At least four generations of travelers have crossed the swing bridge that connects mainland North Carolina to Topsail Island. After so many people and so many years, the bridge has become a landmark. It marks a vacation’s beginning and end. It’s wonderfully out of step. It has a lot of character. And soon, it may be gone.
During World War II, Sears Landing on Topsail Island served as an anti-aircraft firing point for troops at Camp Davis. The Army closed the camp late in 1944. In 1946 the Navy moved about 500 individuals onto the base and converted Sears Landing into the U.S. Naval Ordnance Testing Facility to conduct test firings of ramjet-powered missiles.