Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Conquering Corregidor Island 9: Battery Geary and Battery Hearn

More than the elaborate structures built in Corregidor Island the batteries installed there constitute most of the island’s defense. The island has 23 batteries composed primarily by 56 coastal guns and mortars. It was in essence a well fortified place.

A day visit to Corregidor would not guarantee you a complete visit to those 23 batteries. Visits to the batteries do depend on the schedule. We were only able to visit four batteries during this second visit. Only a short stay in the island (how? by taking a job in the island!) can assure you of a thorough exploration of those batteries. Online searches will show you that there are lots of things to be learned from these batteries – from the lay-outs of the batteries to the technical details of the installed guns. But then nothing beats learning things first hand. I do wish I could stay in Corregidor for awhile.

* view of Battery Geary as we passed by the place;
the gun on the lower right still contains a live ammunition

Battery Geary

Battery Geary and Battery Hearn were two of the batteries we visited. Battery Geary is found on the south of the Spanish Lighthouse, close to the sea south of Topside. It is also near Battery Crocket which caused me some confusion (I thought Battery Geary was Battery Crocket!). It was one of the badly destroyed batteries in the island. Our tour guide told us how one of its gun, after being hit by a Japanese artillery, was blown up to the swimming pool north of the place which was several meters away.

To summarize some of the details about Battery Geary [for more comprehensive information, visit the website CorregidorIsland.org here]:
- named after Captain Woodbridge Geary
- equipped with eight (8) 12-inch mortars
- equipped with two (2) mortar pits with three (3) magazines
- mortar trajectory: vertical, plunging

* the spare gun barrel at Battery Hearn

Battery Hearn

Battery Hearn, on the other hand, is found west of the Mile-Long Barracks and close to the Parade Grounds. It was actually one of the last defense additions in the island and was meant primarily for naval defense against hostile enemies coming from the South China Sea. Our tour guide during the first trip mentioned it being used against enemies positioned in Bataan. This is confirmed by reading through the details in CorregidorIsland.org (read about it here).

Summary of Battery Hearn info:
- lone 12-inch gun
- one (1) spare barrel found as one enter the battery

Two of the well-maintained batteries are Battery Grubbs and Battery Way. I will be sharing about them in the coming entry. Do bear with this quite long Corregidor Series. My only intention is to share more information and articulate questions and thoughts about the place.

No comments:

Post a Comment