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 HDLAs 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 1950s, 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 1960s to establish residential subdivision.
Source: US Army Corps of Engineers
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
US Army Corps of Engineers Report of Completed Works
Source: Coast Defense Study Group