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NavSource Online: Cruiser Photo Archive

USS SAN DIEGO (CL 53)


       
Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Charlie - Delta - Foxtrot


Patch image contributed by Mike Smolinski
CLASS - ATLANTA
Displacement 6,000 Tons, Dimensions, 541' 0" (oa) x 53' 2" x 26' 6" (Max)
Armament 16 x 5"/38AA, 16 x 1.1", 16 x 40mm, 8 x 20mm, 8 x 21" tt.
Armor, 3 3/4" Belt, 1 1/4" Turrets, 1 1/4" Deck, 2 1/2" Conning Tower.
Machinery, 75,000 SHP; Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 32.5 Knots, Crew 650.
Operational and Building Data
Ordered 25 APR 1939
Keel laid on 27 MAR 1940 by the Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, MA
Launched 26 JUL 1941
Commissioned 10 JAN 1942
Decommissioned 04 NOV 1946
Re-designated CLAA 53 18 MAR 1949
Stricken 01 MAR 1959
Fate: Sold for scrap 03 FEB 1960 and broken up in DEC 1960.

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons



Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Combat Action Ribbon - American Campaign Medal
Second Row - Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal (17) - Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy WWII Occupation Medal w/ASIA Clasp - Philippine Presidential Unit Citation - Philippine Liberation Medal


Click On Image
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
San Diego
0405341
179k Christening of the San Diego CL 53 by Mrs. Percy J. Benbough. Dale Hargrave
San Diego
0405334
168k Launching of USS San Diego (CL 53) on 26 July 1941, almost exactly 67 years ago, at the Bethlehem Quincy yard in Massachusetts.

Photo from International News Photos.
David Buell
San Diego
0405335
174k Caption: "(BX2) Quincy, Mass., July 16: U.S. cruiser San Diego Launched: Into the sea at the Bethlehem Steel Company Fore River Yard here today, the newest and one of the fastest of Uncle Sam's cruisers, the San Diego, was slid down the ways after being christened by the wife of the Mayor of the City of San Diego, Calif. (See wire story) (AP Wirephoto)(BEF71453PJC41)" David Buell
BB-59 Massachusetts 5.6m

Hull # 1478, otherwise known as Massachusetts (BB 59), and some new additions to Uncle Sam's arsenal rise from the outfitting dock waters of Bethlehem Steel, Quincy, MA. on 8 October 1941. To the right of Massachusetts is Sinclar Superflame, Hull # 1490, San Diego (CL 53), Hull # 1479 & San Juan (CL 54), Hull # 1480.

Bureau of Ships photo # 29559.

Pieter Bakels & Robert Hurst
San Diego
0405336
128k Caption: "(BX1) Boston, Mass. Jan 10,-U.S.S. San Diego Commissioned--Capt. R.C. Grady U.S.N., (back to camera) Captain of the Boston Navy Yard, reads orders placing the U.S.S. San Diego in commission today as Capt. Benjamin F. Perry, U.S.N. who took over command stands at attention with his officers and crew members. The new light cruiser launched July 26, 1941, will be delivered to the Navy six months ahead of schedule. (AP wirephoto)(PJC71420STF/JWG)'42." David Buell
San Diego 10k Undated broadside photo of the San Diego as seen from the starboard. The photo is taken late in the war, as evidenced by the missing boat crane which was removed in both surviving Atlanta class ships to reduce topside weight and thereby increasing stability. USN
San Diego
0405313
308k

WWII Era, port side view while underway date and location unknown.

U.S. Navy photo.

Ron Titus
San Diego 153k

USS San Diego (CL 53) Slides down the ways during her launching at the Bethlehem Steel Company shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts, 26 July 1941.

Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives #19-N-29980.

National Archives
San Diego 80k January 1942, Fore River shipyard, Quincy, Mass. San Diego (outboard) and San Juan (CL 54) just prior to commissioning. Port side view. USN
San Diego 74k

USS San Diego (CL 53) In Boston Harbor, Massachusetts, on 10 January 1942. Note ice and snow on the ship.

Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives #19-N-27236.

National Archives
San Diego
0405337
192k USS San Diego (CL 53) anchored at Espirito Santo on 19 February 1943. Note the different camouflage schemes, with the hull MS21 and the superstructure MS12 (modified).

National Archives photo #80-G-67601
Mike Green
San Diego 323k

Forward plan view of USS San Diego (CL 53) at Mare Island on 31 December 1943. San Diego was in overhaul at Mare Island form 15 December 1943 until 2 January 1944. The circles indicate items that were modified during the yard period.

U.S. Navy photo #8460-43

Darryl Baker
San Diego 229k

Amidships looking aft plan view of USS San Diego (CL 53) at Mare Island on 31 December 1943. San Diego was in overhaul at Mare Island form 15 December 1943 until 2 January 1944. The circles indicate items that were modified during the yard period.

U.S. Navy photo #8457-43

Darryl Baker
San Diego 123k Broadside view of USS San Diego (CL 53) off Mare Island on 1 January 1944. San Diego was in overhaul at Mare Island from 15 December 1943 until 2 January 1944. Darryl Baker
San Diego 90k Undated photo taken 1943 - 1944. USN
San Diego 67k

USS San Diego (CL 53) Off San Francisco, California, 1 January 1944.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 97826.

USNHC
San Diego
0405306
145k

Starboard forward quarter view of USS San Diego (CL 53) off Mare Island on 1 January 1944

U.S. Navy Photo #Navy Photo 14-44

Darryl Baker
San Diego
0405342
93k

USS San Diego alongside port-to USS Taluga fueling up 13 Feb 1945 in TF58.

Lloyd LaVack and Tommy Trampp photos from USS Taluga.

John Chiquone
San Diego 94k

USS San Diego (CL 53) Underway on 8 March 1944. Photographed from an airship of Blimp Squadron 32 (ZP-32).

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 97825.

USNHC
San Diego 271k

Aft plan view of USS San Diego (CL 53) at Mare Island on 2 April 1944.

U.S. Navy photo #2083-44.

Darryl Baker
San Diego 136k

USS San Diego (CL 53) At the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 9 April 1944, following overhaul. The destroyer in the background is USS Cassin (DD 372). Note San Diego's after 5"/38 gun mounts, 40mm quad anti-aircraft machine gun mount and depth charges on her fantail, and floating crane alongside.

Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives #19-N-64801.

National Archives
San Diego 111k

USS San Diego (CL 53) At the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 9 April 1944, following overhaul. She is painted in camouflage Measure 33, Design 24d. In the background are USS Cassin (DD 372) and USS Denver (CL 58).

Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives #19-N-64799.

National Archives
San Diego
0405329
146k

Starboard after quarter view of USS San Diego (CL 53) off Mare Island on 10 April 1944.

U.S. Navy Photo 2191-44.

Darryl Baker
San Diego 54k

USS San Diego (CL 53) Off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 10 April 1944. Her camouflage design is Measure 33, Design 24d.

Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives #19-N-64793.

National Archives
San Diego
0405330
203k

Port forward quarter view of USS San Diego (CL 53) off Mare Island on 10 April 1944.

U.S. Navy Photo 2192-44.

Darryl Baker
San Diego
0405331
143k

Port forward quarter view of USS San Diego (CL 53) off Mare Island on 10 April 1944.

U.S. Navy Photo 2193-44.

Darryl Baker
San Diego 65k

USS San Diego (CL 53) Off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 10 April 1944. Her camouflage design is Measure 33, Design 24d.

Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives #19-N-64794.

National Archives
San Diego
0405332
192k

Port side view of USS San Diego (CL 53) preparing to tie-up at Mare Island on 10 April 1944.

U.S. Navy Photo 2194-44.

Darryl Baker
San Diego 69k April 1945, on Picket Line off of Okinawa. San Diego is assisting USS Haggard (DD 555) after she took a kamikaze hit. USN
San Diego 77k August 1945, off the coast of Japan. Starboard side view. USN
San Diego 65k August 1945, Yokosuka, Japan. USS San Diego (CL 53) is the first allied warship to dock in Japan. Port side view. USN
San Diego 90k

USS San Diego (CL 53) docks at Yokosuka on 30 August 1945, to take part in the U.S. occupation of that facility.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives #80-G-338386.

National Archives
San Diego 98k

Yokosuka Navy Base, Japan - A Japanese working party rigs the gangway as USS San Diego (CL 53) docks at Yokosuka on 30 August 1945, to take part in the U.S. occupation of that facility. Note details of San Diego's forward superstructure, including white counter-shading below horizontal surfaces.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives #80-G-338387.

Scott Dyben/National Archives
San Diego
0405343
254k

In late August 1945 USS San Diego was designated flagship of RADM Badger as CTF31, whose role was to establish the initial occupation base at Yokosuka. The John Florea Life Magazine views document this activity. Seen here are landing parties and fleet command officials aboard USS San Diego meeting local Japanese officials 30 August 1945.  San Diego had made an unassisted landing at this Yokosuka pier.

Used for eductioanl and non-commercial purpose.

John Chiquoine
San Diego
0405338
424k

Starboard bow view of USS San Diego (CL 53) at Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan, September 1945. After minesweepers had cleared mine fields in Tokyo Bay, the San Diego was the first major Allied warship to enter Tokyo Bay after the Japanese surrender, and participated in the surrender of the Japanese battleship Nagato

LIFE Magazine Archives - John Florea Photographer, shared by Peter DeForest.

Mike Green
San Diego
0405339
440k

Close-up starboard side view of USS San Diego (CL 53) at Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan, September 1945.

LIFE Magazine Archives - John Florea Photographer, shared by Peter DeForest.

Mike Green
San Diego
0405340
449k

Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan, September 1945, as seen from an unidentified vessel. The USS San Diego (CL 53) is moored at the dock in the background.

LIFE Magazine Archives - John Florea Photographer, shared by Peter DeForest.

Mike Green
San Diego 58k September 1945. Anchored in Tokyo Bay. Starboard bow view. USN
San Diego 59k September 1945, arriving in San Francisco with troops USN
San Diego 63k October 1945, entering San Diego Harbor. Port side view. USN
San Diego
0405327
585k

Amidships looking forward plan view of USS San Diego (CL 53) in dry dock #2 at Mare Island Naval Shipyard on 1 Nov 1945. An inclining experiment (conducted in order to estimate the center of gravity of a ship) is being performed. She was in dry dock from 1 to 15 November 1945 and in overhaul from 14 September to 22 November 1945.

U.S. Navy Photo #6945-45

Darryl Baker
San Diego
0405328
564k

Amidships looking aft plan view of USS San Diego (CL 53) in dry dock #2 at Mare Island Naval Shipyard on 1 November 1945. An inclining experiment (conducted in order to estimate the center of gravity of a ship) is being performed.

U.S. Navy Photo #6950-45

Darryl Baker
San Diego
0405333
76k Ships Patch - 1987. Darryl Baker

Commanding Officers
Name/Rank Final Rank Dates
Perry, Benjamin Franklin, CAPT   01/10/1942 - 03/19/1943
Hudson, Lester Jay, CAPT   03/19/1943 - 07/13/1944
Mullan, William Evans Anthony, CAPT   07/13/1944 - 12/22/1945
Ramsey, Donald James, CAPT RADM 12/22/1945 - 01/21/1946
Pittard, George Franklin, CDR RADM 01/21/1946 - 11/04/1946

(Courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves - Photos courtesy of Bill Gonyo)


USS SAN DIEGO (CL 53) History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry on the U.S. Navy Historical Center website.

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: George H. Horton
Address: 887 East Birch St, Clearfield, UT 84015
Phone: (801) 773-4795
E-mail: GHorton424@aol.com


Note About Contacts.

The contact listed, Was the contact at the time for this ship when located. If another person now is the contact, E-mail me and I will update this entry. These contacts are compiled from various sources over a long period of time and may or may not be correct. Every effort has been made to list the newest contact if more than one contact was found.


Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway Cruiser Pages By Andrew Toppan.

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Last updated 07/08/2018