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13) Fort Tilden's Battery 220

Updated: November 28, 2004

M1903
M1903 Gun Planned to be Installed at Battery 220

This gun battery, located along Shore Road in Fort Tilden, was never given a name since it was never completed. It was only called Battery 220 (Construction) and was to be armed with two 6-inch Model M1903A2 (never installed) guns on barbette carriages, model M4, and an large underground ammunition magazine and support complex called a "Central Traverse Magazine". This installation was one of the many "200 Series" emplacements that were built during World War II along the shores of America. The directrix, or central axis, of the guns was to be 327 degrees and the maximum range would have been 27,200 yards.

Click here to see the technical details of the 6 inch ammunition.

Construction of this reinforced concrete casemate began on October 14, 1941, and it was completed on January 31, 1943. It was transferred on April 22, 1944 at a total cost of $229,507.29. The ceiling and exterior walls are 6 feet thick and the front wall is 7 feet thick. The Report of Completed Works (RCW) dated May 4, 1945 reads; "Scheduled delivery date of gun tubes undetermined. Gun tubes will be installed by this office when received". The war endedand the guns were never installed.
Plan of Battery 220

Interior Plan of Battery 220

The "Central Traverse Magazine" contains a plotting room, shell and powder storage rooms, an electrical generator, several rooms for personnel, storage rooms, and a latrine. The bunker was equipped with a filtered ventilation system designed to protect the occupants against chemical warfare (poison gas) attacks. The most obvious feature of this structure today, is the concrete Battery Commander's (BC) Station located at the top of the main bunker. The casemate has three entrances, allowing easy access to ammunition and maintenance equipment from either gun, located on opposite sides of the bunker, and a rear entrance.

What's left today?
The buried remains of the concrete gun platforms are barely visible under the sand and brush. Only the BC Station is visible and shifting sands have sealed off access to the empty and abandoned casemate below. An inspection of the interior of this facility in the mid-1980's by the NPS staff, revealed a large collection of empty beers cans and bottles, moldy old furniture, and graffiti. No historic artifacts or original equipment were located.
Exterior of BC Station, 1981

Exterior of Battery 220 - Battery Commanders Station - 1981
(Source: Private Collection)

Interior of BC Station, 1999
Interior of Battery 220 - Battery Commanders Station - 1999
(Note the threaded mounting post for the azimuth instrument)
(Source: Private Collection)

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