United States Army Coast Artillery Corps
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)|
|U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps|
|Branch||United States Army|
|Major General (Chief of coast artillery) Arthur Murray, Erasmus M. Weaver, Jr., Frank W. Coe, Andrew Hero, Jr|
The U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps (CAC) was a corps level organization responsible for coastal and harbor defense of the United States between 1901 and 1950.
As early as 1882 the need for heavy fixed artillery for seacoast defense was noted in Chester A. Arthur's Second Annual Message to Congress where he noted:
"I call your attention to the recommendation of the Secretary and the board that authority be given to construct two more cruisers of smaller dimensions and one fleet dispatch vessel, and that appropriations be made for high-power rifled cannon for the torpedo service and for other harbor defenses."
In 1885 the Endicott Board was convened. This board recommended a large-scale program of harbor defenses at 29 ports, including guns, mortars, and minefields. Most of their recommendations were implemented and new defenses were constructed 1895-1905.
Army leaders realized that heavy fixed artillery required different training programs and tactics than mobile field artillery. The Artillery Corps was divided into two types: field artillery and coast artillery. This process began in February 1901 with the authorization of 30 numbered companies of field artillery (commonly called batteries) and 126 numbered companies of coast artillery. 82 existing heavy batteries were designated coast artillery companies, and 44 new CA companies were created by splitting existing units and filling their ranks with recruits. The head of the Artillery Corps became the Chief of Artillery in the rank of brigadier general with jurisdiction over both types of artillery.
The coast artillery became responsible for the installation and operation of the controlled mine fields that were planted to be under observation, fired electrically and protected by fixed guns. With that responsibility the Corps began to acquire the vessels required to plant and maintain the mine fields and cables connecting the mines to the mine casemate ashore organized as a "Submarine Mine Battery" within the installation command. The larger vessels, mine planters, were civilian crewed until the creation of the U.S. Army Mine Planter Service (AMPS) and Warrant Officer Corps to provide officers and engineers for the ships designated as mine planters. The mine component was considered to be among the principal armament of coastal defense works.
Taft Board and creation of CAC
In 1905, after the experiences of the Spanish-American War, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed a new board, under Secretary of War William Howard Taft. They updated some standards and reviewed the progress on the Endicott board's program. Most of the changes recommended by this board were technical; such as adding more searchlights, electrification (lighting, communications, and projectile handling), and more sophisticated optical aiming techniques. The board also recommended fortifications in territories acquired from Spain: Cuba and the Philippines, as well as Hawaii, and a few other sites. Defenses in Panama were authorized by the Spooner Act of 1902. The Taft program fortifications differed slightly in battery construction and had fewer numbers of guns at a given location than those of the Endicott program. By the beginning of World War I, the United States had a coastal defense system that was equal to any other nation.
The rapidity of technological advances and changing techniques increasingly separated coastal defenses (heavy) from field artillery (light). Officers were rarely qualified to command both, requiring specialization. As a result, in 1907, Congress split the Field Artillery Branch (United States), and Coast Artillery into separate branches, creating a separate Coast Artillery Corps (CAC), and authorized an increase in the Coast Artillery Corps to 170 numbered companies. In 1907 the United States Army Field Artillery School at Fort Monroe became the Coast Artillery School, which operated until 1946, and in 1908, the Chief of Artillery became the Chief of Coast Artillery. The official birthday of the Army Warrant Officer Corps is July 9, 1918 when an act of congress established the Army Mine Planter Service as part of the Coast Artillery Corps. Implementation of the Act by the Army was published in War Department Bulletin 43, dated 22 July 1918. .
By the end of the Second World War such fixed coastal defenses were obsolete and the artillery branches were merged back together in 1950 with some of the mine planter vessels being transferred to Navy and designated Auxiliary Minelayer (ACM / MMA).
Chief of Coast Artillery
The Office of the Chief of Coast Artillery was abolished 9 March 1942. with functions transferred to Commanding General, Army Ground Forces, effective 9 March 1942, by Circular 59, War Department, 2 March 1942.
|Image||Rank||Name||Begin Date||End Date||Notes|
|Major General||Arthur Murray||1 July 1908||14 March 1911||a[›]|
|Major General||Erasmus M. Weaver, Jr.||15 March 1911||28 May 1918||a[›]|
|Major General||Frank W. Coe||29 May 1918||19 March 1926||a[›]|
|Major General||Andrew Hero, Jr||20 March 1926||21 March 1930||a[›]|
|Major General||John W. Gulick||22 March 1930||21 March 1934||a[›]|
|Major General||William F. Hase||26 March 1934||20 January 1935||a[›]|
|Major General||Harry L. Steele||21 January 1935||31 March 1936||a[›]|
|Major General||Archibald H. Sunderland||1 April 1936||31 March 1940||a[›]|
|Major General||Joseph A. Green||1 April 1940||9 March 1942||a[›]|
In 1901, the regimental organization of the US Army artillery was abolished, more companies were added, and given numerical designations.
- 126 companies of heavy (coast) artillery
- 30 companies of light (field) artillery
In 1907 the Coast Artillery Corps was established and the Field artillery re-regimented
- 1st Field Artillery Regiment (United States)
- up to 320th
The Corps constantly reorganized the numbered companies until 1924. but during WWI created 61 regiments from the numbered companies, for service with the AEF. Most of these were disbanded immediately after the war. In 1924 the Coast Artillery Corps tried to go back to the regimental system, and numbered companies were returned to letter designations. (In order to promote esprit-de-corps, the first 7 regiments were linked to the original 7 regiments of artillery).
- (16) Harbor defense regiments
- 1st Coast Artillery Panama
- 2nd Coast Artillery Panama
- 3rd Coast Artillery Los Angeles, San Diego, mouth of the Columbia.
- 4th Coast Artillery Panama
- 5th Coast Artillery southern New York
- 6th Coast Artillery San Francisco
- 7th Coast Artillery Sandy hook – Delaware
- 8th Coast Artillery Portland – Portsmouth
- 9th Coast Artillery Boston
- 10th Coast Artillery Narragansett bay – New Bedford
- 11th Coast Artillery Long Island Sound
- 12th Coast Artillery Chesapeake Bay
- 13th Coast Artillery Pensacola, Charleston, Key West, Galveston
- 14th Coast Artillery Puget sound
- 15th Coast Artillery Hawaii
- 16th Coast Artillery Hawaii
- (3) Tractor Drawn (155mm)
- (2) Railway regiments
- (5) Anti-aircraft regiments
- (2) Philippine Scouts
In WWII more expansion and reorganization occurred to the battalion/brigade system. More than 900 units were created with the following titles:
- Coast Artillery Battalion
- Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion
- Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion
- Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion
- Antiaircraft Artillery Searchlight Battalion
- Barrage balloon Battalions
- Antiaircraft Artillery Missile Battalions.
Coast Artillery School
Distinctive unit insignia
- Description- A Gold color metal and enamel device 1 inch (2.54 cm) in height overall consisting of a shield blazoned: Per fess wavy Gules and Azure in chief on an oval escutcheon of the first (Gules) in front of the cannon saltirewise Or an Artillery projectile paleways within a bordure of the last (Or) in base a submarine mine of the like (Or).
- Background- The distinctive unit insignia was approved on 16 October 1929.
- Shield- Per fess wavy Gules and Azure in chief on an oval escutcheon of the first (Gules) in front of the cannon saltirewise Or an Artillery projectile paleways within a bordure of the last (Or) in base a submarine mine of the like (Or).
- Supporters- Two cannons paleways Or.
- Motto: "Defendimus" (We Defend).
The design was used by the Coast Artillery School for many years but was never recorded by the War Department. It is a shield of red and blue parted horizontally by a wavy line; on the upper red portion of the shield is the insignia of the Coast Artillery, and on the lower blue portion a submarine mine in gold. A scroll bearing the words “Coast Artillery School” may be added to the device.
- Supporters- Two cannons, muzzles up, are used as supporters.
- Background- The device was approved on 8 November 1924.
- Coats of arms of U.S. Air Defense Artillery Regiments
- Harbor Defense Museum
- Militia Act of 1903
- Seacoast defense in the United States
- Harbor Defenses of Manila and Subic Bays
- List of United States Army installations in Panama
- http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29523%7C Chester A. Arthur| Second Annual Message to Congress
- Fort and Battery list at the Coast Defense Study Group website
- http://www.cdsg.org/reprint%20PDFs/CACorg2008.pdf |Coast Artillery Organization – A Brief Overview | Bolling W. Smith & William C. Gaines
- http://www.usawoa.org/stivers2announced.htm | U. S. Army Warrant Officers Association| “LET GO!”
- http://www.fortmiles.org/firepower/batteries/batt8.html | Ft. Miles | Principal Armament – Mine Field
- "U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps 1901-1950" at Coast Defense Study Group
- "Records of U.S. Army Coast Artillery Districts and Defenses, 1901-1942" at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
- Insignia of the Coast Artillery Corps by Mark Berhow at Coast Defense Study Group
- "Government Plans Call For 14 Coast Artillery Units", The Harvard Crimson, April 26, 1919
- Coast Artillery Journal online (archived 29 Oct 2013 at the Internet Archive)
- Hines, Frank T. and Franklin W. Ward, The Service of Coast Artillery (digital book at OpenLibrary.org)
- "The Chief of Artillery", The New York Times, 21 Jan 1903 (subscription required for access to full article)
- Stark, Major H. W., "The Delaware Coast Artillery", Journal of the U.S. Artillery, vol. 56, pp 60—. (digital publication at Google Books)
- Coast Artillery Journal, Number 59, August 1923, p. 123. (archived 11 May 2013 at the Internet Archive)
- Annual Report of the Commandant, Coast Artillery School: 1916 (digital book at Google Books)