Archive for August, 2012

Battery Townsley

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

In the late 1930s, with war already underway in Spain and China, global tensions were building steadily. In the United States, strategists called for a modernization of our long neglected coastal defenses and by 1937 projects of this sort were underway in several Bay Area locations. A view over Battery Townsley’s southern gun emplacement toward […]

Harbor Defense videos

Monday, August 27th, 2012

I have always been a fan of ephemeral films – non-fiction films usually made for educational, industrial, or promotional purposes. While browsing the Coastal Defense Study Group Forum I found a link to two classic ephemeral films on YouTube, both having been brought to modern attention by Mark Berhow at the Fort MacArthur Museum in […]

Batteries Rathbone & McIndoe, Ft. Barry

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Batteries Rathbone and McIndoe (essentially one battery) are similar in many ways to their Ft. Barry neighbors Batteries Smith and Guthrie. Both sites are late Endicott period projects that served through WW II – a ripe old age for coastal defenses. Both sites featured four emplacements mounting six-inch, rapid-fire guns on barbette carriages. Both sites […]

Battery O’Rorke, Ft. Barry

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

A KAP view of Battery O’Rorke with Rodeo Beach and Ft. Cronkhite in the background, August 2012. In retrospect, it seems the useful life of any particular coastal battery, at least as state-of-the-art defense, was quite limited. Those designing a defense strategy faced regular advances in the offensive capacities of potential naval opponents. The prospect […]

Wonderful image archive

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area has gathered a fine archive of documentary images related to San Francisco’s coastal defenses. The collection spans from the 1880s through the 1990s and is great fun to browse. Edmund Glowacki at Battery Smith-Guthrie, cWWII.

Battery Smith-Guthrie, Ft. Barry

Monday, August 20th, 2012

A sweeping panorama of the Marin Headlands. Battery Smith-Guthrie is visible in the center of the image. The panorama is best when viewed large. Battery Smith-Guthrie, located in the outer reaches of the Marin Headlands, is one of the last of the San Francisco Endicott-era installations. It was situated to have direct lines of fire […]

Battery Chamberlin

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Baker Beach, Ft. Winfield Scott, San Francisco Located on the north end of San Francisco’s Baker Beach at just 45 feet above sea level, this battery was built during the latter part of San Francisco’s Endicott period construction program. Construction began in 1902 and the works were ready for gun installation in 1904. The battery […]

Initial KAP target sites

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

I have put together an accounting of the first target sites for this project. The list is linked as a tab in the header or you can find it here. Also posted is a PDF roster of my sessions photographing over or near the coastal defenses before the start of this project. I also added […]

Inaugural post

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

At this point I have been taking kite aerial photographs for almost 20 years and this happy pursuit has become, for me, a way of reading landscapes of interest. I have long been fascinated by San Francisco’s military history and its role in shaping San Francisco’s coastal headlands. Over the years I have frequently visited […]