Battery Chamberlin


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 features four gun emplacements originally designed for six-inch, rapid-fire guns on the disappearing carriages popular in that period.

Battery Chamberlin, Ft. Winfield Scott

View of the middle two gun emplacements, which remained in service through WW II.

Battery Chamberlin was operated in its original configuration of four guns from 1904 to 1917 for the mission of protecting the Golden Gate’s shipping lanes and mine fields. During World War I, the battery’s guns were dismounted and shipped east to serve in that conflict. In 1920, Battery Chamberlin mounted guns again – two six-inch guns on barbette carriages. These remained in service through World War II as Battery Chamberlin was among the six Endicott-era batteries that remained active through the end of that conflict.

Battery Chamberlin, Ft. Winfield Scott

A plan view of the demonstration gun with its canvas cover.

In the current day the battery in unusual in that it has an actual gun – a six-inch artillery piece – mounted for display and demonstration (aiming not firing). The National Park Service has put together an informative single page handout on Battery Chamberlin.

During my most recent session at Battery Chamberlin (August 2012) I had a fairly persistent marine layer. The bottom of the fog was about 300′ AGL. The dominant condition was a weak sun through thin clouds. Now and then I would get little patches of sun but at other times it was pretty overcast. I also photographed Battery Chamberlin in 2003 using my now quaint 2 Mpixel Canon Digital Elph rig.

Chamberlin 2003 06

Battery Chamberlin in 2003.

Here is a set of images from the 2012 session plus a few from 2003 that I have posted to Flickr:





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