120 mm Gun M1 Anti-Aircraft Gun
|Country of Origin||United States|
|Barrel Length||7,160.000 mm|
|Ammunition Weight||22.70 kg|
|Muzzle Velocity||945 m/s|
Contributor: C. Peter Chenww2dbaseThe origin of these very heavy anti-aircraft guns could be traced back to the prototype made in 1924, but at that time, it was considered too heavy to deploy in combat and too expensive to build. The research project was slowed to a grind, but it was never completely ended.
In 1938, the need for such heavy anti-aircraft guns arose, and the design was modernized. It was mated with a new eight-wheel carriage design to become the 4.7 inch M1, which was accepted in 1940. The approximately 550 produced were mostly deployed on fixed mounts around the continental United States, usually four guns for each battery; outside the United States, 15 of them were deployed to the Panama Canal Zone and 4 of them were sent to Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. They were typically manned by a crew of 18 men, which included a commander, a gun crew of nine men, and an ammunition crew with three men. None of them ever fired in combat during WW2. In 1944, they were re-designated 120 mm Gun M1 weapons as the metric naming system became standard in the United States Army. Due to their high altitude capabilities, they were nicknamed the "stratosphere guns". Many of them had radar fire control systems.
After WW2, they saw some combat in the Korean War. They were replaced by the Nike Ajax anti-aircraft missile systems between the mid-1950s and the early-1960s.
Last Major Revision: Apr 2009
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945