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Kinzie Battery, Fort Worden at Pt. Townsend, WA

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I had the opportunity recently to visit Fort Worden State Park in Pt. Townsend, WA. First, I explored the remains of Battery Kinzie, located on the beach head below the actual fort. This battery, constructed in 1910-11 (IIRC) housed a pair of 12-inch "disappearing" guns.

 

I have a question regarding an apparatus that is present at this battery. Near the center of the structure, on the upper level, is a room with three wheels stacked one above the other. These wheels (like steel steering wheels), were each connected to a series of rods via chains and sprockets. The rotating motion of the steel rods was transmitted to a spot near each of the two guns, making 90-degree turns via bevel gears. Whatever the rods were connected to at each end no longer exists.

 

At the fort proper is the Coastal Artillery Museum, located inside one of the barracks buildings (the movie "An Officer and A Gentleman" was filmed at this fort). I highly recommend a visit to the fort and this museum (the small arms room alone is worth the price of admission). The museum has a wonderful 3-D animated movie showing how the 12-inch guns operated. Unfortunately, the animation and photos in the museum do not shed any light on what the three wheels did. Anyone have any ideas?

 

The Coastal Artillery Museum has a great video on YouTube:

If the link doesn't work, just search for "Coastal Artillery Museum" on the YouTube site and it will come up first.

 

Brian

 

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I forgot to add that the room with the three wheels is just below the center, uppermost structure where the lookout and range finder were located (command center?). The two rooms are connected via a speaking tube (as are most all of the rooms). So I am wondering if the the three wheels were actually a method of "telegraphing" the position of a target to the guns? I can imagine that at the "receiving" end of the three rods may have been three "dials" to indicate the information needed to aim the guns. Does that seem plausible?

 

Thanks,

 

Brian

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A couple additional photos...

 

I thought I had taken a photo of the wheels. In the first photo, there is a doorway (between two windows) centered between the shell elevators. The second photo was taken looking through the window to the left of the doorway. Only two of the three wheels remain, but you can see all three sprockets that were connected via chains to the rods located below the floor (on the ceiling of the first level).

 

Brian

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Not sure what they are either but I visited there many years ago while on vacation on the area and had a great time at the museum and exploring all the artillery positions. If some of those photos look familiar to folks....the film Officer and a Gentleman was filmed there.


RIP Molly...Oct. 2000 - July 2013 For 13 years you have been my best friend and companion, giving love and asking only for love in return. May you rest now, free from your pain. I will miss you girl, and will keep you in my heart forever....the sweetest dog and best friend ever! I'll see you again one day.


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post-32632-0-02462100-1520616993.jpg Ah yes, Ft. Worden, great place! Here's my grandaughter w/ the oozlefinch last summer. As for your question, you may want to message Agate Hunter. He's a bit of an expert on the NW Coast Artillery Forts.


"They'd rather be alive than free; poor dumb bastards."

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Update on this topic: I managed to get in touch with someone who studies the history of Ft. Worden and learned that the apparatus in question was known as the "mechanical range transmission system."

 

My contact also suggested checking out the Coastal Defense Study Group web site (CDSG.org) for more information. There is a ton of information here on the U.S. coastal defenses (design, construction, history, and preservation efforts). Lots of maps and other printed info available for free download if you so desire.

 

Brian

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This may not exactly pertain to your topic, but it is cool to see in your photos, that volunteers are at least trying to combat the gang graffiti. I partipated in the centennial celebration of Ft. Worden with the Friends of Willie & Joe some years back. It was disconcerting to see the mess that the taggers had made to the concrete emplacements, at that time... Cheers...

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Do you have any photos of the smalls arms displays in the museum? If so, perhaps you could add them to this thread?

 

I visited Ft. Worden about 15 years ago and very much enjoyed the small arms display. My recollection is that, among other items, they had a German MG08 w/ sled mount; MG 08/15 and a Japanese Type 92 HMG on tripod. I also recall staff at the museum telling me that most (if not all) of the MG's were donated by a private citizen and that, only a few months after the donation and transfer to the museum, the donor's house (where the MG's had been stored for decades) burned and was a total loss. Thus, but for the donation, all of these small arms would have been destroyed.

 

I also seem to recall that the museum had some WWII Japanese ordnance items . . . I think some shell fragments from where a Japanese submarine surfaced off the coast of Oregon and shelled targets on shore. I also seem to recall some bits and pieces of Japanese balloon bombs that had been recovered in Oregon.

 

Really nice little museum and in a great (remote) setting looking out to the Pacific ocean.

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You know, it didn't even occur to me to ask permission to take any photos of the small arms collection in the museum. I agree, it was a wonderful collection. The rifle and handgun displays were pretty impressive in their scope.

 

That's a cool story about the donation of the MG's! How fortunate for all that they were not lost!

 

Brian

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