Battery Harris (2)

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Battery Harris (2) (1924-1948) - Battery Harris was a reinforced concrete, World War I 16 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Tilden, Queens County, New York. The battery was named after Henry Leavenworth Harris. Battery construction started in March 1921, was completed in September 1923 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 26 Dec 1924 at a cost of $ 136,035. Deactivated in 1948.

World War I

Part of the Harbor Defense of Southern New York.

Originally built as a World War I concrete coastal gun battery with two 16" M1919MII guns mounted on M1919 long range Barbette carriages. The guns and carriages were mounted in open circular gun pits that allowed 360 degree firing at a maximum angle of 69 degrees elevation. Three external combined shell and powder magazines were connected to the batteries by rail lines. Ammunition service from the magazines to the gun positions was provided by truck operating on the rails directly to the loading table of the guns. Three detached power houses furnished electrical power to the gun platforms to power the azimuth, elevation and rammer motors of the guns.

Battery Harris (2) Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 16" Rifle 826.8" M1919MII 4 Watervliet Barbette, M1919, #2, Watertown 1924-1948 See note 1
2 16" Rifle 826.8" M1919MII 5 Watervliet Barbette, M1919, #3, Watertown 1924-1948 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 15 May 1925, 9 Sep 1944, 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 172-173, 207
Note 1: Guns transferred from Watervliet June 1922, carriages transferred from Watertown 30 Jun 1922. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Harris Plan

World War II

As World War II approached both gun emplacements were casemated to provide protection from aircraft and plunging fire from enemy ships. The casemates were completed in 1942, providing protection and additional shell and powder magazines for each gun. An additional external bomb proof magazine was provided in 1943, bringing the total number of magazines to six. The rail tracks ran right through the casemates and connected both the casemates with the magazines. The addition of the protective casemates reduced the field of fire from 360 degrees to 145 degrees seaward.

Seven base end stations, ten spotting stations and eight SCR-296 fire control RADAR sets were connected by phone to a casemated central switchboard and plotting room. The plotting room provided azimuth and elevation information to the gun crews

The battery was deactivated in 1948 along with the post and the guns were cut up for scrap metal.

Current Status

Now a part of the Gateway National Recreation Area (GNRA) administered by the National Park Service. No period guns or carriages in place.

Location: Fort Tilden, Queens County, New York

Maps & Images

Lat: 40.5606832 Long: -73.89455

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 16.66'


  • U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project of New York, (HDNY-AN-44), 1 Sep 1944, CDSG


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