Battery Saffold

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Battery Saffold (1898-1942) - Battery Saffold was a reinforced concrete Endicott Period 12" inch gun battery on Fort Winfield Scott (2), California. The battery was named in G.O. 16, 14 Feb 1902, after Captain Marion M. Saffold (Cullum 2820), 13th U.S. Infantry, who was killed in action at Cavite, Island of Luzon, Philippine Islands on 8 Oct 1899. Battery construction started in 1897 was completed in 1897 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 4 Feb 1898 at a cost of $ 107,409.04. The cost is the combined cost of Battery Saffold and emplacement #3 of Battery Lancaster. Deactivated in 1942.

Battery Saffold Gun Emplacement #2
Battery Saffold Gun Emplacement #1
Battery Saffold BC Station

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of San Francisco.

Battery Saffold Shell Hoist Platform and Shelter

Battery Saffold was initially built as a 12", two gun, concrete battery with one M1888MII rifle and one M1888 rifle, both mounted on M1892 Barbette carriages. This was a two story battery with the guns located on the upper level and the magazines below. Shells were moved from the magazine level to the gun loading platform by two electric Taylor-Raymond back delivery shell hoists installed in 1908. No powder hoists were provided. Electrical power was furnished by the central power plant and an emplacement power plant.

An existing crows nest observation station was modified into a BC Station that was located at the rear of the traverse between gun emplacements #1 and #2. The BC Station was accepted for service along with the battery on 4 Feb 1898 at a cost of $ 1,750.00.

Battery Saffold Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 12" Rifle 440" M1888MII 19 Watervliet Barbette, M1892, #7, Watertown 1898-1942 See note 1
2 12" Rifle 440" M1888 3 Watervliet Barbette, M1892, #8, Watertown 1898-1942 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Mar 1920 & 1 Mar 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 136, 215
Note 1: Guns and carriages ordered scrapped 19 Nov 1942. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Saffold Plan

World War I (1917-1918)

Battery Saffold Magazine Entrance

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. The 12" guns of Battery Saffold were not affected by the World War I redistribution or the following 1920 disarmament program.

Battery Saffold Aerial View 1938

World War II (1941-1945)

Battery Saffold was obsolete at the beginning of the war and slated to be deactivated as the new batteries of the modernization program came on line. The guns and carriages were ordered salvaged on 19 Nov 1942 as a part of the first large scale scrap drive of World War II.

Current Status

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

Location: Fort Winfield Scott, California

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.799756 Long: -122.477498



Visited: 22 Aug 2009

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