Battery Ritchie

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Battery Ritchie (1900-1917) - Battery Ritchie was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 5 inch coastal gun battery on Fort DuPont (1), Delaware. The battery was named in G.O. 78, 25 May 1903, after Capt. John Ritchie, U.S. Artillery Corps, who was killed 25 Jun 1814, at the Battle of Lundys Lane, Canada, during the War of 1812. Battery construction started on 1 Apr 1900, was completed on 31 Jul 1900 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 19 Dec 1900 at a cost of $ 16,702.71. Deactivated in 1917.

Endicott Period

Part of the Harbor Defense of the Delaware.

Built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with two 5" M1900 guns mounted on M1903 Barbette carriages.

Battery Ritchie Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 5" Rifle 258.5" M1900 10 Watervliet Barbette, M1903, #18, Watertown 1905-1917 See note 1
2 5" Rifle 258.5" M1900 11 Watervliet Barbette, M1903, #19, Watertown 1905-1917 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Sep 1922, RCB, 1 Dec 1903, 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 88-89, 208
Note 1: Carriages transferred to Fort DuPont from Morgan 30 Jun 1905. Guns and carriages transferred to Cape Herry 17 Jun 1917. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA

World War I

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.

On 7 Feb 1917 the Secretary of War authorized the transfer of the two 5" guns and two Barbette carriages, M1903, from Battery Ritchie to Fishermans Island, Virginia, for installation in an emergency battery. On 18 Jul 1918 Fort DuPont (1) reported the two 5" guns and carriages transferred from Battery Ritchie to Fisherman's Island.

Current Status

No period guns or mounts in place.

Location: Fort DuPont, New Castle County, Delaware

Maps & Images

Lat: 39.5706727 Long: -75.5782771

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Visited: 6 Aug 2010

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