The largest guns on Corregidor were 12inch caliber while the other forts had 14inch guns. Since Corregidor had more real estate than the others my question is why was Corregidor not armed with larger guns? I can only surmise that when Fort Mills was being constructed the 14inchers were not fully proven while the 12inchers were "off the shelf", so to speak. Any views on this gents?
There were more 12-inch tubes and carriages available in the US when the island began its fortification and the plans to build the big batteries revolved around what can be shipped and mounted in the P.I. There were plans to upgrade the weapons of the Rock but the Washington Treaty (also the Five Power Treaty) prevented the additional build up of fortifications and armaments after the "Smith Brothers" (Hearn and Smith) were installed. Even the plans to install a 16-inch gun in a turret at La Monja Island was scrapped because of this.
There were only a few 14-inchers but of the first four produced, M1907 (tube and carriage) #2 and # 4 tube went straight away to Fort Frank in Carabao Island, and then later two M1910 tubes in M1907 carriage went to Caballo after several years. Fort Drum was a special case and these were built before any limitations were imposed. The 14-inch was a good gun but they were few in numbers to start with during the initial build up of the island defenses.
I came across this information when reading about the USS Olympia:
"In 1910, the four 8 inch guns were removed along with their turrets, and a single 5 inch gun was mounted in each turret location. Two of the guns were sent to the Philippines for use in the armament of Corregidor. The other two were returned to Union Iron Works where they are now on display."
According to John Moffett: "The gun barrel [from Battery RJ43], the only 8 inch one on Corregidor, is now on display at the North Dock."
It is also described as a dismounted M1888. Is there any chance this is really the Olympia gun?
Excuse me if this info is on the boards already but I didn't find anything in a search.
Armyjunk is right. The one on display at the North Dock of Corregidor is an army tube. It was part of the seven (7) 8-inch M1888 railway guns that are to be mounted on a modified barbette carriage for the Philippine In Land Sea defense project. Only two were mounted. One at Sasyain Point in Bataan and the other at Corregidor were it became Battery RJ-43.
A friend, John Duresky, sent me those two video URLs.
This video shows the 12-inch mortars and a 16-inch gun firing in forts at San Francisco.
This video shows US Army Coastal Artillery firing at Fort MacArthur:
Here are two screen shots.
U627. This picture is a screenshot of US Army Coastal Artillery practice firing in US Army forts at San Francisco and is from the URL:
U628. This picture is a screenshot of US Army Coastal Artillery practice firing in US Army forts at San Francisco and is from the URL:
John Duresky and I are communicating because he wants to write a book about Army Lt Chester K Britt, who was one of 1,619 POWs that were on the Oryoku Maru.
He wrote me this:
I wrote to you back in October, so just a quick summary, I am writing a book with a friend of mine, Lt Col David Britt, USAF (Ret). His father, Army Lt Chester K Britt, was one of 1,619 POWs that were on the Oryoku Maru. Lt Britt was first assigned to Fort Wint on Grande Island in 1940, then when it was abandoned on about December 24, 1941, he fought on Bataan, was on the Bataan Death March, then spent the next 2-1/2 years at Camp O'Donnell, Cabanatuan, Davao Penal Colony, and Bilibid Prison which he left at the end to board the Oryoku Maru. He survived the Oryoku Maru, then the Enoura Maru, then the Brazil Maru, then 3 months at Fukuoka POW Camp #3, then almost 4 months at the POW camp in Mukden Manchuria. He was freed on August 16, 1945. He died in 1953 due to health problems from his time as a POW. When he died my friend was only four years old. This is Lt Britt's memorial page from West Point. He graduated on June 11, 1940.
There is a potential alternate reason for the selection of the 12 inch vice 14 inch for Corregidor. At the time when the 12 inch M1901 DC carriages(which were those emplaced on Corregidor) were originally designed for the M1900 gun, This gun was boosted to a 3200 FPS muzzle velocity. This was supposed to boost the penetration of the 12 inch gun to equal the armor penetration of the 14 inch gun. This ws true, but as with many things produced by the ordnance department, and not the operator there was a major problem. The 1900 gun was so high powered it was worn out in 75 rounds or less. Additionally the M1900 gun was designed with such a small chamber it proved extremely difficult to ram the powderThus it was possible to wear out the gun before half of the shells in the magazine were fired. This is the reason the later M1901 dc cariages and those with worn out M1900 guns were equipped with M1895 guns. Thus there is a good possibility that when the fortifications were first designed the coast artillery did not feel the need to plan for 14 inch guns as the 12 would be the equivalent.
One correction. My aging mind was in error. The original muzzle velocity of the 12 inch M 1900 gun was 2500 fps. This was reduced to 2250 fps by the expedient of reducing the powder charge and enlarging the chamber. Th increased the tube life from 75 to 200 full charge rounds.
Artem: I use to work in that shipyard. Heard of D. Cleland through my uncles who were previous generations that worked there. Saw a photo or two of D.Cleland in the shipyard library. If my memory is correct I saw his grave out in the city's protestant cemetery.
May 11, 2020 8:24:25 GMT 8
faulkvi2: Hi! My name is Vickie. I am here to learn more about the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor and to honor the life of my Uncle, Pvt Eugene Mott, who has not been returned to us after his death on the Oryoku Maru.
Jun 20, 2020 10:59:59 GMT 8