Fort Cronkhite (1937-1975) - Established in 1937 on 800 acres of land at Tennessee Point, Marin County, California. Named 17 Dec 1938 for Major General Adelbert Cronkhite, who commanded the 80th Division during World War I.
World War II (1941-1945)
Part of the Harbor Defense of San Francisco.
The 800 acre reservation for Fort Cronkhite was acquired in 1937 to house a battery of two 16" long range guns and the necessary support facilities for its operation. Construction on the 16" Battery Townsley began in 1938 on top of Wolf Ridge and was completed in 1940. The support cantonment was built below the battery during late 1940 and early 1941. The cantonment consisted of temporary World War II style barracks, mess halls and administrative wooden frame buildings, many of which survive today. The post was first garrisoned 20 Jun 1941 by Battery E of the 6th Coast Artillery, just five months before the start of World War II.
A second 16" gun battery, Battery Davis (2), was established at Fort Funston on the south side of the Golden Gate to provide long range coverage of the entrance to San Francisco Harbor from the south while Battery Townsley provided coverage from the north. Each 16" gun had a range of 26 miles and the combined batteries provided the first line of defense from any attacking warships throughout World War II.
Cold War (1947-1991)
Nike Missile Integrated Fire Control (IFC) facility SF-88C, located atop Wolf Ridge and Nike Launch Site SF-87L were established on Fort Cronkhite in 1954 and remained operational until 1974. The associated Nike Missile Launch Battery for SF-88C, SF-88L, was located about a mile away on Fort Barry and is now a museum with working parts of the Nike System. The Nike Missile Integrated Fire Control (IFC) facility SF-87C associated with SF-88L is also located on Fort Barry, Hawk Hill.
Part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area (GGNRA) administered by the National Park Service. On 1 Oct 2012 a surplus 16" Naval MarkVII gun was delivered on site for use as a display gun for Battery Townsley. Battery Townsley is opened once a month for public view and the Nike Missile site is open for tours and demonstrations, check ahead for days and times.
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Visited: 20 Aug 2009