Welcome to the official internet home of the
San Diego Military History Association
(and Military Optical Equipment Collectors Club)
This page is not officially
connected with the Cabrillo National Monument, or the National Park Service.
You have found the official home of the San Diego Military History Association. We are a group of
Cabrillo National Monument volunteers that are working to restore, preserve, and interpret the buildings that were once
part of Fort Rosecrans, the Army Coast Artillery fort that protected San Diego harbor from 1860 to 1950. This site is
mainly used for general information, for updates on when the bunker is open, and what we are doing, please visit:
|The base end station looking north to Battery Asburn.
|The entrance to the Base End Station
The 2013 version of CNM's Pearl Harbor commemoration is done. This year we were part of the official centennial
celebrations of the Park. Even though Saturday was mostly rained out, we still had lots of people visit.
We are experimenting with opening on the second Saturday of each month, to see how much more workload it places
on our volunteers. Also, the lower bunker is still open, but only when there are enough volunteers to man both bunkers
at once. Remember access to the lower level is only via a vertical ladder, so wear normal shoes, no flip-flops!
You also must be taller than the Zero fighter on our aircraft recognition chart (about 5 feet tall).
The boys of the 19th Coast Artillery were sent to Fort MacArthur to help defend Los Angeles Harbor
from the threat of weather balloons, aka the Great LA Air Raid commemoration held by the Fort MacArthur Military Museum.
Check out our new Facebook page, search using our name.
Another Pearl Harbor Memorial event is in the books. It was quite the sucess, had hundreds of people go through
the station, the dance was well attended and we got lot's of media coverage. Look for KUSI and CBS 8 video articles.
We also got photos posted from the Union/Tribune and several local photographers. One of them is here http://frankbaiamonte.blogspot.com/
. You have to click on 2012 and find the "Fort Rosecrans re-enactment" page, but it's worth the search.
Now, onto the Frequently Asked Questions area:
Who are you guys?
The San Diego Military
History Association is a group of living historians who volunteer for the National Park Service. We have
adopted the Base End Station located north of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, inside the Cabrillo Monument
National Park, which is located at the end of Point Loma, San Diego, California, USA. On the 4th Saturday of the month we open the Station and use
it to show what life was like on the front line of the strategic defense of the USA on the Pacific Ocean during World
What is a Base
are observation posts used by the Army to watch for enemy ships and planes. They
were also used to provide the data needed to aim and fire the artillery used to defend the west coast. People usually (and incorrectly) call these things either bunkers, or bomb shelters. Our
station is considered to be "splinter-proof" but probably couldn't withstand a direct hit, and no guns were ever permanently
mounted inside our structure.
What is so important
about this place?
was part of Fort
Rosecrans, an Army artillery post first established in 1855 to protect San Diego harbor. Manned
by the 19th Coast Artillery, the fort was one of a chain that stretched from the Mexican border to
the Canadian border. These forts were the first line of strategic defense for
the Continental United States during the first half of the 20th century.
Why preserve what is essentially a ugly chunk of concrete?
These are actually very rare. Because these forts we all built with excellent ocean views, most were
bulldozed and converted to private homes after WWII. Only a very few still exist in their original form.
We are very fortunate to have access to a Station that is not only in nearly original condition, but also has stairway access.
Most Stations can only be entered via a ladder.
Is there anything else of the fort to see besides the Station?
Behind the Station (facing the parking lot) is Fort Rosecrans’ original radio
building. This was where news first arrived on the mainland about the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is now a museum
containing information regarding the fort.
There are a pair of base end stations in front of the whale watching area, next to the Point
Loma Lighthouse. It has a trail leading to it, but the only way to enter the station is through a hatch and ladder.
Please don't try to open any of the hatches. The interior is nearly identical to ours, the only difference is the location
of the ladder to the lower level.
There are also several other surviving structures that are original to Fort Rosecrans scattered
throughout Point Loma and the Monument, but please leave these structures alone. These are not open to the public because
of access problems; all have ladders instead of stairs, and most are far away from regular trails. Please respect the
fragile Point Loma ecosystem and stay away from any building that does not have an official trail leading to it.
If you do find an old structure, please leave it alone. We are in the process of documenting all of the fort's structures
and several have already been vandalized. Please leave them be so we can preserve these pieces of Point Loma history.
When is the Station
open the Base End Station on every 4th Saturday of the month, at minimum. We are also
experimenting with opening it on every 2nd Saturday. This will change during months that we have special events,
such as May for Memorial Day, and December for Pearl Harbor Day.