16th Coast Artillery (United States)

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16th Coast Artillery Regiment
16th AAA Bn coa.jpeg
Coat of arms
Active 1924 - 1944
Country  United States
Branch Army
Type Coast artillery
Role Harbor defense
Size Regiment
Motto KAPU (Keep out)
Mascot Oozlefinch

The 16th Coast Artillery Regiment was a Coast Artillery regiment in the United States Army, manning the harbor defenses of Honolulu, Pearl Harbor and the perimeter of Oahu, Hawaii during World War II. The Regiment manned a large number of gun batteries at locations all over Oahu.[1] The forts where they were assigned date to the 1890s, and had were in caretaker status for more than 30 years. On the morning of 7 December 1941, it was the soldiers of the 16th Coast Artillery who manned the anti-aircraft guns, bringing down six of the Japanese attack aircraft.

Forts and Batteries manned by the 16th Coast Artillery[edit]

Fort Ruger[edit]

Fort Ruger was located in and around Diamond Head.[1] The interior of the volcanic cone was accessible through two tunnels large enough for trucks. The administrative buildings were on the north side of the cone. The batteries included mortars placed when the fort was created, dating to 1910. The eight inch battery was built six years prior to World War II. Battery Ruger, like all of the 155mm batteries were temporary emplacements using four "Panama mounts", a circular track surrounding a center pivot where a 155mm cannon was mounted. Battery Granger Adams was a typical coast defense emplacement, with the structure buried to provide protection below a parapet.

Fort DeRussy[edit]

Fort DeRussy was located adjacent to Honolulu, on a portion of Waikiki Beach.[1] The large caliber guns are mounted to disappearing carriages that use the recoil to lower the gun from the parapet to the loading platform. The allows the reloading crew a work area protected from shells fired by off-shore ships. The Anti Motor Torpedo Boat (ATMB) battery protected the close-in area around the fort from attack by high-speed motor torpedo boats.

  • Battery Randolph had two 14 in (355.60 mm) rifles mounted on disappearing carriage.
  • Battery Dudley had two 6 in (152.40 mm) rifles mounted on disappearing carriage.
  • AMTB Battery No. 5 had two 90 mm (3.54 in) multi-purpose guns, each mounted on a separate fixed pedestal carriage

Fort Armstrong[edit]

Fort Armstrong was located at Kaakaukukui Reef, located at the east side of the entrance to Pearl Harbor.[1]

  • Battery Tiernon had two 3 in (76.20 mm) rapid fire guns mounted on pedestal carriages.

Fort Hase[edit]

In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson designated 322 acres (1.30 km2) of land on Mokapu Peninsula, naming it Kuwaahoe Military Reservation. In 1939, the Navy constructed a small seaplane base there, designated as Naval Air Station Kaneohe Bay. The Naval Air Station's role was expanded to include the administration of the Kaneohe Bay Naval Defense Sea Area. A part of the 16th coast artillery moved onto the reservation in 1941. In 1942 the portion of the reservation that was occupied by the Coast Artillery was designated Fort Hase.[1]

  • Battery Pennsylvania at Ulupau Head was one of the two aft turrets salvaged from USS Arizona, mounting three 14 in (355.60 mm) guns.
  • Battery Demerritt (construction #405) was tunneled into solid rock at Puu Papaa, mounting two 8 in (203.20 mm) guns on Barbette Carriage.
  • Battery Sylvester was four railroad spurs where an 8 in (203.20 mm) railway cannon was placed. The railway guns were later dismounted.
  • Battery French (construction #301) was located at Pyramid Rock, mounted two 6 in (152.40 mm) guns on Shielded Barbette carriages.
  • AMTB Battery No. 2 was located at Pyramid Rock, had two 90 mm (3.54 in) multi-purpose guns, each mounted on a separate fixed pedestal carriage
  • Battery East Beach was four 155 mm (6.10 in) on "Panama mounts".
  • Battery North Beach was four 155 mm (6.10 in) on "Panama mounts".
  • Battery Pyramid Rock was four 155 mm (6.10 in) on "Panama mounts".

Lineage[edit]

Constituted 27 February 1924 as 16th Artillery (HD) Coast Artillery, and organized 1 July 1924 at Fort Armstrong, (Hawaii) from the following Companies- 104th, 90th, 99th, 105th, 111th, 159th, and 186th.

  • HHB was activated and assigned to Fort Armstrong.
  • Battery A was activated and assigned to Fort DeRussy Military Reservation.
  • Battery C was activated and assigned to Fort Ruger.
  • Battery G was constituted but not activated, 4 February 1932.
  • Battery D was activated at Fort Ruger June 1935.

1st and 2nd Battalions HHB, and Battery B were activated 6 August 1942 (Battery D was inactivated through Detachments)

  • Battery F was activated May 1942 and assigned to four 8 in (203.20 mm) M1888 railway guns of Battery Kahuku, located at Haleiwa, on Oahu's north shore.
  • Battery E was activated August 1942 assigned to Battery Dodge on the East rim of Diamond Head, Hawaii
  • Battery G (SL) was activated at Fort Hase, July 1942
  • Battery H was activated by redesignating 811th Coast Artillery Battery (Sep). Date Unknown

The Regiment was broken up 29 May 1944 and personnel were transferred to 15th Coast Artillery (United States). The Regiment was then transferred to HD Kaneohe Bay and reactivated with personnel from 41st Coast Artillery

  • on 14 August 1944 the Regiment was inactivated and disbanded as follows:
  • HHB to 16th Coast Artillery Group
  • 55th Coast Artillery Battalion
  • 56th Coast Artillery Battalion

Distinctive unit insignia[edit]

  • Description

A Gold color metal and enamel device 1 3/16 inches (3.02 cm) in height overall consisting of a shield blazoned: Or two spears in saltire Gules, within a bordure embattled barry of eight Argent, of the second and Azure, repeated.

  • Symbolism

The shield is essentially Hawaiian. The crossed spears are taken from Hawaiian history, they were formerly placed at the King’s tent, and are shown conventionally in the Hawaiian arms by a saltire cross placed on an inescutcheon.

  • Background

The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the Coast Defense of Honolulu on 25 July 1922. It was amended to change the description on 6 December 1923. The insignia was redesignated for the 16th Coast Artillery Regiment on 27 February 1929. It was redesignated for the 16th Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion on 11 September 1952.

Coat of arms[edit]

Blazon[edit]

  • Shield

Or two spears in saltire Gules, within a bordure embattled barry of eight Argent, of the second and Azure, repeated.

  • Crest

On a wreath of the colors Or and Gules a representation of Diamond Head Gules. Motto KAPU (Keep Out).

Symbolism[edit]

  • Shield

The shield is essentially Hawaiian. The crossed spears are taken from Hawaiian history, they were formerly placed at the King’s tent, and are shown conventionally in the Hawaiian arms by a saltire cross placed on an inescutcheon. The motto, probably the best known Hawaiian word, is used extensively as a sign against trespassers.

  • Crest

The batteries at Diamond Head constitute the principal element of these defenses.

Background[edit]

The coat of arms was originally approved for the Coast Defense of Honolulu on 27 January 1922. It was redesignated for the 16th Coast Artillery Regiment on 27 February 1929. The insignia was redesignated for the 16th Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion on 11 September 1952.

Campaign streamers[edit]

World War II

  • Central Pacific

Decorations[edit]

unknown

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Coast Defense Study Group". www.CDSG.org. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  • Historical register and dictionary of the United States Army, from ..., Volume 1 By Francis Bernard Heitman [1]
  • Encyclopedia of United States Army insignia and uniforms By William K. Emerson (page 51).[2]
  • [3] lineage
  • [4] page 123
  • Coast Artillery Journal June 1927 Page 541 [5]
  • Defenses of Pearl Harbor and Oahu 1907-50 [6]

External links[edit]