Road to the fort.

Managed by the National Park Service as part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, the British built the first fort on this site in 1763. The United States began construction of forts at all major harbors after the War of 1812. Work on Pensacola harbor defenses began in 1829 and continued for thirty years. With the development of ironclad ships and rifled cannon during the Civil War, masonry forts of this design became obsolete.

Developed as an artillery-training center prior to World War II, the 13th Coast Artillery Regiment occupied this site when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Supported by batteries at Fort Pickens and Fort McRee, Fort Barrancas served as the headquarters for this area of the coastal defense system. With some Allied military successes in late 1942, the post responsibility focused on the training artillery units.

Removal of all the guns and equipment occurred in 1946 and the fort became deactivated in 1947. Reopened in 1980 by the National Park Service, this site is open to the public on a regular schedule.