Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Fort Baker: Battery Spencer
Battery Spencer's Gun 2 circa 1913. Photo courtesy of John Martini
For half a century, Battery Spencer was one of the most strategically important site guarding the Golden Gate. Construction started in 1893 and was completed in 1897. Under the provisions of War Department General Order 16, dated 14 February 1902, it was named for Major General Joseph Spencer of the Continental Army, a hero of the Revolutionary War, who died in 1789. It was initially armed with three M1888 12-inch breech loading rifles (Made at Waterlieviet Arsenal and serial numbered 10, 16, and 17) mounted on M1892 barbette mounts (made at Watertown Arsenal and serial numbered 1, 4, and 5.) In 1917 one gun was removed to rearm Battery Chester at Fort Winfield Scott. The remaining two guns were removed and scrapped in 1943. Today the battery is very popular with the public and has been seen in movies and television.

Layout of Battery Spencer, 1923
Drawings courtesy of Mark Berhow

Battery Spencer, circa 1913
Photographs are part of the Theodor Horydczak Collection of the Library of Congress
Theodor Horydczak in the breech of one of Battery Spencer's guns
Soldiers leaning against gun 3
Cleaning gun number 2
Ammunition being stored behind gun number 3
Gun number 2
Theodor Horydczak loading one of the guns

Battery Spencer Today
Endicott and earlier building at the entrance of the Battery Spencer and Ridge Battery Area. October 2000
Emplacement for gun 3. October 2000
Battery Commander's Station. October 2000
Emplacement for Gun 2. October 2000
Emplacement's for Gun 2 (foreground) and 1 (background) October 2000