Battery Izard

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Battery Izard (1898-1943) - Battery Izard was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 12 inch coastal mortar battery on Fort Crockett, Galveston County, Texas. The battery was named in G.O. 194, 27 Dec 1904, after BG George Izard, U.S. Army, veteran of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Battery construction started 17 Sep 1898, was virtually completed by 8 Sep 1900 when the Galveston hurricane struck. The battery was repaired and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 21 Aug 1911 at a cost of $ 152,576.87. Deactivated in 1943.

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of Galveston.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal mortar battery with eight 12" M1890MI mortars mounted on M1896MI carriages. The mortars were configured into two mortar pits of four mortars each. At the time of the Galveston hurricane the battery was virtually complete. The carriages and guns were in place but had not been mounted. After the hurricane both the guns and the carriages were scattered about the battery and buried in sand. They were recovered, cleaned up and placed in storage. The battery was restored and the sand ramparts rebuilt between 1901 and 1906 and the mortars mounted. Fort Crockett was not re-garrisoned until 1911 when instability in Mexico made Fort Crockett a major staging area. The battery was not accepted for service until 21 Aug 1911.

Battery Izard Armament (edit list)
Empl
No
Caliber
Type
Barrel
Length
Model Serial
No
Manufacturer Carriage Service
Dates
Notes
A1 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 57 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #153, Builders 1898-1918 See note 2
A2 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 63 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #166, Builders 1898-1918 See note 2
A3 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 64 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #167, Builders 1898-1918 See note 2
A4 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 106 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #156, Builders 1898-1918 See note 1
B1 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 61 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #154, Builders 1898-1918 See note 1
B2 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 104 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #152, Builders 1898-1918 See note 1
B3 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 23 NTN Mortar, M1896MI, #157, Builders 1898-1918 See note 2
B4 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 58 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #155, Builders 1898-1943 See note 1
Source: RCB, 31 Dec 1910, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 140-141, 213
Note 1: Guns transferred to Morgan Jun-Jul 1918. Carriages ordered scrapped 26 May 1920. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Note 2: Guns transferred to Morgan Jun-Jul 1918. Carriages ordered scrapped 27 Mar 1943. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA


World War I (1917-1918)

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. In May of 1918 Fort Crockett was first directed to dismount and prepare for shipment four of the Battery Izard 12" mortars. That directive was modified on 25 May 1918 to dismount and prepare for shipment all eight of the 12" mortars and that four of the mortars would be replaced with four mortars from Battery Mercer at Fort San Jacinto when transport was available. The mortar carriages all remained at Fort Crockett.

The reduction of mortar battery pits from four mortars to two mortars was part of a large program that affected most coastal mortar batteries. The reduction reduced crowding in the pits and improved firing rates so that no loss of capability was experience but the number of people required in each pit was cut in half.

The four mortars from Battery Mercer on Fort San Jacinto were transferred to Battery Izard 10 Apr 1922 so Battery Izard was unarmed from 1918 to 1922.

Battery Izard Armament (edit list)
Empl
No
Caliber
Type
Barrel
Length
Model Serial
No
Manufacturer Carriage Service
Dates
Notes
A1 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 19 Bethlehem Mortar, M1896MI, #153, Builders 1922-1943 See note 1
A2 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 16 Bethlehem Mortar, M1896MI, #167, Builders 1922-1943 See note 1
B1 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 15 Bethlehem Mortar, M1896MI, #166, Builders 1922-1943 See note 1
B2 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 14 Bethlehem Mortar, M1896MI, #157, Builders 1922-1943 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, Aug 1925, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 140-141, 213
Note 1: Guns transferred from Fort San Jacinto 10 Apr 1922. Guns and Carriages ordered salvaged 27 Mar 1943. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Izard Plan


World War II (1941-1945)

By the start of World War II the mortar batteries were obsolete and the first large scrap drive in late 1942 provided an opportunity to deactivate the mortar batteries and scrap the massive mortars and their carriages.

Current Status

No remains. No period guns or mounts in place.


Location: Fort Crockett, Galveston County, Texas

Maps & Images

Lat: 29.2734238 Long: -94.8138624

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



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