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Battery Leary-Merriam
14' Gun Battery - HDCP - HECP - Nike IFC

Battery Leary - Merriam was constructed during the years 1916-1919 under the fortification program outlined by the Taft Board Report of 1906. Although constructed as a single two-gun emplacement, each gun was originally designated as a separate tactical battery, hence the two names. Later, the battery was considered to be a single tactical unit.
These 14-inch disappearing guns could fire a 1560 pound projectile fourteen miles out into the Catalina Channel. However, full caliber

Battery Leary during a firing practice in the 1920's

firing practice was rare because of the damage caused by the firing concussions to near-by residences.
Even though the disappearing carriages of Battery Leary-Merriam were considered to be obsolete by the early 1920s, they remained in active service until they were replaced by new ordnance in the mid-1940s. In 1943, the ammunition and fire control equipment for this battery was removed and the interior spaces were heavily modified so the battery could be converted into the Harbor Defense and Harbor Entrance Command Post. In 1956 Battery Leary-Merriam underwent another conversion, this time to serve as the Integrated Fire Control site for the NIKE Air-Defense launch site at Whites Point. The battery continued in this roll until the end of the NIKE program in 1976.
Today the battery is not open to the general public, and much of the area surrounding it is off limits and is used by the United States Coast Guard and the Southern California Marine Exchange. This unique public-private partnership works to provide services to ships operating in the waters off Southern California and also serves as the maritime equivalent of an airport control tower for the waters of the surrounding area.

Battery Leary is named for Brigadier General Peter Leary Jr. (ca1838-1911) Born in Maryland; Peter Leary was a career army officer who first served with the Baltimore, Maryland Volunteer Light Artillery during the civil war. In 1863-1864 his unit was involved with the campaigns at Gettysburg, and in Maryland. After the Civil War ended, Leary joined the regular army and participated in the 1869 war against the Arapahoe Indians, the Modoc War of 1873, and against the Nez Perce Indians in 1877. In 1898 he was serving with Battery D of the US 4th Artillery when his unit was ordered to the city off Tampa Florida to participate in the Spanish American War. Leary and his men were “horsed and equipped” but the war ended before they could be sent to Cuba.
Brigadier General Peter Leary died on February 13, 1911 and is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery.

Battery Merriam is named for Major General Henry Clay Merriam (1837-1912) a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient for his actions against Fort Blakely Alabama during the Civil War. At the time, he was serving as a Lieutenant Colonel of the 73rd U.S. Colored Troops. He was awarded his Medal on June 28, 1894. After the war, he served in numerous expeditions and conflicts during the Indian wars.
From 1873 to 1876 he served in the defense of US citizens on both sides of the Rio Grande during revolutionary uprisings. From 1900 to 1901 he commanded the Department of the Colorado. Major General Henry Clay Merriam is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery.

The Guns of Fort MacArthur

    Battery Osgood - Farley

    Battery Leary Merriam

         Photos of the battery today
         Battery details

    Battery Barlow - Saxton
    Battery Lodor
    Battery Erwin

    Battery Eubanks

    Battery 127 (Paul D Bunker)

    Battery 128

    Battery 240 (Harry C. Barnes)

    Battery 241

    Battery 242 (Harry J Harrison)

    90mm AMTB

    155 GPF Mobile Guns

    Anti-Aircraft (Fixed and Mobile)

Missile Systems of Fort MacArthur

    The Nike Program

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