Historic California Posts, Camps,
Stations and Airfields
Fort Rosecrans: Battery John White
An M1890M Seacoast
Mortar being delivered to Battery John White
by Justin M. Ruhge
To protect the west side or ocean side of Point Loma from enemy
attack, two mortar batteries were planned north of Battery Wilkeson
but on the east side or bay side. At the end of 1915 work began
on two mortar batteries of four mortars in two pits each. The
design was somewhat similar to Battery Howe at Fort Funston.
Battery White was constructed in a deep ravine called "Power
House Canyon" behind the post and Battery Whistler was constructed
near the northern boundary of the reservation.
For Battery John White the 4 12-inch mortars
were Model 1890M Nos. 3, 4, 9, and 27. The first three were made
by BIF, Providence Rhode Island and the fourth by Bethlehem Iron.
The carriages were Model 1896M Nos. 56, 76, 83, and 87 and made
by R. Poole and Son.
Battery White was named in honor of Colonel
John Vassar White, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and
a veteran of the Artillery Corps.
Although the engineers completed construction
in 1916, the mortars and their carriages were delayed in arriving.
They were mounted on December 31, 1917. The mortars were proof-fired
at the end of 1918. The batteries were officially transferred
from the engineers to the commanding officer of the Coast Defense
of San Diego in August 1919.
Corps of Engineers
drawing for Battery John White, 1915. National Archives, RG 77,
Fortifications Files, Drawer 102, Sheet 54-3.
Construction of Battery
White shown Here on 4-17-1916. Note horse drawn scrapers in background
and Model T Truck in lower left.
awaiting guns on October 25, 1916. Note Powerhouse at lower right.
Photographs courtesy of the Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District.
A 1930s aerial photograph
of Battery White. Courtesy of the Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles
Loading the 12-Inch
Mortars. Image courtesy of Mr. Joseph Janesic
Target Practice At
Battery White, July 22, 1936. Courtesy of the San Diego Historical
Society, San Diego, NT-4281.
Aerial view of Battery
John White (top right) and Batteries Calef and Wilkeson (Bottom)
during World War II. California Military Department Collection.
Completed Works - Seacoast Fortifications