Historic California Posts, Camps,
Stations and Airfields
Fort Rosecrans: Battery Frederick
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.
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
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.
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.