Battery Chamberlin , San Fransisco , CA

Battery Chamberlin , San Fransisco , CA , USA
graphic [Property title]

Six-inch gun in “battery,” or raised position, at time of firing. Note the blast at the gun’s muzzle. This gun was a model 1903, serial number 27, and was mounted at Battery Emplacement #3 during 1904. The guns were dismounted on September 15, 1917, and shipped to Fort Monroe, Virginia, for probable use in France during World War I. Twenty-seven shots were fired from this gun between 1904 and 1917 while at Battery Chamberlin.

NPS photo, courtesy of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Park Archives and Records Center, John A. Martini Collection

Battery Chamberlin is named in honor of Captain Lowell A. Chamberlin, First Artillery, who served with distinction in the Civil War and continued as an artillery officer until the 1890s. This Endicott-era battery was completed and armed in 1904 with four six-inch guns mounted on disappearing carriages. The battery was built to protect underwater minefields laid outside the Golden Gate during the time of war. These guns had a range of nine miles and could fire at the rate of two rounds per minute. The original guns were dismounted in 1917 for use in World War I, but the battery was modified to receive two six-inch guns on simple barbette carriages in 1920. During World War II, the Sixth Coast Artillery (Harbor Defense) Regiment, Battery “D,” manned the two guns at Battery Chamberlin, which were placed under camouflage netting to hide them from potential air attack. In 1948, the Coast Artillery Corps was deactivated, the battery disarmed and the guns scrapped during “Operation Blowtorch.”

[photo]“Volunteer in Park” docent explaining “gun drill” procedures to park visitors as part of the gun’s demonstration. The six-inch rifle is in the “out of battery” or loading position.
NPS photo, courtesy of Golden Gate National Recreation Area

In 1977, the National Park Service received the Six-Inch Rifle Gun Number Nine and disappearing carriage, listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places, from the Smithsonian Institution. The gun and carriage were installed at gun emplacement Number Four at Battery Chamberlin, and are the same type used here during World War II. An underground cartridge room also is open for inspection and contains photos and small exhibits on the coastal defenses of San Francisco.

Battery Chamberlin, part of the Presidio of San Francisco and a National Historic Landmark, is administered by the National Park Service’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It is located at the north end of Baker Beach along the western shoreline facing San Francisco Bay in San Francisco. Demonstrations of the 50-ton rifle are conducted on the first Saturday and Sunday of each month from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Please call 415-561-4323 or visit the park’s website for further information.