I remember walking along the Embarcadero eleven years ago (how time flies!) and just stumbling upon an amazing ceremony. The USS San Diego Memorial was being dedicated. I stood quietly in back of the gathering and watched as notable Navy and local political leaders gave speeches to honor those who served on the USS San Diego, the second most decorated military ship of World War II. One of the speakers was none other than Jerry Coleman, a hero of that war and much beloved sports broadcaster. The large memorial today is a fixture on San Diego’s waterfront, located just south of the USS Midway Museum on the Greatest Generation Walk.
The USS San Diego was a light cruiser that received 18 battle stars during World War II, more than any other ship except the famous aircraft carrier Enterprise. The ship engaged with the enemy on 34 different occasions, in battles throughout the Pacific, and never lost a single sailor during combat. It the first U.S. warship to enter Tokyo Bay at the close of the war.
The fantastic artwork was created by Eugene Daub and Louis Quaintance.
The inscription behind the sailor sculpture reads:
Hundreds of thousands of sailors went to sea and fought in World War II, perhaps the most singular unifying event in the history of the United States. These young Americans set aside their individual hopes and aspirations, left families, home and jobs in a collective sacrifice to defend their country and their common ideals. The men of the USS San Diego (CL-53) remembered here are emblematic of all who fought for victory in this epic struggle.
Here are two more bonus pics I took on a later date!