Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
top of page

The USS San Francisco Memorial is a war memorial in San Francisco's Lands End, U.S. state of California. The memorial has a plaque commemorating about 100 sailors and seven Marines who died aboard the USS San Francisco cruiser. The memorial is unique because it was partly constructed from the bridge of the ship itself, showing some of the significant damage suffered during the war.

Established in 2005, the USS San Francisco Memorial Foundation is committed to the preservation of the past of the World War II heavy cruiser and the 100 sailors and 7 Marines killed 75 years ago during the Guadalcanal Naval Battle on 12/13 November 1942.


The initial idea was that these associations would only last as long as the crew members lived and then vanish into history. However, those of us who are the sons and daughters and grandchildren of those who served do not want the men and the ships to be forgotten, and with the advent of inexpensive, advanced web technology, it is now possible to build a living "virtual" web memorial that will not only keep alive the memory of these ships and crews, but will actually continue to expand as new knowledge from cruise books.

Some of the original CA-38 crew members who are still hale and hearty founded the USS San Francisco Memorial Foundation in 2005 with the goal of establishing a physical memorial at the Lands End in San Francisco and a permanent living memorial on the web. Membership in the Foundation is available to any member of the crew, family member or friend, with a small annual contribution to keep the Foundation viable. Members have access to members-only newsletter, downloadable research materials, contact details for other members, discounts on merchandise purchases in the ship's shop, and – perhaps most importantly – the opportunity to add information to the Foundation's database on a specific crew member or event in the ship's history by a designated member of the Foundation. Generation after generation, they'll be able to visit this site and learn about their ancestors who worked onboard, and maybe even hear and see their stories on their own terms.


The first collection of photographs was taken in November 2001. The memorial is made of the bridge wings of the heavy cruiser USS San Francisco. The damaged areas were removed at the end of 1942/early 1943, while the war damage sustained during the Guadalcanal battle in November 1942 was restored. It's incredible to see these parts of the ship standing on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. USS San Francisco was decommissioned in 1947 and decommissioned in 1959.


In 1942, the USS San Francisco cruiser struck a vastly superior Japanese force off the coast of Guadalcanal. It is regarded as the Second World War's most violent close-quarter naval engagement. USS San Francisco took some 45 direct hits and suffered significant damage when sinking one Japanese ship and seriously damaging two others (including a battleship). One hundred sailors, including Rear Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan and 7 Marines, were killed and 131 injured. Despite all this, the USS San Francisco has safely returned to shore. This savage combat is commemorated by an unusual monument in San Francisco's Lands End, just west of the Golden Gate Bridge, under which USS San Francisco and several other ships sailed or returned from fighting.


The memorial of the USS San Francisco is geared towards Guadalcanal and removes the standard symbolic folder in favor of something much more visceral: a shell pocked part of the bridge wings of the USS San Francisco. The site of heavy gage steel perforated like paper captures the rage and terror of that night better than any sculpture ever could.

This amazing kid-friendly park is just one of the many must-see sights you don’t want to miss in San Francisco, California:

  • Golden Gate Park

  • Alamo Square Park

  • Mission Dolores Park

  • San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

  • Washington Square

  • Pioneer Park

  • Corona Heights Park

  • Lafayette Park  

All of these wonderful parks are located just a short distance from our location located at 100 Pine St #1250 in San Francisco! Stop by for a visit anytime!

Magnified-Media-Logo copy.png
bottom of page