Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
One of Fort Funston's
three 3-Inch M1917MI anti-aircraft guns in action early in World
War II (San Francisco Public Library)
by Sgt Maj (CA) Daniel M. Sebby, Military
Historian, California Military Department
In 1920, the Corps of Engineers commenced
building a two-gun antiaircraft battery mounting M1917MI 3-inch
antiaircraft guns. The battery was completed in 1925 by installing
two guns that were previously located at Fort Winfield Scott.
The USACE Report of Completed Works-Seacoast Fortification (RCW)
Form 1, dated 1 August 1929, indicated that the battery was initially
powered by storage batteries.
In 1937, the battery was expanded to add
a third 3-inch gun. At that time, the battery was redesignated
as "Antiaircraft Battery No.5" The 27 August 1938 RCW
Form 7 shows that the battery was reconfigured to include the
additional 3-inch gun as well as an aboveground powerhouse, a
gun director station, and utilities. A comment on the 1929 RCW
Form 1 dated 17 July 1942 indicated that the battery had been
connected to the post's electrical grid.
On 24 September 1943, the battery's exposed,
above ground power house was replaced a new, larger underground
power house as well as a new underground magazine for the batteries
ammunition. The 1946 map of the Fort Funston Military Reservation
shows that this battery was also supported by a type of "gun
radar" located 200 feet east of the balloon hanger. The
map does not specify what type of radar that was emplaced there.
For most of its history, the Site was
named simply "Anti-Aircraft Battery". The battery was
administratively designated as "No. 5" but at some
time during World War II, it was redesignated as "Antiaircraft
Battery No. 3", a designation that was used for the remainder
of its operational history.
Today, erosion has taken its toll on the
battery with shifting sand obscuring the three gun positions.
However, the magazine and power house are clearly visible in
the ravine south of the battery.
Completed Works - Seacoast Fortifications