Battery Ayres

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Battery Ayres (1901-1942) - Battery Ayers was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 12 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Wadsworth (1), Richmond County, New York. The battery was named in G.O. 16, 14 Feb 1902, after Colonel Romeyn B. Ayres (Cullum 1352), 2nd U.S. Artillery, (Major General U.S. Volunteers), who died 4 Dec 1888. Battery construction started 1899, was completed in 1902 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 30 Jul 1902 at a cost of $ 87,000.00. Deactivated in 1942.

Fort Wadsworth, Battery Ayres Emplacement #2
Fort Wadsworth, Battery Ayres Emplacement #1
Fort Wadsworth, Battery Ayres

Endicott Period

Part of the Harbor Defense of Southern New York.

Battery Ayres Overhead Shell Tracks in the Shot Gallery

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with two 12" M1895 guns mounted on M1895 disappearing carriages. This was a two story battery with the guns mounted on the upper level and the magazines on the lower level. Two Hodges back delivery shell hoists moved the shells from the magazine level to the gun loading platform. The Hodges shell hoists were later replaced with two Taylor-Raymond electric shell hoists and the hoists were modified for the newer long point shells.

Battery Ayers Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 12" Rifle 442.56" M1895MI 1 Watervliet Disappearing, M1895, #24, Watertown 1901-1918 See note 1
1 12" Rifle 440" M1888 26 Bethlehem Disappearing, M1895, #24, Watertown 1918-1942 See note 2
2 12" Rifle 442.56" M1895 10 Watervliet Disappearing, M1895, #25, Watertown 1901-1918 See note 1
2 12" Rifle 440" M1888 45 Watervliet Disappearing, M1895, #25, Watertown 1918-1942 See note 2
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Jul 1920, RCB, 31 Oct 1903, Coast 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 148-149, 107
Note 1: Guns transferred to Watervliet 7 Aug 1918 CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Note 2: Guns transferred from Fort Carroll (1), Battery Towson, 26 Jul 1918. Guns ordered salvaged 1 Jul 1944, carriages ordered scrapped 4 Nov 1942. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Ayers Plan

World War I

Battery Ayres Emplacement #2 Counterweight Well

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 M1895 guns were ordered dismounted and shipped to Watervliet for use on railroad mounts in 1918. These two guns were replaced with two M1888 guns from Battery Towson at Fort Carroll (1) and mounted on the original carriages.

World War II

The salvage of the battery was authorized 12 Nov 1942 and the guns and carriages were removed.

Current Status

No period guns or mounts in place.

USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Database Entry: 2417401

Location: Fort Wadsworth, Richmond County, New York

Maps & Images

Lat: 40.5978796 Long: -74.0605062


  • U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project of New York, (HDNY-AN-44), 1 Sep 1944, CDSG


Visited: 15 Aug 2010

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