• 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 Saffold (1895-1943)

12-inch gun at Battery Saffold
A 12-inch gun mounted on a barbette carriage at Battery Saffold. Here, artillerymen in dress uniform receive a visit from the Post Hospital staff.
National Park Service, GGNRA
 

General Information

This Endicott-era battery was completed in 1895 and armed with two 12-inch guns mounted on barbette carriages. Initially, the guns had a range of 6.6 miles; however, by increasing the guns’ vertical angle and reducing the projectiles’ weight from 1100 to 800 pounds, an effective range of 12.5 miles was achieved. Built to defend the harbor against hostile warships, Battery Saffold was unique in that it could fire its guns both seaward and into the bay--though this range was eventually limited by the growth of trees and construction of buildings at the Presidio. In 1943, the War Department ordered the salvaging of this and 12 other batteries considered obsolete.

Origin of Name

Battery Saffold was named in honor of Captain Marion M. Saffold, 13th Infantry, who was killed in action at Cavite, Island of Luzon, Philippine Islands, in 1899.

 
Battery Saffold today
Gun emplacement #2 at Battery Saffold as it appears today.
National Park Service, GGNRA
 

Access and Current Condition

Battery Saffold is located on the coastal bluffs just south of Fort Scott. It can be reached by driving on Lincoln Boulevard and turning at Kobbe Avenue. The battery is located immediately east of the intersection of Kobbe Avenue and Washington Boulevard. Parking is available at a small lot above the World War II Memorial; however, access to the battery is not permitted.

 

Did You Know?

10th Cavalry logo

Enlisted men in the Buffalo Soldier regiments were paid thirteen dollars a month plus room, board, and uniform. The enlistment period was five years.