Battery Townsley

Battery Townsley was top secret in WWII, and was a casemated battery with two 16" caliber guns (aka battleship guns) that shot one ton armor-piercing shells 25 miles out to sea. Kaboom!

2 pages / 18 photos

Rodeo Beach, Battery Townsley photo

Rodeo Beach

Battery Townsley is just north of the Golden Gate, and stands guard over the entrance to the San Francisco Bay. Here we are looking south down the coast, with Rodeo Beach and Fort Cronkhite in the foreground.

Battery Townsley - 1938, Battery Townsley photo

Battery Townsley - 1938

The battery was constructed in 1938. It took almost two years, until the summer of 1940, to get the big guns and complex ready to fire rounds of live ammunition.

Tunnel anchor, Battery Townsley photo

Tunnel anchor

The battery had two main tunnels and a labyrinth of interconnected side bunkers.

Tunnel, Battery Townsley photo


Rusty Anchor, Battery Townsley photo

Rusty Anchor

These anchors were used to pull the big guns through the tunnels (the guns had to be replaced on a regular basis).

Iron work, Battery Townsley photo

Iron work

Off Limits, Battery Townsley photo

Off Limits

The metalwork in the battery complex is in a state of beautiful decay.

Off Limits, Battery Townsley photo

Off Limits

Big shells, Battery Townsley photo

Big shells

16-inch Shells, Battery Townsley photo

16-inch Shells

The artillery shells for the 16-inch caliber guns were huge.