April 20, 2009

Corregidor: The guns

Corregidor Island is only five square kilometers (about two square miles), but by the time WWII started, the Americans had installed 23 coastal gun batteries and 13 anti-aircraft artillery batteries on it. Of these, only five are still easily accessible and included in the tour, though we only visited two. Battery Hearn, completed in 1921, was named after Brigadier General Clint C. Hearn, who commanded the harbor defenses of Manila and Subic Bays in 1919. It was armed with one of the two longest-range seacoast guns on the island. The gun was manned by one officer and 33 enlisted men, four of whom were stationed in the well beneath the carriage. In 1941–42, it was used against Japanese artillery placed in the coastal towns of Naic and Ternate in the province of Cavite.

seacoast gun in Battery Hearn in Corregidor Island

Battery Way, completed in 1914, was named in honor of 2nd Lieutenant Henry N. Way, 4th U.S. Artillery, who died in service in the Philippines in 1900. It was armed with four 305 mm (12-inch) guns used mainly to penetrate the decks of enemy warships. Each gun had a crew of 14 men. The last gun firing against the Japanese before Corregidor surrendered on noon of May 6, 1942 was from Battery Way. Its breech block froze at 11:00 am, warped by the heat of constant firing. That morning, the gun crews of Battery Way suffered 70 percent casualties.

guns in Battery Way in Corregidor Island

CORREGIDOR ISLAND SERIES #2 OF 7

25 comments:

JM said...

I've read about this island before, but your information is very precise. The 1st shot is great too.

Abe Lincoln said...

Lots of murderous history there. It is a shame that tools of destruction must waste a nation's resources and its people but I guess it has been happening since forever.

I was on Iwo Jima in 1956 and there were/are still bone fragments lying on the beaches and almost everywhere you walked were spent bullets.

Vogon Poet said...

Very good images, I know that these are deadly devices but I can't help being fascinated by them.

B Squared said...

Very interesting. War has certainly changed.

Francis Kho said...

wow...those guns are very big...if they are still working..I know where we could train those to hehehe

James said...

Very interesting post. The top photo reminds me of one of my favorite movies(The guns of Navarone).

Lois said...

Another interesting post Hilda! Thanks so much!

Brad said...

Thanks for the history...

marley said...

Looks like they could have done some serious damage!

Cezar and Léia said...

Great post Hilda!
Thanks!
Léia

Corker2 said...

You have done it again! Thanks so much for Posting more on Corregidor. I always will be interested on stuff such as this. There must have been a horrific fight there during the War, that I just can not imagine how bad it was. By your Image, it looks like the Coastal Guns received some shrapnel damage. The other ones are pointed into the sky, showing that they must have been shooting at a very short range.

Thanks again for sharing what you see, and leaving your nice comment on my Blog. I just love to "snoop around in History, which is the name of my other Blog.

You and your Husband stay well over there.
Les

Olivier said...

merci pour ce cours d'histoire. je suis pas certain d'avoir tout compris ;o)
thank you for this lesson of history. I am not certain to have understood everything ;o)

m_m said...

You can feel safe there:)

Zsolt said...

I learn every day something new! Thank you for the information:)

Ken said...

Very interesting post.

Per Stromsjo said...

History coming alive before our eyes. War is no picnic. Never was.

Jacob said...

I don't think anyone who was not there can really understand what these people went through before they eventually surrendered...and then it got worse!

Boise Diva said...

Amazing military story.

That is the chicken said...

Very good images...they make the guns look very menacing. Interesting that you are posting guns when I'm poting a dove.

gogouci said...

Very interesting history and great photos too.

Snapshutter said...

Very interesting. Thanks for all the info.

Clueless in Boston said...

Great post with interesting information. I like the angle of the first picture, I think you've captured the immensity of the artillery piece in your picture.

Tamera said...

I remember playing and hopping around on these as a child. I didn't realize how grim their history was! It looks like a lot of effort has been put into restoring them since I was there. Thanks for reminding me of this little bit of my own history!

Joe Narvaez said...

The first picture is great. I like the angle. Good capture!

Diana Prince said...

Hello,

The one officer that you referred to that manned Battery Hearn was my Grandfather, Capt. Samuel Mcf. McReynolds, Jr. He was a West Point graduate from the class of 1933 and spent nearly 3 years as a POW in the Philippines before he was placed on the Japanese Hell Ships, the Oryoku Maru, Brazil Maru and Enoura Maru to be sent to Japan and used as slave labor. Approximately 1600 men were on the original ship. Only about 400 of those 1600 made it to Japan, due to the horrific treatment and conditions they received throughout the journey. He died 2 days after arriving in Japan, leaving a young widow and two daughters. My mother was born in Corregidor before the war when it was Ft. Mills. I hope to bring her back to her birthplace someday. Thank you for sharing the wonderful pictures and God Bless.
-EMF