Battery Hoskins

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Battery Hoskins (1921-1946) - Battery Hoskins was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 12 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Crockett, Galveston County, Texas. The battery was named after Lt. Leonard C. Hoskins, the first Coast Artillery officer killed in WWI. Battery construction started in Aug 1917, was completed in April 1921 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 27 May 1921 at a cost of $ 304,237.63. Work began on 29 May 1942 on a modernization program to casemate the guns, the work was completed 20 Aug 1944 at a cost of $ 793,462.26. The battery was deactivated in 1946.

Battery Hoskins, Emplacement #1 Front
Battery Hoskins, Emplacement #1 Back Entrance
Fort Crockett, Battery Hoskins on left

World War I (1917-1918)

Part of the Harbor Defense of Galveston.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with two 12" M1895MI-A4 guns mounted on M1917-A2 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.

Battery Hoskins Armament (edit list)
Empl
No
Caliber
Type
Barrel
Length
Model Serial
No
Manufacturer Carriage Service
Dates
Notes
1 12" Rifle 442.6" M1895MI A4 56 Watervliet Barbette, M1917A2, #10, Watertown 1921-1946 See note 1
2 12" Rifle 442.6" M1895MI A4 45 Watervliet Barbette, M1917A2, #11, Watertown 1921-1946 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, Apr 1923, Oct 1945, 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
Note 1: Guns transferred from Watervliet to Fort Crockett 24 Jan 1918. Carriages transferred from Watertown to Fort Crockett in June and July 1918
Battery Hoskins Plan 1925


World War II (1941-1945)

In 1942 a decision was taken to upgrade Battery Hoskins because the open gun pads provided an easy target for enemy planes. The plan included casemating the guns and connecting the casemates through the magazines to create a unified earth covered battery. The electrical system was upgraded to 440 volt AC from the original DC system and commercial power was made available as an alternate source. Air conditioning was added and additional operational rooms were built. The modifications were completed 20 Aug 1944 but there is some evidence that the battery was operational in 1943.

Battery Hoskins Plan 1945


Current Status

The battery is directly in front of the San Luis Hotel and Conference Center and is closed to the public. The casemates can be seen from the seawall highway and the rear entrances to each casemate can be viewed from each side. No period guns or mount

Location: Fort Crockett, Galveston County, Texas

Maps & Images

Lat: 29.2720037 Long: -94.8182157

Sources:

  • U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project of Galveston, (HD-G-ANN-45), 15 Mar 1944, CDSG

Links:

Visited: 12 Nov 2009

Battery Hoskins Picture Gallery

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