Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Fort MacArthur: Batteries John Barlow and Saxton
 
Fort MacArthur Upper Reservation - Battery Barlow-Saxton Left, Battery Leary-Merriam Center, Battery Osgood-Farley Right 1937 (National Archives)
Click above for a larger image.
 
What are Seacoast Mortars?
 
Battleships and cruisers might have had more than a foot of armored plate on their sides, but their decks were reatively thin. Seacoat Mortars could exploit this weakness. Fired in groups, mortars hurled 700 pound projectiles in a high arc to drop onto the warships unprotected decks
 
 
 
History
by Justin M. Ruhge
 

Battery Barlow and Saxton was a double battery of four each 12-inch mortars arranged in a row of two guns per pit in four pits. Magazines in traverses were constructed between each pit. The Battery was located about a half mile north of the Battery Osgood-Farley. From these mortars, a 700-pound shell could be delivered in a high arc to enemy ship targets at a maximum range of eleven miles. All the mortars were 200 inches long, Model 1912, Nos. 30 to 37 and manufactured at the Watervliet Arsenal. They were mounted on barbette carriages M189 MIII, Nos. 29 to 36 manufactured at Watertown Arsenal. Work began on the battery on April 1, 1915 and was completed by June 27, 1919. The battery was transferred to the Army in that same month at a cost of $290,300.

As with the other batteries, power was provided by two 25 KW. sets in the Battery and commercial power.

The Battery was named for Brigadier General John W. Barlow and Major General Rufus Saxton. The origin of the Battery names has not been discovered.

The Battery was disarmed after World War II. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 and was used in 1993 for storage by the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Mortars in firing position


Report of Completed Works - Seacoast Fortifications

 
 
Report of Completed Works - Seacoast Fortifications: Batteries John Barlow and Saxton
 
 
 
Loading and firing seacoast mortars at Batteries John Barlow and Saxton (Fort MacArthur Museum)
 
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Updated 23 June 2017