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10-inch Disappearing Rifle, Battery Wilkeson. Courtesy FGMF Collection

C Battery Wilkeson (1897-1943)

Battery Wilkeson is the oldest standing United States military battery in San Diego. Major Charles E.L.B. Davis, U.S.A., designed and submitted the plans for Battery Wilkeson to the Army Corps of Engineers on October 29, 1896. California Construction Company of San Francisco began construction on February 1, 1897 and completed work on March 9, 1898. While the 10-inch disappearing rifles were being installed, the United States declared the Spanish American War in April 1898 and fortified the harbor with underwater mines. Night illumination relied on kerosene lanterns and communication was by foot messenger and signal flags. Firing of the 10-inch guns shattered windows in downtown San Diego and projectiles traveled up to two miles out to sea. The guns defended San Diego from 1898 through the first few years of World War II.

D Battery John White (1916-1943)

The Coast Artillery Corps completed two 12-inch mortar batteries in Power House Canyon, southwest of the Post in 1916 to serve in World Wars I and II. The guns were scrapped in 1943, when two 16-inch guns were installed at the top of Point Loma.


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