Battery Godfrey

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Battery Godfrey (1896-1942) - Battery Godfrey was a reinforced concrete Endicott Period 12" inch gun battery on Fort Winfield Scott (2), San Francisco County, California. The battery was named in General Order 16, 14 Feb 1902, after Captain George J. Godfrey, 22nd U.S. Infantry, killed in action 3 Jun 1899 in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War. Battery construction started in 1892, was completed in 1896 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 19 Aug 1896. Guns and carriages scrapped 19 Nov 1942.

Battery Godfrey Shell Hoist Platform
Battery Godfrey Gun Emplacement
Battery Godfrey

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of San Francisco.

Battery Godfrey Oil Room, Power Room and Radiator Room, Emplacement #1

Battery Godfrey was the first 12" Gun battery built on Fort Winfield Scott and the first in the United States. It was initially built as a 12", three gun, concrete battery with M1888 rifles mounted on M1892 Barbette carriages. Construction began in 1892 and was completed in 1896 and it was transferred for service 19 Jul 1896 but the last gun carriage did not arrive until 21 Jan 1897. The battery was named for Captain Godfrey in 1902.

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 three electric Taylor-Raymond back delivery shell hoists. No powder hoists were provided. Electrical power was initially furnished by an emplacement power plant in emplacement #1 until the new central power plant came on line in 1910.

Battery Godfrey Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 12" Rifle 440" M1888 9 Watervliet Barbette, M1892, #6, Watertown 1896-1942 See note 1
2 12" Rifle 440" M1888 6 Watervliet Barbette, M1892, #3, Watertown 1896-1942 See note 1
3 12" Rifle 440" M1888 4 Watervliet Barbette, M1892, #2, Watertown 1896-1942 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Mar 1920, 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 salvaged 19 Nov 1942. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Godfrey Plan

World War I (1917-1918)

Battery Godfrey Gun Loading

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 Godfrey were not affected by the World War I redistribution or the following 1920 disarmament program.

Battery Godfrey Aerial 1938

World War II (1941-1945)

Battery Godfrey 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, San Francisco County, California

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.803611 Long: -122.477222

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  • Elevation: #1=271.14', #2=271.14', #3=276.15'



Visited: 22 Aug 2009

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