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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Fort Mason

Historic San Francisco Port of Embarkation

 
 
Fort Mason Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, October 16, 2013
1. Fort Mason Marker
Captions: The San Francisco Port of Embarkation band welcomes a shipload of troops 1944. (left), Warbrides and babies from Australian and New Zealand arriving at the San Francisco Port of Embarkation aboard Matson Liner “Lurline”, April 7, 1948. (center top left); San Francisco Port of Embarkation, U.S. Army Fort Mason, San Francisco, California. View toward west, 1920. (center bottom left); Troops boarding. San Francisco Port of Embarkation, 1940ís (center top right); War dogs brought back from service in the Pacific to the San Francisco Port of Embarkation, February 2, 1946. (center bottom left); Troops returning to the San Francisco Port of Embarkation, pier 2, (now Herbst Pavilion) 1940s. (left). All photos courtesy of National Park Service Park Archives.
Inscription. In response to the 1906 earthquake and fire, and recognizing the critical role of Fort Mason as a naval operations center, Congress appropriated funds to construct the tree piers in use today. Built on land reclaimed from a tidal cove, Fort Mason served as the San Francisco Port of Embarkation, the organizational center for the military, from 1909 to 1962.

As the Port of Embarkation, Fort Mason played a critical role in the emergence of the United States as a world power. One of its first missions was delivering supplies and personnel to the western portion of the Panama Canal construction.

During World War II, Fort Mason commanded a vast network of personnel and shipping facilities that existed throughout the Bay Area. More than 1.5 million troops and over 23.5 million tons of cargo shipped out to the Pacific from Fort Masonís piers.

In addition to the outgoing personnel and supplies, all American dead being returned to United States from the Pacific were brought through Fort Mason. Japanese and German prisoners of war were projected through its facilities.

The coming of peace saw the flow of soldiers and cargo reversed. Between September 1945 and October 1946, Fort Masonís pier welcomed nearly 800,000 homebound troops.

In 1962 the army declared the site military surplus. Fort Mason,
Fort Mason Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, October 16, 2013
2. Fort Mason Marker
along with the Presidio, was turned over to the National Park Service. Under the leadership of Congressman Philip Burton, Congress established the first urban national park in 1972, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, with the idea of bringing parks to the people.

Fort Mason Center opened its doors as a nonprofit in 1977 to offer an affordable supportive campus for nonprofit arts, education, and recreational organizations. The mission today has evolved but remains true to the original concept of connecting and engaging people with arts and culture and providing a vibrant, affordable gathering place and a home for thought-provoking programs, events, and organizations.
 
Erected by Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
 
Location. 37° 48.347′ N, 122° 25.919′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Marina Boulevard and Laguna Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco CA 94123, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. San Francisco Port of Embarkation (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Mason Historic District (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named San Francisco Port of Embarkation (approx. 0.2 miles away); San Francisco Port of Embarkation (1932-1962) (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Mason Historic District (approx. 0.3 miles away); Marina Air Field (approx. half a mile away); First Ship into San Francisco Bay (approx. half a mile away); The Clock Tower (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in San Francisco.
 
More about this marker. This marker is located in the lower parking lot of Fort Mason Center, near Building A.
 
Also see . . .  Fort Mason - Wikipedia. Fort Mason can be split into two distinct areas. The upper area, sometimes called Fort Mason, is situated on a headland and was the site of the original coastal fortifications. The lower area, Fort Mason Center, is situated close to water level to the west of Upper Fort Mason, and is the site of the former military port, with its piers and warehouses. (Submitted on November 6, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, World II
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 296 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Al Wolf was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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