The Golden Gate gets a big gun

A 16-inch deck gun from the battleship USS Missouri will be installed in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area at of the huge batteries that once protected the coast from potential Japanese attack.

A 16-inch gun that used to be on the USS Missouri is about to be installed in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, near San Francisco. U.S. Library of Congress

Visitors to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, just north of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, will soon be able to check out a massive new World War II-era battleship gun.

The 16-inch gun, originally mounted on the USS Missouri, saw significant action during World War II, and according to the National Park Service, is featured prominently in photographs of the Japanese surrender ceremony that took place aboard the Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945. It will soon be installed in Battery Townsley, in the Marin Headlands area of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Armed with two 16-inch guns in 1939 in preparation for World War II, Battery Townsley, located in the Marin Headlands just north and west of San Francisco, was meant to give the U.S. military a 25-mile range for shooting incoming attackers. The new 16-inch gun is being installed here. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Weighing in at 120 tons, the 68-foot-long weapon is the same size and caliber of other large guns that were used to protect the San Francisco Bay from attack during World War II. The gun has been in storage at the Naval Weapons Depot in Hawthorne, Nev., since the Korean War.

The gun, "designated U.S. Navy Mark VII #386, will be displayed as a key interpretive feature of Fort Cronkhite," the Park Service Web site reads, "helping tell the stories of Battery Townsley and the men who served here and at the other harbor defense sites during World War II, as well as the military's role in preserving the future Golden Gate National Recreation Area."

The gun is lifted into the air on a gantry prior to be loaded onto trucks for its trip from Hawthorne, Nev. to the San Francisco Bay Area. National Park Service

The gun is expected to be installed at Battery Townsley in the coming months, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

 

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