Battery Winthrop

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Battery Winthrop (1901-1943) - Battery Winthrop was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 12 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Heath, Suffolk County, Massachusetts. The battery was named in G.O. 43, 4 Apr 1900, after Major Theodore Winthrop, U.S. Volunteers, killed in action 10 Jun 1861, at Big Bethel, Virginia, during the U.S. Civil War. Battery construction started in 1898, was completed in 1901 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 4 Oct 1901 at a cost of $ 202,480.00. Deactivated in 1943.

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of Boston, Massachusetts.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with three 12" M1888 guns mounted on M1896 Disappearing carriages. This was a two story battery with the guns located on the upper level and the magazines below. Shells were originally moved from the magazine level to the gun loading platform by three Hodges back delivery shell hoists. Powder was moved to the gun loading platform by three Type C powder hoists. Taylor-Raymond back delivery shell hoists were installed in 1918. Electrical power was furnished by the battery power plant.

Battery Winthrop Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 12" Rifle 439.92" M1888 13 Watervliet Disappearing, M1896, #12, Watertown 1901-1943 See note 1
2 12" Rifle 439.92" M1888 2 Watervliet Disappearing, M1896, #20, Bethlehem 1901-1943 See note 1
4 12" Rifle 439.92" M1888 15 Watervliet Disappearing, M1896, #18, Bethlehem 1901-1943 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Apr 1921, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 138-139.
Note 1: Guns and carriages ordered salvaged 21 Dec 1943. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Winthrop 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. The guns of Battery Winthrop were not affected by the World War I redistribution or the following 1920 disarmament program.

World War II (1941-1945)

Battery Winthrop was a part of the Harbor Defenses of Boston plan until it was declared obsolete on 7 Dec 1943. The guns and carriages were ordered salvaged on 21 Dec 1943.

Current Status

Destroyed on private property. No period guns or mounts in place.

Location: Grovers Cliff, Suffolk County, Massachusetts. Map point approximate.

Maps & Images

Lat: 42.38856 Long: -70.96801


  • U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project of Boston, Massachusetts, (HDB-AN-45), 31 Jan 1945, CDSG


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