Fort Funston

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Fort Funston (1917-1975) - Established in Dec 1900 and initially named Lake Merced Military Reservation in San Francisco County, California. Construction as a coastal fort did not begin until Feb 1917. The post was renamed Fort Funston for Major General Frederick L. Funston, a Medal of Honor recipient, a legendary figure in the Philippine insurrection and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

Fort Funston Sign
Fort Funston Base End Station
Fort Funston Cantonment Area


Part of the Harbor Defense of San Francisco.
Fort Funston Plan 1920

World War I (1917-1918)

The original 45 acre land purchase for Lake Merced Military Reservation in 1900 was made with the intent of building two Endicott Period mortar batteries on the land. The construction never took place and it was not until 1917, during World War I, that construction of the mortar Battery Howe and the 5" rapid fire Battery Bruff began. Both of these batteries were armed from existing batteries on Fort Winfield Scott. The Lake Merced Military Reservation was expanded to the south in 1917 with an additional 150 acres and wooden frame buildings were built to support the cadre.

Post World War I

In 1920 Battery Bruff was disarmed as a part of the 1920 disarmament program. In 1925 an Anti-Aircraft battery was added and in 1935 the massive Battery Davis (2) was begun with two casemated 16" Naval guns. In 1937 Battery Bluff was begun with mounts for four 155mm rapid fire guns in Panama Mounts.

Fort Funston Post World War I Battery (edit list)
Click on Battery links below
No. Caliber Type Mount Service Years Notes
Battery Davis (2) 2 16" LR Barbette Carriage in Casemate 1936-1940-1940-1948 Navy Guns
Battery Howe (2) 4 12" Mortar 1917-1918-1919-1945 Mortars from Battery McKinnon
Fort Winfield Scott (2)
Battery Bruff 2 5" Pedestal 1917-1918-1919-1920 Guns from Battery Sherwood
Fort Winfield Scott (2)
Source: CDSG

World War II (1941-1945)

During World War II several mobile gun installations were placed around the fixed batteries as Anti-Aircraft protection.

Fort Funston World War II Battery (edit list)
Click on Battery links below
No. Caliber Type Mount Service Years Notes
Battery Bluff 4 155mm GPF Panama Mounts 1941-1942-1943-1945 Mobile guns
Battery AA5 3 3" Pedestal AA 1920-19??-19??-1945 Fixed mounts
Source: CDSG

Cold War

During the Cold War the post housed several components of the SF-59L and SF-61 Nike Missile system. The SF-59L site now serves as the park parking lot.

Current Status

The original cantonment area was transferred to the City and County of San Francisco, a portion was retained by the Department of the Army and permitted to the California National Guard for the housing of an Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion. In 1975 the City of San Francisco signed over their portion of the property to the National Park Service with provisions that they would keep it as an "open space necessary to urban environment and planning" and the area became a part of the regional Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Location: Lake Merced, San Francisco County, California

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.71859 Long: -122.500906


  • Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 68
  • U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project Harbor Defenses of San Francisco, (CCA-P-SFB), 15 Nov 1945, CDSG


Visited: 24 Aug 2009

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