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Part of the Harbor Defense of San Francisco.
The 800 acre reservation for Fort Cronkhite was acquired in 1937 to house a battery of two 16” long range guns and the necessary support facilities for its operation. Construction on the 16” Battery Townsley began in 1938 on top of Wolf Ridge and was completed in 1940. The support cantonment was built below the battery during late 1940 and early 1941. The cantonment consisted of temporary World War II style barracks, mess halls and administrative wooden frame buildings, many of which survive today. The post was first garrisoned 20 Jun 1941 by Battery E of the 6th Coast Artillery, just five months before the start of World War II.