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Fort Drum, Manila Bay, 1941

 
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Z-man



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 330
Location: CONNECTICUT

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:42 pm    Post subject: Fort Drum, Manila Bay, 1941 Reply with quote

FORT DRUM IN 1941
by
Charles H. Bogart

In 1980, I met Mrs. Mary Pendleton, the widow of Captain John D. Wood, CO of Battery D, 60th CA (AA) in 1941. Thanks to Mrs. Pendleton allowing me access to her late husband’s letters, I was able to develop an article on his last days on Corregidor that was published in 1985 by the Virginia Historical Society. Mrs. Pendleton had also allowed me to copy a number of photos she had of their time in the Philippines but, unfortunately, this was in the days before scanners. I thus copied the photos using my hand held 35 mm camera. Recently while sorting through my photo “archives,” I came across these photos. I have selected from these images a number of shots of Fort Drum that may be of interest to CDSG.

Fort Drum, located on El Fraile, was one of four fortified islands that guarded the entrance to Manila Bay. The other forts were Frank on Carabao, Hughes on Caballo, and Mills on Corregidor. Fort Drum was a concrete fortification shaped like a ship and was armed, at the time the photos were taken, with two twin 14-inch turrets, Batteries Wilson and Marshall; two twin casemated mounted 6-inch guns, Batteries Roberts and McCrea; and two 3-inch anti-aircraft guns, Battery Exeter.

#1 – A view from Fort Drum’s spotting platform down at its two twin M1909 14-inch turrets. Ft Drum was the only fortification to receive these guns, which could fire a 1,160-pound projectile 20,000 yards. Note the badminton court outlines in the deck of the upper battery.


#2 – A view down along the left side of Fort Drum. The photo emphasizes why Fort Drum was often mistaken for a ship by vessels entering Manila for the first time. As can be seen, Battery Wilson had a 360-degree arch of fire and Battery Marshall a 240-degree arch of fire. The garrison has been brought up to wartime manning, and the extra troops are sleeping under canvas. The spotting tower with its crane can be seen behind the tents. Aft of the tower is the wooden barracks. Half way down the side of the fort adjacent to the fire control tower is Battery McCrea with its two casemated 6-inchers.


#3 – Looking at the rear of the left side of Fort Drum. The doorway within the side provided entry for men and goods arriving at the fort by boat. Located above the doorway is the fort’s crane, used for off-loading supplies; to its left is the fort’s launch.


#4 – A view of the right hand side of Fort Drum looking at Battery Roberts and its two 6-inch Model 1908 MII casemated guns. The guns were mounted one above the other in casements with 6-inches of armored plate covered by 6-feet of concrete and separated from each other by a 3-inch steel plate. The guns had a field of fire of 120 degrees and a range of 17,000 yards.


#5 & #6 – Fort Drum’s crane is being used to launch the fort’s motor launch that provided communication with Fort Mills. The boat’s main function was to provide emergency transportation to the garrison hospital if someone became sick or injured.


#7 – A close-up of Fort Drum’s 89-foot tall cage mast, which had been developed by the U S Navy in the years after the Spanish American War. The theory was that a shell could cut any number of supports, and the mast would still stand, allowing gunfire spotting to take place.


#8 – Fort Drum seen in silhouette. The concrete “battleship” was 350-feet long and 144-feet wide. The top deck was 40-feet above the water line; its walls were constructed of reinforced concrete 25 to 35 feet thick. The cage mast with its crane and the wooden barracks show up well. She looks like a ship leaving port. The crane, manufactured by American Hoist and Derrick, had a 5-ton service capacity and a 60-foot reach.


#9 –We are topside on Fort Drum. On the left is Battery Wilson and on the right is one of Battery Exeter’s 3-inch M1917 anti-aircraft guns. A 3-inch AA gun was located to each side of Battery Wilson. A detachment of E Battery 59th CA has mustered on deck wearing fatigues. They are armed with 1903 Springfield rifles.


#11 – Fort Drum was armed with two Browning M1917 .30 caliber water cooled machine guns mounted on tripods for anti-aircraft service. Here a Coast Artillerymen is servicing the gun. Note the water hose leaving from near the muzzle but the lack of any ammunition belt.


#12 – To provide nighttime illuminating support for Battery Exeter’s two 3-inch M1917 anti-aircraft guns, two M1934 60-inch Mobile Searchlights were co-located to Fort Drum. The searchlights were positioned on either side of Battery Marshall on the lower deck. Here the searchlight did not foul the training arch of the 3-inch gun and was safe from its muzzle blast


#13 – A head on view of Battery Wilson with the fort’s cage mast in the background. Various searchlights and fire control gear can be seen on the cage mast.


#14 – A silhouette view of the right hand side of Fort Hughes. Four Bell Tents can be seen on her main deck. The 89-foot tall cage mast extends above the fort.


#15 – A view of the left hand side of Fort Drum showing the wooden barracks, which would be dismantled in war time, the cage mast, two water tanks, and the crane. Below the crane is the doorway into the fort. The black square below the forward barracks is Battery McCrea. Forward of the barracks, the guns of Battery Wilson and Marshall can be observed.


#16 – A view of Battery Wilson and Marshall from the cage mast. Note that in this shot the outline of the badminton court is gone. The M1909 14”/40 guns had a maximum elevation of 15 degrees, which gave a range of 20,000 yards.


#17 – A rear view of Battery Wilson showing the turret’s training and pointing armored periscope sights to either side at the front of the turret and the gun captain’s armored sight at the rear of the turret.


#19 – An unidentified officer and his son stand on the top of Battery Marshall. One of the barrels of Battery Wilson peaks into the photo from the left. The writing on the back of Battery Marshall’s turret states that the battery was named for Brig. General William L. Marshall, former Chief of Engineers who died July 1920.


#20 – All of the 1,160-pound capped projectiles for Battery Wilson have been brought topside for inspection and the magazine cleaned. It would appear that each turret was equipped with 220 rounds.


#21 – A close-up view of Battery Wilson and two Coast artillerymen in summer work uniform. Note the different shirts being worn. To the left is one of the 3-inch guns of Battery Exeter. At the feet of the two men is an escape hatch while in the foreground is a lifesaving ring.


#22 – A frontal view of the lifesaving ring seen in photo #21 with its bold text of “FORT DRUM USA.”


#24 – A view of the fort’s cage fire control mast. Level Two housed a 15-foot C.R.F, while Level Five carried secondary fire control instruments and azimuth instruments. At different levels and at the top of the mast were various searchlights. The mast also supported the fort’s SCR-136 radio aerial and arms used to hoist signal flags.


#26 –In the summer of 1934, two 3-inch M1917 fixed guns were mounted on the upper deck to either side of Battery Wilson. Given the name, Battery Exeter, the guns were supported by M1934 60-inch Mobile Searchlights mounted on the lower deck to either side of Battery Marshall.


#27 – Battery Exeter’s 3-inch M1917 gun fired a 15-pound projectile up to 27,000 feet. The gun had a muzzle velocity of 2,600 fps and could be traversed through 360 degrees and fired from an elevating arch extending from 0 to 90 degrees.


#28 – A Coast Artillerymen in hot weather fatigues, wearing a Dixie cup hat, is shown operating an M1910 Azimuth Instrument. This instrument provided the fire control center with information of the direction of the target from a fixed known point. Reports from three or more azimuth reporting stations allowed plotters in the fire control center to locate the target on the plotting board.


#29 – This Coast Artilleryman is apparently calibrating his Azimuth Instrument.

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Last edited by Z-man on Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:04 am; edited 2 times in total
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Aaron



Joined: 26 Nov 2013
Posts: 14
Location: WA state

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not seeing any photos on this thread, just "X" boxes.
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Z-man



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 330
Location: CONNECTICUT

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Original Post updated to reflect new website structure.

regards,

Z.
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Aaron



Joined: 26 Nov 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see them now, thanks.
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