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  Battery Wheeler 
U. S. Army

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Edwin Fitchett 1946

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Dan Lantzy 1988

Battery Wheeler located on Corregidor Island facing southwest overlooking Manila Bay, but could also reach Mariveles on the southern tip of the Bataan Peninsula on Luzon.

Built by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers with construction commencing in 1904 and was completed during 1919 at a cost of $244,600. Named in honor of Captain David P. Wheeler, 22nd U.S. Infantry who died of wounds received in action on April 14, 1904 at Taraca on Mindanao.

Emplaced two 12" (305mm) guns on Model 1901 disappearing carriages, capable of firing to 17,000 yards (nearly 10 miles). Their 1,000 lbs shells required a 270 lb (122.7 kg) bagged charge. Rate of fire was at or better than 2 per minute. and with a field of fire of 220 degrees. Maximum rate of fire was better than two rounds per minute. The length of the rifled bore was 35' (10.7 m). The traverse of each gun was limited to 170 degrees but because the centers of traverse are offset 50 degrees, the combined field of the two guns enabled the battery to cover a 220 degree field of fire. The guns were proof fired during 1909, making Battery Wheeler the first of the Corregidor gun batteries made operational.

Wartime History
Manned by a gun crew of twenty-two men of Battery C, 59th Coast Artillery commanded by Captain Harry W. Schenck. Battery Wheeler fired on Japanese forces in defense of Corregidor during 1942.

On March 24, 1942 a Japanese aircraft dropped an aerial bomb that impacted the No. 1 gun and damaged the traversing rollers. Repaired within 24 hours, traversing became difficult thereafter. The gun remained in action throughout April the were disabled by their crews prior to surrender.

After the surrender of Corregidor, the Japanese required American prisoners of war to completely dismantle the No. 1 gun carriage for parts used to restore the No. 2 gun. Occupied by the Japanese during 1945 until February 1945.

On February 16, 1945, it was thought that Battery Wheeler was clear of Japanese, but they managed to reoccupy the battery. Ultimately, three days of fighting was required before they were neutralized.

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Last Updated
June 29, 2019


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