Defending America's Coastline

16 inch gun across from the Golden Gate Bridge
Imposing 16-inch gun installed across from the Golden Gate Bridge at Battery Townsley over looking the San Francisco Bay as part of America's coastal fortifications efforts during World War II.

National Park Service

Existing national park sites, with their lighthouses and commanding ocean views, were armed to defend America's coast during World War II.

Following the attack on Hawaii's Pearl Harbor and the subsequent invasion of Alaska's Aleutian Islands large gun emplacements were added wherever authorities feared Imperial Japan was next to attack. As the war intensified San Francisco would be described as "a giant cannon aimed at the Pacific," likening the millions of tons of cargo and munitions coming out of the port to projectiles sent against the Japanese military forces. To protect the all-important entrance to the harbor, the Golden Gate and its famous bridge, the U.S. Army and Navy arrayed a vast network of coastal fortifications.

Older forts, some quietly sleeping since the Civil War, were re-awakened and re-armed to defend the homeland from far-reaching enemies.

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    Last updated: November 17, 2016

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