Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Fort Rosecrans: Battery Frederick S. Strong
A 1942 aerial photograph of Battery Strong showing the Two 8-inch Rifles on high-angle barbette carriages. Photograph Courtesy of the Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District.

Battery Strong
by Justin Ruhge

Construction on Battery Strong began in early 1937. The engineers selected a final site on the ocean side of Point Loma toward the north end of the reservation. The guns were placed out in the open at two locations 240 feet apart and without any casemate protection as with the Battery Wallace original construction. The magazine was casemated and covered with sand. In 1937 the Ordnance Office notified the Chief of Engineers that it would be at least a year before the 8-inch Navy, 45-caliber guns would be ready for shipment. Also, ordnance would not complete the manufacture of the two barbette carriages until May 1938. Finally, in August 1940 the Ordnance Department announced that the carriages were completed and weapons would be proof-fired at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. In April 1941, the Los Angeles District Engineer reported the mounting of the armament at Battery Strong.
The guns were 2 8-inch Model 3A2 Nos. 193L2 and 195L2 manufactured at the Watervliet Arsenal. The two barbette carriages were Model M-1 Nos. 1 and 2 manufactured at the Watertown Arsenal. Each gun was to be protected by a steel shield but by July 1945, they had not arrived and may never have. Maximum range of these 8-inch guns was 33,000 yards or 18.75 miles.
Long before the 8-inch guns arrived at Fort Rosecrans, the Adjutant General announced that the battery was to be named in honor of the late Major General Frederick S. Strong, who graduated from West Point in 1880 and was appointed a lieutenant in the 4th Artillery. From 1916 to 1917 Brigadier General Strong commanded the Department of Hawaii. Promoted to Major General in 1917, he organized the 40th Division at Camp Kearny, California and took it to France in 1918. General Strong died in 1935 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Entrance to the Magazine and Plotting Room. Note rail tracks on which trains moved powder and projectiles From the magazines to the guns. Photograph, Courtesy of Mark Berhow, 1996.
Report of Completed Works - Seacoast Fortifications
Coast Defense Study Group
The Form 7 for Battery Strong, 1942. National Archives RG 77, OCE, Box 129, File 600.914, Harbor Defenses of San Diego.
Reports of Completed Works - Seacost Fortification: Battery Storng and Associated Structures
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Updated 23 June 2017