CHAPTER CHATTER

The Official Newsletter of the
Shenandoah Valley Chapter #313
Korean War Veterans Association
Volume 10, Issue 2
Paul E. Bombardier,  Editor
February, 2017

BIG IRON. 240 MM HOWITZER

Rear view of a 240mm howitzer at the U.S. Army Field Artillery Museum, Ft. Sill, OK

Setting the Barrel on the 240mm chassis.

On May 12, 1953, the 159th Field artillery Battalion’s conversion to the 240MM Howitzer from the unit’s 155 MM was completed. Range 25,225 yds. 16,000 yds. into enemy territory. 6 units issued. 2 ea. to A, B & C batteries. On May 16, 1953, the 159th first 240 MM combat mission was completed by Charlie Battery.

The 240 mm howitzer was the most powerful weapon deployed by US Field Artillery units during World War II, able to fire a 360 lb (160 kg) high explosive projectile 25,225 yards (23 km). (14+ miles).

September 1953 Camp St Barbara, Korea. 159th FA Battalion Pointing North.

Yellow tabs show the gun emplacements.

During the Korean war, twelve 240 mm howitzers were brought out of 'mothballs' and sent to the front lines to deal with deep bunkers and fortifications built by the Chinese that could not be effectively attacked by smaller artillery weapons then on hand. They were utilized in two units in Korea, the 159th and 213th Field Artillery BNs’. The weapons went into action on May 1, 1953. On that day, the first round was fired by Baker Battery 213th at a target on top of a hill called ‘the donut’ by aerial observers. The first round was just supposed to be a ceremonial shot, however it struck an ammo dump directly on top of ‘the donut’ which set off a chain reaction and blew part of the top of the hill off in a spectacular fashion.     

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