Defiladed in a hollow on Corregidor's Southern coast, Battery Geary had two mortar pits, with three  magazines, one at each side and one between the two pits. Armament was eight 12-inch [305mm] Mortars, four M1890  M1 on M1896M1 carriages in Pit A and four M1890 on M1908 carriages in Pit B. These could fire a 1000lb [4554.5 Kg]  deck piercing shell 700 lb [318Kg] High Explosive shell 8.3 miles [13.35 Km] in any direction. Maximum bagged charged weight was 63 lb [28.6Kg]. Minimum firing elevation was 45 degrees and maximum elevation was 70 degrees [M1890] or 65 degrees [M1908]. The vertical plunging trajectory of these mortars made them ideal against enemy entrenchments on the higher ground in Bataan.  Maximum rate of fire was one round each 45 seconds, though this was for crews at the peak of physical perfection. Each mortar required a four man crew.



The mortars were crewed  against the Japanese in 1941-42 by the 59th Coastal Artillery under Capt. Ben King, and later under Capt. John W. Davis III.  On 6 January 1942,  a Japanese bomb collapsed an incomplete shelter nearby killing 31 and wounding 3. Commencing January 26, in what was the first use of large caliber seacoast US Artillery against an enemy since the US Civil War, Geary was instrumental in defeating a Japanese landing at Longoskawayan Point on Bataan, firing for four days.

On 12 April, Geary opened counter battery fire against the Japanese artillery on Bataan,  enjoying it's immunity from return fire because it was in a defiladed hollow on the South side of the island, and thus invisible to the Japanese observers. Unfortunately, this was only temporary, as the Japanese arranged for aerial reconnaissance to locate the site,

On the morning of 2 May, the Japanese opened a 2,600 round barrage against the battery. At 1627 hrs, with the battery crews in action,  a 240mm round penetrated the centre magazine, detonating a massive explosion of 40 tons of explosives that utterly destroyed the battery, leaving a large crater where the magazine formerly was.

Another of the massive 10 ton barrels was smashed against the battery wall, half penetrating through an observation port.

grywreck.jpg (104310 bytes)


Remarkably, Captain Davis, seeing the Japanese 240mm shells begin to bracket Geary,  anticipated the explosion and had ordered his men to take cover in the far right magazine, and only 6 were killed, and the same number wounded.  Large pieces of concrete and munitions were hurled as far as a mile away, killing another 2 and wounding a further 31.   The force of the explosion hurled one of the 10 ton barrels over 150 yards on to the nearby golf course.


Fire in the Hole! Loaded and live, even today.

bullet.jpg (23769 bytes)

(Al McGrew photo)



One of the fatalities was adjacent to Btty. Ramsey, almost half a mile away, where a soldier was pinned under a block of concrete larger than a jeep. He died of shock shortly after being taken to the Hospital lateral at Malinta.

Japanese sourced photograph taken 1942


Controversy exists over one of the 'missing' barrels which is no longer on the island.  A photograph of US troops crossing to the west side of the Pasig River clearly shows a mortar barrel laying on the bank.  This suggests that the Japanese were in the process of sending the barrel back to Japan for use as scrap iron.

A patrol of the 503d PRCT crosses Geary's wasteland in 1945 


Named after Capt. Woodridge Geary, a casualty of the 1899 US-Philippine war, construction was commenced in 1907 and completed 1911 at a cost of $145,198.

Lost Corregidor

Field Notes

Angels of Mercy

Eco Corregidor






GHQ (home)

The Siege of Corregidor

A Walk on Tailside

Bulletin Board / Feedback Forum

Coast Artillery - Contents

Corregidor Railway System


John Moffitt's Aerial Gems

Historic Corregidor

Amid th' Encircling Gloom

Battery Way model

Across The Pacific - Photo story

Secret Corregidor

The Silent War

The Great Manila Bay Silver Operation

Corregidor Railways

Units and Personnel

Gold is also Ballast

The Corregidor Massacre 1968

The King Report

Fort. Drum - Concrete Battleship

The Fall of Corregidor

Prisoner of the Emperor

The Officer's Guide - 1941

Order of Battle

The Lowering of the Flag


Battery Tables

The Moore Report

Battery Histories - "Hartford"

G-1 Command Post

Philippine Scouts - Best of the Best

Battery Histories

A Critical Reminiscence

The Final Line of Defense

An Interview with Col. Massello


Japan Invades the Philippines

Building Malinta Tunnel System

The Retaking of Fort Drum


Total Attack - Corregidor

The Coast Artillery Years

The Battle of Manila

Col. George Ruhlen's Collection


Field Notes


4th Marines Shanghai / Corregidor

The Corregidor Historic Society is funded by your membership and donations.  Enlist!




Members' Links


Site Link Page

1941 Emergency Defense Map

Site & Navigation Info

1936 Corregidor Map

The Corregidor Historic Society


Since 1999 -  Last Updated: 09/09/11


Main Photo: Carl Mydans (Used by permission of the Digital Journalist)