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USS San Francisco Memorial Foundation
C/O Art Curtis
P.O. Box 318063
San Francisco, CA 94131-8063

415-334-0263
415-350-0531
Art Curtis:
awcurtis@comcast.net

 

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San Francisco Shipwreck Walk offers historical look at coast

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A Special Moment of Thanks.... To Leon Rader, Master Sculptor, for donating his time and artistic skills, in the creation of these Granite Monuments dedicated to the Ship's crew and the City and County of San Francisco.

Leon, a Russian, was born in Rumania. He attended the world famous art College of Luve, near Lemberg Poland. Leon studied art and worked at the college studio shop for 8 years, sculpturing in stone, marble and granite. He graduated with honors, obtaining his Certificate as a Master Sculptor. Leon migrated to Italy, and then to San Francisco in 1980. His business, "Art in Stone". is in Colma, CA

He does this great work, because of his patriotism and his love for America, his country. We are richly rewarded having Leon and his family became Americans.

** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE **

Chief Johnny Johnson and Leon Rader

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After WWII, veteran crew members of many vessels formed associations that were restricted to officers and crew only. The original idea was that these associations would last only as long as the crew members lived, and then disappear into history. However, many of us who are the sons and daughters and grandchildren of those who served do not want the men and ships to be forgotten, and with the advent of affordable, sophisticated web technology, it is now possible to create a living "virtual" web memorial that will not only keep the memory of these ships and crew alive, but will actually continue to grow as new information from cruise books, estates and attics continues to come to light.


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Some of the original CA-38 crew who are still hale and hearty have formed the USS San Francisco Memorial Foundation for the purpose of maintaining the physical memorial at Land's End in San Francisco, and a perpetual living memorial on the web. Membership in the foundation is open to any crew member, family member or friend, with a modest annual donation to keep the foundation going. members gains access to a members-only newsletter, downloadable research materials, contact information for other members, discounts on product purchases in the ship's store, and - perhaps most importantly - the ability to add information directly into the foundation database about a particular crew member or event in the ship's history. Generation after generation will be able to visit this site and read about their ancestors who served aboard, and perhaps even hear and view their stories in their own words.

The Physical Memorial at Land's End
The first group of photos was taken during November 2001. The memorial is made from the bridge wings of the heavy cruiser USS San Francisco. The damaged areas were removed in late 1942/early '43 while repairing battle damage received during combat around Guadalcanal in November '42. It's really amazing to see these pieces of the ship standing on a bluff overlooking the Pacific. The San Francisco was scrapped after WWII.

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Best World War II Memorial

In 1942 the cruiser USS San Francisco attacked a vastly superior Japanese force off the coast of Guadalcanal. It was the most brutal close-quarters naval engagement of World War II. The San Francisco took some 45 direct hits and sustained heavy damage while sinking one Japanese ship and seriously damaging two others (including a battleship). One hundred and six sailors, including Rear Admiral Daniel Callaghan, were killed and 131 more wounded. Despite it all, the San Francisco safely made it back to port. This savage battle is commemorated by an unusual memorial in Land's End. The USS San Francisco Memorial is oriented toward Guadalcanal, and it eschews the usual symbolic folderol in favor of something far more visceral: a shell-ridden section of the San Francisco 's bridge. The site of heavygauge steel perforated like paper captures the fury and horror of that night better than any sculpture ever could.

Photos taken during a visit to the Bay Area during November 2003.

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