Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Grizzly Peak
(Grizzly Peak VHF Station, Grizzly Peak Anti Aircraft Artillery Site No 3, San Francisco Defense Area Antiaircraft Artillery Battery 12)
Corps of Engineers Histories
Grizzly Peak VHF Station
On 10 April 1942, the U.S. Government acquired 72.20 lease acres and 1.71 easement acres from East Bay Regional Park District. On 15 July 1949, the U.S. Government acquired .05 license acre from east Bay Municipal Utility District. Total acreage acquired for the subject site was 73.96.
The site was originally the Headquarters for the San Francisco Control Group (also known as the 411th Army Air Forces Control Group [San Francisco Control Group]). This unit was responsible for the command and control of Army Air Forces air defense radar sites located throughout coastal Northern California. Later the site was known as the Grizzly Peak VHF Site, CA. The site was situated in Alameda County, one mile northeast of Berkeley, CA. The site was used as a VHF site for Hamilton Air Force Base. Improvements included a concrete civil defense building, barracks, mess hall, latrine, administration building, two antenna stations (concrete buildings and antenna), concrete pump house, pipeline, and two wooden water tanks.
On 28 October 1952, 73.91 lease acres terminated. On 29 October 1952, .05 license acre was transferred to the Army. Records did not indicate if restoration was required.
Grizzly Peak Antiaircraft Artillery Site No. 3 / San Francisco Defense Area Antiaircraft Artillery Battery 12
This site contained 66.93 total acres; 66.70 acres leased and 0.23 of an acre license. The 66.70 acres was leased from the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) on December 4, 1952. A portion of the 0.23 area (0.05 of an acre) was licensed from East Bay Municipal Utility District on May 13, 1948 for a water power line and transferred from the Department of the Air Force effective October 29, 1952. The remainder (0.18 of an acre) was licensed on January 25, 1955 from EBRPD for an electric power line right of way.
San Francisco Defense Area AAA Battery 12 (formerly Grizzly Peak AAA Site No. 3) was used by the U.S. Army as a 90mm antiaircraft gun site. Station lists show that there two four-gun batteries as well as the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 752nd Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion (90mm) on the site. Information on structures at the site was not available from the real estate files except for the following improvements the Government relinquished to the EBRPD upon termination of the lease: five buildings, one 1,000 gallon and one 550 gallon fuel oil tank; a chlorinator building; an electric distribution system including three 25 kV transformers; one 5,000 gallon and one 10,000 gallon water tank; sewage distribution and septic tanks; water distribution system and pumps; roads, walks, bridges and parking areas; and line fence.
The property was reported excess to the GSA on September 30, 1961. On October 27, 1959, the 66.70 acre lease was terminated. The lessor agreed to partial restoration in exchange for title to certain improvements. There was no mention of a recapture clause in the termination agreement.
Known Army Units at Grizzly Peak

 Data Source


 Army of the United States Station List 7 April 1945
411th Army Air Forces Base Unit (San Francisco Control Group) (AAF)
Army of the United States Station List 7 May 1946 411th Army Air Forces Base Unit (San Francisco Control Group) (AAF)
 Army of the United States Station List 15 February 1955
202nd Signal Detachment (Radar Maintenance)
752nd Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion (90mm) (Static) (less Batteries B and D)
 Army of the United States Station List 15 August 1955
202nd Signal Detachment (Radar Maintenance) (Type E)
752nd Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion (90mm) (Continental) (less Batteries B and D)
 Army of the United States Station List 15 August 1956
202nd Signal Detachment (Radar Maintenance) (Type E)
752nd Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion (90mm) (Continental) (less Batteries B and D)
 Army of the United States Station List 15 February 1957
752nd Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion (90mm) (Continental)
Batteries A and C
AAF - Army Air Forces units | AGF - Army Ground Forces unit | ASF - Army Service Forces units | WDC - Western Defense Command
The M2 90mm Antiaircraft Gun
The M2 90mm Antiaircraft Gun in travel configuration
The M2 90 Antiaircraft Gun with wheeled bogies removed and outriggers extended
Prior to WWII, the primary US anti-aircraft gun was the 3-inch M1918 gun (76.2 mm L/50), a widely-used caliber for this class of weapon. Similar weapons were in British, Soviet and other arsenals. There had been several upgrades to the weapon over its history, including the experimental T8 and T9 versions developed in the early 1930s that were intended to enter service later in the decade.
However the Army became interested in a much more capable weapon instead, and on June 9, 1938 they issued a development contract calling for two new guns, one of 90 mm which they felt was the largest possible size that was still capable of being manually loaded at high elevations, and another, using assisted loading, of 120 mm caliber. The new design seemed so much better than developments of the older 3-inch that work on the 3-inch T9 was canceled in 1938 just as it became production-ready. By 1940 the second development of the 90 mm design, the T2, was standardized as the 90 mm M1, while its larger cousin became the 120 mm M1 gun.
A few hundred M1's were completed when several improvements were added to produce the 90 mm M1A1, which entered production in late 1940 and was accepted as the standard on May 22, 1941. The M1A1 included an improved mount and spring-rammer on the breach with the result that firing rates went up to 20 rounds per minute. Several thousand were available when the US entered the war, and the M1A1 was their standard AA gun for the rest of the war. Production rates continued to improve, topping out in the low thousands per month.
Like the German 88, and the British QF 3.7 inch AA gun, the M1A1 found itself facing tanks in combat, but unlike the others it could not be depressed to fire against them. On September 11, 1942 the Army issued specifications for a new mount to allow it to be used in this role, which resulted in the 90 mm M2, introducing yet another new mount that could be depressed to 10 degrees below horizontal and featured a new electrically-assisted rammer. It became the standard weapon from May 13, 1943.
In July 1941 it was decided that in future the 90-mm (3.54-in) gun and carriage would have to be capable of engaging sea and land targets as well. This meant a revision of the carriage as on the Ml carnage the gun could not be depressed below 0°, and the opportunity was taken to incorporate a radical redesign, The M2 carnage had a totally different design with a low firing platform carried on four outrigger legs when firing. It was much handier and quicker to get into action, and some versions also had a small shield. The main change, however, was to the gun, which became the M2 in which the ammunition feed for a new fuse setter and rammer was added, this making fuse setting much more rapid and accurate, and also raising the rate of fire to a possible 27 rounds per minute. Yet more accuracy and lethality was added in late 1944 when the 90-mm (3.54-in) gun was used as one of the first weapons on land to fire the new proximity-fused round, one of the most advanced weapon developments of the war years, Using this fuse one gunner managed to shoot down a Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter with a single shot as the unfortunate aircraft attempted to intervene in the Ardennes campaign. The 90-mm (3.54-in) gun and the proximity fuse were also instrumental in the defeat of the V-l flying bombs over southern England.
The 90-mm (3.54-in) gun in all its forms was manufactured in large numbers, By August 1945 a total of 7,831 of all types had been produced. This included some guns intended for static mounting only, and some guns were indeed used around the coasts of the continental USA in a dual anti-aircraft/ coastal role.
The 90-mm (3.54-in) gun was also used in a purely coast defence mounting in a special armoured turret, and at one stage it was proposed that these turrets would even have their own automatic loaders, thus removing the need for men to crew them in action as they would be aimed and fired by remote control. The 90-mm (3.54-in) gun was also used in M36 tank destroyers mounted on Sherman chassis, and there were several advanced designs involved in the production of a towed 90-mm (3.54-in) anti-tank gun, but none of these saw service.
Specification, 90-mm Gun M2 on Mount M2
Calibre: 90 mm (3.54 in)
Weight: complete 14651 kg (32,300 lb)
Dimensions: length travelling 9.021 m (29 ft 7.15 in); height 3.073 m (10 ft 1 in); wheelbase 4,166 m (13 ft 8 in); length of barrel 4.50 m (14 ft 9.2 in)
Elevation: +807-10°
Traverse: 360°
Maximum ceiling: 12040 m (39,500 ft)
Shell weight: 10.6 kg (23.4 lb)
Muzzle velocity: 823 m (2,700 ft) per second
US Army Corps of Engineers Real Estate Maps
Grizzly Peak VHF Station
San Francisco Defense Area Antiaircraft Artillery Battery 12

Extract, War Department Inventory of Owned, Sponsored and Leased Facilities, 1945

Berkeley Fighter Control Station


  • Acreage

  • Storage:

  • Cost to Government Since 1 July 1940:


    Search our Site!

    Search the Web Search California Military History Online


    Questions and comments concerning this site should be directed to the Webmaster
    Updated 8 February 2016