Battery Chamberlin

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Battery Chamberlin (1904-1917) (1920-1948) - Battery Lowell Chamberlin was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 6 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Winfield Scott (2), San Francisco County, California. The battery was named in G.O. 194, 27 Dec 1904, after Captain Lowell Chamberlin, 1st U.S. Artillery, a U.S. Civil War veteran who died in 1899. Battery construction started in 1903, was completed in 1904 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 24 Dec 1904 at a cost of $ 100,803.45. Deactivated in 1917. Reactivated and rearmed in 1920 and active until 1948.

Battery Chamberlin, Emplacement #4, New Gun
Battery Chamberlin Magazine #2
Fort Winfield Scott, Battery Chamberlin

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of San Francisco.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with four 6" M1903 guns mounted on M1903 disappearing carriages. This is a one story gun battery with two magazines, each serving two guns and a central multi purpose structure. Each gun and carriage sat on a raised loading platform. Shell carts were used to move the shells from the magazine to the loading platform stairs and the shells were hand carried to the loading platform. A separate powder passage was used to bring the powder from the magazine's powder room to the loading platform. No shell or powder hoists were needed or provided. No electric power furnished until the new central power plant was brought on line in 1910. Later switched to commercial power.

Battery Chamberlin Armament (edit list)
Empl
No
Caliber
Type
Barrel
Length
Model Serial
No
Manufacturer Carriage Service
Dates
Notes
1 6" Rifle 302.9" M1903 27 Watertown Disappearing, M1903, #27, Wellman 1904-1917 See note 1
2 6" Rifle 302.9" M1903 28 Watertown Disappearing, M1903, #28, Wellman 1904-1917 See note 1
3 6" Rifle 302.9" M1903 26 Watertown Disappearing, M1903, #30, Wellman 1904-1917 See note 1
4 6" Rifle 302.9" M1903 52 Watertown Disappearing, M1903, #29, Wellman 1904-1917 See note 1
Source: RCB 31 dec 1910, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 98-99,215
Note 1: Guns transferred to Watervliet 31 Dec 1917 for use overseas. Carriages #27, 28, 30 ordered scrapped 26 May 1920. Carriage #29 transferred to Benicia Arsenal for spare parts. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Chamberlin Plan


World War I (1917-1918)

Battery Chamberlin Modified Gun Emplacement #3

The U.S. entry into World War I resulted in a widespread removal of large caliber coastal defense gun tubes for service in Europe. Many of the gun and mortar tubes removed were sent to arsenals for modification and mounting on mobile carriages, both wheeled and railroad. Most of the removed gun tubes never made it to Europe and were either remounted or remained at the arsenals until needed elsewhere. On 24 Aug 1917 it was reported that the four guns of Battery Chamberlin had been ordered dismounted for use abroad and on 18 Jul 1918 it was further reported that they had been transferred to service abroad. The gun cards indicate that these guns were removed and transferred to the Watervliet Arsenal on 31 Dec 1917 for modification and further shipment to France. All four of the guns actually made it to France and they were all returned to the Aberdeen Proving Ground in 1919.

Three of the M1903 carriages were ordered scrapped 26 May 1920 and the fourth was sent to Benicia Arsenal for spare parts.

In 1920 Battery Chamberlin was rearmed with two 6" M1900 guns mounted on M1900 Barbette carriages to provide a rapid fire defense against fast enemy surface craft. The guns were mounted in gun emplacements #2 and #3 after the emplacements were modified for the Barbette carriages at a cost of $ 3,502.44. The additional level and the bolts for the M1900 barbette carriage can be seen in the photo above.

Battery Chamberlin Armament (edit list)
Empl
No
Caliber
Type
Barrel
Length
Model Serial
No
Manufacturer Carriage Service
Dates
Notes
2 6" Rifle 310.4" M1900 21 Watervliet Barbette, M1900, #40, Builders 1920-1948 See note 1
3 6" Rifle 310.4" M1900 31 Watervliet Barbette, M1900, #41, Builders 1920-1948 See note 1
Source: RCW Aug 1943, 1 Sep 1923, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 96-97,215
Note 1: Guns and carriages transferred to Fort Winfield Scott 26 Aug 1919.CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Chamberlin Aerial 1938


World War II (1941-1945)

Battery Chamberlin M1900 Gun, Emplacement #2, circa 1945

Modifications were made to Battery Chamberlin in 1942 and 1943 that gasproofed the plotting room, modified the loading platforms of emplacements #2 and #3 and added a power plant. These modifications were transferred for use on 23 Nov 1943 at a cost of $ 5,399.39.

In 1944 a generator and circuitry was added to the power room between emplacements #2 and #3 at a cost of $ 418.29, the work was accepted 2 Jun 1944.

In 1948 the M1900 guns and carriages were declared obsolete and scrapped. Battery Chamberlin was the last coast battery deactivated at Fort Winfield Scott.

Current Status

Part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area (GGNRA) administered by the National Park Service. A single 6" M1903 gun, #9, mounted on M1903 carriage #2 is installed in gun emplacement #4. This gun and carriage was donated by the Smithsonian.


Location: Fort Winfield Scott, San Francisco County, California

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.794017 Long: -122.482608

Sources:

Links:

Visited: 18-27 Aug 2009

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