U.S.S. San Diego (CL-53)

Processed by Jennifer Edwards
MacMullen Library & Research Archives

Maritime Museum of San Diego
1492 N. Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 234-9153
Fax: (619) 234-8345
E-mail: librarian@sdmaritime.org

Descriptive Summary

Creator:
U.S.S. San Diego (CLAA-53) Reunion Association

Title:
U.S.S. San Diego (CL-53), 1915 – 2005

Extent:
4.5 linear feet (10 archival boxes, 1 oversize box)

Repository:
MacMullen Library & Research Archives
Maritime Museum of San Diego
San Diego, CA 92101

Language:
English

Administrative Information

Access

Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Information

The collection was received by the Maritime Museum of San Diego in 2005.

Historical Note

The U.S.S. San Diego (CL-53) was the second U.S. Navy ship to bear the California city’s name. The Atlanta-class light antiaircraft cruiser, commissioned in 1942, played a part in almost every major Pacific campaign during World War II. Although it was attacked on numerous occasions, the San Diego never lost a man in combat or suffered any major damage. During its lifetime, the ship participated in 34 major battles, earned 18 battle stars, and traveled 300,000 miles. On August 28, 1945, it earned the distinction of being among the first major Allied warships to enter Tokyo Bay since the beginning of the war. The San Diego was decommisioned in November 1946 and placed in the Pacific Reserve Fleet in Bremerton, Washington. It was redesignated CLAA-53 in 1949, was struck from the Naval Vessel Register 10 years later, and was scrapped in Seattle in 1960.

Scope and Content

The U.S.S. San Diego collection is a compilation of historical pieces and the results of research undertaken by members of the U.S.S. San Diego Reunion Association. It contains a number of original and photocopied logs and records from the San Diego and one of its captains, W.E.A. Mullan. In addition to this official record, the collection offers a number of firsthand accounts told by those who served aboard the ship. Diaries, correspondence, biographies, pre-written crew letters, and memorabilia illustrate the activities of the ship and the daily lives of its crew.

Also detailing the San Diego’s history are numerous manuscripts and clippings, spanning from the World War II era to the early 21st century. The collection also contains information about the first U.S.S. San Diego (ACR-6) and the third (AFS-6), as well as general background information about World War II and ships of the United States Navy.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is arranged into the following series:

 

I.                 Ship’s Activities and Crew Experiences

II.                Records and Logs

III.               Manuscripts

IV.               Clippings and Publications

V.                Military Ships Reference Material

VI.               General World War II Reference Material


Container List

Series I – Ship’s Activities and Crew Experiences

141.1
U.S.S. San Diego background
            History and specifications
            Battle record and significant events
            Personnel
            Images

141.2
“History of the U.S.S. San Diego (CL-53) from 10 January 1942 to 3 December 1945”

141.3
Diary – Earl R. Burton, “Saga of a Fighting Ship” (1942-1944)

141.4
Diary – Martin Levine, “Set Condition One” (1943-1946)

141.5
Diary – New Caledonia 1943
Diary - “My Cruise Aboard the San Diego” (9/14/1943 – 9/2/1945)
Log of John J. Micho (10/1942 – 6/1944)

141.6
Crew Stories and Memories

141.7
“Biographies of USS San Diego Shipmates”

141.8
Ronald Reagan letter to U.S.S. San Diego crew, with signature (4/25/1986)

141.9
Official Correspondence (10/30/1944 – 10/20/1945, n.d.)

141.10
W.E. Mullan letter to his wife (8/30/1945)

141.11
U.S.S. San Diego Memorial Association correspondence re: San Diego crew (4/30/1985 – 8/17/2004)
Research/interview notes

141.12
U.S.S. San Diego Memorial Association correspondence re: San Diego crew (4/24/1985 – 2/17/2005)
Research/interview notes

141.13
Crew letters (8/13/1944 – 8/21/1945)

141.14
Crew letters (2/21/1945 – 8/21/1945, n.d.)

141.15
Press News (3/13/1942 – 7/2/1943)

141.16
Press News (10/27/1944 – 8/8/1945)

141.17
Press News (8/13/1945 – 9/2/1945)

141.18
Navy Day, 10/27/1945

142.1
Memorabilia/ephemera
            Menus (1942)
            Map – Town of Noumea
            Thanksgiving 1943
            Certificates

142.2
Memorabilia/ephemera
            Envelopes
            Holiday cards/postcards
            Program – Leonard E. Shea memorial
            Semaphore wheel

142.3
Memorabilia/ephemera
            Envelopes

142.4
“Pelorus/Bell/Engtel”

142.5
“Ashore in San Diego” 1942

142.6
Maps

142.7
Map of part of Honshu Island, Japan

Series II – Records and Logs

142.8
“Deck Logs (Various), Hand-written, 1942”

142.9
“Log – 1942”

142.10
“U.S.S. San Diego (CL-53) Deck Log, 1/10/1942, Listing Plankowners”

142.11
Logs (1/10/1942 – 10/30/1945)

142.12
Records and logs (1/10/1942 – 8/27/1945)

142.13
Records and logs (1/30/1942 – 10/26/1945, n.d.)

142.14
Ship’s records/logs (7/29/1942 – 10/12/1945, n.d.)

142.15
Ship’s records/logs (8/8/1942 – 10/2/1945, n.d.)

142.16
“Deck Logs (Various), Hand-written, 1943”

142.17
“Deck Logs (Various), Hand-written, 1943”

142.18
“Deck Logs (Various), Hand-written, 1943”

142.19
“Log – 1943”

142.20
Logs (12/1/1943 – 1/2/1944)

142.21
“Original Deck Logs – 1/3/1945 – 5/31/1945”

143.1
“U.S.S. San Diego Deck Logs (Various), Typed”

143.2
“U.S.S. San Diego Deck Logs (Various), Typed”

143.3
Ship’s Company log (1942 – 1945)

143.4
Ship’s Company log (1942 – 1945)

143.5
Orders of the Day (1/10/1942 – 9/7/1945)

143.6
Disciplinary Action, Injury Sheets, Transfer Sheets, Meritorious Mast (1/1945 – 12/1945)

143.7
“Names Mentioned in F.I.”
Ship’s Company – Post-war Crew (1945)
Report of Action – 10/26/1942
“Passengers on U.S.S. San Diego”
“Fuel Oil Received”
“Assignment to Quarters”

143.8
“Wm. E. Mullan – Orders to take command of the U.S.S. San Diego CL-53” (5/5/1944 – 7/13/1944)

143.9
W.E.A. Mullan Service Records (1/2/1915 – 4/9/1935)

143.10
W.E.A. Mullan Service Records (6/2/1919 – 9/1/1941)

143.11
W.E.A. Mullan Service Records (6/2/1919 – 9/1/1941)

143.12
W.E.A. Mullan Service Records, “R-14”  (12/27/1927 – 9/23/1936)

143.13
W.E.A. Mullan Service Records, “00/W.E. Mullan” (2/25/1929 – 5/1/1933)

143.14
W.E.A. Mullan Service Records – “Personal – Vol. I” (7/17/1936 – 12/31/1940)

144.1
W.E.A. Mullan Service Records – “Personal – Vol. IV” (1/3/1938 – 4/17/1941)

144.2
W.E.A. Mullan Service Records – “Personal – Vol. IV” (1/3/1938 – 4/17/1941)

144.3
W.E.A. Mullan Service Records – “Captain’s Office – Do Not Remove” (5/29/1941 – 6/15/1944)

144.4
W.E.A. Mullan Service Records – “Captain’s Office – Do Not Remove” (5/29/1941 – 6/15/1944)

144.5
W.E.A. Mullan Service Records – “Captain Mullan” (4/1/1944 – 12/22/1945)

144.6
W.E.A. Mullan Service Records – “Captain Mullan” (4/1/1944 – 12/22/1945)

144.7
W.E.A. Mullan Service Records – “Separation Papers and Retirement” (9/16/1946 – 7/27/1950)

144.8
W.E.A. Mullan Service Records – “September Daily Report” (n.d.)
            “List of U.S.S. Vincennes Officers On Board U.S.S. Barnett
            “Survivors of U.S.S. Vincennes Aboard U.S.S. Hunter Liggett

144.9
“Documents From the Personal Service File of Radm. William A.E. Mullan”

145.1
Muster Roll of the Crew, 1/1942 – 3/1942

145.2
Muster Roll of the Crew, 4/1942 – 6/1942

145.3
Muster Roll of the Crew, 7/1942 – 9/1942

145.4
Muster Roll of the Crew, 10/1942 – 12/1942

145.5
Muster Roll of the Crew, 1/1943 – 3/1943

145.6
Muster Roll of the Crew, 4/1943 – 6/1943

145.7
Muster Roll of the Crew, 7/1943 – 9/1943

145.8
Muster Roll of the Crew, 10/1943 – 12/1943

145.9
Muster Roll of the Crew, 1/1944 – 3/1944

146.1
Muster Roll of the Crew, 4/1944 – 6/1944

146.2
Muster Roll of the Crew, 7/1944 – 9/1944

146.3
Muster Roll of the Crew, 10/1944 – 12/1944

146.4
Muster Roll of the Crew, 1/1945 – 3/1945

146.5
Muster Roll of the Crew, 4/1945 – 6/1945

146.6
Muster Roll of the Crew, 7/1945 – 9/1945

146.7
Muster Roll of the Crew, 11/1945 – 1/1946

Series III – Manucripts

146.8
Manuscripts
            “World War II went out with two stupendous, thundering booms…”
            “U.S.S. San Diego: First Capital Ship into Tokyo Bay: Aug. 1945”
            “A Proud Tribute to San Diego’s Namesake Ship”

-- remaining items from Manuscripts series in Boxes 149 and 150

Series IV –Clippings and Publications

146.9
Clippings – San Diego Union, Navy Day Section, 10/27/1945

146.10
Clippings, newspaper (11/19/1940 – 6/20/1960)

146.11
Clippings, newspaper, WWII era (n.d.)

146.12
Clippings, newspaper (9/12/1991 – 6/6/2004, n.d.)

147.1
Clippings, magazine (12/16/1944 – 6/15/2002, n.d.)

147.2
Clippings, “Sea Classics” magazine (n.d.)

147.3
Clipping / Correspondence refuting claim that San Diego was first into Tokyo Bay
            “The Silent Defenders: First Ship into Tokyo Bay”

Series V – Military Ships Reference Material

147.4
AFS-6 U.S.S. San Diego

147.5
“U.S.S. Hornet, U.S.S. Mustin DD-413”

147.6
Hornet Program”

147.7
“U.S.S. Haggard, History”

147.8
“U.S.S. Midway CV-41”
“Noumea New Caledonia”
“HMS Victorious

147.9
“U.S. Navy Destroyers”

147.10
HMNZS Leander

147.11
HMNZS Leander

147.12
Miscellaneous military ships

Series VI – General World War II Reference Material

148.1
Reference material – U.S. Navy and World War II
            “Glossary of Naval Words and Phrases”
            “Anti-Aircraft Cruiser: The Life of a Class” by Norman Friedman
            “Battle Report: Victory in the Pacific,” 1949

148.2
“Deaths” (World War II casualties)

148.3
“Deaths” (World War II casualties)

148.4
“Deaths” (World War II casualties)

148.5
“Deaths” (World War II casualties)

148.6
“Transpac Pictures and Papers for Museum” (World War II era patrol squadrons)

148.7
“Transpac Pictures and Papers for Museum” (World War II era patrol squadrons)

148.8
“Transpac Pictures and Papers for Museum” (World War II era patrol squadrons)

148.9
“Transpac Pictures and Papers for Museum” (World War II era patrol squadrons)

148.10
“Transpac Pictures and Papers for Museum” (World War II era patrol squadrons)

148.11
Lt. Comdr. G.P. Biggs telegram to Vice Admiral William Halsey
Instrument of Surrender (copy) (9/2/1942)

148.12
“Handbook of Maintenance Instructions for Radio Receivers” (2/25/1942)

148.13
Sheet Music – “Anchors Aweigh!”

148.14

Telegram of Admiral Nimitz

148.15

Telegram of Admiral Halsey



Manuscripts

149.1
“My Cruise Aboard the San Diego,” author unknown.

149.2
“U.S.S. San Diego: First Fighting Ship Into Tokyo Bay” by Robert Alderson.

149.3
Untitled letter by William Mullan to the Mayor of San Diego (9/10/1945)

149.4
“The Travels and Adventures of the Good Ship San Juan, CL-54, 1942-1946” by Tom Falloon.

149.5
Action Report. 10/26/1942

149.6
Action Report. 8/19/1945 – 9/8/1945

149.7
“History of the U.S.S. San Diego from 10 January 1942 to 3 December 1945,” written at the request of the Secretary of the Navy.

149.8
“At Sea – Western Pacific” – mimeographed news sheets to be mailed home.

149.9
Mimeographed letters to be mailed home by crewmen.

149.10
“Aboard the U.S.S. San Diego, Tokyo Bay.” Intended to be sent to hometown newspapers.

149.11
Press News – April 14, 1945.

149.12
“New Atomic Bomb Has Power of 20,000 Tons of T.N.T.” Associated Press report.

149.13
“Cruiser San Diego Anchors 300 Yards off Yokosuka Base,” clippings, photographs, records.

149.14
“The Five Incher.” 12/16/1944

149.15
“Ships Named San Diego.” 12/18/1967

149.16
“Under the Cold Gaze of the Victorious” by Robert B. Carney. Proceedings, U.S. Naval Institute, December 1983.

149.17
“Enemies No More” by Ben W. Blee. Proceedings, U.S. Naval Institute, February 1987.

149.18
“Landing at Tokyo Bay” by Vernon C. Squires. American Heritage, August/September 1985.

149.19
“Liberty Town, World War II” by Roberta Ridgely. San Diego Magazine, December 1988.

149.20
“The Chicago Piano” by Konrad F. Schreier, Jr. Naval History, July/August 1994.

150.1
“U.S.S. San Diego: The Unbeatable Ship That Nobody Ever Heard Of” by Fred Whitmore. Mains’l Haul, Vol. 33, No. 2, Spring 1997.

150.2
“Savo Island: The Worst Defeat” by George William Kittredge. Naval History, August 2002.

150.3
“The U.S.S. San Diego and the California Naval Militia” by George J. Albert, California Center for Military History, 10/20/2004.

150.4
“U.S.S. San Diego (CL-53, later CLAA-53), 1942-1960.” Department of the Navy – Naval Historical Center, n.d.

150.5
“Chronological Record of the U.S.S. San Diego CL-53” by Spence Ehrman, n.d.

150.6
“How the Navy Names Its Ships” by John D.H. Kane, Jr., n.d.

150.7
“History of the U.S.S. San Diego (CL 53).” Office of Naval Records and History, n.d.

150.8
“Attack, Repeat – Attack!” by Remo Salta, n.d.

150.9
“The Battle for Guadalcanal, November 12-15, 1942: The Big Turn From Defensive to Aggressive Action” by Fred Whitmore, n.d.

150.10
“Typhoon” by Fred Whitmore, n.d.

150.11
“U.S.S. San Diego: The Unbeatable Ship That Nobody Ever Heard Of” by Fred Whitmore. U.S.S. San Diego Memorial Association, n.d.

150.12
“U.S.S. San Diego CL-53: ‘A Monument to Freedom’” by Fred Whitmore, n.d.

150.13
“Atlanta Class.” From “Cruisers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia” by M.J. Whitley.

150.14
“Occupation of Yokosuka.” From “History of the Sixth Marine Division.”

150.15
“The Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, 26-27 October 1942” From “The Struggle for Guadalcanal.”

150.16
Atlanta Class.” From “U.S. Light Cruisers in Action,” Warships Number 12, Squadron/Signal Publications.

150.17
“U.S.S. San Diego – San Diego Visit – October 26-30, 1945” booklet.

150.18
“Summary of War Damage to U.S. Battleships, Carriers, Cruisers, Destroyers and Destroyer Escorts.” 10/17/1941 – 12/7/1942

Oversized Items

151.1
Deck logs (1/1945 – 12/1945)

151.2
Deck logs (1/1946 – 11/1946)

151.3
Original “Five-Incher” newsletters, 1944

151.4
Original “Five-Incher” newsletters, 1945

151.5
Original check logs
#606 (8/1/1942) - #3455 (5/10/1943)

151.6
Clipping – “Fleet on Move to Tokio Bay”

151.7
Clipping – “Battleship Missouri leads naval parade for surrender of Mikado”

151.8
Map – N. Philippines / Formosa / Japan, showing ship’s track into Tokyo Bay (7/2/1945 – 8/29/1945)

151.9
Newspaper – San Diego Tribune-Sun; Saturday, October 27, 1945; Home Edition

151.10
Newspaper – San Diego Tribune-Sun; Saturday, October 27, 1945; with Navy Day Section

151.11
Newspaper – San Diego Union; Saturday, October 27, 1945; Navy Day Section

151.12
Newspaper – San Diego Union; Saturday, October 27, 1945; photocopy

Subjects

U.S.S. San Diego (CL-53 / CLAA-53)
U.S.S. San Diego CL-53 Reunion Association
W.E.A. Mullan
Cruisers (Warships)
World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American
World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--South Pacific Ocean

 

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