Battery Hall

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Battery Hall (1920-1945) - Battery Hall was a reinforced concrete, World War I 12 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Saulsbury, Sussex County, Delaware. The battery was named after Colonel David Hall, commander of the famous Delaware Line in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Battery construction started August 1917, was completed December 1920 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 27 Dec 1920 at a cost of $ 839,585.58 (this cost was for both Battery Hall and Battery Haslet). Deactivated in 1944.

Fort Saulsbury 1940 Aerial View, Battery Hall on right, Battery Haslet on left

World War I (1917-1918)

Part of the Harbor Defense of the Delaware.

Originally built as a World War I concrete coastal gun battery with two 12" M1895MI guns mounted on M1917 Barbette carriages. This was a single story battery with the guns located on open concrete gun pads on the same level as the common magazine and support structure between them. The common magazine and support structure was an earth covered reinforced concrete building that contained shell rooms, powder rooms, a power plant, plotting rooms and personnel facilities. Shells were moved from the magazine to the gun loading platform by shot carts. No shell or powder hoists were provided or needed.

The two guns were mounted on circular concrete pads with sunken gun pits. The guns and gun crews were completely in the open with no protection from incoming fire or from aircraft. The M1917 carriage and the sunken gun pit allowed a gun elevation of 35 degrees, giving the gun a range of over 16 miles.

The guns proof fired on the 15 & 16 of May, 1930.

Battery Hall Armament (edit list)
Empl
No
Caliber
Type
Barrel
Length
Model Serial
No
Manufacturer Carriage Service
Dates
Notes
1 12" Rifle 442.56" M1895MI A2 52 Watervliet Barbette, M1917, #6, Watertown 1920-1945 See note 1
2 12" Rifle 442.56" M1895MI A2 57 Watervliet Barbette, M1917, #7, Watertown 1920-1945 See note 2
Source: RCW Form 1, 10 Nov 1921, 16 Jun 1936, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 154-155, 208
Note 1: Gun from Watervliet 9 Jan 1918. Gun to Aberdeen 31 Jul 1946. Carriage from Watertown 28 Feb 1918, declared surplus 24 Apr 1946, processes for salvage 14 May 1946. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Note 2: Gun from Watervliet 7 Jan 1918. Gun to Aberdeen 17 Jul 1946. Carriage from Watertown 28 Feb 1918, declared surplus 24 Apr 1946, processes for salvage 14 May 1946. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Hall Plan


World War II (1941-1945)

The guns and carriages of Battery Hall were authorized to be moved to Battery 519, Fort Miles on 27 Jul 1942. That authorization was changed 8 Jan 1943 to substitute Battery Haslet for Battery Hall. Battery Hall was eliminated from the project on 8 Jan 1944.

Current Status

No period guns or mounts in place.


Location: Fort Saulsbury, Sussex County, Delaware

Maps & Images

Lat: 38.9348521 Long: -75.330441

Sources:

  • U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project of The Delaware, (HDDEL-AN-45), 1 Jul 1945, CDSG

Links:

Visited: No



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