The term Panama Mount describes a gunmount developed by the U.S. Army in Panama during the 1920s for fixed coastal artillery positions. Panama mounts were widely used during the buildup to and during World War II by the United States military.
The mounts could be constructed as either full, 3/4 or half circles of steel rail set in concrete with a diameter of approximately 36 feet. A concrete column with a diameter of ten feet was constructed in the center of the circle to support the gun and carriage. The concrete column was connected to the outer concrete ring by concrete beams for alignment/stability. Originally traverse was accomplished with several men and prybars to move the trailing arms around the steel ring. Later installations included a geared steel ring just inside of the outer steel rail for improved traverse. Canon de 155mm GPF, designated 155 mm gun M1917/M1918s in U.S. service, were often married with Panama mounts.
The term Panama mount is often incorrectly used to describe other gunmounts with similar layouts and/or purpose.
Many surviving examples of these mounts can be found throughout California, Florida, and Alaska.
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