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PRINCIPLE ARMAMENT - BATTERY HERRING


Battery Herring as it appears today.  The earth fill was removed in 1962 by the US Navy and an addition was built on the front of the exposed casemate.  It remained in active use until 1981.
Photo Credit: Nate Davidson

 

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Operated by:  Unknown

Construction on Battery Herring commenced in January of 1942, after the start of World War II.  Its 6 inch guns were designed for close support in the event that an enemy were able to run the long range defenses of Battery 519 and Battery Smith.  The battery was armed with two model 1903A2 6 inch guns on barbette model M1 carriages which were removed at the conclusion of the war.  Battery Herring would sit abandoned until 1962 when it was recalled into service as a top secret listening facility operated by the United States Navy.  NAVFAC Lewes was commissioned on 1 May 1962 and operated until 30 September 1981.  During its service, Battery Herring was stripped of its earthen cover and and addition was built on the front of the exposed casemate.  Today Battery Herring remains exposed to the elements, which are beginning to take a toll on its concrete structure.  Delaware State Parks is currently considering eventual renovation of the battery, with a 6 inch gun mounted on the pad adjacent to the parking lot and the interior of the building dedicated to the SOSUS project under which it served for 26 years.  Battery Herring was named for Lieutenant Colonel Ralph E. Herring, Coast Artillery Corps, US Army.

FM 4-75 SOP 6" Gun on Barbette
Range Table
Report of Completed Works (PDF)
Floor Plan

Armament
The table to the right gives statistical data for the 6 inch gun and the ordnance fired.
Information source: Fort Miles Archives
 

This photo was taken at Battery Hunter, an identical 6 inch battery at Fort Miles.  The weapons mounted at Hunter and Herring were of the same model and configuration.  No known photos of Battery Herring's weapons in place exist.  Photo Credit: Tom Maier

6 Inch Gun M1903A2 on Barbette Carriage M1

Number Produced 132

Ordnance Data

Caliber 6 inch Projectile Weight HE - 90 lbs
AP - 105 lbs
Weight 20,510 lbs Projectile Length 27.625 inches
Powder Charge 32 lbs Stored at Battery HE - 200
AP - 300
Powder Bags Weight - 32 lbs
Length - 42.375 inches
Width - 6.375 inches
Central Storage
(Not at battery)
HE - 100
AP - 100
Muzzle Velocity 2800 fps Battery Allowance HE - 200
AP - 300
Maximum Range 27,100 yds War Reserve HE - 300
AP - 400
Elevation -5 deg to +47.5 deg

Table Legend

HE - High Explosive
AP - Armor Piercing

Traverse 360 degrees
Crew 27
Barrel Life N/A
Report of Completed Works

General

Utilities (cont'd)

Battery Commenced 15 JAN 1942 Electrical Source Battery Power Room
Battery Completed 31 AUG 1943 Installed by Ordnance
Date of Transfer 4 MAR 1944 Electrical Characteristics Voltage: 480 AC  Phase: 3
Cost to Date $181,300 No of Units and Capacity 3 units at 125 KVA each
Construction Material Reinforced Concrete Max KW req'd for utils. 20
Battery New or Modernized New Max KW req'd for non battle conditions 37.5
Trunnion Elevation in Battery 42.0 Commercial power provided YES    Capacity: 45 KVA

Utilities

Auxiliary power unit NO
Water Source City of Lewes, Delaware Type of Lighting Fixtures Water Tight
Alternate Water Source Well system installed. Dehumidifying Unit York Aire 37,000 BTU/hr
Size of Main 6 inches How Ventilated Natural draft thru vent stacks
Connected to Sewer YES How Heated Plotting, Spotting rooms & latrine heated by electric units in AC.
Type of Disposal Tank    
Type of Latrine Gas Proof    
Support Structures
Plotting Room: Plotting room located in battery.
Fire Control Towers: FCT #2, FCT #4, FCT #6, FCT #9, FCT #13, FCT #14
Radars (SCR-296A): Set 1, Set 3, Set 4

 

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