Southern California II

Camp Andrade | Camp Arcadia | Balboa Park Barracks | Fort at Ballast Point | Camp Beacom
Bolsa Chica Res. | Camp Cactus | Camp Calexico | Camp Callan | Camp Campo
Coronado Beach Res. | Coronado Heights Res. | Costa Mesa Battery | Don Battery
Camp El Centro | Camp Elliott | Fort Emory | Camp Gibson | Camp Haan | Camp Hearn
Camp Holcomb | Camp Holtville | Camp Howard (2) | Camp Irwin | Fort Irwin
Camp Kearny (2) | Camp La Mesa | Camp Lockett | Long Point Res. | Fort MacArthur
Mojave AAA Gun Range | Camp Morena | Naples Battery | Camp Otay
Outer Santa Barbara Channel Radar Stations | Camp Palm City | Fort Pio Pico
Point Dume Radar Station | Camp Pratt | Redondo Beach Battery | Fort Rosecrans
Camp Rousseau | Camp San Diego | San Diego Radar Stations
San Pedro Channel Radar Stations | Santa Barbara Channel Defenses
Santa Barbara Channel Radar Stations | Santa Monica Bay Defenses
Camp San Ysidro | Camp Seaside | Camp Seeley | Camp Taliaferro | Tecate Post
Camp Thomas | Camp Vista | Camp Weber | White Point Res.

Los Angeles Cold War AAA Defenses
(NOT INDEXED)

Northern California - page 1 | Central California - page 2
San Francisco Bay Area - page 3 | Sonoma-Marin Headlands - page 4
Southern California I - page 5

CALIFORNIA STATE MILITARY MUSEUM

Last Update: 12/OCTOBER/2014
Compiled by Pete Payette - 2014 American Forts Network

TEMPORARY HARBOR DEFENSES, VENTURA GROUP

Santa Barbara Channel Defenses
(1942 - 1944), various locations
All of the following have been destroyed: Two-gun 155mm batteries with Panama mounts at Port Hueneme, Oxnard (at Oxnard Shores), Ventura (Emma Wood State Beach) mounts in surf, and Santa Barbara (near Coast Guard Station). Two 40mm AMTB guns were located at the Port Hueneme harbor entrance. The Port Hueneme battery later became a sub-unit of the Los Angeles Harbor Defenses in 1944. The other locations were discontinued. There were ten searchlight positions for these defenses. 75mm field guns (1942 - 1944) were emplaced at Dulah, Punta Gorda, Coal Oil Point, Naples, and El Capitan (State Beach). Camp Seaside (1930 - 1945) was located in Ventura. Camp Rousseau (1943 - 1946) was located in Oxnard.

Early Warning Air Defense Radar Sites
(1942 - 1945),
Point Arguello aka Station B-30 (SCR-270). Site now within Vandenberg Air Force Base (no public access).
Point Conception aka Station J-31. Shut down in 1944.
Goleta aka Station X-33 (SCR-271).
Hueneme Point aka Station L-35.
Santa Rosa Island aka Station J-38 (SCR-271) at South Point (Channel Islands National Park).


HARBOR DEFENSES of LOS ANGELES
Los Angeles Harbor Defenses from CA State Military Museum
Harbor Defense of Los Angeles - FORT WIKI

Santa Monica Bay Defenses
(1942 - 1945), various locations
All of the following have been destroyed: Battery Eubanks (1942 - 1945 railway battery), located at Manhattan Beach. Two-gun 155mm batteries with Panama mounts at El Segundo (1942 - 1943) (one magazine uncovered in 2000), and Pacific Palisades (1942 - 1943). El Sugundo was later armed with two 6-inch naval guns on concrete mounts. The two 155mm guns came from a field emplacement at Playa del Rey (1942). A three-gun 155mm battery on Panama mounts was located at Rocky Point (Palos Verdes Point). Fire-control stations in this area were once located at Bluff Cove, Hermosa Beach, and Playa del Rey.
(El Segundo info courtesy of Sam Stokes of the Coast Defense Study Group)

An early warning air defense radar site (SCR-270) was located at Point Dume (Station B-36) near Malibu (shut down in 1944).

Fort MacArthur
(Angels Gate Park)
(1888/1914 - 1975/present), San Pedro
Divided into the Lower (Bottomside and Middleside) and Upper (Topside) Reservations. Batteries on or near the Upper Reservation are the combined Batteries Osgood and Farley (1917 - 1944), Batteries Leary and Merriam (1917 - 1944), both of which were converted into harbor entrance control posts (HECP) in 1944, combined mortar Batteries Barlow and Saxton (1917 - 1944), Battery 241 (1948 - 1956) now under the Korean Bell Pavilion, Anti Motor Torpedo Boat Battery Gaffey Bulge (1943 - 1946), and Battery Hogsdon (1928 - 1945) a two-gun 155mm field battery that was emplaced on Panama mounts in 1942. There were three two-gun 3-inch AA batteries from 1920 - 1945 near the Korean Bell Pavilion. A fourth AA position was built in 1942. Several fire-control stations still exist throughout the post. Two still remain at Point Fermin near the Point Fermin Lighthouse (1874). A NIKE missile control site (LA-43 C) was located on Topside from 1954 - 1974, near Battery Merriam (missile launchers at White Point). A 90mm AA battery may have been located here in 1953 - 1956. The Angles Gate Cultural Center is now located here, among other organizations and institutions.

Located at or near the Lower Reservation were Battery Erwin (1926 - 1946 railway battery) partially destroyed, JAAN Battery 1 (1942 - 1946) at Cabrillo Beach, and Anti Motor Torpedo Boat (AMTB) Battery Navy Field (1943 - 1946) probably buried. Camp Gibson (1917 - 1919) was a WWI training camp. The NIKE missile regional headquarters for the Los Angeles air defense was located here at Middleside (LA-45 DC). The Air Force still uses most the Lower Reservation (Middleside) as housing for personnel of the Air Force Space Division based at El Segundo. No public access. Other parts (Bottomside) were destroyed in the 1980's for the Cabrillo Marina. See also CA State Military Museum entry

White Point Military Reservation
(White Point Park)
(White Point Nature Preserve)
(1942 - 1948/1975), San Pedro
On White Point was Battery Bunker / 127 (1944 - 1948). A four-gun 90mm AA battery was here in 1956. A NIKE missile launch site (LA-43 L) was here 1956 - 1974. The 102-acre White Point parcel owned by the City of Los Angeles was preserved as natural open space in December 1999. In May 2000, the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and the 15th Council District formally dedicated the space as a nature preserve and in 2003, this scenic landscape was opened to the public for all to enjoy. The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy currently has a 25-year management agreement with the City of Los Angeles to restore the coastal sage scrub, cactus scrub, and grasslands habitat. The White Point Nature Center opened in May 2010.

Long Point Military Reservation
(Point Vicente Park)
(1930 - 1960's), Rancho Palos Verdes
Battery Barnes / 240 (1944 - 1950's) is located on Point Vicente. This area is now used by the Coast Guard (Point Vicente Lighthouse (1926)). A two-gun 155mm battery (1942) with Panama mounts was located on Long Point (unofficially named Battery Tucker). It has been destroyed. Two 1942 fire-control stations have been destroyed. Six older 1930's fire-control stations still exist in good condition. The reservation became a NIKE missile launch site (LA-55) from 1954 - 1974. The Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall is located in the former NIKE support buildings. The Point Vicente Interpretive Center was built in 1984, expanded in 2006.

Of interest nearby is Portugese Bend Whaling Station historic site.

Bolsa Chica Military Reservation
(Bolsa Chica Marine Reserve)
(1942 - 1948), Sunset Beach
Originally the location of a gun club. The clubhouse became the Army barracks. Batteries here were Battery 128 (1944) destroyed 1995, Battery Harrison / 242 (1944 - 1948) guns transferred to Battery 241, destroyed 1995, and a two-gun 155mm battery (1942) Panama mounts still remain. Battery 128's plotting room casemate and reserve magazine still exists, now on private property. One fire-control tower, built to look like an oil derrick, was once located at Huntington Beach. Another was once located overlooking Newport Harbor.

To the south of here, at Costa Mesa, was a three-gun 155mm battery on Panama mounts (1942 - 1943) that has been destroyed. Now an oil field. Another fire-control station was once located at Abalone Point (destroyed 1950).

ALSO: On Terminal Island was AMTB Battery Terminal Island (1943 - 1946), which is destroyed. Bluff Park in Long Beach is the site of JAAN Battery 2 (1942 - 1946) and AMTB Battery Bluff Park (1943 - 1946) covered. Battery Lodor (1919 - 1927) was located on Deadman's Island, which has been destroyed. The four guns from Battery Lodor were transferred to JAAN Batteries #1 and #2 in 1942. Ten 37mm AA guns were once located on the Harbor Breakwater (Angel's Gate Lighthouse (1913)). Two 155mm guns were field emplaced at Redondo Beach 1942 - 1943.

A practice firing range for the 14-inch railway guns in the 1930's was once located at Don (San Onofre State Beach), near Camp Pendleton; and another also at Naples, north of Santa Barbara.

Additional fire-control stations were once located at Landing Hill / Seal Beach (one mile inland); the old Hilton Hotel cupola in Long Beach (still remains); and at Sea Bench (six 1930's stations, one 1942 station). There was a Naval observation post on Santa Barbara Island (Channel Islands National Park). There were 25 searchlight emplacements from Laguna Beach to Santa Monica.

Early warning air defense radar sites (SCR-270 or SCR-271) for the San Pedro Channel were located at Laguna Beach (Station X-40) (shut down in 1944); and Santa Ana (Station L-39).

Early warning air defense radar sites (SCR-270 or SCR-271) for the Outer Santa Barbara Channel were located at Santa Catalina Island (Station J-41) at Camp Cactus (1942 - 1945) on Cactus Peak (el. 1560 feet); San Nicolas Island (Station J-42) (U.S. Naval Reservation) (no public access); and San Clemente Island (Station B-3) (U.S. Naval Reservation) (no public access). See also World War II on Catalina Island Virtual Tour from eCatalina.com


Camp Pratt
(1898), Los Angeles
A Spanish-American War muster-out camp for state troops. Located at the horse track at Agricultural Park (present-day Exposition Park).

Camp Arcadia
(1918 - 1919), Arcadia
An Army Balloon School located at the Baldwin Racetrack. Became Ross Army Air Field in 1919 shortly before it was closed.


Cold War AAA Defenses of Los Angeles
(1953 - 1957), Los Angeles area
Several permanent sites were established for the Army's Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA) Gun Site Program, the precursor to the NIKE missile defense program. Four 90mm AA guns were positioned at each site, with troop barracks and other support buildings. Known sites include:
Van Nuys (1953 - 1954): battery headquarters only (?), at Birmingham Army Hospital, 6631 Balboa Ave. (now Birmingham High School and West Valley Special Ed. Center) (LA-96).
Manhattan Beach (1953 - 1957 ?): undetermined.
Fort MacArthur (1953 - 1957 ?): battery headquarters only (?), on post (LA-43).
White Point Reservation (1956): on post (LA-43).
Long Beach (1956): undetermined (LA-40).
Starston (1953 - 1954): undetermined (LA-32).

NIKE missile defense sites (1954 - 1974) are beyond the scope of this website.

See also NIKE Sites of the Los Angeles Defense Area from Fort MacArthur Museum Association


Camp Haan
(1941 - 1946), Riverside
An AAA training center adjacent to March Army Air Field (March USAF Base). The main site of the actual training was at Mojave Gun Range (now Fort Irwin). Post later became a POW camp and disciplinary barracks. Site is now a VA Cemetery, golf course and housing for March Air Base. Some concrete foundations still remain.

Fort Irwin (U.S. Military Reservation)
(1940 - present), near Barstow
Established in 1940 as the Mojave Anti-Aircraft Gun Range (MAAR) for anti-aircraft gun training. Renamed Camp Irwin in 1942. Renamed in 1961 as a permanent post. Various field artillery, engineer, and armored units trained here for the Pacific, Korea, and Vietnam theaters. Operated by the CA National Guard from 1972 to 1980. Became a Regular Army post again with the activation of the National Training Center in 1981, for use by Regular Army, Army Reserve, and National Guard training. On post in Building #222 on C Avenue is the NTC - 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Museum.
(NOTE: "Mojave" is generally spelled with a "J" west of the Colorado River, and spelled with an "H" east of the Colorado River. Both are pronounced the same.)

Camp Vista
(1942 - 1944), near Vista
An Infantry defense post and battalion base camp located at a former 1930's C.C.C. camp.


HARBOR DEFENSES of SAN DIEGO
San Diego Harbor Defenses from CA State Military Museum
Cabrillo - The Guns of San Diego Historic Resource Study from NPS
Early Point Loma Photos from SSC Pacific (US Navy)
Harbor Defense of San Diego - FORT WIKI

Fort Rosecrans
(Point Loma Naval Base) (Cabrillo National Monument)
(1873 - 1949/present), San Diego
Originally located here was Spanish Fort Guijarros (see page 5).
Fort Rosecrans was named as such in 1899, but the original military post was established in 1852 as Camp Point Loma, later known as Post at San Diego (see page 5). An earthwork battery, called Fort at Ballast Point, was constructed in 1873 on Ballast Point. It was never completed. Cabrillo National Monument was set aside and formally established in 1913. State marker

The post was divided into five sections in WWII for tactical purposes; North, West, East, Cabrillo, and Loma. The Army declared the post surplus in 1949. It became a U.S. Navy submarine support base in 1959 and headquarters of the Third Fleet. The various Navy shore commands were consolidated in 1998 as Naval Base Point Loma. Public access is currently restricted in most areas. See also Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery (state marker).
Point Loma Military History and Coastal Defense from NPS

NORTH included Battery 237 (unofficially Woodward) (1943 - 1946), Battery Strong (1941 - 1946) partially covered, Battery Zeilin (1937 - 1943) buried (one emplacement still remained until 1980's), Battery Whistler (formerly Naval Reservation Battery) (1916 - 1942) modified into Naval Arctic Research Lab, Battery North (1930's - 1937, four 155mm guns that were later relocated to Battery Imperial at Fort Emory in 1941), Battery Gillespie (1937 - 1943) at site of Battery North on modified Panama mounts (one emplacement destroyed, one buried, and another partially uncovered), and two FC stations (still remain). Three WWII FC stations are located outside the post, just north of the main gate, at Stafford Place, and have been incorporated into private homes. Batteries Zeilin and Gillespie were originally built for the Marines, transferred to the Army in late December 1941.
WEST included Battery Ashburn / 126 (1943 - 1948) modified, two 1920's FC stations, the HDCP/HECP complex with a tunnel connecting to a FC station on Cemetery Bluff, and another FC station near the HDCP (still remains).
EAST included Battery McGrath (1899 - 1917, 1919 - 1943), Battery Fetterman (1900 - 1917) destroyed in 1940, the combined Battery Wilkeson and Battery Calef (1898 - 1942) on Ballast Point (originally all four guns were Battery Wilkeson, two guns seperated as Calef in 1915, recombined in 1930's), Battery White (formerly Powerhouse Canyon Battery) (1915 - 1942), a WWII FC station at site of old Battery Fetterman (gone), the HECP radio transmitter station (now converted to modern use), the plotting room casemate for Battery Ashburn, a mine casemate at Powerhouse Canyon entrance (destroyed 1989), and AMTB Battery Pio Pico (1942), which was relocated as AMTB New Battery Fetterman (1943 - 1946, proposed named Bovee) destroyed.
CABRILLO included a FC station (destroyed for Cabrillo National Monument Visitor Center), three FC stations at Whale Lookout (still remain), three searchlight emplacements (still exist), a FC station near the lighthouse (still exists), four FC stations on the trail (still remain), a Command Post (the original HECP) now mostly buried near the lighthouse, and an SCR-682 radar on top of the command post (now gone). A 37mm AA battery (Channel Battery) was once located by the water along the trail. Point Loma Lighthouse state marker.
LOMA included AMTB Battery Cabrillo (1943 - 1946, proposed name Brady) destroyed, Battery Humphreys / 238 (1943 - 1946) modified, Battery Point Loma (1941) four 155mm guns (one Panama mount uncovered, bunkroom and ammo shelter still remain), and a FC station (still remains).

Fort Pio Pico
(North Island Naval Air Station)
(1906 - 1919, 1935 - present), Coronado
Located here was Battery Meed (1902 - 1914). It was damaged in a storm in 1914, and the guns were later transferred to Battery McGrath at Fort Rosecrans in 1919. The fort was demolished in 1922. The North Island Naval Air Station was built nearby in 1917.

Four WWII fire-control stations were once located near Spanish Bight, no remains. That site is now part of the Navy base golf course.

The U.S. Marines established Camp Thomas on North Island in 1911 during tensions with Mexico. They returned to North Island in 1914 during additional tensions with Mexico and established Camp Howard (2). The Marines relocated to Balboa Park Barracks later that year.

Coronado Beach Military Reservation
(Silver Strand State Beach)
(1897 - 1946 ?), Coronado
The planned location of an Endicott-era mortar battery that was never built. AMTB Battery Cortez (1943 - 1946, proposed name Breitung) was located here. It has been destroyed. Two WWII fire-control towers were once located here.

The Navy/Marine Corps Coronado/Silver Strand Beach Firing Range was the live-fire filming location of the gun batteries in the 1942 film "Wake Island".

Fort Emory
(Silver Strand Training Complex - U.S. Navy)
(1941 - 1948/present), Imperial Beach
Originally named Coronado Heights Military Reservation until 1942. Located here is Battery Grant / 239 (1943 - 1946), Battery Imperial (1941 - 1943) four Panama mounts covered, and Battery 134 (unofficially Gatchell) (1944 never completed). An SCR-296A radar was once located on top of Battery 239's BC station. Declared surplus by the Army in 1948, and later became the Naval Radio Receiving Facility. Now the Silver Strand Training Complex for naval special forces, a subpost of Coronado Naval Base.

Camp Callan
(Torrey Pines State Beach)
(1940 - 1945), Torrey Pines
A Coast Artillery training center for 155mm guns, and later for 90mm, 40mm, 75mm, and 3-inch AA guns. An unnamed two-gun 155mm battery located here was attached to the HD San Diego defenses. Some building foundations remain. Site is now partly UC-San Diego property. See also Military Yearbook Project by Richard Morgan

ALSO: Additional WWII fire-control stations were once located near La Jolla (Hermosa), west of La Jolla Country Club; Mount Soledad (destroyed in 1970's, near current FAA radio tower); Santa Fe, near Solana Beach County Park, off Marview Ave. (still exists); and at Border Field State Park (three stations still exist along a trail). An AAA training site ("Monument") was once located on the beach at the border with Mexico.

Early warning air defense radar sites (SCR-270 or SCR-271) were located at Oceanside (Station L-1); Mount Soledad (Station B-5) at La Jolla (el. 822 feet) (no remains); and Border Field (Station L-6) (foundation ruins). (NOTE: See also MEXICO page for additional radar stations located in northern Baja California.)

Thanks to Al Grobmeier, of the Coast Defense Study Group, for additional information on the San Diego harbor defenses.


Camp Kearny (2)
(Miramar Marine Corps Air Station)
(1917 - 1919, 1932 - 1961/present), San Diego
A Federalized National Guard cantonment and training camp for the 40th Division, later becoming a demobilization center. Closed and salvaged in 1919. The U.S. Navy later took possession and developed Miramar Naval Air Station on the site.

During the 1930's, the Navy briefly used the former base for helium dirigibles. In 1932 a mooring mast and hangar were built at the camp. The base was expanded in 1941 with new runways. The Navy commissioned Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS) Camp Kearny in February 1943 on the western portion of the reservation. In 1934 Camp Holcomb (later renamed Camp Elliott in 1940) was built on the eastern portion of old Camp Kearny (2), to be used for Marine artillery and machine gun training. In 1942 Camp Elliott became home to Fleet Marine Force Training Center, West Coast and the 2nd Marine Division, charged with defending the California coast. It was replaced by Camp Pendleton in 1942. The camp area remained under Navy control until 1961 when it was transferred to the city. Marine Corps Air Depot Camp Kearny was also established in 1942, renamed MCAD Miramar in 1943 to distinguish it from the adjacent Naval Air Station. The NAAS closed in 1946. The Marine Air Station relocated to El Toro MCAS in 1947, but the Navy returned and kept the base open. In 1969 the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School (aka TOP GUN) was established. As a result of BRAC, the Navy's TOP GUN school relocated to Nevada in 1996, and the base became MCAS Miramar in 1997. See also MCAS Miramar from CA State Military Museum

Marine Barracks Balboa Park
(1914 - 1921), San Diego
The first permanent post established for the U.S. Marines in San Diego Bay was established at Balboa Park during the Panama-California International Exposition. A new barracks post was later built at the present location at Dutch Flats in 1921, renamed Marine Corps Advanced Expeditionary Base, San Diego, then in 1924 renamed again to Marine Corps Base, Naval Operating Base, San Diego. This became headquarters of the Fleet Marine Force in 1935. The base was officially renamed Marine Corps Recruit Training Depot in 1948.

Camp San Diego
(1911 - 1917 ?), San Diego
Established by the U.S. Army for border patrol during tensions with Mexico. Exact location undetermined.

Camp Walter R. Taliaferro
(1916 - 1918), San Diego
Built by the U.S. Army for border patrol. Located on the former grounds of the Panama-California International Exposition at Balboa Park.

Camp Lawrence J. Hearn
(1916), Palm City
Built by the U.S. Army for border patrol.

Camp Palm City was here during World War I, possibly the same post.

Camp La Mesa
(1942 - 1944), La Mesa
An Infantry Battalion defense post and command center.

Camp Otay
(1910's, 1942 - 1944), Otay
Built by the CA National Guard for border patrol before WWI.

During WWII the former camp site was reoccupied as an Infantry defense post and base camp, a sub-post of Camp La Mesa. Renamed Camp Weber. Located on the northeast corner of Main Street and Albany Avenue, site now occupied by Otay Elementary School, the Otay Community Center, Otay Park, and a power substation.

Camp San Ysidro
(1912 - 1913), San Ysidro
Built by the U.S. Army for border patrol.

Tecate Post
(1911 - 1914), Tecate
Built by the U.S. Army for border patrol.

Camp Campo
(1910's), Campo
Built by the U.S. Army for border patrol, probably before WWI. Cavalry troops were known to have been posted here in 1918.

Camp Lockett
(1941 - 1946), Campo
A border patrol post initially occupied by the Horse Cavalry. After December 1941 the units at Camp Seeley and Camp Morena were consolidated here. This post was the last home of the Army's Horse Cavalry. In 1944 the post became a POW camp and convalescent hospital. Of about 400 buildings originally built, over 70 still remain.

Camp Morena
(1940 - 1941, 1989 - present), Lake Morena
A WWII Horse Cavalry mountain training camp, also used in a border patrol function. In December 1941 the units transferred to Camp Lockett for consolidation.

The camp is now used as headquarters for the CA National Guard Engineers and U.S. Border Patrol units maintaining the international border. Since 2008 it is presently administered by the U.S. Navy as a subpost of Coronado Naval Base. See also Camp Morena - U.S. Navy

Camp Seeley
(1940 - 1946), Seeley
A WWII Horse Cavalry desert training camp, also used in a border patrol function. In December 1941 the units transferred to Camp Lockett for consolidation, and the post then became an ordnance proving ground for the Armored Cavalry.

Camp El Centro
(1910's), El Centro
Built by the U.S. Army for border patrol before WWI.

Camp Holtville
(1910's), Holtville
Built by the U.S. Army for border patrol before WWI.

Camp John H. Beacom
(1911 - 1920), Calexico
Built by the U.S. Army for border patrol.

Camp Calexico
(1914 - 1916), Calexico
Built by the U.S. Army for border patrol, located one-half mile north of town.

Camp Andrade
(1910's), Andrade
Built by the U.S. Army for border patrol before WWI, located at the head of an old canal crossing the border to Algodones, Baja California, Mexico.


Special thanks to Dan Sebby, for information from the California State Military Museum website.

Northern California - page 1 | Central California - page 2 | San Francisco Bay Area - page 3
Sonoma-Marin Headlands - page 4 | Southern California I - page 5

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