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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Fort Rosecrans - December 1941 Re-enactment - Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego

Cabrillo National Monument, usually known for the Point Loma Lighthouse and great views of San Diego Bay, was transformed this morning into the old Fort Rosecrans of December 1941, in the days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Historical re-enactors manned the observation and fire-control stations of the coastal artillery batteries. There were also anti-aircraft gun emplacements set up - which came in handy when a WWII-era plane came buzzing over the Point. Luckily for the pilot the soldiers determined it was a wayward U.S. Navy SNJ, and they didn't shoot it down.

The concrete fire-control bunker is buried in the rock of the western edge of Point Loma, with narrow slits for observation ports looking out over the ocean. The bunker has three levels, the lower rooms reached by a ladder through a hole in the floor of the upper level.

I got a laugh out of listening to a fairly young guy try to explain the funny-looking "computer thing" to his young child. The child recognized the "keyboard", but just could not understand the rest of it.

Meanwhile, up on the bluffs the machine guns, some under camouflage netting,  stood ready to defend Point Loma and San Diego Bay from an air attack.

All of a sudden we heard the distinctive sound of a piston-engine aircraft, followed by the wail of the hand-cranked air raid siren.

Everyone looked to the sky to see what it was.

The Military History Exhibit at Cabrillo National Monument is open most days. In it you can find a good explanation of how the coastal defense batteries operated. The recently restored fire-control bunker is apparently going to be open to the public on the fourth Saturday of each month going forward. I've been visiting Point Loma and Cabrillo National Monument since I came to San Diego in late 1980, and I've always wanted to see what was in those bunkers. The volunteers have done an amazing job of restoring it, and it is certainly worth visiting. I also think its great that the National Park Service recognized the importance of allowing the restoration to be done and allowing access to the public. 

Click here to see more pictures from today's re-enactment of Fort Rosecrans in 1941, at Cabrillo National Monument.

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San Diego, California, United States
About me . . . When I'm not working I like to be out exploring and photographing. I do this blog just for fun, and to be able to share these images with friends. I hope you enjoy viewing these images as much as I enjoyed creating them.

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Header image: Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Cibola, Arizona. End image: Downtown San Diego, California skyline from Coronado Island. Profile picture: Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, by Heather Baiamonte.