Battery Wallace (2)

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Battery Wallace (2) (1921-1948) - Battery Wallace was a reinforced concrete, World War I 12 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Barry, Marin County, California. The battery was named in G.O. 63, 12 May 1919, after Colonel Elmer J. Wallace, Coast Artillery Corps, who died 5 Nov 1918 at Somlly, France. Battery construction started in 1917, was completed in 1921 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 24 Jun 1921 at a cost of $ 273,464.41. The Battery was later casemated in 1942-1943 at a cost of $ 758,241.67 and re-transferred 16 Nov 1943. Deactivated in 1948.

Battery Wallace, Gun Emplacement #1 Back Entrance
Battery Wallace, Gun Emplacement #2 Front
Battery Wallace March 1938 aerial view with guns in place before being casemated

World War I

Part of the Harbor Defense of San Francisco.

Originally built as a concrete coastal gun battery with two 12" M1895MI guns mounted on M1917 Barbette carriages positioned on open concrete pads that provided a 360 degree (ARF) field of fire. The carriages were built to provide a 35-degree maximum elevation with a corresponding increase of maximum range to 29,300 yards. The two concrete gun platforms were constructed 1917-1918 and the magazines and service rooms were constructed 1919-1921. No hoists were required as the shells and powder were stored on the same level as the loading platform. The guns were mounted in November 1917.

The magazine and service rooms were located in a concrete structure between and in back of the gun positions. The roof of the structure was 11' of concrete reinforced with I beams and that was covered with not less than 5' of earth. There were four 12' 6" by 50' powder rooms and three shell rooms, 1 large shell room 10' by 101' and two smaller ones 13' by 32'. A power room was located between the two smaller shell rooms. An overhead trolly system brought the 2,400-pound projectiles to each of the gun emplacements. There were two BC Stations on the top of the building and two plotting rooms below

At a proof firing in 1928, gun #68 was damaged and was returned to the Watervliet Arsenal 7 Dec 1928. The replacement tube #75 was shipped from Fort Hancock (2) to Fort Barry on 10 Jan 1929. M1895MIA4 gun tubes #44 and #63 were shipped from Watervliet Arsenal to Battery Wallace as spares 20 Apr 1939 and retained at the battery. The gun records indicate that all of the guns were converted to the MI-A4 variety although the December 1943 RCW indicates that the two mounted guns are MI variety and the two spares are MI-A2 variety.

Battery Wallace Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 12" Rifle 442.56" M1895MI A4 61 Watervliet Barbette, M1917, #2, Watertown 1921-1948 See note 1
2 12" Rifle 442.56" M1895MI A4 68 Watervliet Barbette, M1917, #3, Watertown 1921-1928 See note 2
2 12" Rifle 442.56" M1895MI A4 75 Watervliet Barbette, M1917, #3, Watertown 1929-1948 See note 3
Spare 12" Rifle 442.56" M1895MI A4 44 Watervliet N/A See note 4
Spare 12" Rifle 442.56" M1895MI A4 63 Watervliet N/A See note 4
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 Oct 1921, Dec 1943, CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 154-155, 215
Note 1: Gun transferred from Watervliet 12 Dec 1917, carriage transferred from Watertown 27 Feb 1918. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Note 2: Gun transferred from Watervliet 20 Dec 1917 and back to Watervliet 7 Dec 1928. Carriage transferred from Watertown 27 Feb 1918. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Note 3: Gun transferred from Watervliet 10 Jan 1929. Carriage transferred from Watertown 27 Feb 1918. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Note 4: Guns transferred from Watervliet 20 Apr 1939 as spares. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery Wallace Plan 1921

World War II

Early in World War II (7 May 1942), a directive was issued to casemate Battery Wallace to protect it from enemy aircraft. The existing gun emplacements were used as well as much of the existing magazine and service rooms but the whole complex was covered and the connecting passageways between the gun emplacements and the magazine were converted to concrete tunnels. Large concrete casemates were built around the gun emplacements, a new power room was built, rear entrances to the gun position casemates, gas-proof doors were added and prison type fold down bunks were installed in the new corridors for the ready crews. The completed modifications were accepted on 16 Nov 1943.

Battery Wallace Plan 1943

In 1948 Battery Wallace was declared surplus and the guns were salvaged.

Current Status

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

Location: Fort Barry, Marin County, California

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.824608 Long: -122.528262

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  • Elevation: 239.25'



Visited: 19 Aug 2009

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