The eastern tip of Long Island has always had military significance, even in the days of the American Revolution. In 1776, the Battle of Long Island proved that the tip of the island was a vulnerable spot. When Montauk Lighthouse was first authorized in 1792, part of its mission was to keep a lookout for British ships sailing for New York or Boston, and as such was the first military installation at Montauk.
World War I
Montauk itself, with its remoteness and prime location midway between two major American cities, was always considered a prime location for a possible invasion. During World War I, the Army stationed reconnaissance dirigibles, an airplane, troops and Coast Guard personnel at Montauk.