Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Oxnard Tactical Battery 3
Ventura Group, Harbor Defenses of Los Angeles
(Camp Rousseau; Military Training Area, Oxnard Shores)
US Army Corps of Engineers St. Louis District History
The Navy originally acquired the site known as the Oxnard Seacoast Battery as part of a 325 acre lease approved on 3 December 1942 (U.S. Navy Bureau of Yards and Docks 1942).
The 19 acres Coast Artillery was on the northwestern portion of the 325 acre Advanced Base Receiving Barracks (ABRB) - Military Training Area. This activity remained separated from the main base at Port Hueneme. Other names for the ABRB - Military Training Area included:
The Navy officially opened the Military Training Area on 3 July 1943 .

The Navy labeled the 19 acre site as an “Unexploded Ordnance Area” and the “Ordnance Area” (Civil Engineering Support Center n.d., 1946). The area consisted of buildings forming a compound. Research did not determine the specific meaning of an area labeled “Unexploded Ordnance Area”. Speculation based on maps, aerial photography analysis, and historical photographs suggest that the Navy used it for training in ordnance recognition and demolition.

On 18 October 1943, the Navy granted a use permit to the War Department to use the 19 acres for coastal artillery mounts and personnel. The Army placed two mobile 155mm M1918MI GPF Seacoast Guns, situated on Panama mounts on the 19 acre site. The Army referenced the site as the Tactical Battery 3, Oxnard Seacoast Battery or the Oxnard Panama Mounts. Battery construction started in May 1943, was completed in September 1943 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 14 Mar 1944 at a cost of $ 11,265.62. Members of the 56th Coast Artillery Regiment manned the position as part of the Harbor Defenses of Los Angeles (HDLA). The HDLA’s mission involved coastal defense from Santa Barbara to Newport Beach. The 31 December 1945 War Department Owned, Sponsored and Leased Facilities listing showed that the reservation could house 130 soldiers in Theater of Operations type barracks. The War Department deactivated the site in 1944 with the site being transferred back to the Navy Department by a letter dated 10 July 1946

In late 1946 or early 1947, the Navy placed the improvements in the Military Training Area for sale. By March 1948, the Navy canceled the leases for the 325 acres, including the 19 acre battery site area. In the early 1950’s, but before 30 June 1953, the Navy re-leased the 325 acre property including the 19 acre area. The Navy rebuilt a limited amount of training facilities on the southern portion of the property, but apparently none on the north end

The Navy terminated the lease for the northern third, including the 19 acre site, and the owners sold it to Oxnard Shores Development Company in May 1959. The Navy used the southern portion of the Military Training Area as late as October 1959. The Oxnard Shores Development Company acquired the property in the 1960’s to establish residential subdivision.
Source: US Army Corps of Engineers


155mm Batteries, Harbor Defenses of Los Angeles
by Justin Ruhge

The first 155-mm battery at Fort MacArthur was Battery Hogsdon. This battery of two 155 mm GPFs was built in 1928 and located in front of the Korean Friendship Bell on the Upper Reservation north of Point Fermin. One of these mounting rings is visible in front of Battery 241. The other is used as part of a playground.

In 1942, a program began to place 155-mm batteries from Santa Barbara to Bolsa Chica. Each battery consisted of two or three mounting rings, known as Panama Mounts, that allowed the guns to be rotated 360 degrees, and underground ammunition storage bunkers and sleeping quarters for the troops. The batteries were transferred in 1943 and 1944 and cost on average about $10,000 each.

Locations of these Panama Mounts and the 155-mm batteries are: Pacific Palisades, Playa Del Rey, El Segundo/Hyperion, Redondo Beach, Rocky Point, Long Point, Fort MacArthur, Bolsa Chica, Costa Mesa, Port Hueneme, Oxnard, Ventura and Santa Barbara. Some of these locations were built for 3 guns but only two were delivered. Some of the installations are still visible in

M1918 155mm Gun
The gun was designed during World War I by Colonel Louis Filloux to meet France's urgent need for modern heavy artillery, and became the standard heavy field gun of the French Army from 1917 until World War II. It was also adopted by the United States as the M1917, and a close derivative of it was made in and used by the US as the M1918 through World War II.
It was also manufactured in the USA from 1917, after the US switched to metric artillery based on French patterns. It was used by the United States Army and United States Marine Corps as their primary heavy artillery gun under the designation 155 mm Gun M1917 (French-made) or M1918 (US-made) until 1942, when it was gradually replaced by the 155 mm M1A1 'Long Tom'.
During World War II, some US-made guns were used for coast defense of US and allied territories, such as Australia and Bermuda, typically on "Panama" mountings - circular concrete platforms with a raised centre section, with the carriage tires pivoting around the center section and the split trails spread out on rails at the platform's edge.


US Army Corps of Engineers Report of Completed Works


Source: Coast Defense Study Group

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Updated 8 February 2016