St. Pete, FL Daily Photo: Pacific Connection

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pacific Connection

 From the information plaque:
12-Inch Seacoast Mortar: Model 1890-M1

THese 12-inch mortars were manufactured at the Watervliet Arsenal,Watervliet, New York in 1901. The carriages are the Model 1896 and were manufactured by the American Hoist and Derrick Company, St. Paul, Minnesota.

The fortification you are standing in is known as Battery Laidley, in hor of Colonel Theodore T.S. Laidley, who had served in the Mexican and Civil Wars and died in Florida. In August, 1902,eight mortars were mounted. However, the weapons were not test-fired until November 19 & 20, 1903(five years after the fort's foundations were laid). The mortars stood ready to defend the harbor of Tampa Bay but never fired a shot at an enemy. The only time they were fired was during practice.

In 1917, four of the eight mortars were dismounted and shipped to Fort Rosecrans, San Diego, California for coastal defense. After World War I, many weapons such as these were melted down to be converted to other types of weaponry. Today Fort de Soto has the only 12-inch seacoast mortars, Model 1890-M1, in the continental United States. The only other ones in the world are on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines. [Emphasis mine.]

...When fired, the projectile could penetrate six inches of a ship's steel deck at a range of six miles.

Being a Filipino myself, this tidbit of information is a pleasant find. :)

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