Battery 281 (1942-19??) - Battery 281 was a reinforced concrete, World War II 6 inch coastal gun battery near Fort McAndrew, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Battery construction started in January 1942, was completed October 1942 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 15 Jan 1943. Deactivated in 19??.
Part of the Harbor Defense of Argentia.
Originally built as a World War II concrete coastal gun battery with two 6" M1905A2 rapid fire guns mounted on M1 Shielded Barbette Carriages (SBC) placed on either side of an earth covered reinforced concrete magazine and support structure. Power was supplied by internal generators and post power.
Battery 281 and Battery 282 were constructed at Fort McAndrew, Newfoundland, in conjunction with the World War II Lend Lease agreement between the U.S. and Great Britain in which the U.S. received 99 year leases for bases in Newfoundland and Labrador. In addition to these two batteries the U.S. loaned Newfoundland coastal guns, carriages and ammunition for Cape Spear Battery (2-10" Guns) and Red Cliff Battery (2-8" Guns). These batteries were constructed quickly and armed quickly.
A board of officers was created 13 May 1941 in St. John's to manage the defenses of the Newfoundland Base Command. The board proceeded to Argentia at 6:00 AM, 14 May 1941 to "conduct extensive reconnaissance" and select sites for both batteries and for base end stations. The board returned at 1:30 AM with their recommendations. Several more trips were required to nail down the all the sites and the details associated with each. The plan was approved by the Secretary of War on 5 Dec 1941, just two days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. The approval indicated that the carriages would be available on 1 Apr 1942 and 1 May 1942 and indicated that the battery construction be expedited.
Both batteries were completed in October 1942 and transferred to the command on 15 Jan 1943.
No period guns or mounts in place. The original 6" guns and carriages were sent to Fort Columbia in 1993 and are currently on display there.