16 in M1919 file photo [7121]

16 in M1919 Coastal Defense Gun

Country of OriginUnited States
TypeCoastal Defense Gun
Caliber406.000 mm
Barrel Length20,000.000 mm
Weight492156.000 kg
Ammunition Weight1020.00 kg
Range38,040 m
Muzzle Velocity838 m/s


ww2dbaseThe first of the 16-inch M1919 coastal defense guns was built in 1895 (completed in 1902) by the Watervliet Arsenal, New York, United States and was eventually mounted at Fort Grant, Panama Canal Zone, remaining their until 1943. The standard United States Army designation of 50-caliber M1919 was not assigned until the second example was built, which was deployed to Fort Michie at Great Gull Island, New York. Six more 16-inch M1919 guns were built in the following couple of years and deployed to defend major seaports. In 1922, the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty resulted in the stoppage of the Lexington-class battlecruisers, which meant a surplus of 16-inch Mark II and Mark III barrels. 20 surplus barrels were transferred from the US Navy to the US Army, which used them to build a new batch of M1919 guns. In 1938, it was estimated that each 16-inch M1919 coastal defense gun cost US$520,000. On 27 Jul 1940, as pressure for war built up for the United States, the US Army Harbor Defense Board recommended building a further 27 guns of this type (though some of them were canceled before completion); two of the guns from this batch were placed on the shores of Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, United States (at Battery Gray, Fort Church, Little Compton and Battery Hamilton, Fort Greene, Point Judith). After the war, they were inactivated by 1946, and by 1950 all but one were scrapped. The lone remaining example is now on display at the US Army Ordnance Museum, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, United States.

Source: Wikipedia.


Last Major Revision: Jan 2009


American soldier and a 16 in M1919 coastal artillery gun, Fort Story, Virginia, United States, Mar 194216-inch coastal defense gun at Fort Story, Virginia, United States, Apr 194216-inch M1919 coastal defense gun at the United States Army Ordnance Museum, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, United States, 14 Aug 2007

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Robyn Janne Birch/Wiley says:
17 May 2014 06:27:32 AM

Looking for photo's that match my mothers photo of a ww2 usa ninthe division gunner based in New Zealand1943 or there abouts I have picture of him How can I put it up on your page to be identfied please the patch on his left shoulder has nine points on it Please help
2. Anonymous says:
5 May 2015 08:39:12 AM

The gun designed in 1895 and completed in 1902 was not an M1919, but a much shorter, less powerful early prototype gun. The design of 16 inch guns then shifted to the US Navy until the WW I era and the M1919.

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American soldier and a 16 in M1919 coastal artillery gun, Fort Story, Virginia, United States, Mar 1942
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