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Calif. park to display battleship Missouri gun

Oct. 1, 2012 - 05:04PM   |   Last Updated: Oct. 1, 2012 - 05:04PM  |  
In this Sept. 2, 1945, photo provided and annotated by the Library of Congress, gun #386 is shown on the battleship Missouri when the Japanese surrounded at the end of World War II in Tokyo Bay, Japan.
In this Sept. 2, 1945, photo provided and annotated by the Library of Congress, gun #386 is shown on the battleship Missouri when the Japanese surrounded at the end of World War II in Tokyo Bay, Japan. (Library of Congress via the AP)
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People look over a 16-inch gun that was on the battleship Missouri at Fort Cronkhite before it is taken to a battery near Sausalito, Calif., on Oct. 1. (Eric Risberg / The Associated Press)

SAN FRANCISCO — A massive gun that was on the battleship Missouri when the Japanese surrendered at the end of World War II will soon be installed on a cliff at the entrance to San Francisco Bay.

The 68-foot-long, 236,000-pound gun will be painted and displayed at the Battery Townsley fortification in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the coming months, the http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Big-WWII-era-gun-comes-to-Golden-Gate-3907659.php">San Francisco Chronicle reported on Sunday.

The gun was set to complete the final leg of its journey to the battery on Monday after a two-day trip from a naval weapons station in Hawthorne. Nev.

It will simulate one of two guns that protected the battery during World War II but have since been removed.

"A gun battery without a gun would be like a railroad museum without a locomotive," said John Martini, a retired park ranger who helped refurbish Battery Townsley.

The original guns were each capable of shooting a 2,100-pound projectile 25 miles out to sea, according to the National Park Service.

The battery itself — and another like it at Fort Funston — became a model for gun batteries planned elsewhere on the East and West coasts.

When Battery Townsley was tested for the first time in the summer of 1940, its projectile went even farther than expected, according to the park service. The guns continued to fire practice salvos after that, but the location of the battery was kept secret.

The gun that will be displayed was one of nine aboard the battleship Missouri.

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