Clemson Memorial Cannon
The Clemson Memorial Cannon is a 3-inch field piece, Model of 1902, (M1902) displayed in front of the Army ROTC offices next to the University Post Office, below Harcombe dining hall on West Campus at Clemson University. It was restored by the Service Section, CSMS, South Carolina Army National Guard, in April 1985.
It bears a plaque that reads: "Clemson Memorial Cannon - Dedicated to the memory of all Clemson Gentlemen who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country... 'that the Tiger's roar may echo...' Donated by the South Carolina National Guard June 8, 1985. Major General T. Eston Marchant, Adjutant General, State of South Carolina".
It nominally replaces a former German Army field gun from World War I that was displayed on the lawn between the Main Building and the Trustee House until it was donated to a scrap metal drive in early 1942 for the war effort at the onset of World War II.
The 3-inch (76.2mm) M1902 was the U.S. Army’s first steel, rifled, breech loading, quick-firing field gun. The features of rifling, breech loading and springs to absorb the gun's recoil and quickly return it to the firing position combined to improve the range, accuracy, and rate of fire of the gun, allowing it to be used more effectively in operations with infantry. These new capabilities allowed the gun to provide accurate indirect fire on targets not in a direct line of sight, which provided crucial firepower for infantry attacks. It was also one of the first artillery guns to have an armored shield to protect the crew from small arms fire.
General Pershing brought several of the guns with him during the Mexican Punitive Expedition in 1916-1917 but they were not fired in combat.
The M1902/5 was used from 1905 to 1917. During World War I, the Army used the French 75s instead of the M1902s, which were mostly kept in the United States for training. Very few of the M1902s were used in combat in Europe. They were phased out of active service in the 1920s.
The gun fired 3 inches (76 mm) Shrapnel or Explosive Shells that weighed 15 Pounds. It had a muzzle velocity of 1,700 ft/s (520 m/s) with an effective range of 6,500 yards (5,900 m), and a maximum range of 8,500 yards (7,800 m). The maximum rate of fire was 15 rounds per minute.
The Clemson gun is one of some thirteen examples known to have survived. Many were scrapped during WW II. Cadets at Texas A&M University operate one known as "The Spirit of '02" which was believed saved from scrapping by being hidden by cadets. It was discovered buried in a trench in 1974 by students seeking wood for the Aggie Bonfire, and subsequently restored.
This article contains material from the Mainside Wikipedia.
- This is the Clemson Wiki project's 1,606th article.