Battery McGrath

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Battery McGrath (1900-1945) - Battery McGrath was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 5 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Rosecrans, San Diego County, California. The battery was named in G.O. 16, 14 Feb 1902, after Hugh J. McGrath (Cullum 2850), 4th U.S. Cavalry, who died 7 Nov 1899, of wounds received in action at Noveleta, Luzon, Philippine Islands, on 8 Oct 1899. Battery construction started in August 1899, was completed in March 1900 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 17 Nov 1900 at a cost of $ 18,203.71. Deactivated in 1945.

Fort Rosecrans, Battery McGrath
Fort Rosecrans, Battery McGrath Entrance
Fort Rosecrans, Battery McGrath 2014

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of San Diego.

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with two 5" M1897 guns mounted on M1896 Balance pillar carriages. 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 hand. No shell or powder hoists were provided. Electrical power was furnished by the emplacement power plant in Battery Calef-Wilkeson

Battery McGrath Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
Original Armament
1 5" Rifle 225" M1897 14 Bethlehem Balance pillar, M1896,
#29, Detrick & Harvey
1900-1917 See note 1
Gun to France
2 5" Rifle 225" M1897 7 Bethlehem Balance pillar, M1896,
#30, Detrick & Harvey
1900-1917 See note 1
Gun to France
Replacement Armament from Battery Meed
1 3" Rifle 170" M1903 47 Watervliet Pedestal, M1903,
#66, Watertown
1919-1943 See note 2
2 3" Rifle 170" M1903 69 Watervliet Pedestal, M1903,
#67, Watertown
1919-1943 See note 2
Source: RCB, 31 Dec 1907, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 88-89
Note 1: Guns transferred to Morgan 26 Sep 1917, carriages removed 28 Jul 1918 and scrapped 12 Dec 1918. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Note 2: Guns and carriages obsolete 18 Oct 1945, processed for salvaging 7 Mar 1946. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery McGrath 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. The guns of Battery McGrath were dismounted and removed for service abroad on 26 Sep 1917. The emplacements were modified for 3" Pedestal mounted M1903 guns from Battery Meed and the guns were mounted in Battery McGrath in 1919.

World War II (1941-1945)

Battery McGrath was a part of the Harbor Defenses of San Diego plan through 1945.

Current Status

Active Navy military installation, no public access. No period guns or mounts in place. Battery structure is currently in use for storage.

Location: Fort Rosecrans, San Diego County, California

Maps & Images

Lat: 32.68182 Long: -117.238659

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: Gun #1=72.985', Gun #2=72.995'

See Also:


  • U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project of San Diego, (HDSD-AN-45), 1 Jul 1945, CDSG


Visited: 2 Oct 2014

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