Battery Wagner (2)

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Battery Wagner (2) (1901-1917) - Battery Wagner was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 5 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Baker (1), Marin County, California. The battery was named in G.O. 194, 17 Dec 1904 after 1st Lt. Orlando G. Wagner, U.S. Engineers, Bvt. Major, mortally wounded at the U.S. Civil War siege of Yorktown, Virginia on April 16, 1862. Battery construction started in 1899, was completed in 1901 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 12 Aug 1901 at a cost of $ 25,000. Deactivated in 1917.

Battery Wagner from Above
Battery Wagner Emplacement #1

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of San Francisco.

Battery Wagner Fire Control Station

Originally built as an Endicott Period concrete coastal gun battery with two 5" M1897 guns mounted on M1896 Balanced Pillar carriages. Each of the two gun emplacements has a 13' 3" by 24' 9" magazine located on the lower floor with the gun mounted on the upper level. There are no powder or shell hoists and the ammunition is brought up from below as a complete cartridge. There are two 10' by 16' rooms, one for the guard detail and one for the battery commanding officer. On the right side of the battery are the latrines and on the left is an oil room. Electrical power was provided from Battery Spencer for lighting only.

In 1910 a fire control station for Battery Wagner bas built about 110' behind and above the Battery, it was accepted for service 5 Aug 1910 at a cost of $4,850.00.

Battery Wagner Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 5" Rifle 225" M1897 21 Bethlehem Balanced Pillar, M1896, #11, Bethlehem 1901-1917 See note 1
2 5" Rifle 225" M1897 19 Bethlehem Balanced Pillar, M1896, #10, Bethlehem 1901-1917 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Mar 1920, 1 Oct 1927, 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, 215.
Note 1: Guns transferred to Morgan 20 Mar 1918, carriages ordered scrapped 26 May 1920
Battery Wagner 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. On 24 Aug 1917 the two 5" M1897 guns in Battery Wagner were ordered dismounted for use abroad. By 18 Jul 1918 they were noted as having been transferred for service abroad. The gun cards indicate that the guns were transferred on 31 Dec 1917 to Morgan Engineering for conversion to wheeled carriages. These guns did make their way to France in August of 1918 and returned 7 Jun 1919 to Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG). Battery Wagner was not rearmed.

Current Status

Part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area (GGNRA) administered by the National Park Service. No period guns or mounts in place. On this visit the battery was covered with graffiti. Easy access via unpaved road from the Battery Spencer parking area.

Location: Fort Baker, Marin County, California

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.827408 Long: -122.485968

  • Multi Maps from ACME
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  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 299.6'



Visited: 20 Aug 2009

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