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The bunkers of Point Loma

New guns came in 1943

Remaining bunker
Remaining bunker

During World War II, anti-motor torpedo boat guns at Point Loma protected San Diego harbor from attack. Capable of downing enemy vessels or aircraft over four miles distant, the more accurate and rapid-firing 90mm guns were installed in 1943 to replace the World War I-era 155mm cannons that previously guarded the port.

Open Bunker Day

When the war began, the battery was tagged to serve as anti-submarine, but the rolling guns needed to be mounted for accuracy at distance. The emplacements, installed by April of 1942, were called Panama Mounts because they were first used in defense of the Panama Canal. But the old guns were slow to fire, and though they had a greater range, their accuracy, even with the mounts, was suspect. The new guns were ordered, built and installed by August of 1943.

The new battery’s effective range was about 4.5 miles. Each weapon required a crew of 15, nine in the gun squad and six in the ammunition squad. No battle visited San Diego during the war, and though there were sixty-one reports of possible enemy submarines or other vessels within range of the guns on Point Loma, they were only fired in practice at benign targets. The guns were deactivated in 1946 and most of the placements were razed and graded over in the 1960s. Only a few of the bunkers for the supporting crews, observation, and ammunition storage remain.

Every Saturday, WWII re-enactors bring the coastal defenses of Point Loma to life.

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Remaining bunker
Remaining bunker

During World War II, anti-motor torpedo boat guns at Point Loma protected San Diego harbor from attack. Capable of downing enemy vessels or aircraft over four miles distant, the more accurate and rapid-firing 90mm guns were installed in 1943 to replace the World War I-era 155mm cannons that previously guarded the port.

Open Bunker Day

When the war began, the battery was tagged to serve as anti-submarine, but the rolling guns needed to be mounted for accuracy at distance. The emplacements, installed by April of 1942, were called Panama Mounts because they were first used in defense of the Panama Canal. But the old guns were slow to fire, and though they had a greater range, their accuracy, even with the mounts, was suspect. The new guns were ordered, built and installed by August of 1943.

The new battery’s effective range was about 4.5 miles. Each weapon required a crew of 15, nine in the gun squad and six in the ammunition squad. No battle visited San Diego during the war, and though there were sixty-one reports of possible enemy submarines or other vessels within range of the guns on Point Loma, they were only fired in practice at benign targets. The guns were deactivated in 1946 and most of the placements were razed and graded over in the 1960s. Only a few of the bunkers for the supporting crews, observation, and ammunition storage remain.

Every Saturday, WWII re-enactors bring the coastal defenses of Point Loma to life.

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In 1943, the Army decided that any threat to US coasts and ports was small. A great many troops were staffing guns all along the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf coasts. So, it decided to take those artillerists and move them to the field artillery. (While the guns used were different, guns were guns, and those trained people could quickly transition. Many of them ended up overseas before the war ended.) Then at the end of the war, the Army took a long, hard look at the need for coastal artillery and decided that it was obsolete. The conclusion was that aircraft could attack and eliminate invading enemy ships far out to sea, and that guns would not come into play. And so the Coast Artillery branch of the Army was eliminated in the 1940's.

May 30, 2018

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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