image of WWII batteriesTales of W.W.II in San Francisco have been passed down through the generations.  This is a continuation of one of those stories.  Chapter 8: My grandfather is pictured here posting a National Guardsman at the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge.  One of his duties was to deter saboteurs.  Supposedly he stopped an enemy infiltrator from dropping a grenade down the stack of the U.S.S. Hornet, which was heading out to sea with Doolittle’s Raiders.  At the time it was suspected that this person was most likely a member of the Black Dragon Society, a covert Japanese spy organization.

There was another rumor of a mini sub (which is nothing more than a hollowed out torpedo outfitted with navigational apparatus) from the Japanese I25 vessel maneuvering through the maze of minefields and past the anti-sub net to enter the

San Francisco Bay.

Protecting the Golden Gate:

Protecting the Golden Gate began with the 17 “batteries” each manned by approximately 125 men.  They lived at these installations for weeks at a time. Moral suffered as they tried to maintain a high state of readiness through long periods with little to do. If the big guns failed to stop an enemy vessel, the next line of defense was 600 underwater mines.  My uncle aided in the operation of the anti-submarine net, which spanned the length of the Bridge and was opened and closed by a civilian trawler as military ships were in short supply.

To catch up on the previous 7 chapters of W.W.II in San Francisco, click on W.W.II at the bottom of this page.