Former crewmen rally to salute
the San Diego
By John Wilkens
Nobody thought to pass the hat back then, when the light
cruiser San Diego came back from World War II and the
citizens of its namesake city lined the waterfront to say
Leonard Shea with the USS San Diego Memorial
Association walks on the area near the 'G' Street Pier
that will become the USS San Diego Memorial when built
next to the 'G' Street Pier off Harbor Drive.
Howard Lipin /
"A Great Crew, a Grand Ship -- Well Done, USS San
Diego," read one dockside banner. Fireboats shot water in
the air in tribute. Bands played.
The hat is being passed now, 56 years later. Men who
served on the San Diego -- one of the war's most decorated
but least known ships -- are raising money to build a
memorial along Harbor Drive at the G Street Mole."It will
be a fitting way to remind people, especially young people,
about what the war was like, about the horror of it, and
about the relief we felt when we won it," said Leonard Shea,
a retired Navy captain who served on the San Diego and now
lives in Coronado.
The rest of this story is on SignOnSanDiego.com with video.
Copyright 2002 Union-Tribune
Lemon Grove Historical Society
P.O. Box 624
Lemon Grove, CA
Tel: (619) 460-4353 -
Fax (619) 462-8266
MODELS FOR USS SAN DIEGO
MEMORIAL ON DISPLAY IN
THE PARSONAGE MUSEUM
The models for the landmark public art
project, honoring the World War II cruiser, USS San Diego,
will be displayed in The
Parsonage Museum of Lemon Grove Mar. 29 through May 31 in conjunction
with the current exhibition, "Lemon Grove in World War II," it was
jointly announced today by Helen Ofield, president of the Lemon Grove
Historical Society and Capt. Leonard Shea, president of the USS San
Diego Memorial Association.
Four years in the making, the USS
San Diego Memorial will
be installed this year on Harbor Drive
at the G Street Mole as a tribute to the extended San Diego community,
whose efforts were critical to victory in World War 11. San Diego
presently lacks a major World War II memorial.
"The memorial will help to educate San Diegans about
their city's namesake warship and its remarkable history," said Capt.
Shea, who was the commissioning officer for the USS
in 1941 and co-founder of the Memorial Association. "Because of their
impressive efforts to present the story of the vanishing generation of
World War II veterans, we asked the Lemon Grove Historical Society to be
the first to show the models in East County."
The USS San Diego
was the second most decorated
ship during the war, earning 18 battle stars, second only to the USS
with 20 battle stars. From Guadalcanal
to the end of the war, the 7500-ton San
Diego engaged the enemy 34
times, steamed 320,000 nautical miles more than any other U.S. ship in
the war zone -- dodged countless bombs, torpedoes and kamikazes, yet
never lost a man to enemy action.
Admiral Halsey selected the San Diego
to be the first warship to
enter Tokyo Bay after hostilities ended. On Aug. 27, 1945 five days
before the peace ceremony aboard the USS
Missouri, the Yokohama-Yokosuka
area was surrendered in a ceremony aboard the San Diego.
On Sept. 13, 1945 the San Diego led a formation of
battle-proven vessels through the Golden Gate Bridge to become the first
capital ship to return to the West Coast after the Japanese surrender.
The Memorial Association commissioned the noted
California artists, Lou Quaintance, Berkeley, and Eugene Daub, San
Pedro, to create the striking stone, terra cotta and bronze monument. A
massive, abstract ship's prow dominates the four sections, with the
San Diego surging through waves carved in bas relief on the
south section. A life size statue of a weary but resolute sailor stands
by the inscribed dedication to the ship and its crew. Stretching from
the base of the monument is a map showing the ship's wartime track
inlaid in brass. The freestanding monument allows visitors to walk
around and through its sections.
Among Daub's numerous public sculptures are the World
War 11 commemorative bronze plaque in Asan Park, Guam; the dramatic
Lewis and Clark monument in Kansas City, and the huge medallion on the
Supreme Court of the State of Nevada in Carson City.
The beauty and historical significance of the USS
San Diego Memorial prompted the Port of San Diego, through its
Public Art Program, to donate the waterfront site for the monument on
Harbor Drive. The monument has been supported entirely by private
contributions to the non profit USS San Diego Memorial Association.
Donations to assist the project can be sent to P.O. Box 182142,
Coronado, CA 92178.
The Parsonage Museum, 3185 Olive Street in Civic Center
Park, is open Friday from 1 - 3 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.,
and weekdays by appointment from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. for school and tour
groups of eight or more persons. Admission is $1 and free for children
10 and under. For tour reservations and more information,