C.A.S.L. Late 1930s to 1956

Siloso Point from the seaLEFT: The Searchlight Emplacements at Siloso Point.

The major upgrade to the Fort in the late 1930s, saw changes to the Searchlights. The Light at Siloso Point was removed and the area extensively altered to create an A.M.T.B. Battery with an emplacement for a Twin 6 Pounder Gun, Watch Room, Magazine and Director Tower to provide fire control. This Battery was given the Code name ‘OSO’.

Three Searchlight Posts were constructed on stilts on the beach. These were reached by ladders and walkways. These Lights would illuminate the area around the harbour entrance for the Twin 6 Pounder. Two of the Lights had 30° beams and the other, a 45° degree beam. The Searchlight Director Station (S.L.D.S.) was on the second top floor of the Director Tower. When war was inevitable, there were no available Twin 6 Pounder Guns, so a Victorian era 12 Pounder QF Gun was installed in the emplacement which was modified for it.

Plan for the disposition of CASLs
A 1936 plan for Lights at Batu Berlayar, Pulau Hantu and OSO

Plan of Siloso Point
Siloso Point

In order to replace the Light at Siloso Point, a new C.A.S.L. Emplacement was constructed some 50 metres to the South East, on the slope down to the sea. This was named the No.1 Emplacement in line with Artillery terminology. The No.2 Emplacement was the one at the east end of the fort, built in the early 1900s. Both of these Lights were directed by the S.L.D.S. in the lower floor of the Battery Observation Post on Mount Siloso.

Aerila photo of the fort
A 1950 photo showing the fort, CASL emplacements and SLDS locations

In February 1942, all the Searchlights were destroyed to prevent their use by the Japanese. In 1946, following inspection By Col. F.W. Rice, the the remains of the two Fighting C.A.S.Ls. were said to be, “Not likely to be of value”, and the three Lights at Siloso Point, “Unserviceable parts only”. The S.L.D.S. were sound, but lacking any equipment. The five emplacements were found to be, “Structurally sound but stripped”. All the Lights were replaced and that S.D.L.S. re-equipped when Fort Siloso was re-armed and returned to service.

What Remains?

No Projectors (The Searchlight units themselves) remain, but the emplacements are still in a fairly good condition. Access is not permitted to the three emplacements at Siloso Point, but the Fighting Emplacements can still be found.

The differences between the two Fighting Lights would seem to indicate that the No.2 Light is as constructed in the early 1900s. The No.1 Light was constructed during the late 1930s.

A ladder down to the C.A.S.Ls. at OSO & a tower from the top of the Director tower

Oblique aerial photo
Fort Siloso in 1952

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