Battery 246 History
Part of the Harbor Defense of the Columbia.
One of three like World War II batteries that provided a "triangle of fire" protection for the mouth of the Columbia River. Battery 245 at Fort Stevens, Battery 246 at Fort Columbia and Battery 247 at Fort Canby made up the three points of the triangle.
The battery was a reinforced concrete bunker housing the ammunition and control mechanisms for the two guns outside. At the date of transfer on February 2, 1945, everything was completed except for installation of the autodyne circuits (improved the amplification radio signals), elevating mechanisms for the guns, installation of gun tubes, and electrical wiring and connections within the gun shields. Date of transfer cost was $220,168.76. The gun tubes were sent to Milagra Ridge Military Reservation, Battery 244 near San Francisco in 1947.
Battery 246 did eventually receive its guns in 1994, 52 years after initial construction. Washington State Parks Service transferred these two guns from the U.S. Naval facility in Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada. These guns are identical to the guns that originally would have armed the battery.
|These 6" World War II coastal gun batteries were designed to replace obsolete Endicott Period Batteries. Of the 87 planned only 45 were completed and many of those were not completed until late in the war (1944-1945).
The 6" guns fired a 105 pound armor-piercing projectile with a range of over 15 miles at a rate of up to 5 rounds per minute. The gun crews were protected by a thick shield around the gun. Only six of these guns remain in the world, two at Fort Columbia in Battery 246, two at Fort Pickens in Battery 234, and two at Fort McAndrew in Battery 282 in Argentia, Canada.
|1||6" Rifle||302.9"||T2-M1||17||Watervliet||Barbette M4, #17, Wellman||1944-1947||See note 1|
|2||6" Rifle||302.9"||T2-M1||15||Watervliet||Barbette M4, #18, Wellman||1944-1947||See note 1|
|Source: CDSG CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA|
Note 1: Guns arrived but never mounted. Shipped to Milagra Ridge Military Reservation, Battery 244
The battery is in excellent shape. One powder room has an interpretive display complete with powder canisters. The two guns and carriages are in place although they are not the originals..
Location: Fort Columbia, Washington
Maps & Images
Lat: 46.252052 Long: -123.92083
Visited: 22 Mar 2008 Nightshade, 16 Feb 2008, 28 Aug 2005
Battery 246 Picture Gallery
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