Photos inside a World War II bunker on Point Loma.

Visitors to Cabrillo National Monument enter the restored Base End Station and Battery Commander's bunker north of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. Battery Ashburn can be seen in the distance.
Visitors to Cabrillo National Monument enter the restored Base End Station and Battery Commander’s bunker, north of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. Battery Ashburn can be seen in the distance.

The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 caused many to fear that the Imperial Japanese Navy might attack the mainland United States.

Coastal defenses were rapidly built up at strategic points along the West Coast, including Point Loma, the peninsula that overlooks the narrow entrance to San Diego Bay. Many of the United States Navy’s remaining ships were homeported in San Diego and had to be protected at all costs.

During World War II, Point Loma’s Fort Rosecrans was the home of the U. S. Army 19th Coast Artillery Regiment. Soldiers manned steel-reinforced concrete bunkers containing Base End Stations, and scanned the horizon for enemy vessels. Should the enemy be sighted, they relayed their information to a Battery Commander, who precisely calculated the enemy’s position, then issued orders to various gun batteries that guarded the approach to San Diego.

Today, almost a century later, the general public can enter one of those old bunkers overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

During my recent Saturday visit to Cabrillo National Monument, I was excited to see that the park’s restored bunker, designated Battery E Control Station, was open. I descended the steep steps into a small underground world, and experienced what life was like for those who stood watch over the wide ocean day and night during the war.

I then checked out a small museum near the bunker to learn a little more about San Diego’s coastal defenses during World War II.

Here are photographs that I took. Read the captions for more fascinating information. Click the signs and they will enlarge.

The Battery E Control Station can be entered on many weekend days. Tours are provided by volunteer docents who are members of the San Diego Military History Association.
The Battery E Control Station can be entered on many weekend days. Tours are provided by volunteer docents who are members of the San Diego Military History Association.
Walking down steps into the two-level, steel-reinforced concrete bunker is like stepping back in time. The 19th Coast Artillery Regiment manned multiple Point Loma bunkers during World War II.
Walking down steps into the two-level, steel-reinforced concrete bunker is like stepping back in time. The 19th Coast Artillery Regiment manned multiple Point Loma bunkers during World War II.
A docent in a World War II era uniform demonstrates the use of an azimuth scope, used to scan the ocean for enemy vessels during the war. These spotting scopes gave accurate readings of target positions.
A docent in a World War II era uniform demonstrates the use of an azimuth scope. These spotting scopes gave accurate readings of target positions.
A photograph inside the top level of the bunker, which served as the Battery Commander Station for nearby Battery Ashburn.
A photograph inside the top level of the bunker, which served as the Battery Commander Station for nearby Battery Ashburn.
Objects displayed include a map, helmet, canteen and pin-up girl on the wall. A WWII veteran who served at Fort Rosecrans helped to make the bunker's interior appear historically accurate.
Objects displayed include a map, helmet, canteen and pin-up girl on the wall. A WWII veteran who served at Fort Rosecrans helped to make the bunker’s interior appear historically accurate.
Diagram on wall identified the silhouettes of Japanese Naval Vessels during World War II.
Diagram on a wall identified Japanese Naval Vessels during World War II.
Marks show the direction and distance to South and North Coronado Islands, which lie in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico.
Marks show the direction and distance to South and North Coronado Islands, which lie in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico.
Phones on the wall beside a small Duty Roster chalkboard. The Battery Commander would communicate information to nearby Battery Ashburn.
Phones on the wall beside a small Duty Roster chalkboard. The Battery Commander would calculate and communicate accurate information to nearby Battery Ashburn.
Metal rungs descend into the lower level of the bunker, where visitors can see the small bunkroom and a typical Base End Station.
Metal rungs descend into the lower level of the bunker, where visitors can see the small bunkroom and a typical Base End Station.
A friendly docent shows me the bunkroom, where those who manned the bunker took turns sleeping.
A friendly docent shows me the bunkroom, where those who manned the bunker took turns sleeping.
Objects in the bunkroom include toiletries, U. S. Army rations, cigarettes, magazines and pin-ups on the wall.
Objects in the bunkroom include toiletries, U. S. Army rations, cigarettes, magazines and pin-ups on the wall.
Next to the bunkroom is a Base End Station, where soldiers continuously scanned the ocean horizon. It is one of five Base End Stations that were assigned to the Battery Commander Station directly above.
Next to the bunkroom is a Base End Station, where soldiers continuously scanned the ocean horizon. It is one of five Base End Stations that were assigned to the Battery Commander Station directly above.
Old photos above two phones show the operation of azimuth scopes in a Base End Station.
Old photos above two phones show the operation of azimuth scopes in a Base End Station.
A pair of Base End Stations would track an enemy ship's position, course and speed. Distance to an enemy vessel was determined through triangulation.
A sign describes Fire Control Rooms. A pair of Base End Stations would track an enemy ship’s position, course and speed. Distance to an enemy vessel was determined through triangulation.
Sign shows the different battery positions on Point Loma during World War II. Battery Ashburn's two 16 inch naval guns had a range of 26 miles.
Sign shows the different battery positions on Point Loma during World War II. Battery Ashburn’s two 16 inch naval guns had a range of 26 miles.
Old photos include Battery Ashburn in 1943 and Battery Point Loma in 1941.
Old photos include Battery Ashburn in 1943 and Battery Point Loma in 1941.
A sign in the nearby museum shows the ranges of Point Loma's many defensive gun batteries.
A sign in the nearby museum shows the ranges of Point Loma’s many defensive gun batteries.
During World War II, Fort Rosecrans on Point Loma was garrisoned by the 19th Coast Artillery Regiment. Troops assigned to Fort Rosecrans in San Diego thought it a good duty station, with pleasant weather.
During World War II, Fort Rosecrans on Point Loma was garrisoned by the 19th Coast Artillery Regiment. Troops assigned to Fort Rosecrans in San Diego thought it a good duty station, with pleasant weather.
Binoculars at the ready. Enter a coastal defense bunker at Cabrillo National Monument to experience a bit of what it was like during World War II in San Diego.
Binoculars at the ready. Enter a coastal defense bunker at Cabrillo National Monument to experience a bit of what it was like during World War II in San Diego.

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Faces tell stories at Veterans Day parade.

A big parade for Veterans Day this morning in San Diego.

Many different faces, young and old, moving forward together down Harbor Drive. Each face telling a story.

The story of a life filled with pride, courage, honor, sacrifice and friendship.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Two ways to thank those who served and sacrificed.

Today I learned of two ways to thank military heroes who sacrificed part or all of their life in service to country.

I was walking through the Mustang Club of San Diego’s outdoor car show, checking out some of the displays, when I paused to speak to individuals representing two non-profit organizations: Homes For Our Troops and Final Honor.

Homes For Our Troops builds specially adapted custom homes for severely injured post-9/11 Veterans, enabling them to rebuild their lives. The specially designed homes contain features that assist heroes who have multiple limb amputations, partial or full paralysis, and/or traumatic brain injury.

There are 100 severely injured Veterans awaiting entry into their program. To learn more and perhaps make a donation, click here.

Final Honor provides a complimentary horse-drawn funeral carriage at Miramar National Cemetery. The dignified carriage is available for any Veteran, regardless of rank, whose family would like to enhance the memorial service for their loved one at no cost.

This beautiful, completely free service is made possible through private donations. To learn more and perhaps provide a helping financial hand, click here.

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Padres military heroes honored at Petco Park.

Display inside Petco Park's Power Alley honors Manuel P. Hernandez of San Diego. Before the start of World War II he played for the Pacific Coast League Padres. He died in action fighting the Nazis in Germany.
Display inside Petco Park’s Power Alley remembers Manuel P. Hernandez of San Diego. Before the start of World War II he played for the Pacific Coast League Padres. He died in action fighting in Germany.

Exhibits that honor members of the Padres who served in the military can be found at Petco Park. Inside the Power Alley, near the large model of the USS Midway, photographs and words pay tribute to three wartime heroes in particular.

One display memorializes the only Padres player to die in combat, Manuel P. “Nay” Hernandez. Born in San Diego in 1919, he attended San Diego High School and played American Legion baseball with the San Diego Post 6 team. After becoming starting left fielder for the Pacific Coast League Padres, he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1944, joining the 376th Infantry Regiment, 94th Infantry Division. Less than a year later he was killed in action fighting the Nazis in Germany.

Another display honors two Padres baseball legends: Ted Williams and Jerry Coleman. Both were Marine aviators during the Korean War. Ted Williams, a San Diego native who played for the PCL Padres at Lane Field, became arguably the best hitter in the history of Major League Baseball. Jerry Coleman, after playing with distinction as a New York Yankee (1949 American League Rookie of the Year and 1950 World Series MVP), became a beloved broadcaster for the San Diego Padres.

Should you ever enjoy a game or special event at Petco Park, walk through the Power Alley section behind right field and linger for a moment near this important bit of Padres history.

Manuel P. "Nay" Hernandez was born in San Diego in 1919. He graduated from San Diego High School, played semi-pro baseball, and went on to start in left field for the PCL Padres. He is the only San Diego Padres player to be killed in combat.
Manuel P. “Nay” Hernandez was born in San Diego in 1919. He graduated from San Diego High School, played semi-pro baseball, and went on to start in left field for the PCL Padres. He is the only San Diego Padres player to be killed in combat.
A nearby wall in the Power Alley lists the many Major League Baseball Players Who Served Their Country.
A nearby wall in the Power Alley lists the many Major League Baseball Players Who Served Their Country.
Historical photographs in Petco Park honor The Pride of San Diego. Two legendary Padres players, Ted Williams and Jerry Coleman, are shown on the baseball diamond and serving as pilots during the Korean War.
Historical photographs in Petco Park honor The Pride of San Diego. Two legendary Padres, Ted Williams and Jerry Coleman, are shown on the baseball diamond and serving as pilots during the Korean War.
Captain Ted Williams, USMC, manning his Marine Corps F9F-2 Panther jet in Korea, circa 1953.
Captain Ted Williams, USMC, manning his Marine Corps F9F-2 Panther jet in Korea, circa 1953.
Captain Jerry Coleman, USMC, on the wing of his Marine Corps F-4U Corsair in Korea, circa 1952.
Captain Jerry Coleman, USMC, on the wing of his Marine Corps F-4U Corsair in Korea, circa 1952.

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Grand entrance of downtown Army-Navy YMCA.

Front of the 1924 Army-Navy YMCA building in downtown San Diego, designed by architects Lincoln Rogers and Frank W. Stevenson.
Front of the 1924 Army-Navy YMCA building in downtown San Diego, designed by architects Lincoln Rogers and Frank W. Stevenson.

The grand entrance of the historic Army-Navy YMCA building in downtown San Diego is presently shuttered from view. That’s because the structure, built in 1924 for the recreational activities of San Diego’s many enlisted military men, is being converted into an elegant new hotel on Broadway. The Guild San Diego will open in spring 2018 and promises to offer a variety of unique features, including a ballroom inside what was once the old YMCA basketball court.

Before the present construction began, I took some photos of the columns and artwork around the building’s amazing front entrance. These images have been sitting idle in my computer. Here they are for your enjoyment.

When I took this photo, the 500 West Hotel had closed. Today a new luxury hotel, The Guild Hotel, is under construction. Much of the historic building will be preserved.
When I took this photo, the 500 West Hotel had closed. Today a new luxury destination, The Guild Hotel, is under construction. Much of the historic building will be preserved.
Some beautiful sculptural work around the front entrance.
Some beautiful sculptural work around the elegant front entrance.
I believe this represents Cabrillo's ship San Salvador, which entered San Diego Bay in 1542.
I believe this represents Cabrillo’s ship San Salvador, which entered San Diego Bay in 1542.
Part of the ornate front entrance to the landmark Army-Navy YMCA building in San Diego.
Part of the very ornate front entrance to the Army-Navy YMCA building in San Diego.

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Military heroes on VFW 2422 Memorial Wall.

The Memorial Wall beside VFW Post 2422 in Coronado, California.
The Memorial Wall beside VFW Post 2422 in Coronado, California.

You can’t miss it. A proud Memorial Wall. You’ll see it near the front door of the General Henry D. Styer Post 2422 Veterans of Foreign Wars in Coronado. Tiles contain the names of heroes who served their country with honor.

Here are some photos.

Tiles on the outdoor Memorial Wall remember those who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
Tiles on the outdoor Memorial Wall remember those who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
Front of the General Henry D. Styer Post 2422 Veterans of Foreign Wars in Coronado.
Front of the General Henry D. Styer Post 2422 Veterans of Foreign Wars in Coronado.
Plaque on bench reads Dedicated to All Who Have Served or Are Serving in Support of Our Country's Freedom.
Plaque on nearby bench reads Dedicated to All Who Have Served or Are Serving in Support of Our Country’s Freedom.
Plaque at base of flagpole reads In Honor of the Coronado Men and Women Who Served in the Armed Forces in World War II.
Plaque at base of flagpole reads In Honor of the Coronado Men and Women Who Served in the Armed Forces in World War II.
Names on the Memorial Wall include United States Navy Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale.
Names on the Memorial Wall include United States Navy Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale.
Painted on three small stones are words of Thank You for the service of heroes.
Painted on three small stones are words of Thank You for the service of heroes.

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Photos of the San Diego Veterans Day Parade!

The military was honored in San Diego during the 2017 Veterans Day Parade along the Embarcadero.
Those who have served were honored in San Diego during the 2017 Veterans Day Parade along the Embarcadero.

Late this morning I walked down to the Embarcadero to enjoy the 2017 San Diego Veterans Day Parade. And I got dozens of photos!

An enthusiastic crowd lining Harbor Drive watched one of the largest Veterans Day parades in the United States. San Diego is home to a large number of active and retired military. And those who have served are honored.

Thank you for defending our freedom!

Someone hold a sign that reads Proud Of Our Veterans.
Someone hold a sign that reads Proud Of Our Veterans.
Before the parade, representatives of Naval Medical Center San Diego posed for pictures.
Before the parade, representatives of Naval Medical Center San Diego posed for pictures.
Participants in the parade practice in Waterfront Park near the County Administration Building.
Participants in the Veterans Day Parade practice in Waterfront Park near the County Administration Building.
The color guard awaits the start of the big parade down Harbor Drive.
The color guard awaits the start of the big parade down Harbor Drive.
Dave Scott of KUSI television fires up people waiting in the bleachers.
Dave Scott of KUSI television fires up people waiting in the bleachers.
Everybody is ready for a patriotic parade!
Everybody is ready for a patriotic parade!
Many would watch the parade from across Harbor Drive, near the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Many would watch the parade from across Harbor Drive, near the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I spotted sailboats out on the bay.
Here we go!
Here we go!
The Marine Corps Band gets things rolling.
The Marine Corps Band gets things rolling.
Marching with pride during the Veterans Day Parade.
Marching with pride and precision during the Veterans Day Parade.
The parade heads down Harbor Drive, along San Diego's beautiful Embarcadero. The parade route continued to Seaport Village.
The parade heads down Harbor Drive, along San Diego’s beautiful Embarcadero. The parade route would finish near Seaport Village.
Here comes the Mount Miguel High School JROTC.
Here comes the Mount Miguel High School JROTC.
A simple heartfelt message. Welcome home to all our heroes.
A simple heartfelt message. Welcome home to all our heroes.
Pageantry and patriotism.
Pageantry and patriotism.
Beauty queens wave, representing the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Lakeside.
Beauty queens wave. They represent the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Lakeside.
Patrick Henry High School's colorful Spirit of '76 Marching Patriots pause on the parade route.
Patrick Henry High School’s colorful Spirit of ’76 Marching Patriots pause for a moment on the parade route.
Banners fly in the San Diego sunlight.
Banners begin to twirl in the San Diego sunlight.
The Patrick Henry High School marching band wows the crowd.
The Patrick Henry High School marching band wows the crowd.
Here comes the USS Midway Museum contingent.
Here comes the USS Midway Museum contingent.
The kids standing near me loved seeing the big inflatable USS Midway aircraft carrier.
The kids standing near me loved seeing the big inflatable USS Midway aircraft carrier.
And the fighter jet up in the blue sky, too!
And the fighter jet up in the blue sky, too!
San Diego High School's Army JROTC was in the Veterans Day Parade.
San Diego High School’s Army JROTC was in the Veterans Day Parade.
The Young Marines march by.
The Young Marines march by.
Flags raised high from the American Legion truck. They proudly support our Veterans.
Flags raised high from the American Legion truck. They proudly support our Veterans.
Many motorcyclists were also in the big parade.
Many motorcyclists were also in the parade.
Lots of smiles of gratitude from those watching.
Lots of smiles of gratitude from those watching.
This group was keeping the Spirit of '45 alive! Photos of servicemembers who fought in World War II are carried during the parade.
This group was keeping the Spirit of ’45 alive! Photos of servicemembers who fought in World War II are carried during the parade.
Parade participants included young and old alike.
Parade participants included young and old alike.
An All American San Diego Salute for our WWII Veteran Heroes.
An All American San Diego Salute for our WWII Veteran Heroes.
The Vietnam Veterans of America were an important part of the parade. They received loud cheers.
The Vietnam Veterans of America were an important part of the parade. They received loud cheers.
Is that a cool car, or what?
Is that a cool car, or what?
A flag held high.
A flag held high.
Here come the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
Here come the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
A POW MIA flag follows a group of honored Veterans.
A POW MIA flag follows a group of honored Veterans.
Wells Fargo had their stagecoach in the parade. They saluted heroes who serve.
Wells Fargo had their stagecoach in the parade. They salute heroes who serve.
Hundreds of active duty military based in San Diego now marched past. The crowd thanked every one of them.
Hundreds of active duty military personnel based in San Diego now marched past. The crowd thanked every one of them.
Those serving in military facilities and on Navy ships based in San Diego paraded past.
Those serving in military facilities and on Navy ships based in San Diego filed past.
The Monte Vista High School Monarch Royal Brigade marches by.
The parade goes on. The Monte Vista High School Monarch Royal Brigade marches by.
The San Diego County Veteran of the Year is recognized.
The San Diego County Veteran of the Year is recognized.
Member of the Distinguished Flying Cross Society passes in a classic car.
Member of the Distinguished Flying Cross Society passes in a classic car.
Kid holds a sign that reads Thank You For Your Service!!! Air Force - Army - Coast Guard - Marines - Navy
Kid holds a sign that reads Thank You For Your Service!!! Air Force – Army – Coast Guard – Marines – Navy
The San Diego Padres baseball team is a big supporter of the active military and all Veterans.
The San Diego Padres baseball team is a big supporter of the active military and all Veterans.
Heroes who've been assisted by the Veterans Village San Diego march past. Thank you for your service! Know that you are appreciated by many!
Heroes who’ve been assisted by the Veterans Village San Diego march past. Thank you for your service! Know that you are appreciated by many!
Here comes the Morse High School JROTC!
Here comes the Morse High School JROTC.
The Morse High School Tigers had a huge number of great participants in the Veterans Day Parade!
The Morse High School Tigers had a huge number of great participants in the Veterans Day Parade!
Meanwhile, lots of cool stuff was being handed out to those watching the parade.
Meanwhile, lots of cool stuff was being handed out to those watching the parade.
These friendly folks were handing out American flags.
These friendly folks were handing out American flags.
A reenactment of the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima was part of the parade.
A reenactment of the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima was part of the parade.
Here comes the Korean Veterans Association.
Here comes the Korean Veterans Association.
Smiles up and down the parade route.
Smiles up and down the parade route.
Recipients of the Purple Heart. Honoring America's combat wounded Veterans.
Here come recipients of the Purple Heart. Honoring America’s combat wounded Veterans.
It's the fun Squibob Fire Department!
It’s the fun Squibob Fire Department!
The San Diego Diocese Chapter of Knights of Columbus marches past.
The San Diego Diocese Chapter of Knights of Columbus marches past.
The 2017 Veterans Day Parade in San Diego brought pageantry and patriotism to the waterfront.
The 2017 Veterans Day Parade in San Diego today brought many smiles to the waterfront.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to share and enjoy!