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Battery Mills (1921-1946) - Battery Mills was a reinforced concrete, World War I 12 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Hancock (2), New Jersey. The battery was named after Albert L. Mills, a Spanish-American War Medal of Honor recipient. Battery construction started in March 1917, was completed 2 Apr 1921 and transferred to the Coastal Artillery for use 2 Apr 1921 at a cost of $ 297,933.04. Deactivated in 1946.
Part of the Harbor Defense of Southern New York.
Originally built as an World War I concrete coastal gun battery with two 12" M1895MI guns mounted on M1917 Barbette carriages. This was a single story battery with the guns located on open concrete gun pads on the same level as the common magazine and support structure between them. The common magazine and support structure was an earth covered reinforced concrete building that contained shell rooms, powder rooms, a power plant, plotting rooms and personnel facilities. Shells were moved from the magazine to the gun loading platform by shot carts. No shell or powder hoists were provided or needed.
The two guns were mounted on circular concrete pads with sunken gun pits. The guns and gun crews were completely in the open with no protection from incoming fire or from aircraft. The M1917 carriage and the sunken gun pit allowed a gun elevation of 35 degrees, giving the gun a range of over 16 miles. This battery and sister battery, Battery Kingman, were located on the bay side of Sandy Hook at Horseshoe Cove and covered 360 degrees.
|1||12" Rifle||369.15"||M1895MI||A4||69||Watervliet||Barbette, M1917, #9, Watertown||1921-1946||See note 1|
|2||12" Rifle||369.15"||M1895MI||A4||46||Watervliet||Barbette, M1917, #8, Watertown||1921-1946||See note 2|
|Source: RCW Form 1, 10 Dec 1924, 28 Nov 1944, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 154-155, 207|
Note 1: Gun transferred from Watervliet 22 Dec 1917, carriages transferred from Watertown 27 Apr 1918. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Note 2: Gun transferred from Watervliet 21 Dec 1917, carriages transferred from Watertown 27 Apr 1918. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
In 1942-43 the gun emplacements were casemated and connected to the original magazine structure by concrete corridors. The casemates and magazine complex were covered with sand and soil. The casemate construction and the upgraded magazine project was completed in 1943 at a cost of $ 623,818.80.
Part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, Fort Hancock Unit. No period guns or mounts in place. Public access to the casemates but not to the interior on the magazine complex.
Location: Fort Hancock, Monmouth County, New Jersey
Maps & Images Lat: 40.4347642 Long: -73.9918792
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Visited: 14 Aug 2010
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