• East view from Crissy Field overlook with old Coast Guard station on left and city on right

    Presidio of San Francisco

    California

Fort Scott: Battery Chamberlin (1904-1948)

Battery Chamberlin, 6-inch gun firing
One of Battery Chamberlin's 6-inch guns test-firing. Twenty-seven shots were fired from this gun between 1904 and 1917.
John A. Martini collection
National Park Service, GGNRA
 

General Information

Built to protect underwater minefields laid outside the Golden Gate, this Endicott-era battery was and completed and armed in 1904. Fortifications included four 6-inch guns mounted on disappearing carriages; 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 6-inch guns on simple barbette carriages in 1920. During World War II, the Sixth Coast Artillery Regiment manned the two guns at Battery Chamberlin, which were placed under camouflage netting to deter potential air attack. In 1948, the Coast Artillery Corps was deactivated, the battery disarmed, and the guns scrapped.

Origin of Name

Battery Chamberlin named in honor of Captain Lowell A. Chamberlin, First Artillery, who served with distinction in the Civil War and remained an artillery officer until he died at the Presidio in 1889. Captain Chamberlin is buried at San Francisco National Cemetery in the Presidio.

 
Demonstration at Battery Chamberlin
A volunteer docent explaining procedures as part of Battery Chamberlin's gun demonstration, normally scheduled for the first weekend of each month. The six-inch rifle is in the "out of battery" or loading position.
National Park Service, GGNRA
 

Access and Current Condition

In 1977, the National Park Service received a 6-inch gun and disappearing carriage from the Smithsonian Institution and installed them in gun emplacement No. 4. Demonstrations of this 50-ton rifle--similar to the original armament--are conducted on the first Saturday and Sunday of each month from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. An underground cartridge room also is open for inspection and contains photos and small exhibits on the coastal defenses of San Francisco.

Battery Chamberlin is located at the north end of the Baker Beach parking lot.

 

Did You Know?

Ferdinand Foch, Marshal of France

French Marshal Ferdinand Foch, supreme commander of the allied forces during World War I, visited Crissy Field in 1921 and declared it "The last word in airfields."