Gordon Angus Mackinlay
Lee wrote : "The moble Panama mount never did see much use, its use was
the Pacific by units such as the Marine Defense Battalions. And
compared to the heavy cumbersome naval 7", 5" and 3" mounts that
they had had to deal with at the beginning of the war, the mobile
mount was rather easy to deal with in the long run."
If you read :
UPDEGRAPH Charles L. Junior. US Marine Corps Special Units of World War II.
Marine Corps Historical Reference Pamphlet, Historical Division, HQ USMC,
Washington DC, 1972. SC, photos, 105p. (reprinted on a number of
The section on Marine Defense Battalions states that they never used the US
CAC Mobile Panama Mount as it was far too heavy and complex, and
improvisation of coast defence mounts were made.
As I stated in my initial message, the Panama mount was in two variants for
the M1917 and the M1 155mm guns. In the early 1950's, proponents of the
then defunct CAC won approval for the National Guard on the West Coast to
have M1 155mm battalions assigned to coast defence. Since the guns would
not fit onto the M1917 mounts, well over 900 new mounts were built (each two
gun battery having a average cost of $450K at 1950 prices). In 1954
commonsense pervailed and the scheme was shelved, with the NG battalions
assigned to the Field Army. A old friend of mine, after graduation from
West Point and assignment to the Corps of Engineers in 1959, was assigned
the task of maintaining these 450 odd battery positions and their
infrastucture, even though they had absolutely no role in time of war!!!
The cost of maintaining them was more than it cost to maintain a armoured
brigade in Germany!