Historic California Posts, Camps,
Stations and Airfields
Fort Winfield Scott: Anti-Aircraft
(Anti-Aircraft Battery No. 3)
Scott Anti-Aircraft Battery
by Justin M. Ruhge
After World War I it became clear to the
Army that coast defense batteries needed to be defended against
air attack. The initial site selected by the Army at Fort Winfield
Scott in 1920 was on the left flank of Battery Godfrey where
two 3-inch guns were placed on two concrete plugs. This and two
other antiaircraft batteries became the first such in the harbor
defenses of San Francisco.
These guns were moved to Fort Funston
in 1925. By 1937 two similar weapons were mounted on the same
plugs as well as a third position added to the battery and was
renamed AA Battery No. 3. These three weapons were moved to Fort
Cronkhite in 1939. The original plugs remain today.
In addition, several camouflaged 30-caliber
machine gun stations were located around the heavy gun emplacements
during World War II.
Completed Works - Seacoast Fortifications
M1 40mm Antiaircraft
Gun on a M2A1 Carriage. (Public Domain)
Throughout World War II, the specter of
a Japanese air attack, no matter how remote, hung over the commanders
responsible for the defense of San Francisco. Even after the Battle
of Midway, which destroyed much of its air arm, the Imperial Japanese
Navy maintained the capability of striking the United States throughout
the war. This included the capability of launching up to three
float planes from the I-400 class of submarines.
With this in mind, dozens of mobile antiaircraft
guns were placed throughout the bay area. Fort Funston's defenses
were bolstered with the addition of five 40mm M1 "Bofors"
antiaircraft guns mounted of the M2A1 carriage (figure 3-9). These
sites were administratively assigned the following numbers according
to the 1948 map of Fort Funston:
Gun 15: 200 feet west of Battery Blaney
Gun 16. On Battery Lancaster
Gun 17: 150 feet west of Battery Dynamite
Gun 18: Baker Beach
Gun 19: 400 feet south of Battery McKinnon
Gun 20: Presidio Reservior
Additionally, there were five .50 caliber
machine positions that provided close in defense. Additionally
there was one Anti-Aircraft Seachlight position (No. 110). All
of these guns were removed at the end of World War II.