Battery Selfridge

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Battery Selfridge (1913-1945) - Battery Selfridge was a reinforced concrete, Taft Period 12 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Kamehameha, Honolulu County, Hawaii. The battery was named in G.O. 15, 1909, after 1st Lieutenant Thomas E. Selfridge (Cullum 4152), first person to die in a crash of a powered airplane, 17 Sep 1908. Battery construction started in November 1907, was completed in August 1913 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 4 Aug 1913 at a cost of $ 4445,150. Deactivated in 1945.

Taft Period (1905-1915)

Part of the Harbor Defense of Pearl Harbor.

Originally built as a Taft Period concrete coastal gun battery with two 12" M1895M1 guns mounted on M1901 Disappearing carriages. This was a two story battery with the guns located on the upper level and the magazines below. Shells were moved from the magazine level to the gun loading platform by shell and powder hoists. Electrical power was furnished by the emplacement power plant in battery.

Battery Selfridge Armament (edit list)
Empl
No
Caliber
Type
Barrel
Length
Model Serial
No
Manufacturer Carriage Service
Dates
Notes
1 12" Rifle 189" M1895M1 12 Bethlehem Disappearing, M1901, #18, Bethlehem 1913-1938 See note 1
1 12" Rifle 189" M1895M1 8 Bethlehem Disappearing, M1901, #18, Bethlehem 1938-1945 See note 1
2 12" Rifle 189" M1895M1 13 Bethlehem Disappearing, M1901, #19, Bethlehem 1913-1938 See note 1
2 12" Rifle 189" M1895M1 11 Bethlehem Disappearing, M1901, #19, Bethlehem 1938-1945 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Mar 1938, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 150-151
Note 1: CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Selfridge Plan 1928


World War I (1917-1918)

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 guns of Battery Selfridge were not affected by the World War I redistribution or the following 1920 disarmament program.

In 1937-1938 the original gun tubes were returned to Watervliet to be relined and they were replaced with a set of gun tubes that had already been relined. The new set of tubes had been originally installed at Fort Mills in the Philippines.

World War II (1941-1945)

Battery Selfridge was a part of the Harbor Defenses of Pearl Harbor plan throughout World War II. When the war ended in 1945 the battery was declared surplus. The guns and carriages were processed for salvage at the end of the war. The gun and carriage cards do not indicate exactly when the guns and carriages were salvaged but a notation on the carriage cards on 17 Sep 1946 says they "will be disposed of as soon as funds are received."

Current Status

The remains of the battery are now on Hickam Ar Force Base, Honolulu, Hawaii. No period guns or mounts in place.


USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Database Entry: 1946875


Location: Hickam Ar Force Base, Honolulu County, Hawaii

Maps & Images

Lat: 21.318222 Long: -157.9525584

Sources:

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