Battery Duncan

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Battery Duncan (1900-1917) - Battery Duncan was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 8 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Baker (1), California. The battery was named in G.O. 16, 14 Feb 1902, after Col. James Duncan (Cullum 755), Inspector General's Department, who served with distinction in the Mexican-American War, and who died 3 Jul 1849. Battery construction started in 1898, was completed in 1899 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 5 May 1900 at a cost of $ 57,535.00. Deactivated in 1917.


Part of the Harbor Defense of San Francisco.

Endicott Period

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with two 8" M1888 guns mounted on M1892 Barbette carriages. The two M1888 guns shared a magazine between them that had two 10' by 27' shell rooms and a single 16' by 17' powder room. Other rooms in the magazine complex included a 10' by 16' C.O. room, a 10' by 16' guard room, and a central 10' by 28' plotting room. The BC Station was situated at the top of the battery right over the powder room. A separate building housed the latrines, one for officers and one for enlisted.

No powder or shell hoists were required because the magazine was at the same level as the gun loading platform. Electric power was furnished by a power plant shared with Battery Yates. The Battery had no electric motors.

In 1910 the plotting room and the BC Station were modified and updated at a cost of $ 495.35 for the plotting room and $ 816.80 for the BC Station.

Battery Duncan Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 8" Rifle 278.5" M1888 8 West Point Barbette, M1892, #2, Watertown 1900-1917 See note 1
2 8" Rifle 278.5" M1888MII 24 Bethlehem Barbette, M1892, #4, Watertown 1900-1917 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Mar 1920, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 106-107, 215
Note 1:
Battery Duncan Plan

World War I

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 the two guns at Battery Duncan were ordered dismounted for service abroad. The gun cards indicate that the guns were transferred 31 Dec 1917 to the Watervliet Arsenal and on 18 Jul 1918 a status report indicates that they were transferred for service abroad. These two guns never actually made it overseas for the war but they did both end up in Hawaii. The Battery was not rearmed.

Current Status

Part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area (GGNRA) administered by the National Park Service. No period guns or mounts in place.

Location: Fort Baker, California

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.837204 Long: -122.474492

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  • Elevation: 215.1'



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