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Battery Walcott (1899-1942) - Battery Walcott was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 8 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Rodman, Bristol County, Massachusetts. The battery was named in G.O. 78, 25 May 1903, after Capt. William H. Walcott, 17th U.S. Infantry, Bvt. Colonel, U.S. Army, who served with distinction in the U.S. Civil War and who died 30 Aug 1901, at Washington DC. Battery construction started in May 1898, was completed in June 1899 and transferred to the Coastal Artillery for use 31 Jul 1899 at a cost of $ 51,812.50. Deactivated in 1942.
Part of the Harbor Defense of New Bedford.
Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with one 8" M1888MII gun mounted on an M1896 Disappearing carriage. 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 a front loading Taylor-Raymond shell hoist. No powder hoists were provided. Electrical power was furnished by the central power plant.
The M1888MII gun was mounted in February 1899.
|1||8" Rifle||282"||M1888MII||15||Bethlehem||Disappearing, M1896, #18, Watertown||1899-1942||See note 1|
|Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Sep 1921, 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 110-111|
Note 1: Gun transferred to Watervliet 24 Mar 1943, carriage ordered salvaged 15 Dec 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 guns of Battery Walcott were initially listed on 18 Jul 1918 to be dismounted for service abroad but were later ordered remounted and retained.
By the beginning of World War II, most of the disappearing gun batteries were obsolete and the first large scale, quota driven, scrap drive in the fall of 1942 forced the War Department into scrapping many of them. Battery Walcott was removed from the Harbor Defenses of New Bedford plan on 15 Dec 1942. The guns tubes were transferred to the Watervliet arsenal on 24 Mar 1943 and the disappearing carriages were ordered salvaged on 15 Dec 1942.
No period guns or mounts in place.
Location: Fort Rodman, Bristol County, Massachusetts
Maps & Images Lat: 41.593894 Long: -70.900966
- U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project of New Bedford, (CC-SUP-NEWB-43), 1 Feb 1945, CDSG
Battery Walcott Picture Gallery
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