Battery Seminole

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Battery Seminole (1904-1942) - Battery Seminole was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 12 inch coastal mortar battery on Fort Taylor (2), Florida. The battery was named in G.O. 43, 4 Apr 1900 after the Seminole Indians. Battery construction started Jun 1897, was completed Nov 1903 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 30 Jun 1904 at a cost of $ 112,001.65. Deactivated in 1943.

Battery Seminole Pit B
Battery Seminole Pit A

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of Key West.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal mortar battery with eight 12" M1890MI mortars mounted on M1896MI mortar carriages. The battery was organized with two mortar pits with four mortars each. The two mortar pits are separated by a central magazine that services both pits. The magazine is on the same level as the mortars so no shell hoists are required.

Battery Seminole Armament (edit list)
Empl
No
Caliber
Type
Barrel
Length
Model Serial
No
Manufacturer Carriage Service
Dates
Notes
A1 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 44 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #102, Robert Poole 1904-1942 See note 1
A2 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 41 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #100, Robert Poole 1904-1917 See note 2
A3 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 40 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #130, Robert Poole 1904-1942 See note 1
A4 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 42 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #101, Robert Poole 1904-1917 See note 2
B1 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 26 Builders Mortar, M1896MI, #132, Robert Poole 1904-1942 See note 1
B2 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 25 Builders Mortar, M1896MI, #93, Robert Poole 1904-1917 See note 2
B3 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 24 Builders Mortar, M1896MI, #131, Robert Poole 1904-1942 See note 1
B4 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 43 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #92, Robert Poole 1904-1917 See note 2
Source: RCW Form 1, 30 Jun 1919, Coast Defense Study Group, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 140-143, 211
Note 1: Guns & carriages ordered scrapped 6 Dec 1942. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Note 2: Guns transferred to Morgan 18 Aug 1918. Carriages ordered scrapped 26 May 1920. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Seminole Plan


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. On 2 May 1918 Fort Taylor was directed to dismount and prepare for shipment four M1890MI mortars from Battery Seminole. The mortars were transferred to Morgan 18 Aug 1918 for modification. These mortars were intended for use overseas but the war ended before they could be processed. The shipped mortars were not returned to Battery Seminole and were later scrapped. Each mortar pit was left with two mortars in the #1 and #3 emplacement. This was a preferred configuration because it reduced crowding in the mortar pits and increased efficiency without significantly reducing rate of fire. This configuration was adopted by most of the 12" mortar batteries in the U.S..

World War II (1941-1945)

Obsolete by the start of World War II the four remaining mortars and carriages were scrapped early in the war.

Current Status

This Battery is now located on the Truman Annex of Naval Air Station Key West with no public access. The battery is visible from Fort Street. No period guns or mounts in place.


Location: Fort Taylor (2), Key West, Florida

Maps & Images

Lat: 24.548914 Long: -81.8045908

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Visited: 27 Dec 2009



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