After war broke out on December
7th 1941, the War Department made an immediate effort to
shore up the aging defenses around the Los Angeles harbor in
preparation for a possible west coast attack by the
Japanese. Part of this build up involved the transfer of two
eight inch railway guns from the east coast.
The rail cars and gun carriages, built by the Baldwin
Locomotive Works, mounted a single MKVI-M3-A2 naval
gun on a army designed carriage. These new guns with their
forty-seven degree elevation could easily hurl their
five-hundred pound projectiles for up to twenty miles. The
guns also featured a unique rotating turntable built right
on the carriage enabling the gun to fire 360 degrees from
the track and without a complicated prepared position like
those used for Battery Erwin.
The two guns were assigned to
the Manhattan Beach Military Reservation, where a spur track
and two false sided buildings had been constructed as
shelters. The shelters were built to resemble two oversized
farmhouses in order to disguise the guns from enemy agents,
aircraft, or submarines that might be watching the coast.
Upon their arrival, the two guns were integrated into the
Harbor Defenses of Los Angeles and given the names Battery