The Eerie and Abandoned “Devil’s Slide” WWII Bunker on California Coast

The Devil’s Slide in California is an amazing sight. Situated between Montara and Pacifica’s Linda Mar District, right off Highway 1, is a rugged and extremely steep coastal rock formation. The Devil’s Slide got its name because of the way it looks, which is dramatic and intimidating. An abandoned concrete and steel remnant from World War II is perched atop Devil’s Slide. It was a bunker used as an observation post and triangulation point.

The United States Army constructed the Little Devils Slide Military Reservation, a control and observation post that included the lone bunker atop the Devil’s Slide and five additional “fire control stations.” At the time, there was a serious risk of a Japanese naval invasion on North America.The U.S. military also considered the San Francisco Bay area to be a top priority.

Everything had to be done the old-fashioned manner before radar and other sophisticated tools for tracking and detecting were developed. which implied depending solely on what is visible to the sight. With binoculars in hand, the soldiers kept a watchful eye on the horizon, identifying and locating any movement in the water. Their second task involved figuring out the coordinates and relaying them over the radio to the large guns and cannons at Fort Funston and the Marin Headlands so they could appropriately “greet” them.

An exposed base end station at Devil’s Slide – Author: Lawrence Lansing – CC BY 3.0

The final five military buildings at the slide consisted of a large steel-reinforced observation tower, one more concrete earth bunker (along with the one at Devil’s Slide), and three so-called “observation pill-boxes” made of concrete and steel. Sometimes referred to as “the hardened observation posts,” the pillboxes served primarily as observational posts but could also offer some defense if necessary. As the primary strategic location, one of the bunkers functioned as the region’s headquarters and command center.

Surfer standing on the beach with Devil’s Slide bunker in the top right – Author: Wonderlane – CC BY 2.0

The US military apparatus conducted defense operations offshore in addition to the bunkers and observation posts around the bay’s borders. A massive steel undersea net was positioned across the inside of the harbor, and the Army detonated hundreds of water mines in the ocean seas beyond it.

Devil’s Slide bunker – Author: Nikita – CC BY 2.0

When asked about these defenses, historian Stephen Haller, who specializes in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, stated that “San Francisco’s harbor defenses were the No. 1 priority for the Corps of Engineers on the Pacific Coast.”

Devil’s Slide bunker – Author: Christopher Michel – CC BY 2.0

Since Japan never launched an attack on the port of San Francisco, all the work done to defend the bay area may appear insignificant now. Nonetheless, it significantly improved the mood of the residents at the time because a large number of people contributed by offering their services in various capacities to guarantee the security and welfare of the bay, their neighborhoods, and their nation.

Devil’s Slide Bunker – Author: Christopher Michel – CC BY 2.0

Due to the 1983 sale of the California Devil’s Slide site to a private investor, the harbor’s current military fortifications are no longer necessary. The main structure is still standing, although the most of the buildings have been dismantled.

Devil’s Slide bunker – Author: Christopher Michel – CC BY 2.0

Despite being on a private piece of land with limited public access, it is covered in graffiti, and despite this, a lot of people come to see and appreciate it. On a clear day, the vistas are breathtaking from the trail that leads to and from the former bunker. But the weather is frequently hazy, which adds to the spooky vibe.

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