training. They would drop them off
with full packs and they would have
to come to shore. We were fishing
and one guy was yelling. He was
going to drown. We rescued his
butt,” said O’Dell, who worked as a
civilian during the base construction.
More than 3,500 underwater demolition
divers trained on North Beach
and they literally rocked Fort Pierce.
“The whole town would shake from
the explosions,” Gilbert said.
There were many instances off the
coast of German submarines attacking
merchant ships. During one 48-
hour period three ships were sunk off
South Beach, including the Amazon.
“They made mattresses out of
newspapers in the halls of the hospital
on Seventh Street for the sailors
who were covered in oil,” O’Dell
said. “I later found enough Maxwell
coffee cans to last my family through
‘DUMP AND RUN’
The closing of the base after World
War II was a classic case of dump
“They put trucks and tanks on
barges and barges and dumped them
PHOTO BY GREG GARDNER
One of the original landing craft from World War II is located behind the St. Lucie County Historical
Museum on South Beach.
PHOTOS BY ED DRONDOSKI
The Pelican Yacht Club on South Beach has one of the largest banquet facilities in St. Lucie County and spectacular
views of the Fort Pierce Inlet. Right, Faber Cove has scores of waterfront homes just minutes from the Atlantic Ocean.