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Battery Wheaton (1908-1946) - Battery Wheaton was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 12 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Wetherill, Newport County, Rhode Island. The battery was named in G.O. 194, 27 Dec 1904, after Major General Frank Wheaton, 2nd U.S. Infantry, who served with distinction during the U.S. Civil War, and who died 18 Jun 1903. Battery construction started in March 1903, was completed in July 1904 and transferred to the Coastal Artillery for use 7 May 1908 at a cost of $ 200,000.00. Deactivated in 1946.
Part of the Harbor Defense of Narragansett Bay.
Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with two 12" M1900 guns mounted on M1901 Disappearing carriages. This was a two story battery with the guns mounted on the upper level and two magazines on the lower level. Shells were moved from the magazine level to the gun loading platform by two back delivery Taylor-Raymond electric shell hoists. Electrical power was furnished by an emplacement power plant under emplacement #2. Gun #1 was mounted in June 1905 and gun #2 was mounted in April 1906.
|1||12" Rifle||480"||M1900||11||Watervliet||Disappearing, M1901, #2, Watervliet||1908-1946||See note 1|
|2||12" Rifle||480"||M1900||10||Watervliet||Disappearing, M1901, #11, Watervliet||1908-1946||See note 1|
|Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Nov 1927, 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 150-151, 205|
Note 1: Guns and carriages processed for salvage 18 Feb 1946. 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. Battery Wheaton was not affected by the World War I redistribution or the following 1920 disarmament program.
In 1922 a potting room was installed in a lower room under gun emplacement #1 and accepted for service on 8 Aug 1922. An M1915, 110 degree plotting board was installed in the plotting room.
The 1940 Modernization Program authorized the elimination of Battery Wheaton upon completion of the program. By 1 Feb 1945 the battery was listed as authorized for exclusion from the basic project and did not have a tactical priority number assigned. The guns and carriages were not processed for salvage until 18 Feb 1946.
Part of Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown, Conanicut Island, Newport County, Rhode Island. No period guns or mounts in place.
Location: Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown, Conanicut Island, Newport County, Rhode Island.
Maps & Images Lat: 41.478466 Long: -71.367348
- U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project of Narragansett Bay, (HDNARB-AP-45), 1 Feb 1945, CDSG
Battery Wheaton Picture Gallery
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