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Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

A Behemoth in the Field

 
 
A Behemoth in the Field Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 31, 2010
1. A Behemoth in the Field Marker
Inscription. 240mm T1 Gun, Watervleit Arsenal, New York, c. 1950, serial number 1.

280mm T72 Gun Carriage, Watertown Arsenal, Massachusetts, c. 1952. WM 87.31.7 a,b


The 240mm gun provided a bridge between conventional cannons and atomic cannons. In November 1944 the U.S. Army decided to develop a 240mm gun superior to the standard 8-inch and 240mm howitzers. The Frankfort Institute was charged by the Office of Ordinance with the design of the gun and mount in October 1946. Watervliet Arsenal was contracted for the manufacture of the gun and Watertown Arsenal was responsible for the construction of the gun carriage. Two prototype guns were produced by 1950 and testing began. The 240mm gun and carriage weighed 94,000 pounds and had a range of 18 miles.

The 240mm gun project was placed in inactive status with the development of the 280mm gun in May of 1950. The 280mm gun was designed to be a heavier companion piece to the 240mm T1. Both guns were designed to be interchangeable on the 280mm T72 gun carriage. The 280mm incorporated many of the design features of the 240mm especially in the breech, which was modified to fit the jacket and tube assembly and other minor changes to improve functioning and safety. The research and testing done on the 240mm T1 gun led to the creation of the 280mm T131 atomic cannon.

To
240mm T1 Gun and 280mm T72 Gun Carriage image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 31, 2010
2. 240mm T1 Gun and 280mm T72 Gun Carriage
move the gun carriage two hydraulic prime movers were developed. These vehicles were positioned at both ends of the carriage and used a hydraulic system to lift the gun and carriage.
 
Location. 37° 1.248′ N, 76° 27.164′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Warwick Boulevard (U.S. 60) and Hornet Circle. Touch for map. This exhibit is located at the Virginia War Museum in Huntington Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 9285 Warwick Boulevard, Newport News VA 23607, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. WW II U.S. Submarine Memorial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Four Heroic Chaplains (about 300 feet away); Ferguson Park (about 400 feet away); U.S.S. Scorpion SSN 589 (about 400 feet away); Vietnam War Monument (about 500 feet away); Virginia War Museum (about 500 feet away); Pearl Harbor Survivors (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Ferguson Park (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newport News.
 
More about this marker. On the panel are two photos of the gun in the field with the caption, "Both the 240mm and the 280mm guns had a crew of 13 to 15 men. None of these experimental pieces saw combat. Advances
Virginia War Museum Exhibit image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 31, 2010
3. Virginia War Museum Exhibit
in rocket guidance and trajectory systems relegated the big guns to quick obsolesnce."
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
 
Also see . . .  Virginia War Museum. (Submitted on August 4, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
 
Categories. War, Cold
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 4, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 956 times since then and 50 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 4, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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