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Exeter in Rockingham County, New Hampshire — The American Northeast (New England)
 

George Leonard Smith Gun

 
 
George Leonard Smith Gun Marker image. Click for full size.
By Roger W. Sinnott, June 4, 2010
1. George Leonard Smith Gun Marker
Inscription. This cannon was presented by Captain George Leonard Smith, U.S.N. (1876-1951) to honor Exeterís veterans of World War II.

Captain Smith was a native son of Exeter, a prolific inventor, and a veteran of three wars.

This cannon incorporates the breech mechanism he invented, which was used on land and sea by the United States and Great Britain during World War I & World War II.

His invention was of incalculable value to the triumph of freedom.
 
Location. 42° 58.831′ N, 70° 57.68′ W. Marker is in Exeter, New Hampshire, in Rockingham County. Marker is at the intersection of Winter Street and Railroad Avenue and Columbus Avenue, on the right when traveling north on Winter Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Exeter NH 03833, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Exeter NH Exeter Gas Works (approx. half a mile away); Second Burial Ground (approx. half a mile away); Powder House (approx. 0.6 miles away); Ladd-Gilman House (approx. 0.6 miles away); Exeter Town House (approx. 0.7 miles away); Abraham Lincoln Speaks in New Hampshire
Wider View Showing Gun and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Roger W. Sinnott, June 4, 2010
2. Wider View Showing Gun and Marker
(approx. ĺ mile away); a different marker also named Powder House (approx. ĺ mile away); Exeter NH War Memorial (approx. ĺ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Exeter.
 
More about this marker. Marker is at the north end of Winter Street Cemetery.
 
Regarding George Leonard Smith Gun. In the design of breeches (tailpieces) for naval guns and large artillery pieces, two important improvements were introduced about a century ago. First came the stepped, interrupted-thread breech block invented by Swedish engineer Axel Welin in about 1890. This was followed in about 1916 by the Smith-Asbury mechanism that unscrews the breech block and swings it aside in a continuous motion, allowing the gun to be reloaded efficiently. This mechanism was developed by Lt. Cmdr. George Leonard Smith and Draftsman Dorsey Frost Asbury of the Naval Gun Factory, Washington Navy Yard.
 
Also see . . .
1. YouTube Training Movie. U.S. Navy training film for the 16-inch guns used on Iowa-class battleships. The breech operation is shown several times, such as right after 5:55 on the time slider. (Submitted on June 5, 2010, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts.)
View of Breech from Right image. Click for full size.
By Roger W. Sinnott, June 4, 2010
3. View of Breech from Right
 

2. Another YouTube clip. USS Missouri (BB-63) firing its 16-inch guns during the 1st Iraq War in 1991. About 57 seconds into the video, you can see the Smith-Asbury breech mechanism being opened and another round loaded. (Submitted on June 5, 2010, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts.) 
 
Categories. MilitaryWar, World IWar, World II
 
View of Breech from Left image. Click for full size.
By Roger W. Sinnott, June 4, 2010
4. View of Breech from Left
George Leonard Smith Gun Marker image. Click for full size.
By James R. Murray, August 4, 2016
5. George Leonard Smith Gun Marker
Additional sign at site describing George Leonard Smith in more detail, and listing local people who served in WW II.
Label on Gunís Breech image. Click for full size.
By Roger W. Sinnott, June 4, 2010
6. Label on Gunís Breech
“The type of breech mechanism on this gun was developed by a native of Exeter, Captain George L. Smith, U.S.N., assisted by Draftsman Dorsey F. Asbury. It was used on 4 in. to 16 in. guns.”
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 13, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 5, 2010, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. This page has been viewed 1,833 times since then and 76 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 5, 2010, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts.   5. submitted on August 4, 2016, by James R. Murray of Elkton, Florida.   6. submitted on June 5, 2010, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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