Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   
Artillery, Tanks and AFVs in the USA: Maine (1)

Artillery, Tanks and Armoured Fighting Vehicles in Maine (Part I)

Data current to 3 April 2021.

One of the aims of this website is to locate, identify and document every historical piece of artillery and all armoured fighting vehicles preserved in New England.  Many contributors have assisted in the hunt for these tangible pieces of our military history and the list you see here is constantly being revised as new finds are discovered and the data is updated.  The photos have come from various contributors, but the author likes to "ground truth" the reports, so a good number of the photos are by the author unless otherwise credited.  Any errors found here are by the author.   It often happens that military monuments that are relatively mobile, have been moved for restoration or scrapped, sometimes they are repainted with different markings and serial numbers, or they are replaced with a different piece of kit.  For those reasons, any additions, deletions, corrections or amendments that you may be able to add to this list of Artillery and AFVs in New England would be most welcome and may be e-mailed to the author at  The primary aim is preserve our military history and to keep the record accurate. 


 (Author Photos, 28 May 2019)

M48A1 Patton Main Battle Tank, American Legion Post 2, Capitol St.

Maine State Capitol Building, Augusta.  (Author Photo)


 (Author Photos)

Cast Iron possibly 24-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight unknown, mounted on a concrete stand.  This gun was on board one of Commodore Saltonstall's Sloops of War, blown up in Bangor's harbour during the ill-fated Penobscot Expedition in August, 1776.  It was recovered in August, 1876, and is heavily corroded.   It is located in a park between State and Central Streets, pointing toward the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge and the Brewer shore, beside the Bronze Spanish 18-pounder RML Gun.

Bangor and the Penobscot River saw their share of battles in the Revolutionary War and in the War of 1812.  In 1779 during the Revolutionary War the British navy took control of Castine using only three warships and began building a fort. The Americans sent 19 warships and 24 troop ships carrying about 1,000 men to Castine to oust the British, who countered by sending three more warships and four transport ships.

Despite outnumbering the British, American Commodore Dudley Saltonstall ordered his men to flee up the Penobscot River after he and his men reached Castine on 24 July. American ground troops, led by Paul Revere, abandoned their ships near Bangor and fled into the Maine woods, headed to the Augusta area. The British burned American ships in Winterport, about 15 miles from Bangor, leaving 20 ships to escape to the mouth of the Kenduskeag Stream in Bangor. Of the 20 ships that remained, the Americans scuttled 10.  Saltonstall was court-martialed for cowardice.

Thirty-five years later, in 1814, the British returned in the War of 1812 and hammered American forces in the Battle of Hampden, which borders Bangor to the south, before moving on to Bangor and forcing its selectmen to surrender unconditionally.  A thick fog crept through the Penobscot Valley as militiamen from the Greater Bangor area waited for the British on 3 Sep 1814. When the Americans heard the British coming sometime between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., they began firing their guns. But this time the British clearly had the upper hand, using two warships in the Penobscot to bombard American troops on land. Once again, the British chased the Americans to Bangor. 

Although the British crushed the Americans, casualties for both sides were light: One British troop died, nine were wounded, and one went missing; one American troop died, 11 troops were wounded, and one civilian died watching the battle. The British captured 80 Americans as prisoners of war.

After forcing the Bangor selectmen to surrender their town, the British looted shops and homes and occupied the town for 30 hours. Before leaving, they threatened to burn ships in Bangor's harbor and unfinished ships on stocks. The Bangor selectmen feared the fires from the ships on stocks would spread into the town and destroy everything, so they struck a deal with the British in which they put up a bond and promised to deliver the ships by the end of November.

With the bond and the frightened Americans' promise to deliver the unfinished ships, the British floated the seaworthy ships into the middle of the Penobscot and set ablaze all but two ships, one brig, six schooners, and three sloops. They then took the remaining ships, horses and cattle back to their post in Castine, which they occupied until 26 April 1815, when they left for Canada.  The British didn't stay longer than 30 hours because in the midst of celebrating their victory with rum they became drunk and in danger of becoming vulnerable, according to one account of the British occupation.  (Ryan R. Robbins)

 (Author Photos)

Spanish Bronze 18-pounder rifled muzzle-loading (RML) Gun with Dolphin carrying handles mounted on an iron stand.  This Gun was cast in a Spanish foundry ca 1790 and was used for coastal defence Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, until it was removed during the Spanish-American War.   It is located in Kenduskeag Parkway, downtown Bangor between State and Central streets, pointing toward the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge and the Brewer shore.  It stands beside the Cast Iron possibly 24-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun from one of Commodore Saltonstall's Sloops of War, blown up in Bangor's harbour during the ill-fated Penobscot Expedition in August, 1776.

Bangor, Cole Land Transportation Museum

 (Author Photos)

M60A3 Patton tank (Serial No. 4120A), part of the State of Maine Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park, near the Cole Land Transportation Museum, 405 Perry Rd.

 (Author Photo)

Bell UH-1D Iroquois (Serial No. 65-9915), Vietnam Memorial.  This Huey Helicopter was found at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida and served in Vietnam during the war.  At one time it suffered a crash landing but was recovered and placed back into service.  It was placed on 12 September 2003.

 (Author Photo)

M3 Half-track, inside the Cole Land Transportation Museum, 405 Perry Rd.

Bar Harbor

  (V.F. Thomas Co Photo)

 (Campbase Camping Photo)

 (Author Photos, 27 May 2019)

10-inch cast iron Rodman Gun, (Columbiad, 10-inch, smoothbore, seacoast, Model 1861), weight 14,980-lbs, No. 1 of 2, mounted side by side on a concrete stand, cannon near town pier end of Shore Path.


 (Author Photos, 27 May 2019)

10-inch cast iron Rodman Gun, (Columbiad, 10-inch, smoothbore, seacoast, Model 1861), weight 14,980-lbs, No. 2 of 2, mounted side by side on a concrete stand, cannon near town pier end of Shore Path.

These Rodman gun are part of a series of American Civil War–era Columbiads designed by Union artilleryman Thomas Jackson Rodman (1815–1871).  These heavy guns were designed to fire both shot and shell and were intended to be mounted in seacoast fortifications.  They were built in 8-inch, 10-inch, 13-inch, 15-inch, and 20-inch bore sizes.  Other than size, the guns were all nearly identical in design, with a curving bottle shape and large flat cascabels with ratchets or sockets for the elevating mechanism.  Rodman guns were true guns that did not have a howitzer-like powder chamber, as did many earlier columbiads.  Rodman guns differed from all previous artillery because they were hollow cast, a new technology that Rodman developed that resulted in cast-iron guns that were much stronger than their predecessors.

Rodman guns were mounted on three types of carriages, a front-pintle barbette carriage, a center-pintle barbette carriage, and a casemate carriage.  All of these carriages were made of wrought iron.


 (MKFI Photo)

QF 6 pounder Hotchkiss Mark I, (57-mm 45-calibre) Bridgeport coastal gun.

QF 6 pounder Hotchkiss Mark I, U.S. Navy, dated 1900, made at the Washington Navy Yard.  This gun is located at Washington Street, across from the Bath Iron Works.

 (Library of Congress Photo)

QF 6 pounder Hotchkiss Gun and crew on USS Oregon circa. 1896-1901.

The QF 6 pounder Hotchkiss was a light 2.25-inch (57-mm) naval gun and coast defence gun of the late 19th century used by many countries including the USA. The Hotchkiss six pounder (called the Rapid Fire gun rather than Quick Firer in the US) was used in United States Navy and Army service in conjunction with another maker's design, its primary rival being the Driggs-Schroeder six pounder.  One shipbuilding and naval supply company, Cramp & Sons, had a license to build both the Hotchkiss and Driggs-Schroeder and sold both to the Navy in parallel. Both Hotchkiss and Driggs-Schroeder guns used the same ammunition and eventually the Navy made certain that the ammunition for both was identical.  The six pounders were largely replaced by 3-inch (76-mm) RF naval guns starting around 1910.

The US Army also used the Hotchkiss six pounder. As the primary defender of coastal fortifications and harbors, the US Army had the need for lighter guns to supplement their shore batteries. Driggs-Schroeder guns, manufactured by the American Ordnance Company and designated Mark II and Mark III, were adopted along with Driggs-Seabury weapons designated M1898 and M1900.  The mountings for the Army six pounders were called "rampart mounts" or "parapet mounts", wheeled carriages with fittings that allowed them to be secured to pintle mounts.  (Wikipedia)


 (Taoab Photos)

10-inch Rodman Gun, (Columbiad, 10-inch, smoothbore, seacoast, Model 1861), weight 14,980-lbs, Civil War Memorial, in front of the Bath Court House.

 (BA Bartlett Photo)

Cast iron 24-cwt smoothbore muzzleloading Gun, weight 24-3-24 (2,796 lbs), King George II raised cypher, broad arrow, mounted on a concrete stand in Library Park.


 (Taoab Photo)

Cast-iron 24-pounder 50-cwt smoothbore muzzle-loading Gun, (ca. 1775 - 1815), weight 49-1-0 (5,516 lbs), Serial No. 38.  Grove Cemetery.


 (Author Photos, 5 Oct 2018)

IX-inch Dahlgren 32-pounder smoothbore muzzle-loading Shell Gun, C.A. & Co. No. 169 on the barrel, (P, TAH) on the left trunnion, (32 Pdr, 1865) on the right trunnion, mounted on an iron stand, No. 1 of 2, beside the Civil War Memorial, outside the Belfast Memorial Hall.


 (Author Photos, 5 Oct 2018)

IX-inch Dahlgren 32-pounder smoothbore muzzle-loading Shell Gun, C.A. & Co. No. 170 on the barrel, (P, TAH) on the left trunnion, (32 Pdr, 1866) on the right trunnion, mounted on an iron stand, No. 2 of 2, beside the Civil War Memorial, outside the Belfast Memorial Hall.


10-inch Rodman Gun, (Columbiad, 10-inch, smoothbore, seacoast, Model 1861), weight 14,980-lbs, Farragut Park, Route 302. 

8-inch Rodman Gun, (Columbiad, 8-inch smoothbore, seacoast, Model 1844), weight 9,240-lbs, converted rifle.  Farragut Park, Route 302.

Vickers/Maxim QF 1 pounder 37-mm Automatic Gun (ca. 1890’s). Farragut Park, Route 302.

 (Library of Congress Photo)


Maxim-Nordenfelt 37-mm 1-pounder auto-cannon on board USS Vixen (PY-4).  (USN Photo)

The QF 1 pounder, universally known as the pom-pom due to the sound of its discharge, was a 37-mm British auto-cannon, the first of its type in the world. It was used by several countries initially as an infantry gun and later as a light anti-aircraft gun.

Hiram Maxim originally designed the Pom-Pom in the late 1880s as an enlarged version of the Maxim machine gun. Its longer range necessitated exploding projectiles to judge range, which in turn dictated a shell weight of at least 400 grams (0.88 lb), as that was the lightest exploding shell allowed under the St. Petersburg Declaration of 1868 and reaffirmed in the Hague Convention of 1899. Early versions were sold under the Maxim-Nordenfelt label, whereas versions in British service (i.e. from 1900) were labelled Vickers, Sons and Maxim (VSM) as Vickers had bought out Maxim-Nordenfelt in 1897. They are all effectively the same gun.

The U.S. Navy adopted the Maxim-Nordenfelt 37-mm 1-pounder as the 1-pounder Mark 6 before the 1898 Spanish–American War.  The Mark 7, 9, 14, and 15 weapons were similar.  It was the first dedicated anti-aircraft (AA) gun adopted by the US Navy, specified as such on the Sampson-class destroyers launched 1916-17.  It was deployed on various types of ships during the US participation in the First World War, although it was replaced as the standard AA gun on new destroyers by the 3-inch (76-mm)/23 caliber gun.  (Wikipedia)

Bowdoin, Sagadahawk

 (Bowdoin Historical Society Photo)

8-inch Rodman Gun (Columbiad, 8-inch, smoothbore, seacoast, Model 1844), weight great than 9,000-lbs, Civil War Memorial, Bowdoin Center, Route 125.  


 (Taoab Photos)

 (Vintage postcard Photo)

 (1909 Photo)

8-inch Rodman Gun (Columbiad, 8-inch, smoothbore, seacoast, Model 1844), weight 9,240-lbs, muzzle data 17, SCLS. ?M & Co, star, 1864, 8454 lbs.  Mounted on an iron and concrete stand, this gun was originally part of the Fort Popham defences.  It was donated to the town of Bowdoinham to remember its soldiers who died in the Civil War.


 (Taoab Photos)

Bronze 24-pounder smoothbore muzzle-loading Gun, cast in Spain, mounted on a concrete stand, War Memorial Park.

 (Library of Congress Photo)

5"/51 caliber (127-mm) naval gun, possibly on USS Texas B-35, between 1910 and 1915.  These guns weighed 5 metric tons, and had a range of 14.5 km (15,850 yards) at the maximum elevation of 20 degrees.  The 5-inch/51 caliber gun was designed to engage destroyers, torpedo boats, and other surface targets.  It entered USN service in 1911. 

5"/51 caliber (127-mm) Mk. 15 naval gun, Bethlehem Steel, is located at the Brunswick Executive Airport (formerly NAS Brunswick).

Cape Elizabeth, Fort Williams

Fort Williams is a former United States Army fort in Cape Elizabeth which operated from 1872 to 1964.  It was part of the Coast Defenses of Portland, later renamed the Harbor Defenses of Portland, a command which protected Portland's port and naval anchorage 1904-1950.  After its closure, it was redeveloped into Fort Williams Park.  A 14-acre purchase near Portland Head Light in 1872 served to establish a sub-post to Fort Preble located at Spring Point.  This fortification became known as Fort Williams on 13 April 1899, by order of Army Headquarters (General Order No. 17, Headquarters of the Army, Adjutant General's Office, Washington, D.C.).  It was named for Brevet Major General Seth Williams.  By 1903, the fort had grown to 90.45 acres.   It first test-fired its guns in 1898, shortly before the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, and was complete by 1906.

 (Drawing, courtesy of the Coast Defense Study Group)

M1901 Buffington–Crozier disappearing carriage for an M1900 12-inch gun, generally similar to 10-inch disappearing carriages.  Illustration from "The Service of Coast Artillery," by Frank T. Hines and Franklin W. Ward, Goodenough & Woglom Co., New York, 1910, following p. 112. 

 (U.S. Army Ordinance Dept Drawing, courtesy of the Coast Defense Study Group)

Diagram of a 10-inch Coast Artillery gun mounted on an M1896 disappearing carriage showing the gun retracted behind the parapet and ready to be swabbed out and reloaded.

12-inch gun mounted on an M1897 disappearing carriage. (US Navy Photo)

As built, the fort contained three batteries: Battery Sullivan (two 10-inch guns on disappearing carriages), Battery DeHart (three 10-inch disappearing guns), and Battery Hobart (one 6-inch Armstrong gun), all built between 1896 and 1898.  Three other two-gun batteries were added later: Battery Blair, two 12-inch disappearing guns (1903); Battery Garesché, two 6-inch disappearing guns (1906); and Battery Keyes, two 3-inch rapid-firing guns (1906), the latter to guard a minefield.  The remains of a wharf for loading mine planters can be seen near Battery Keyes.  An underground bunker for the submarine mine system, later used in Cold War civil defence, is near Battery Hobart.  Searchlights were also mounted at some of these batteries; the counterweight for a disappearing searchlight tower (it "disappeared" when folded down) remains on site.  Most of Fort Williams' support buildings were constructed between 1900 and 1911. In 1913, the 6-inch Armstrong gun of Battery Hobart was removed and transferred to Hawaii.

6-inch M1900 gun on M1900 pedestal mount.  (US War Department, US Archives Photo)

During the First World War, the fort was fully manned by artillery companies of the Coast Artillery Corps and Maine National Guard troops.  Anti-aircraft guns were added to the defenses during this time. In 1917, the two 10-inch guns of Battery Sullivan and both 6-inch guns of Battery Garesché were removed to be shipped to the Western Front in France, but of the four guns only one of the 6-inch guns was actually sent to France.  The 10-inch guns were intended to serve as railway artillery, but few guns of this type were so mounted, none were sent to France, and the 10-inch railway gun program was abandoned soon after the war.  A history of the Coast Artillery in the First World War states that none of the regiments in France equipped with 6-inch guns completed training in time to see action before the Armistice.  The three 10-inch guns of Battery DeHart were also dismounted, but were soon remounted. After the war, the 10-inch guns were returned to Fort Williams, but Battery Garesché remained disarmed.

 (Library of Congress Photo)

155-mm M1917 Field Gun.

155-mm M1917 Field Gun employed in Coastal Defence.  (Library of Congress Photo)

A plaque next to one of the fort's remaining buildings states that it housed towed 155-mm guns following the First World War.  These weapons, based on the French 155-mm GPF gun used by the Coast Artillery in that war, were adopted to introduce mobility to US coast defenses.  Circular concrete platforms called "Panama mounts" were constructed at Fort Baldwin in Phippsburg, Maine and at Biddeford Pool to allow more effective use of these guns.  A four-gun battery of these weapons, most likely from Fort Williams, was deployed to Fort Baldwin from early 1942 to 17 January 1944.  Fort Williams served as the headquarters of the Harbor Defenses of Portland throughout the Second World War.  By the middle of the war the last of the coastal artillery pieces (except Battery Keyes' two 3-inch guns) were removed due to age and obsolescence.

3-inch gun M1903 on masking parapet mounts.  (US War Department Photos)

3-inch guns, Fort Casey, Whidbey Island, Washington.  (Articseahorse Photos)

The 3-inch gun M1903 and its predecessors the M1898 and M1902 were rapid fire breech-loading artillery guns with a 360-degree traverse.  In some references they are called "15-pounders" due to their projectile weight.  They were originally emplaced from 1899 to 1917 and served until near the end of the Second World War.  These 3-inch guns were placed to provide fire to protect submarine mines and nets against minesweepers, and also to protect against motor torpedo boats.  In some documentation they are called "mine defense guns".  The 3-inch guns were mounted on pedestal mounts (retractable "masking parapet" mount for the M1898) that bolted into a concrete emplacement that provided cover and safety for the gun's crew.  (Wikipedia)

Early in the Second World War the major units garrisoning the Harbor Defenses of Portland were the 8th Coast Artillery Regiment of the Regular Army and the 240th Coast Artillery Regiment of the Maine National Guard.  

16-inch gun mounted on a model M4 barbette carriage in a coastal defence casemate.  (US Navy Photo)

By 1945 the fort was replaced by the 16-inch Battery Steele on Peaks Island and a few other more recent batteries.  Fort Williams received its last guns in 1943, in the form of four 90-mm dual-purpose guns of Anti-Motor Torpedo Boat Battery (AMTB) 961, the emplacements for two of which remain a bit south of the lighthouse.  With little threat to the East Coast from surface ships by 1944, the coast defenses were drawn down and the Coast Artillery regiments reduced to battalions or their personnel were reassigned.  In January 1950, with the dissolution of the Coast Artillery Corps, Fort Williams' mission was officially changed from a harbor defense post to a logistical and administrative support installation for all military units and personnel in the State of Maine.

In 1950-51 Fort Williams hosted a station of the Air Defense Command's Lashup Radar Network.  The station was called Site L-2 and had a TPS-1B radar operated by the 657th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron from January-September 1951.  The radar station was deactivated in October 1951 and Fort Williams became an Air National Guard training site.  Other Air Force units stationed at Fort Williams included the 127th AC&W Squadron September 1951-September 1953 and the 677th AC&W Squadron September 1953-April 1954.

Fort Williams officially closed on 30 June 1962 and turned over to the General Services Administration to be sold.  The property was sold to the Town of Cape Elizabeth on 1 December 1964.  Many of the fort's buildings were gradually torn down, though several structures remain, either intact or as preserved ruins.  Most of the concrete bunkers and gun emplacements were backfilled, although Batteries Keyes and Garesche survive relatively intact, and the outlines of all the other emplacements were preserved on the surface.  One of the two emplacements of Battery Blair was recently unearthed again, with its surfaces cleaned and painted and interpretive signage added; plans are being made to restore Blair's second emplacement in like manner.  (Wikipedia)

 (cachegame Photo)

Cast-iron smoothbore muzzle-loading Gun, heavily corroded, mounted on an iron stand, near Portland Headlight in Fort Williams Park.

Castine, Fort George

 (Author Photo)

Fort George and the penobscott Expedition, 1779.  Plaque below the fort.

Map of Fort George.  (The map is drawn with North pointing south).  (Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library)

Fort George (also sometimes known as Fort Majabigwaduce, Castine, or Penobscot) was a palisaded earthworks fort built in 1779 by Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War in Castine.  Located at a high point on the Bagaduce Peninsula, the fort was built as part of an initiative by the British to establish a new colony called New Ireland.  It was the principal site of the British defense during the Massachusetts-organized Penobscot Expedition, a disastrous attempt to retake Castine launched in response to the British move. 

The Penobscot Expedition was a 44-ship American naval task force mounted during the Revolutionary by the Provincial Congress of the Province of Massachusetts Bay.  The flotilla of 19 warships and 25 smaller support vessels sailed from Boston on 19 July 1779 for the upper Penobscot Bay in the District of Maine carrying a ground expeditionary force of more than 1,000 colonial Marines and militiamen.  Also included was a 100-man artillery detachment under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Revere.  The Expedition's goal was to reclaim control of what is now mid-coast Maine from the British who had seized it a month earlier and renamed it New Ireland.  It was the largest American naval expedition of the war.  The fighting took place both on land and at sea in and around the mouth of the Penobscot and Majabigwaduce Rivers at what is today Castine, Maine, over a period of three weeks in July and August of 1779.  The battle was a significant victory for the British with the Expedition resulting in a disastrous naval defeat for the American fleet.

On June 17 of that year, British Army forces under the command of General Francis McLean landed and began to establish a series of fortifications centered on Fort George, located on the Majabigwaduce Peninsula in the upper Penobscot Bay, with the goals of establishing a military presence on that part of the coast and establishing the colony of New Ireland.  In response, the Province of Massachusetts, with some support from the Continental Congress, raised an expedition to drive the British out.

The Americans landed troops in late July and attempted to establish a siege of Fort George in a series of actions that were seriously hampered by disagreements over control of the expedition between land forces commander Brigadier General Solomon Lovell and the expedition's overall commander, Commodore Dudley Saltonstall, who was subsequently dismissed from the Navy for ineptness and failure to effectively prosecute the mission.  For almost three weeks General McLean held off the assault until a British relief fleet under the command of Sir George Collier arrived from New York on 13 August, driving the American fleet to total self-destruction up the Penobscot River.  The survivors of the American expedition were forced to make an overland journey back to more populated parts of Massachusetts with minimal food and armament.

A year later the British Cabinet formally approved the New Ireland project on 10 August 1780, and King George III gave his assent the following day to the proposal to separate “the country lying to the northeast of the Piscataway [Piscataqua] River” from the province of Massachusetts Bay in order to establish “so much of it as lies between the Sawkno [Saco] River and the St. Croix, which is the southeast [sic] boundary of Nova Scotia into a new province, which from its situation between the New England province and Nova Scotia, may with great propriety be called New Ireland.”  Pursuant to the terms of the 1783 Peace of Paris all British forces then evacuated Fort George (followed by some 600 Loyalists who removed from the area to St. Andrews on Passamaquoddy Bay) and abandoned their attempts to establish New Ireland.  During the War of 1812, however, British forces again occupied Fort George (still calling the area New Ireland) from September 1814 to April 1815 and used it as a naval base before withdrawing again with the arrival of peace.  Full ownership of present-day Maine (principally the northeastern borders with New Brunswick) remained disputed until the Webster-Ashburton Treaty in 1842.  The "District of Maine" was a part of Massachusetts until 1820 when it was admitted into the Union as the 23rd state as part of the Missouri Compromise.

The remains of Fort George, now little more than its earthworks, are part of a state-owned and town-maintained park.  Fort George is today a roughly square earthworks, about 200 feet (61 m) on each side, with bastions at the corners that project out an additional 40 feet (12 m).  These works are for the most part about 10 feet (3.0 m) in height, although the easternmost bastion is 20 feet (6.1 m) high.  Features of the fort that have not survived include a palisade, moat, and gateway.  The fort is one of a series of defenses erected by the British in 1779, which notably included the digging of a canal across much of the neck separating the Bagaduce Peninsula from the rest of the mainland.

Castine is set at a strategically significant location near the head of Penobscot Bay, and was a point of conflict at several times between the 17th and 19th centuries.  Pursuant to plans for establishing a military presence on the coast of Maine as well as the colony of New Ireland, a British force led by General Francis McLean arrived off Castine in June 1779, seized the town, and established Fort George and other fortifications in the area.  The state of Massachusetts, of which Maine was then a part, responded by raising a large militia force, which in an operation known as the Penobscot Expetition, disastrously failed in its attempt to dislodge the British.  The fort was not abandoned by the British until 1784.

The site of the fort's remains is now a park of 7 acres (2.8 ha), owned by the state and maintained by the town.  The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.  Fort George is the site of Majabigwaduce, the location for Bernard Cornwell's 2010 book The Fort, which is about the Penobscot Expedition.  (Wikipedia)

 (Jerrye and Roy Klotz MD Photo)


 (Author Photos, 5 Oct 2018)

Cast-iron 24-pounder 50-cwt smoothbore muzzle-loading Gun, weight 49-1-0 (5,516 lbs), Serial No. 68 on the barrel above the first reinforcing ring, both trunnions corroded, mounted on a wood naval gun carriage, (ca. 1775 - 1815).

The cast-iron smoothbore muzzle-loading 24-pounder 50-cwt long gun was a heavy calibre piece of artillery mounted on warships of the Age of sail.  24-pounders were in service in the navies of the France, Spain, England, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States.  24-pounders were used as main guns on the heaviest frigates of the early 19th century and on fourth-rate ships of the line, on the second deck of first-rate ships of the line, and on the second deck of a few large third-rate ships.

Castine harbourfront

 (Author Photos, 5 Oct 2018)

Cast-iron smoothbore muzzle-loading possibly 6-pounder Gun with an anchor on the barrel mounted on a wood box.

Castine, Fort Madison

Fort Madison was a US Army Second System fort established in 1808, named for James Madison, 4th President of the United States.  A sign on the site of the fort records it was built by the United States in 1811 and mounted with four 24-pounder guns.  The fort was captured and held by the British during the War of 1812 from 1 September 1814 to 15 April 1815, and renamed Fort Castine.   It was garrisoned 1814 by a detachment of US Artillery commanded by Lt. A. Lewis.  Upon the approach of the British Fleet, 1 September 1814, the officer discharged and spiked his cannon, blew up the Magazine, and then withdrew his force to Portland.  Occupied by the British, it was named by them Fort Castine.  It was returned to US Control in 1815 and remained active until 1819.  It was renamed Fort Porter for Major Moses Porter, a US Army engineer.  Abandoned in 1819, the fort was rebuilt in 1862-1863 by Union forces during the American Civil War and renamed Fort United States.  The fort was armed with three 32-pounder gun embrasures and two 24-pounder guns mounted in barbettes.  It was garrisoned until the close of the Civil War by a company of US Volunteers.  It was finally abandoned in 1865. 

Cushing Island, Fort Levett

Fort Levett was a former U.S. Army fort built on Cushing Island in Casco Bay, beginning in 1898.  The fort was heavily fortified with coastal defence guns and was manned during both World Wars.  Fort Levett's construction began in 1898 (on land acquired in 1894) and was largely completed in 1903.  The fort initially comprised five batteries.  Battery Bowdoin was named for James Bowdoin, former governor of Massachusetts (which included Maine in his day), and had three 12-inch M1898 disappearing guns.  Battery Kendrick was named for Henry Lane Kendrick, an Army officer and professor at West Point, and had two 10-inch M1895 disappearing guns.  Battery Ferguson was named for Major William Ferguson, killed in action against Native Americans in 1791, was completed in 1906, and had two 6-inch M1900 guns on pedestal mounts.b Battery Daniels was named for Lieutenant Napoleon Daniels, killed in action against Native Americans at Crazy Woman's Fork in 1866, and had two 3-inch M1898 guns (also called 15-pounder guns) on retractable masking parapet mounts.  The fort also briefly had several 6-pounder rapid-fire guns on field mounts.  (Wikipedia)

 (Coast Defense Study Group Photo)

12-inch disappearing gun similar to those at Fort Levett.

In 1915, with the First World War raging in Europe and with rapidly-improving dreadnought battleships providing an increased threat, the Board of Review recommended that Fort Levett receive a new, modernized battery as part of a program to increase the range of coastal forts.  The battery was named Battery Foote in 1919, after Colonel Stephen M. Foote, a Coast Artillery officer who died in that year.  Battery Foote had two 12-inch M1895 guns on new, high-angle M1917 barbette carriages for increased range and was completed in 1920.  This type of battery was initially built in the open, relying on camouflage for concealment, and was incredibly vulnerable to air attack, as were the older disappearing batteries.  The two 10-inch guns of Battery Kendrick were ordered dismounted as part of a railway artillery program in 1917, but were not shipped out and were soon remounted.  Fort Levett was operationally manned during the war, but probably not until the American entry into the First World War in 1917. After the war the two 3-inch guns of Battery Daniels were removed as part of a decommissioning of several types of guns.  At some point between the wars the fort reverted to caretaker status.  (Wikipedia)

 (US Navy Photo)

16-inch, 50 Caliber, Mark 2, Mod. 1 Gun Barrel on display in East Willard Park, Washington Navy Yard, D.C.

Shortly after the Fall of France in mid-1940 the United States manned its coast defenses, activated the National Guard, and developed a coast defense modernization program that was partially implemented during the war.  During the Second World War the Harbour Defences of Portland were garrisoned by the 8th Coast Artillery Regiment of the Regular Army and the 240th Coast Artillery Regiment of the Maine National Guard until late 1944, when the Coast Artillery was reorganized and reduced in strength.  The basis of the Second World War modernization program was to add new 16-inch gun batteries, retain long-range 12-inch batteries such as Battery Foote, and also add new long-range 6-inch gun and 90-mm M1A2 anti-aircraft gun batteries.  The disappearing gun batteries that had served for 25-45 years would be scrapped.  The 16-inch battery that anchored the Harbor Defences of Portland was Battery Steele on Peaks Island.  Battery Foote was casemated against air attack during the war, and a four-gun 90-mm Anti-Motor Torpedo Boat (AMTB) battery designated AMTB 962 was added.  The other batteries of Fort Levett were scrapped by 1943 except the two 6-inch guns of Battery Ferguson, which were retained until after the war.  With the end of the Second World War in 1945 all US coast defence guns were scrapped by 1948, and subsequently the obsolete Fort Levett was sold by the government.  (Wikipedia)

 (Coast Defense Study Group Photo)

12-inch casemated gun, similar to those at Battery Foote, Fort Levett.


 (Author Photos, 16 May 2018)

Dover-Foxcroft Civil War Memorial, flanked by a pair of 30-pounder Parrot Rifles.

 (Author Photos, 16 May 2018)

30-pounder Parrott Rifle, R.P.P. (Robert Parker Parrott) No. 385, 3,460 lbs, 1864, mounted on a concrete stand, No. 1 of 2 in Monument Square.

 (Author Photos, 16 May 2018)

30-pounder Parrott Rifle, R.P.P. No. 350, 3,470 lbs, 1864, mounted on a concrete stand, No. 2 of 2 in Monument Square.