Battery Whistler

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Battery Whistler (1919-1942) - Battery Whistler was a reinforced concrete, Taft Period 12 inch coastal mortar battery on Fort Rosecrans, San Diego County, California. The Battery was named in G.O. 15, 1916 after Colonel Joseph N.G. Whistler who fought in the Mexican War and the U.S. Civil War. Battery construction started 15 Mar 1916, was completed 19 Aug 1919 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 19 Aug 1919 at a cost of $ 118,000. Deactivated in 1942.

World War I

Part of the Harbor Defense of San Diego.

Originally built as a Taft Period concrete coastal mortar battery with four 12" M1890MI mortars mounted on M1896MI mortar carriages divided into two mortar pits (A-B) with two mortars in each pit (1-2).

Each mortar pit had a data booth that conveyed azimuth and elevation information to the gun crews and directed the firing. The data booth was attached to the plotting room. In front of the mortar pits was a concrete magazine that stored the shells and powder. The magazine was protected with a thick covering of earth. Shells and powder were wheeled from the magazine to the mortar loading platforms on shot carts.

Battery Whistler Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
A1 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 76 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #186, American Hoist 1919-1942 See note 1
A2 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 85 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #188, American Hoist 1919-1942 See note 1
B1 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 107 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #189, American Hoist 1919-1942 See note 1
B2 12" Mortar 141.125" M1890MI 127 Watervliet Mortar, M1896MI, #190, American Hoist 1919-1942 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 19 Aug 1919, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 3rd Edition - PDF, CDSG ePress, McLean, VA, 2012, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 140-142
Note 1: Guns transferred 1 Jul 1917 & mounted 31 Dec 1917, scrapped 18 Dec 1943, Carriage from Fort DeSoto ordered salvaged 5 Nov 1942
Battery Whistler Plan

World War II

The mortars were obsolete at the beginning of World War II and the first major scrap drive of the war in 1942 saw them scrapped.

Current Status

No period guns or mounts in place.

Location: Fort Rosecrans, San Diego County, California

Maps & Images

Lat: 32.7029515 Long: -117.2486093

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 354.92'


  • U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project of San Diego, (HDSD-AN-45), 1 Jul 1945, CDSG
  • Thompson, Erwin N., The Guns Of San Diego: San Diego Harbor Defenses, 1796-1947, Historic Resource Study: Cabrillo National Monument, 1991, San Diego NPS, NPS Online Books


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