Okla, that breech block looks original to me. I have been at Battery Way long before any tourists and the ground's keeper was not even there. I don’t think it gets put inside at night. Its damn heavy I expect.
Cropped rainy day shot of the breech block lying behind the mortar
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Hey okla, did you notice the mortar with the dent near the end of the barrel? (Photo below)
Here is a view looking down the same barrel. You can see the warped bore from the inside.
Obviously this mortar was scrap metal after whatever caused that damage.
Hey Fots....I have long been aware of this mortar because of the numerous shrapnel indentations toward the rear of the barrel but had never picked up on the huge dent on the muzzle. That weapon took a heck of a lick on that long ago occasion. Unless this damage was done (and I doubt it) in the 1945 recapture operation, I wouldn't think that this particular mortar is "Wild Bill's last, remaining mortar in action at Battery Way. This artillery piece was certainly not operational prior to the end of hostilities due to the muzzle damage as your great pic taken looking thru the breech plainly shows. Many thanks for the newest, latest additions to this exceptional thread. Mapmaster...Also a big thank you for those detailed drawings of the breech mechanism,etc of the mortar. You talk about detail work. I betcha that draftsman went to his eternal reward with impaired vision. That's what I would call "intricate", detail work. He was good at his craft, wouldn't you say???
I thought I would do an internet search and find out which of Battery Way’s mortars was the last to stop firing.
There is lots of information out there. I learned such things as Corregidor is maintained by CFI (Cavite Foundation Institute), Battery Way was the last gun to stop firing after the fall of Bataan and the battery was totally destroyed during the American retaking of Corregidor in 1944.
I was starting to get dizzy from a methane overdose caused from excessive levels of BS. I returned to Corregidor.org.
“Of the four mortars, No. 1 (bottom left) was unserviceable, but 2, 3 and 4 (counting is done from the far right of a Battery, then to each row behind the front line) were all proof fired by 20 April 1942. On May 2, Numbers 3 and 4 were put out of action by direct hits on their barrels, leaving only No. 2 serviceable. After midnight on May 6, No. 4 went into action against the Japanese landing craft in the North Channel, and between 0400 and 0600 hrs, Way, together with the three 155mm guns still in action on Corregidor, and the four 14-inch guns on Fort Drum, they dispersed the attempted Japanese landing at North Dock. Way continued to fire all through the morning despite a number of shells falling into the pit, which severely wounded Massello and gave his crews an unenviable 70% casualty rate. At 1100 hrs, Number 4's breach block, warped by the tremendous heat of continuous firing, finally froze. Number 4 was the last concrete emplacement gun to fire, and within an hour of it's demise, surrender occurred at 1200hrs.”
The mortar numbering mentioned above seems to contradict itself. Would armyjunk or batteryboy etc know for sure? If you stand at the rear of the gun pit and look towards the enemy, how were these guns numbered?
If the text is correct then the position of #4 is the one we are looking for.
Hey Fots....Thanks for your efforts. You have cleared the mystery to some degree, but as you say the numbering seems to contradict itself. If Battery Boy and/or Army Junk can't zero in on "Wild Bill's Last Gun", methinks we will never know unless some 18 year old kid (in 1942), who was a member of the crew serving those guns, steps forth to clear the air we may remain in the dark on this little detail. It would be satisfying to know for sure, though. If the riddle is every solved a plaque should be mounted adjacent to this mortar, indicating the significance of the ancient weapon. Thanks again for your searching
Hi Guys, i got this from the experts "They are: right rear #1; right front #2; left rear #3; left front #4. If there are only two mounts, the right is #1. It seems that when the two forward mounts were remove they sometimes still kept the old numbers. Pit "A" is on the right facing the field of fire. " But I was also told this changed at times......................
Excellent information armyjunk, thank-you for that.
The mortar with the dent near the front of the barrel (shown in Reply #12) would be mortar #4.
If it is correct that mortar #4 was the last one to stop firing due to a seized breech mechanism, then this barrel damage occurred ‘after’ the 1942 surrender. Also, the breech was completely removed at a later date.
Hey Guys....The mystery is evidently solved. We knew Army Junk, the technical expert he is, or Battery Boy, the historian of the board, would come up with the "solution" to our riddle. I am in your debt once again. Anyhow, some type of plague or monument should be erected at Battery Way denoting the significance of "good 'ole Number 4", doncha think?
Do we know that the Battery Way plaque is incorrect? It says that mortar #2 (upper right) was the last gun firing. Mortars #3 and #4 (the left side non-elevated guns) are listed as out of commision due to direct hits on the gun barrels. Is the plaque wrong? Or is it just me?
BLussier: I am the niece of Pvt. Robert D. Turner 13030357 listed as MIA on Corregidor. Still working with DPAA on Robert’s case. In the first entry on thread you mention a report and give info from Col. (Chaplain) Boerman that references cremating bodies in tunnel
Mar 6, 2021 10:58:01 GMT 8
BLussier: Is it possible to get a copy of that report? DPAA analyst never heard this before. I read the same info in a book. It was reported by a doc in the tunnel. Unfortunately I did not write the book title/ author info so can not use that info as evidence this
Mar 6, 2021 11:02:20 GMT 8
BLussier: is what could have happened to Robert’s body. Thank you! Bobbye (Turner) Lussier
Mar 6, 2021 11:04:28 GMT 8
raycoinhound: I sugest all members read this one!!!Fowlerville news and views 11/08/20 page 15.. The article shows Andy age 99 My mother Jackie age 95 and me in the middle age 68> . Andy saw all the paratroopers jump off his distroyer which shelled Corregdor in Feb 1945
Apr 20, 2021 12:06:19 GMT 8
raycoinhound: all members you better read this one.Fowlerville news & Views 11/08/20pg 15. Andy saw the 503 jump into battle on Corregidor. His Distroyer shelled the island and as soon as they stopped down came the 503rd!Andy is 99, my mother 95 and me 68.I take him out
Apr 20, 2021 12:09:58 GMT 8
raven316: Which tin can, my dad was on the USS Crosby, APD 17
Apr 21, 2021 1:55:19 GMT 8