Battery Chamberlin

Visitors and volunteers demonstrating how the
Visitors and volunteers demonstrating how the "Last Gun" functions in Battery Chamberlin.

Quick Facts
Baker Beach, San Francisco
National Historic Landmark

Beach/Water Access, Parking - Auto, Restroom, Scenic View/Photo Spot

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 his death at the Presidio in 1889. 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."

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 as initially used here before World War I. 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. 

Visit Battery Chamberlin's small, on-site museum, and take part in loading demonstrations between 11AM - 3PM on the first full weekend of the month.

Discover more history and culture by visiting the World War II in San Francisco Bay Area travel itinerary.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Presidio of San Francisco

Last updated: January 11, 2024