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Battery Steele (1900-1942) - Battery Steele was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 10 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Terry, Plum Island, Suffolk County, New York. The battery was named in G.O. 30, 19 Mar 1902, after Bvt. MG Frederick Steele, U.S. Army, who served with distinction during the Mexican-American War and the U.S. Civil War, and who died on 12 Jan 1868. Battery construction started in September 1897, was completed in March 1899 and transferred to the Coastal Artillery for use 31 Mar 1900 at a cost of $ 102,593.00. Deactivated in 1942.
Part of the Harbor Defense of Long Island Sound.
Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with two 10" M1888MII guns mounted on M1896 Disappearing carriages. This was a two story battery with the guns on the upper level and the magazines on the lower level. Shells were moved from the magazine level to the gun loading platform by two Taylor-Raymond electric shell hoists, one back delivery and one front delivery. One type C powder hoist located in emplacement # 1. Electrical power was furnished by the emplacement power plant located in emplacement #2.
In 1914 a combined BC station and plotting room was constructed about 250' to the rear of Battery Steele. The combined facility was accepted for service on 20 Mar 1914 at a cost of $ 4,243.61.
|First set of guns|
|1||10" Rifle||367.25"||M1888MII||4||Bethlehem||Disappearing, M1896, #45, Niles||1900-1917||See note 1|
|2||10" Rifle||367.25"||M1888MII||5||Bethlehem||Disappearing, M1896, #44, Niles||1900-1917||See note 1|
|Second set of guns|
|1||10" Rifle||367.25"||M1888MII||25||Bethlehem||Disappearing, M1896, #45, Niles||1919-1942||See note 2|
|2||10" Rifle||367.25"||M1888MII||31||Bethlehem||Disappearing, M1896, #44, Niles||1919-1942||See note 2|
|Source: RCW Form 1, 15 Nov 1921, RCB, 31 Dec 1903, RCB, 31 Dec 1910, Coastal 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 124-125, 206|
Note 1: Exact date transferred unknown, on the dock on 26 Feb 1918. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Note 2: Guns and carriages ordered salvaged 16 Oct 1942. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
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 two 10" guns of Battery Steele were ordered dismounted for service abroad on 24 Aug 1917 and they were on the dock on 26 Feb 1918. The guns were later ordered remounted and retained and it is assumed that the first set of guns (#4 & #5) was unavailable and that a second set of guns (#25 & #31) was obtained and mounted.
Guns and carriages ordered salvaged 16 Oct 1942 during the first major scrap drive of World War II.
Now on Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) operated by U.S. DHS. No period guns or mounts in place.
Location: Plum Island, Suffolk County, New York
Maps & Images Lat: 41.185548 Long: -72.180616
- U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project of Long Island Sound, (HDLIS-AN-45), 15 Feb 1945, CDSG
Battery Steele Picture Gallery
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