August 1997

The Night Hell Visited New Jersey

Volume 80, Issue 8

July 10, 1926, hit on a Saturday. Some of the 20 Marines at the Lake Denmark Naval Powder Depot, located in north-central New Jersey, went swimming to escape the summer heat. Others went on liberty, while several stood duty. Two were in the brig.

Before that night ended some would be dead, most would be heroes, and the detachment would be no more.

Navy Captain Otto Dowling, the station commander, saw the storm building, and he saw the bolt of lightning that connected with a magazine in which TNT was stored.

He saw smoke coming from the magazine.

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