Battery Plunkett

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Battery Plunkett (1899-1920) - Battery Plunkett was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 4 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Warren, Georges Island, Suffolk County, Massachusetts. The battery was named in G.O. 16, 14 Feb 1902, after Sergeant Thomas Plunkett, Company E, 21st Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, who had both arms shot off while carrying the colors on 13 Dec 1862, in the battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, during the U.S. Civil War. Battery construction started in 1898, was completed in 1899 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 21 Oct 1899 at a cost of $ 9,083.90. Deactivated in 1920.

WWII Mine Observation Station behind Battery Plunkett
Battery Plunkett Magazines
Battery Plunkett, Gun Emplacement #2

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of Boston, Massachusetts.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with two 4" M1896 guns mounted on M1896 Pedestal carriages. This was a two story battery with the guns located on the upper level and the magazines below. Shells were moved from the magazine level to the gun loading platform by hand. No shell or powder hoists were provided. Electrical power was furnished by the central power plant.

Battery Plunkett Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 4" Rifle 163.94" M1896 1 Driggs-Schroeder Pedestal, M1896, #1, Driggs-Schroeder 1899-1920 See note 1
2 4" Rifle 163.94" M1896 2 Driggs-Schroeder Pedestal, M1896, #2, Driggs-Schroeder 1899-1920 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Mar 1929, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 84-85
Note 1: Guns and carriages ordered scrapped 12 Aug 1920. 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. The guns of Battery Plunkett were not affected by the World War I redistribution but were declared obsolete and ordered scrapped in 1920. It does appear that, instead of being scrapped, they were moved to another location and used as display guns. There is a picture of the moved guns on page 84 of the Mark Berhow book. The RCW, 1 Mar 1929, indicates that the guns were sold to a junk dealer but he refused to take them when he discovered that all the brass and bronze had been removed.

Current Status

Part of Fort Warren State Park on George's Island, Suffolk County, Massachusetts. No period guns or mounts in place. This battery is open to public access in the magazines and the gun emplacements. Transportation to the Island is by boat. See the Fort Warren page for island access details.

Location: Georges Island at the entrance to Boston Harbor, Suffolk County, Massachusetts. Maps & Images

Lat: 42.321083 Long: -70.926828



Visited: 24 May 2012

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