Battery Claiborne

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Battery Claiborne (1908-1918) - Battery Ferdinand Claiborne was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 6 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Wool (1), Virginia. The battery was named in G.O. 194, 27 Dec 1904, after BG Ferdinand L. Claiborne, U.S. Volunteers, who served with distinction during the War of 1812, and who died in February 1815. Battery construction started 10 Dec 1903, was completed in August 1908, and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use on 18 Aug 1908 at a cost of $ 55,000.00. Deactivated in 1918.

Fort Wool Battery Clairborne Gun Emplacement #1
Fort Wool Battery Clairborne Gun Emplacement #2
Fort Wool Battery Clairborne Magazine and Plotting Room Entrances

Endicott Period

Part of the Harbor Defense of Chesapeake Bay.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with two 6" M1903 guns mounted on M1903 disappearing carriages. Battery Clairborne was a two-story battery with the guns on the upper level and a common shell and magazine room on the lower level. Electrical power was furnished by a power room located in the traverse between Battery Claiborne and Battery Dyer. No powder or shell hoists were provided.

Battery Claiborne Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 6" Rifle 170" M1903 23 Watervliet Disappearing, M1903, #47, Detrick & Harvey 1908-1918 See note 1
2 6" Rifle 170" M1903 24 Watervliet Disappearing, M1903, #46, Detrick & Harvey 1908-1918 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Jul 1919, Coast Defense Study Group, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 74-75, 208
Note 1: Guns moved to Battery Gates, carriages ordered scrapped 26 May 1920. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Claiborne Plan

World War I

The U.S. entry into World War I resulted in a widespread removal of large caliber coastal defense gun tubes for service in Europe. Many of the gun and mortar tubes removed were sent to arsenals for modification and mounting on mobile carriages, both wheeled and railroad. Most of the removed gun tubes never made it to Europe and were either remounted or remained at the arsenals until needed elsewhere. The gun tubes of Battery Claiborne were not directly affected by the World War I redistribution but they were removed in 1918 to replace the gun tubes in Battery Gates that were sent to France. The carriages were ordered scrapped 26 May 1920.

Current Status

No period guns or mounts in place.

Location: Fort Wool, Ripp Rapp Island, Hampton City, Virginia. Now sealed and covered with sand.

Maps & Images

Lat: 36.9868628 Long: -76.3014838

  • Multi Maps from ACME
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  • Elevation: 25.5'



Visited: 23 Jun 2010

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