Battery Rathbone

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Battery Rathbone (1905-1948) - Battery Rathbone was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 6 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Barry, Marin County, California. The battery was named in G.O. 194, 27 Dec 1904 after Lt. Samuel B. Rathbone, U.S. Artillery, who died of wounds received in action at Queenstown Heights, Canada, in 1812. Battery construction started in 1904, was completed in 1905 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 8 Jun 1905 at a cost of $ 92,511.11. The east half of the Battery was renamed in G.O. 13, 22 Mar 1922, for Brig. Gen James F. McIndoe, who died 6 Feb 1919. Battery deactivated in 1948.

Battery Rathbone-McIndoe Emplacement #4 with San Francisco in Background
Battery Rathbone-McIndoe Emplacement #1 with Point Bonita in the Background


Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of San Francisco. Used primarily to protect the minefields at the entrance to the Golden Gate.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with four 6" M1900 rapid fire guns mounted on M1900 Barbette carriages. Each pair of gun emplacements has a magazine structure between them with a BC station of the top, rear of the magazine. Each shell room was 11' 9" by 38' and held 450 shells. The powder rooms were 11' 6" by 35' and held 175 powder cartridges.

In addition to the shell and powder rooms in each magazine, there are four other rooms that house a small plotting room, a guard room, store rooms and, in the Battery McIndoe magazine, a power plant. Between the two batteries is a structure that houses a guard room and a larger plotting room. There is a corridor in this structure that connects the two batteries. All three of the structures are covered on the top with earth for further protection. The Battery latrine is a separate building to the left of emplacement #4.

Battery Rathbone Armament (edit list)
Empl
No
Caliber
Type
Barrel
Length
Model Serial
No
Manufacturer Carriage Service
Dates
Notes
1 6" Rifle 310.4" M1900 19 Watervliet Barbette, M1900, #26, Watervliet 1905-1948 See note 1
2 6" Rifle 310.4" M1900 29 Watervliet Barbette, M1900, #42, Builders 1905-1948 See note 1
3 6" Rifle 310.4" M1900 33 Watervliet Barbette, M1900, #43, Builders 1905-1948 See note 1
4 6" Rifle 310.4" M1900 34 Watervliet Barbette, M1900, #44, Builders 1905-1948 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Sep 1923, RCB, 31 Dec 1909, 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:
Battery Rathbone Plan


World War I (1917-1918)

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.

Gun #33 and Gun #34 were designated for service abroad and were transferred to Morgan Engineering Company for modifications before shipment overseas. They were listed in an 18 Jul 1918 letter as having been transferred and the gun cards indicate they were transferred 31 Dec 1917. The carriages for these two guns were left in place. On 2 Apr 1919, both guns were transferred back to Fort Barry from their storage location at Camp Eustis and eventually remounted in their original carriages at Battery Rathbone.

On 22 March 1922 emplacements #3 and #4 were designated as Battery McIndoe.

World War II (1941-1945)

In 1944 the war reserve and battle allowances of ammunition for the two batteries was:

Battery Range
Yards
Weight
Pounds
Type
Shell
War
Reserve
Battle
Allowance
Battery Rathbone 16,600 90
108
HE
AP
300
900
200
600
Battery McIndoe 16,600 90
108
HE
AP
300
900
200
600
HE = High Explosive AP = Amour Piercing

Current Status

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


Location: Fort Barry, Marin County, California

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.826657 Long: -122.518327

Sources:

Links:

Visited: 20 Aug 2009

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