Historic guns restored at National Park

by Dave Lotz
National Park Service

War in the Pacific National Historical Park announces the restoration of three WWII Japanese naval guns located at the Piti Guns Unit. These historic guns can be rediscovered on a short hike along the ridge overlooking the village of Piti. The park contracted with Ponsford, Ltd from Acworth, Georgia. With over 25 years’ experience, the company is known as the largest conservation and restoration group in the United States.Their senior conservator Gordon Ponsford, a leading restorer of historic metals including guns and memorials located in several Civil War battlefield parks in the eastern United States led the work on Guam. Through their efforts, the original paint color of the historic Piti Guns was located and used to create a matching color for the final painting that closely matches the known historic Imperial Japanese Navy paint samples.

The three Japanese naval guns of 140 mm were manufactured in 1923 by the Japanese Steel Works. The Japanese began the construction of the defensive fortifications on Guam in the spring of 1944 when these guns, having been shipped to Guam from Japan, were installed by forced Chamorro labor. The Piti Guns were designed and located to fire on enemy ships offshore. The guns had a range of 18,700 yards or approximately 10 miles firing a high explosive shell.

For more information about the restoration work please call Dave Lotz, Cultural Resource Manager at 477-7278 ext. 1008. For more information about the park and our programs please visit website:www.nps.gov/wapa.

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