Historic California Posts, Camps,
Stations and Airfields
Long Beach Fire Control Site No.
Long Beach Fire Control
Station No. 9 in the tower of the former Hilton Hotel (Long
The Army acquired 0.02 acre from the Hilton
Hotel in Long Beach, California under Lease No. W-868-ENG-4208
for Fire Control Site No. 9. An acquisition date was not listed
on the Realty Control File Summary, however from 1942 to 1944
a number of fire control sites were constructed along the coastal
area of Southern California as part of the Harbor
Defenses of Los Angeles.
The purpose of a fire control site was
to sight and obtain directional bearings on approaching enemy
targets. Bearing information would then be relayed to another
defensive position. A 1943 as-built drawing shows the fire control
station on top of the Hilton Hotel in Long Beach. The drawing
shows minor improvements to the tower of the hotel, designed
to house sighting instruments. This station provided fire control
data for the following batteries
Battery 241, Fort MacArthur Upper Reservation.
Battery 242, Bolsa Chica Military Reservation.
Battery 128, Bolsa Chica Military Reservation
The lease for 0.02 acre for Fire Control
Site No. 9 was terminated on 28 October 1952. The former Hilton
Hotel site is now occupied by The Breakers Hotel, a senior citizens
housing complex.. According to the Executive Director of The
Breakers Hotel, only one Army improvement remains in the building.
She described this structure as a "gun turret and mounting",
which is located in the tower on top of the building. It is likely
that this structure was used as a mounting for a sighting instrument.
Engineers Diagrams and Construction Records
Sources:Los Angeles District,
US Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Defense Study Group