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September 22, 2018

Fort Ontario Receives Certificate of Appreciation


FULTON – At the 99th annual Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce annual meeting held March 5 at the River Vista Center in Fulton, Executive Director Greg Mills presented Fort Ontario State Historic Site with a certificate of appreciation in recognition of 260 years as a member of the Oswego County business community.

The 444th Engineer Company based at Oswego  - Troops from the Oswego U.S. Army Reserve Center repaired and marked IED (Improvised Explosive Device) locations in Iraq in 2007-08.  In 2011-12 the 444th Engineer Company based at Oswego deployed to Afghanistan and suffered three men killed and one severely wounded.

The 444th Engineer Company based at Oswego – Troops from the Oswego U.S. Army Reserve Center repaired and marked IED (Improvised Explosive Device) locations in Iraq in 2007-08. In 2011-12 the 444th Engineer Company based at Oswego deployed to Afghanistan and suffered three men killed and one severely wounded.

Fort Ontario and the Port of Oswego Authority represent Oswego County’s oldest active businesses.

“Thanks to geography of the port and the service and sacrifice of our military personnel at the fort, both will endure the ebb and flow of changing commodities and military needs,” said Fort Ontario Superintendent Paul Lear. “Red, blue, and olive drab soldiers from the fort who once spent their pay in Oswego businesses have been replaced by tourists who support jobs in our hotels, restaurants, shops, and stores in a growing regional travel industry.“

Lear noted however, that “the soldiers are not completely gone from the fort and Oswego’s businesses.”

In 1959, the Army established a Reserve Center on the  old 75-acre Fort Ontario Military Reservation.

1918 photograph of soldiers and their dog outside an Oswego storefront. During World War I, Fort Ontario was turned over the U.S. Army Medical Department and served as Base Hospital #5 (1917 – 1921).  Thousands of injured and sick soldiers from France were brought to Fort Ontario for treatment and to recover from wounds and sickness. The fort was also used as a training facility for doctors, nurses, hospital and ambulance units before transfer overseas.

1918 photograph of soldiers and their dog outside an Oswego storefront. During World War I, Fort Ontario was turned over the U.S. Army Medical Department and served as Base Hospital #5 (1917 – 1921). Thousands of injured and sick soldiers from France were brought to Fort Ontario for treatment and to recover from wounds and sickness. The fort was also used as a training facility for doctors, nurses, hospital and ambulance units before transfer overseas.

The 444th Engineer Company, 479th Engineer Battalion, USAR, veterans of campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, occupy the post and live and work in the community.

“These citizen soldiers who now wear camouflage uniforms contribute to the economy while defending the nation,“ said Lear.

In 2011-12, the 444th Engineer Company based at Oswego deployed to Afghanistan and suffered three men killed and one severely wounded.

For information about Fort Ontario State Historic Site, visit www.fortontario.com

For Oswego County visitor information, go to www.visitoswegocounty.com

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