San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Defending the Golden Gate
Battery Lancaster's mission was unique among the many artillery installations on this bluff. From 1900 through World War I, Lancaster's three guns offered the only artillery coverage from the south for the narrowest part of the harbor entrance.
In addition to the gun pit where you now stand, and two more gun emplacements to the left, Battery Lancaster featured several underground rooms and ammunition magazines. Most of these were buried or destroyed by construction of the Golden Gate Bridge in the early 1930s. However, portions survived and the battery saw service again during World War II.
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, soldiers were sent to defend the bridge. The commanding officer selected flat ground near the toll plaza for the company's antiaircraft guns and set up his headquarters, and quarters for his soldiers, in what remained of Battery Lancaster.
World War II Defenses
Under the command of Captain Harry Freeman, World War II troops protected the Golden Gate Bridge with antiaircraft guns and lived in Battery Lancaster, in underground rooms beneath
• The 12-inch rifles installed in Battery Lancaster in 1900 were mounted on carriages that enabled them to drop down behind the battery's parapet and out of the enemy's sight after firing. These breech-loading guns were declared obsolete and removed in 1918.
• Battery Lancaster, the northernmost of Fort Winfield Scott's coastal defense batteries, was part of a chain of fortifications that spanned the Golden Gate.
• Have you noticed the large metal rings on the concrete walls? They were used to install the enormous gun that once occupied this gun pit. The rifle's heavy barrel was eased into place with cables that ran through the rings.
• Captain Harry Freeman and company mascot, circa 1942.
Erected 2012 by Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & Viaducts • Forts and Castles • War, World I • War, World II. A significant historical year for this entry is 1900.
Location. 37° 48.489′ N, 122° 28.541′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker can be reached from Coastal Trail. Marker is in the Battery Lancaster exhibit area of the Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point South. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Francisco CA 94129, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bridging the Gate — the Beginning (a few steps from this marker); Making the Impossible, Possible: The Story of the Golden Gate Bridge (a few steps from this marker); Engineering the Design (a few steps from this marker); Art Deco on a Grand Scale (a few steps from this marker); Hanging the Roadway Deck (a few steps from this marker); A Bathtub for the South Tower (a few steps from this marker); Working Under Water (a few steps from this marker); World's Tallest Bridge Towers (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 6, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 33 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 6, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.