Battery Guthrie

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Battery Guthrie (1905-1948) - Battery Guthrie was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 6 inch rapid fire coastal gun battery on Fort Barry, Marin County, California. The battery was named in G.O. 194, 27 Dec 1904 after Capt. Edwin Guthrie 15th U.S. Infantry who died of wounds received in action at La Hoy, Mexico in 1847 during the Mexican-American War. Battery construction started in 1903, was completed in 1904 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 8 Jun 1905 at a cost of $ 69,193.64. The left Half of the Battery was renamed Battery Smith in G.O. 13, 22 Mar 1922, for Col. Hamilton Allen Smith, a West Point graduate (Cullum 3559) who was killed in action at Soissons, France, 22 Jul 1918. Battery deactivated in 1948.

Battery Guthrie Gun Emplacement #1
Battery Guthrie Gun BC Station

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of San Francisco. Used primarily to protect the minefields at the entrance to the Golden Gate.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with four 6" M1900 rapid fire guns mounted on M1900 Barbette carriages. Each pair of gun emplacements has a magazine structure between them with a BC station of the top, rear of the magazine. Each shell room was 12' by 38' and held 450 shells. The powder rooms were 11' 9" by 35' and held 175 powder cartridges.

In addition to the shell and powder rooms in each magazine, there are four other rooms that house a small plotting room, a guard room, storerooms and, in the Battery Smith magazine, a power plant. Between the two batteries is a structure that houses a guard room and a larger plotting room. There is a corridor in this structure that connects the two batteries. All three of the structures are covered on the top with earth for further protection. At the right rear of the battery, down the hill was the latrine building.

Battery Guthrie Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 6" Rifle 310.4" M1900 2 Watervliet Barbette, M1900, #13, Rock Island 1905-1948 See note 1
2 6" Rifle 310.4" M1900 3 Watervliet Barbette, M1900, #14, Rock Island 1905-1948 See note 1
3 6" Rifle 310.4" M1900 5 Watervliet Barbette, M1900, #15, Rock Island 1905-1948 See note 1
4 6" Rifle 310.4" M1900 12 Watervliet Barbette, M1900, #16, Rock Island 1905-1948 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Sep 1923, RCB, 31 Dec 1909, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 96-97, CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Note 1:
Battery Guthrie Plan

World War I (1917-1918)

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.

Gun #5 and Gun #12 were designated for service abroad and were transferred to Morgan Engineering Company for modifications before shipment overseas. They were listed in an 18 Jul 1918 letter as having been transferred and the gun cards indicate they were transferred 31 Dec 1917. The carriages for these two guns were left in place. On 2 Apr 1919, both guns were transferred back to Fort Barry from their storage location at Camp Eustis and eventually remounted in their original carriages at Battery Gutherie.

On 22 March 1922 emplacements #3 and #4 were designated as Battery Smith.

Apparently there were problems with gun #5 in emplacement #1 of Battery Smith (emplacement #3 of Battery Gutherie) and a replacement was requested. The replacement for gun #5 was gun #48, transferred from Watertown 11 Jun 1936 and eventually mounted in emplacement #3. On 17 Dec 1936 the original gun #5 from emplacement #1 was transferred to Watervliet Arsenal and not returned to the Battery.

World War II (1941-1945)

In 1944 the war reserve and battle allowances of ammunition for the two batteries was:

Battery Range
Battery Guthrie 16,600 90
Battery Smith 16,600 90
HE = High Explosive AP = Amour Piercing

Current Status

Part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area (GGNRA) administered by the National Park Service. No guns or mounts in place.

Location: Fort Barry, Marin County, California

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.827311 Long: -122.532127

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  • Elevation: 236.6'



Visited: 19 Aug 2009

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