When I look at the these relics on the beach, after they have been
battered by wind and tide and weather, I wonder what they looked like
when the were new. Thanks to a number of other websites, I've
been able get an idea of what they probably looked like in 1942.
A photo from Matthew Hunter's Sitka's WWII Page shows what the gun
probably looked like as it about to be fired. This is a photo of a 155mm gun at
Fort Rousseau, Makhnati Island
Photo courtesy of the Sitka Historical
photo you can see the ring that the trailing arms of the gun rest on
(and the rings visible on the beach). But what of the center
support -- they certainly are NOT centered now on the beach. These
photos from the Fort
McArthur Museum site show Panama mounts on land at the Bolsa Chica
State Park. This location was the southern most battery of Fort
McArthur during WW II.
As you can see, the center support is both centered in the ring, and
the top surface is level (as is the ring filled in with soil). Comparing these to what is remaining on
the Ventura beach, we see that they are neither centered nor
level. It gives an indication of the amount of battering they
have taken over the years from the waves and the tides.
A closer view of the surface
of center support (below) shows a square stud pattern. According
to a conversation chain I saw in a Yahoo
forum (either the coastal defense forum, or the California coastal
defense forum), the square pattern indicated that the 155 mm Long Toms
had been installed most recently, as opposed to the 155 mm GFP (French)
style of gun that were initially installed.
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2007
Comments about web page format
should be sent to Don