Battery 131 (1945-194?) - A World War II era reinforced concrete coastal artillery battery built in 1943-1945 on Camp Hayden, Washington. Guns were scrapped and removed about 1948 but the concrete Battery support structure remains.
Part of the Harbor Defense of Puget Sound. Protected the entrance to Puget Sound, Victoria BC harbor, and the Canadian Esquimalt naval base. The 16" guns could fire one-ton projectiles for nearly 28 miles and covered much of the Straight of Juan De Fuca.
Battery 131 was a battery of two, 16", MarkII-M1, Long Range naval guns on M1919M4 Barbette carriages. Each gun position was in a reinforced concrete casemate. Construction began on 30 Oct 1942 and was completed on 10 May 1945. The Battery was turned over for service on 7 Jun 1945 at a cost of $1,557,500. The battery entered service a month after the war was over in Europe and two months before the war with Japan was over.
The casemates were 500 feet apart at either end of an earth-covered reinforced concrete support structure. The support structure housed a powder and shell room for each of the two gun emplacements along with storage rooms and latrines. Electrical power to operate the guns was furnished by three 375 KVA diesel engine-powered generator sets positioned in the center of the battery. No commercial power was available. Each gun emplacement had four electric motors that 1) traversed the gun which was mounted on a turntable, 2) elevated the gun, 3) rammed the projectiles into the breech, and 4) ventilated the emplacement. Heating, air conditioning, and humidity control were provided to keep the shells and powder at a constant temperature and humidity.
Part of Salt Creek Recreation Area, Camp Hayden Callam County Park. No guns or carriages in place and the interior rooms of the battery are locked up.
Visited: 16 Apr 2010, 22 Jun 2009