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Help Request: Gun Batteries Defending Midway (3" / 5" / 7")

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  • Executive Producer Skystreak Productions

Hello Guys,

Ok first task I need help with on this subject is what type of guns were used in the defense of Midway by the USMC and USN.

There were three types - 3 inch, 5 inch and 7 inch. This map shows their locations. 


The questions we need answers to are:

1. Which models or marks were used at each battery? All these guns had several marks and evolved over time.

2. Where they general artillery or an anti-aircraft gun or a dual-purpose gun?

3. What kind of mount did they use? Low-Angle or High-Angle? 

If we can answer these questions I can research the guns and have the proper models built.

Anyone have any thoughts or helpful info to share?

Thanks in advance for any info you may have!


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Maybe no help, but the 5" guns on Wake Island when attacked were taken from 1892 battleship USS Texas. Is it possible that the same type were on Midway? Plus I expect you've seen this but when the Japanese shelled Midway at the opening of the war the islands were defended by 5 inch (127 mm) guns, built in 1916, and 3 inch (76 mm) guns of 1921. First Bombardment of Midway - Wikipedia There is also a picture of a shore gun along with the article. Whether these were the same guns in 1942 though...


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The Bell Inn, Bath. Live music venue and real ale pub (thebellinnbath.co.uk)

I am in the homepage picture... or I would be if they hadn't cropped off the bottom part of it. 🍻

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  • Executive Producer Skystreak Productions

Hey guys,

Thanks for the tips. My research today indicates that on Midway the larger guns used for coastal defense and AAA were:

3 inch / 50 caliber "High-Angle" Dual Purpose used for both anti-ship and anti-aircraft. 

5 inch / 51 caliber Shore Battery mount used for anti-ship. Removed from ships and re-purposed on Wake and Midway.

7 inch / 45 caliber Shore Battery mount used for anti-ship. Removed from ships and re-purposed for coastal defense. I see no other option for Midway in this case.

I have ordered a book that I think will give me all I need to build beautiful models of these guns. Fingers crossed once it arrives. I'll keep you posted. Now onto other missing details on the island.


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Just to further elaborate on what Stalag mentioned earlier - also from the book 'Condition Red'.
These were the weapons that both the 3rd Defence Battalion (anti-aircraft detachment) and the 6th Defence Battalion brought over and installed on Midway in 1941 and early 1942.

3-inch M3 antiaircraft gun
Role: defense battalions; Standardized: late 1930s; Nickname: “Three-inch”
Combat Weight: 16,800-lbs; Barrel Length: 158.2in; Prime Mover: D-9 dozer-tractor
Maximum Effective Range: 10,000yds; Ammunition: HE, AP; Rate of Fire: 25 rpm
Carriage: M2A2 “spider” mount with 4-wheel carriage, no shield; Crew: 8
Remarks: Replaced by 90mm M1 in late 1942.

3-inch/50-cal* Mk 21 Mod 0 seacoast defense gun (*Caliber of naval guns is the bore
diameter in inches divided into the barrel length in inches; 5-in/255-in 51-cal)
Role: limited use by defense battalions; Standardized: 1939; Nickname: “3-inch Navy gun”
Weight (without mount): 7,510-lbs; Barrel Length: 150in
Maximum Effective Range: 14,000yds; Ammunition: HE, AA, AP, shrapnel, illum
Mount: Mk 21 Mod 0 pedestal mount with concrete and timber base, no shield; Rate of
Fire: 18 rpm
Remarks: Removed from ships.

5-inch/51-cal Mk 15 Mod 0 seacoast defense gun
Role: defense battalions; Standardized: 1938; Nickname: “five-incher”
Combat Weight: 23,400-lbs; Barrel Length: 255in
Maximum Effective Range: 17,100yds; Ammunition: HE (common and high capacity), AA,
AP, illum
Mount: Mk 13 Mod 4/8 pedestal mount with concrete and timber base, no shield; Rate
of Fire: 20 rpm
Remarks: Removed from old battleships undergoing modernization. Replaced by towed
155mm pieces in 1942/43.

7-inch/45-cal Mk 2 Mod 0 seacoast defense gun
Role: limited use by defense battalions; Standardized: 1939
Combat Weight: 50,500-lbs; Barrel Length: 270in
Maximum Effective Range: 16,500yds; Ammunition: HE, AP
Mount: Mk 2 Mod 2 pedestal mount with concrete and timber base, no shield; Rate of
Fire: INA
Remarks: From among 12 guns removed as broadside armament from predreadnought
battleships (USS Connecticut, Mississippi, and Vermont) before World War I and intended
for use by the 10th Regiment in France (then mounted on caterpillar treads) but were
never issued for this purpose. Four emplaced on Midway Island in 1942. Replaced by
towed 155mm pieces in 1943.

Hope that helps. :classic_smile:

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As a follow-up to discord, here are good archival videos of the elusive 3 inch AA gun


packaged above on wetransfer, but the original files are here anyway https://catalog.archives.gov/id/24636

Several variants of the 3 inch AA gun are on display. The ones with automatic pointing in fixed emplacements deployed as a battery are likely M3s I suppose? But I could be wrong.



At any rate at the beginning of video 2 you get several shots show the deployment of the spider chassis as seen in the scale model posted by m0ther_bra1n3d


Anti-Aircraft Artillery on Bataan – the 3-inch Gun M3 – The Bataan Campaign


Obviously not enough to make a 3D model out of it all, but very precious as far as operations are concerned.

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