Battery Bowdoin

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Battery Bowdoin (1903-1943) - Battery Bowdoin was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 12 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Levett, Cushing's Island, Cumberland County, Maine. The battery was named in G.O. 43, 4 Apr 1900, after James Bowdoin, governor of Massachusetts, 1785-1786, then including within its territorial limits the present State of Maine, and a member of the Federal Constitutional Convention. Battery construction started in 1898, was completed in 1903 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 23 Apr 1903 at a cost of $ 190,290.56. Deactivated in 1943.

Battery Bowdoin Gun Mount
Battery Bowdoin Emplacement Control Booth
Battery Bowdoin Emplacement #3
Battery Bowdoin Upper Left, Batteries Kendrick and Ferguson Lower Right, Battery Daniels Upper Right.

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of Portland, Maine.

Battery Bowdoin Shell Lift Still in Place

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with three 12" M1895 guns mounted on M1897 Disappearing carriages. This was a two story battery with the guns located on the upper level and the magazines below. Shells were originally moved from the magazine level to the gun loading platform by Hodges back delivery shell hoists. The Hodges hoists were replaced in 1919 with Taylor-Raymond shell hoists modified for the new long point shells. No separate powder hoists were provided. The carriages were provided with electric retracting motors. Electrical power was furnished by the central power plant.

Battery Bowdoin Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 12" Rifle 442.56" M1895 4 Watervliet Disappearing, M1897, #23, Watertown 1903-1943 See note 1
2 12" Rifle 442.56" M1895 28 Watervliet Disappearing, M1897, #18, Bethlehem 1903-1943 See note 1
3 12" Rifle 442.56" M1895 13 Watervliet Disappearing, M1897, #13, Morgan 1903-1943 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 31 May 1919, CDSG, 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
Note 1: Guns transferred to Watervliet on 14 Jan 1945, carriages were ordered salvaged 10 Feb 1944. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Bowdoin Plan

World War I (1917-1918)

Battery Bowdoin Plotting Room

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 Bowdoin were not affected by the World War I redistribution or the following 1920 disarmament program.

World War II (1941-1945)

Battery Bowdoin BC Post Remains

Battery Bowdoin was a part of the Harbor Defenses of Portland plan through 1943 when it was declared obsolete and ordered salvaged. The battery continued to be used for ammunition storage through the end of the war. All three of the guns were transferred to Watervliet on 14 Jan 1945 and all three of the carriages were ordered salvaged 10 Feb 1944.

Current Status

No period guns or mounts in place.

Location: Fort Levett, Cushing's Island, Cumberland County, Maine

Maps & Images

Lat: 43.640373 Long: -70.200604


  • U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project of Portland, Maine, (HDPB-AN-45), 11 Apr 1945, CDSG


Visited: 29 Jun 2012

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