USS San Juan (CL-54) and USS San Diego (CL-53) under construction

USS San Juan (CL-54) and USS San Diego (CL-53) under construction


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US Navy Light Cruisers 1941-45, Mark Stille .Covers the five classes of US Navy light cruisers that saw service during the Second World War, with sections on their design, weaponry, radar, combat experience. Nicely organised, with the wartime service records separated out from the main text, so that the design history of the light cruisers flows nicely. Interesting to see how new roles had to be found for them, after other technology replaced them as reconnaissance aircraft [read full review]


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

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 citys 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 Diegos 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. Ships 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 – Ships 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)

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

142.5
Ashore in San Diego 1942

142.7
Map of part of Honshu Island, Japan

Series II – Records and Logs
142.8
Deck Logs (Various), Hand-written, 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
Ships records/logs (7/29/1942 – 10/12/1945, n.d.)

142.15
Ships 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

142.20
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
Ships Company log (1942 – 1945)

143.4
Ships 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.
Ships 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 – Captains Office – Do Not Remove (5/29/1941 – 6/15/1944)

144.4
W.E.A. Mullan Service Records – Captains 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 Diegos 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

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

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!

Telegram of Admiral Nimitz

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. Mainsl 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 ships 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


Measure 16 Thayer System

The Thayer System (Measure 16) was introduced in the June 1942 revision to SHIPS-2. This measure was similar to some British Navy camouflages used in the North Atlantic. It was considered especially well adapted for winter use in northern areas where nights were long and days were frequently overcast. The special feature of this system was its changeable character. At low levels of illumination a blue paint will appear relatively lighter and a red paint will appear relatively darker than these two paints appear in daylight.This visual change, known as the Purkinje effect, was utilized in the Thayer System. The pure light blue was selected because it appeared practically like white paint at low levels of illumination. The ship would therefore appear like an all-white ship on moonless nights or during twilight when white or very light ships were the best for reduced visibility. During daylight hours or under bright moonlight the pattern would be apparent and might produce some deception in the estimation of the target angle. A darker blue would produce more deception but was not used because it would not appear white at night. The purity of the color was a very important factor in the Purkinje effect.

The entire ship was painted white (5-U) and a pattern using Thayer blue (5-B) was painted on top of that. Nine patterns were supplied by drawings of various ship classes in SHIPS-2 (see table below.) Some of these patterns were later reused in the Measure 31-32-33 dazzle schemes. This system also employed countershading, which was the application of white paint to the under side of projecting decks and overhangs, in an effort to hide or lessen shadows in order to blend with the background.

This is Plate IV from SHIPS-2 labeled DESTROYER DD 380 Class the light color was white (5-U) and the pattern was Thayer Blue (5-B). This pattern was used again for Design 21D. This drawing was published in June 1942.

These are side views from the camouflage drawings for Measure 33 Design 21D for the USS Nashville (CL-43) dated July 14, 1943. This camouflage was used by Nashville and the colors were navy blue and light gray.

Original Drawing Source: NARA 80-G-157050 and 80-G-157051.

This is Plate V from the June 1942 version of SHIPS-2 labeled DESTROYER DD 384 Class the light color was white (5-U) and the pattern was Thayer Blue (5-B). Note the distictive wave pattern on the starboard bow and the curved patterns of the port bow. This pattern was used again for Design 22D.

These are side views from the camouflage drawings for Design 22D using Measure 31, 32 or 33 colors for the Fletcher class (DD-445) dated December 3, 1943. This pattern is an almost exact copy of the earlier Measure 16 pattern, only stretched for a longer hull form and modified in the superstructure. This camouflage was used in March 1944 by USS Wedderburn (DD-684) of the Fletcher class, using Measure 31: dull black and ocean gray. Design 22D was drawn up on January 27, 1944, for the Buckley class destroyer escorts and used three colors. In March and April of 1944 it was drawn for the Porter and Benson classes of destroyers. Design 22D using three Measure 33 colors was dated April 18, 1944, for the Atlanta class light cruisers and used by USS San Juan (CL-54) and USS Flint (CL-97) but in Measure 32 colors. The battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) commissioned on June 11, 1944 in this design and she wore this camouflage until she arrived in the Pacific a few weeks later. Missouri used Measure 32 colors of dull black, ocean gray and light gray. Also a total of twenty-nine destroyer escorts, at least eleven minesweepers carried this design.

Original drawing source: NARA 80-G-164292 and 80-G-164293.

This is Plate VI from the June 1942 version of SHIPS-2 that was labeled Four Stack Destroyer (Adaptable to Three Stack Destroyer) the light color was white (5-U) and the pattern was Thayer Blue (5-B). Note the distictive bow panels. This pattern was used again for Design 23D.

These are side views from the camouflage drawings for Measure 31 Design 23D for the Fletcher class (DD-445) dated January 8, 1944. This pattern is a good match to the earlier Measure 16 pattern, and the distictive bow designs are retained. The design drawing for Buckley class destroyer escorts was dated March 8, 1944. Design 23D was drawn for Mahan class destroyers on April 13, 1944, and again for Admirable class minesweepers on May 5, 1944.

Original drawing source: NARA 80-G-164294 and 80-G-164295.

This is Plate VII from the June 1942 version of SHIPS-2 that was labeled PATROL BOAT PC 471 Class, here again the light color was white (5-U) and the pattern was Thayer Blue (5-B).

This is Plate VIII from the June 1942 version of SHIPS-2 that was labeled 110 FOOT SUBMARINE CHASER, and the colors were white (5-U) with the pattern Thayer Blue (5-B).

This is Plate IX from the June 1942 version of SHIPS-2 that was labeled DESTROYER DD 421 Class the light color was white (5-U) and the pattern was Thayer Blue (5-B). Note the distictive pattern on the port bow. This pattern was used again for Design 16D.

These are side views from the camouflage drawings for Measure 31 Design 16D for the Alan M. Sumner class (DD-692) of destroyers drawn probably in late 1943. This pattern on the port side is a good match to the earlier Measure 16 pattern, especially for the bow stripes. In this case Design 16D added a similar striped pattern to the starboard side. Design 16D was also drawn for Fletcher and Gleaves classes of destroyers, Buckley class destroyer escorts, Bayfield class attack transports and for Tacoma class frigates. The cruiser USS Baltimore (CA-68) and the battleship USS California (BB-44) also wore Design 16D.

Original drawing source: NARA 80-G-170940 and 80-G-170941.

This is Plate X from the June 1942 version of SHIPS-2 that was labeled DESTROYER DD 445 Class, again the light color was white (5-U) and the pattern was Thayer Blue (5-B). Note the distictive patterns on each bow.This pattern was used again for Design 24D.

These are side views from the camouflage drawings for Measure 32 Design 24D for the Buckley (DE-51) class of destroyer escorts dated January 6, 1944. The patterns on both the starboard and the port sides are good matches to the earlier Measure 16 drawing, except for some shifting and stretching. In December 1943, Design 24D was used for the light cruiser USS Reno (CL-96) in Measure 33 colors: ocean gray and light gray. About the same time 24D was used with Measure 32 colors for the Fletcher class destroyers. In February 1944, it was redrawn for the Cleveland class light cruisers. Design 24D was worn by the light cruisers USS Springfield (CL-66), USS Topeka (CL-67) and USS Astoria (CL-90) in Measure 33 colors and USS Pasadena (CL-65) in Measure 32 colors. Light cruiser USS San Diego (CL-53) also wore Design 24D using the Measure 33 colors navy blue and light gray, beginning in April 1944, until the end of the war.

Original drawing source: NARA 80-G-105512 for the port and 80-G-172874 for the starboard.

This is Plate XI from the June 1942 version of SHIPS-2 that was labeled TRANSPORT AP 21 Class, the light color was white (5-U) and the pattern was Thayer Blue (5-B).

This is Plate XII from the June 1942 version of SHIPS-2 that was labeled CARGO SHIP AK 25 Class, again the light color was white (5-U) and the pattern was Thayer Blue (5-B). This pattern later became Design 18D.

These are side views from the camouflage drawings for Measure 32 Design 18D for the Fletcher (DD-445) class of destroyers dated August 19, 1943. The patterns on both the starboard and the port sides are good matches to the earlier Measure 16 drawing, except for some added panels for three colors. Many details on the superstructure have been added or modified. Design 18D was dated December 1943 when drawn for the Baltimore class heavy cruisers and it was worn by USS Canberra (CA-70), USS Quincy (CA-71) and USS Pittsburgh (CA-72). The battleship USS North Carolina (BB-55) also wore Design 18D from November 1943 all the way through 1944.

Original drawing source: NARA 80-G-156814 and 80-G-156815.

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Site last updated: March 1, 2019
Copyright © C. Lee Johnson 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019


This Aircraft Carrier Did Not Exist

This story originally appeared on Sept. 22, 2015. One of the strange little stories of World War II involves the aircraft carrier USS Robin.

This story originally appeared on Sept. 22, 2015 .

One of the strange little stories of World War II involves the aircraft carrier USS Robin, which didn’t really exist.

There was a carrier that sailors called the Robin. She and her sailors were underneath U.S. Navy command, took part in American battles and launched U.S. planes with American pilots. She certainly was a carrier, not to be confused with another USS Robin, a minesweeper.

But the carrier Robin, generally speaking, was an illusion.

So what was going on? Turns out, Robin was the product of the Navy’s desperation in the Pacific theater during the tumultuous months of late 1942 and early 1943. Robin was actually the codenamed HMS Victorious, a British Illustrious-class carrier leased to the United States.

At the time, America needed every carrier it could get.

“Aircraft carriers had arrived at the point of technological development that they gave … a range-extension option that was not available to a battleship fleet,” historian Francis Pike wrote in his recent and exhaustive book Hirohito’s War.

“With overwhelming superiority in terms of numbers of carriers, quality of aircraft and above all, superb fliers, brilliantly led and trained, Japan needed to bring the U.S. Pacific Navy to battle as soon as possible.”

December 1942 was one of America’s low points. It was a year after Pearl Harbor and the Japanese fleet had not yet been crushed. In the South Pacific, the Navy had one fully operational fleet carrier, USS Saratoga. Japanese aircraft and destroyers sent the carrier USS Hornet to the bottom in October. USS Enterprise was battered.

Army troops and Marines had just begun expelling the last of Japan’s troops from Guadalcanal — the beginning of an island hopping campaign that would eventually extend thousands of miles into the Western Pacific. A renewed Japanese carrier assault could reverse these early, meager gains.

That’s when HMS Victorious came to rescue the American fleet.

Joseph Tremain, in a fascinating article for Armchair General magazine, described the Victorious‘ handover from the United Kingdom to her transformation into Robin. The carrier first arrived for her refit at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in January 1943.

After the Norfolk refit, the Victorious transited the Panama Canal and arrived at Pearl Harbor in March 1943 to join the Saratoga Battle Group, Task Force 14. Between March and May, the Victorious underwent additional modifications at Pearl to specifically handle the American versions of the Grumman TBF Avenger (or British Avenger) and F4F Wildcat (British Martlet). To complete the makeover and new look, the Victorious temporarily shed her typical British Atlantic “admiralty disruptive camouflage scheme” (irregular patterns of dark and light tones) for the American standard navy gray.

On May 17, 1943, the Victorious, now code-named “Robin,” along with USS Saratoga, arrived at the Solomon Islands as part of Task Force 36 commanded by Rear Admiral DeWitt Ramsey, USN. The Saratoga and Victorious would become the core of Task Group 36.3 under Rear Admiral F. P. Sherman along with the USS North Carolina (BB-55), USS Massachusetts (BB-59), USS Indiana (BB-58), USS San Diego (CL-53), USS San Juan (CL-54), HMAS Australia (D84, a heavy cruiser) and several escort vessels. Her ship’s crew was British, but her aircrew and aircraft were American. No one involved had any illusions that she wouldn’t be identified as the Victorious by enemy pilots, so she proudly flew her British Jack throughout her time with the Yanks, even when only the Yanks were flying on and off her flight deck.


USS San Juan (CL-54) and USS San Diego (CL-53) under construction - History

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Six Panels
(lesser caps have 5 panels)

Pro-Style
Like baseball players and NFL refs wear, NOT the huge "billboard" crowns that most companies sell, and not low-profile (you can order low-profile if desired).

Fabric and Snap-Buckle adjuster
(on navy, black and red color caps)

TRUE NAVY color
also in BLACK, RED & WHITE
(white is cotton blend w/ plastic adjuster)

Bow Wake's featured cap is the best of the best. It's a 20/80 WOOL SERGE. I've rejected dozens of wool caps to find the best. You'll love this cap. Here are some of the features that make this an outstanding, FOUR-O cap:


USS San Juan (CL-54) and USS San Diego (CL-53) under construction - History

Location
The Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands occurred on October 26, 1942 off the Santa Cruz Island Group (Santa Cruz Islands) in the southeastern Solomon Islands in present day Temotu Province. The Japanese call this action the "Battle of the South Pacific". Also known as the "Battle of the Stewart Islands" or "Naval Battle of Santa Cruz".

U.S. Navy Force
The U.S. Navy fleet was comprised of Task Force 16 (TF 16) USS Enterprise CV-6 under command of Rear Admiral Thomas Kinkaid, who was overall command with Task Force 17 (TF 17) USS Hornet CV-8 under command of Rear Admiral George Murray. Together, both forces formed Task Force 61 (TF 61) and steamed to intercept a Japanese task force bound for Guadalcanal. The carriers were supported by USS South Dakota BB-57, three heavy cruisers USS Portland CA-33, USS Northampton CA-26 and USS Pensacola CA-24, three light cruisers USS San Juan CL-54, USS San Diego CL-53 and USS Juneau CL-52 plus 14 destroyers. A third group Task Force 64 (TF-64) under the command of Rear Admiral Willis Lee, consisted of battleship USS Washington BB-56, heavy cruiser USS San Francisco CA-38, light cruiser USS Helena CL-50, USS Atlanta CL-51 plus six destroyers withdrew southeast to refuel and did not participate in the battle.

Japanese Force
The Japanese fleet comprised of four carriers maneuver off the southern Solomon Islands in hopes of encountering Allied naval forces in battle. The Japanese force was divided into three forces: Advance Force, Main Body and Vanguard Force. The "Advance Force" including Junyō, two battleships, four heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, and 10 destroyers, and was commanded by Vice Admiral Nobutake Kondō in heavy cruiser Atago, who also acted as overall commander of the other two forces involved in the battle. The "Main Body" consisted of Shōkaku, Zuikaku, and Zuihō plus one heavy cruiser and eight destroyers, and was commanded by Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo aboard Shōkaku. The "Vanguard" force of two battleships, three heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, and seven destroyers commanded by Rear Admiral Hiroaki Abe aboard battleship Hiei.

Wartime History
The Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands was the fourth carrier battle in the Pacific War, following the Battle of the Eastern Solomons (August 24-25, 1942), Battle of Midway (June 4-6, 1942) and the Battle of the Coral Sea (May 4-8, 1942). During the battle, the vessels of the opposing forces were never within visual sight of each other, with aircraft instrumental in the action. This was the last of the carrier battles associated with the Guadalcanal campaign.

On October 25, 1942, the battle began when a U.S. Navy PBY Catalina located the Japanese force at 11:03am just beyond the range of carrier aircraft. The U.S. carriers steamed towards the contact and launched carrier aircraft at 2:25pm but failed to locate the enemy because the Japanese had turned to the north to stay out of range.

On October 26, 1942 at 2:50am the Japanese fleet turned to the south and the two forces closed to 200 miles by 5:00am. The Japanese were spotted again at 3:12am by another PBY Catalina equipped with radar, but the report was not relayed to Rear Admiral Kinkaid until 5:12am. By 6:45am spotted by B-17E "Old Maid" 41-2409 and shadowed. Meanwhile by 6:58am the Japanese had located USS Hornet CV-8 and Task Force 17 (TF 17).

By 7:40am, the Japanese were first to launch a strike by 64 aircraft (21 x D3A Vals, 22 x B5N Kates escorted by 21 A6M2 Zeros. Meanwhile two SBD Dauntless dive bombers from USS Enterprise CV-6 managed to locate, dive bomb and scored two 500 pound bomb hits on the deck of Zuihō causing it unable to land aircraft. At 8:10am, Shōkaku launched a second strike by 19 D3A Vals escorted by 8 A6M2 Zeros. At 8:40am, Zuikaku launched 16 B5N Kates.

Meanwhile, U.S. carrier planes from Hornet severely damaged carrier Shōkaku, and cruiser Chikuma. Meanwhile, USS Hornet CV-8 was fighting off a coordinated dive bombing and torpedo plane attack which left her severely damaged and had to be abandoned. Destroyers USS Mustin DD-413 and USS Anderson DD-411 attempted unsuccessfully to sink the burning hulk with nine torpedoes and shellfire. Later, Japanese destroyers Japanese destroyers Makigumo and Akigumo sank her by firing four 24" torpedoes at her blazing hull.

During the battle, USS Enterprise CV-6 was hit bombs twice and suffering 44 killed and had 75 wounded. Despite serious damage, she remained in action and landed aircraft from USS Hornet after she was abandoned.

USS Porter (DD-356) stopped to pickup a downed air crew from a ditched TBF Avenger was hit by a torpedo. An Enterprise pilot dived to machine gun the torpedo, but was not in time. Damaged, USS Porter was abandoned and sunk by USS Shaw (DD-373) after that ship took off her crew. This torpedo was either a U.S. torpedo accidentally released or aimed or possibly fired by Japanese submarine I-21. That evening the American forces retired to the southeast.

Losses
The U.S. sustained more severe losses including aircraft carrier USS Hornet CV-8 a destroyer USS Porter (DD-356). Also, USS Enterprise CV-6 sustained damage plus two other destroyers. In addition, 81 aircraft were lost and a total of 266 personnel were killed or missing.

The Japanese sustained damage to aircraft carrier Zuihō plus damage to Shōkaku and a heavy cruiser. In addition, 99 aircraft were destroyed and between 400-500 personnel were killed or missing.

Aftermath
At the conclusion of the battle, both sides sustained damaged and withdrew. Although the battle had been costly, combined with the U.S. Marine Corps victory on Guadalcanal, the Americans had stopped the Japanese from recapturing Guadalcanal.

Afterwards, USS Enterprise CV-6 steamed to Nouméa and was quickly repaired by Vestal (AR-4) she departed with repair crews still aboard and participated in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (November 12-13, 1942) launched her planes and retreated with her aircraft landing at Henderson Field on Guadalcanal to join the Cactus Air Force. USS South Dakota that sustained a bomb hit in the forward gun mount but also participated in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. USS San Juan suffered a bomb through the fantail and was repaired in Sydney Harbor but missed the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

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This Aircraft Carrier Did Not Exist

One of the strange little stories of World War II involves the aircraft carrier USS Robin, which didn’t really exist.

There was a carrier that sailors called the Robin. She and her sailors were underneath U.S. Navy command, took part in American battles and launched U.S. planes with American pilots. She certainly was a carrier, not to be confused with another USS Robin, a minesweeper.

But the carrier Robin, generally speaking, was an illusion.

So what was going on? Turns out, Robin was the product of the Navy’s desperation in the Pacific theater during the tumultuous months of late 1942 and early 1943. Robin was actually the codenamed HMS Victorious, a British Illustrious-class carrier leased to the United States.

At the time, America needed every carrier it could get.

“Aircraft carriers had arrived at the point of technological development that they gave … a range-extension option that was not available to a battleship fleet,” historian Francis Pike wrote in his recent and exhaustive book Hirohito’s War.

“With overwhelming superiority in terms of numbers of carriers, quality of aircraft and above all, superb fliers, brilliantly led and trained, Japan needed to bring the U.S. Pacific Navy to battle as soon as possible.”

[caption align=”aligncenter” width=”800"]

HMS Victorious before she became USS Robin. Royal Navy photo[/caption]

December 1942 was one of America’s low points. It was a year after Pearl Harbor and the Japanese fleet had not yet been crushed. In the South Pacific, the Navy had one fully operational fleet carrier, USS Saratoga. Japanese aircraft and destroyers sent the carrier USS Hornet to the bottom in October. USS Enterprise was battered.

Army troops and Marines had just begun expelling the last of Japan’s troops from Guadalcanal — the beginning of an island hopping campaign that would eventually extend thousands of miles into the Western Pacific. A renewed Japanese carrier assault could reverse these early, meager gains.

That’s when HMS Victorious came to rescue the American fleet.

Joseph Tremain, in a fascinating article for Armchair General magazine, described the Victorious’ handover from the United Kingdom to her transformation into Robin. The carrier first arrived for her refit at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in January 1943.

After the Norfolk refit, the Victorious transited the Panama Canal and arrived at Pearl Harbor in March 1943 to join the Saratoga Battle Group, Task Force 14. Between March and May, the Victorious underwent additional modifications at Pearl to specifically handle the American versions of the Grumman TBF Avenger (or British Avenger) and F4F Wildcat (British Martlet). To complete the makeover and new look, the Victorious temporarily shed her typical British Atlantic “admiralty disruptive camouflage scheme” (irregular patterns of dark and light tones) for the American standard navy gray.

On May 17, 1943, the Victorious, now code-named “Robin,” along with USS Saratoga, arrived at the Solomon Islands as part of Task Force 36 commanded by Rear Admiral DeWitt Ramsey, USN. The Saratoga and Victorious would become the core of Task Group 36.3 under Rear Admiral F. P. Sherman along with the USS North Carolina (BB-55), USS Massachusetts (BB-59), USS Indiana (BB-58), USS San Diego (CL-53), USS San Juan (CL-54), HMAS Australia (D84, a heavy cruiser) and several escort vessels. Her ship’s crew was British, but her aircrew and aircraft were American. No one involved had any illusions that she wouldn’t be identified as the Victorious by enemy pilots, so she proudly flew her British Jack throughout her time with the Yanks, even when only the Yanks were flying on and off her flight deck.


HMS Victorious operating with the US Navy in 1943 as USS Robin. Note the USN aircraft on deck & the Atlanta-class cruiser at the top of the photo- either USS San Diego (CL-53) or San Juan (CL-54). Also, the 4.5" in their circular turrets are pretty cool looking. [4752x3887]

Great Photo OP! Article from Armchair General for some background story!

Feb 16, 2011 in War College

It is not unusual for a ship to disappear at sea in wartime—but for a ship as a large as an aircraft carrier to suddenly appear from nowhere is noteworthy to say the least. That is exactly what it must have looked like to Japanese naval intelligence officers listening to American transmissions in the Pacific in early 1943.

This story begins in late 1942 when the United States Navy found itself in a precarious situation in the war with the Japanese Empire. At the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, the aircraft carrier USS Hornet was sunk and the USS Enterprise was severely damaged, temporarily putting it out of action. That left the USN with only one fleet carrier to carry on the South Pacific campaign in the Solomons. But in May of 1943, during Operation Cartwheel, which was intended to isolate and neutralize the Japanese base on Rabaul, a second fleet carrier suddenly appeared beside the only remaining operational US carrier, the USS Saratoga, which operated out of Noumea, New Caledonia. This new fleet carrier was being called the USS Robin, but it was not listed in the USN inventory, and it couldn’t be The USS Essex, which was nowhere near completion. Yet there she was—a full-sized fleet carrier complete with American Avengers and Wildcats on her deck. This mystery carrier, the USS Robin, might have become famous if it had taken part in any major fleet battle, but instead it has faded from all but the more detailed history books.

The truth was that the "USS Robin" as she was being referred to by many sailors, was actually a British carrier—the HMS Victorious (R38). It was never even really titled or re-named "USS Robin" rather, it was code-named "Robin" for communication purposes, an intentional reference to the famous—or infamous—English outlaw Robin Hood. But with the lack of American fleet carriers to protect against potential Japanese carrier aircraft in the Solomons and provide cover for operations against Munda and Bougainville, the "Robin" was a much-needed addition to the weakened carrier fleet.

The short, strange story of the Robin began in December of 1942. The United States Navy found itself with only one fleet carrier operational and needed another large carrier to help assist in the theater until the first of the new Essex-class carriers became operationally available. The solution turned out to be simply making a request to the Royal Navy for a loan. The Royal Navy decided to loan the USN an Illustrious-class carrier, the HMS Victorious under the command of Captain L. D. MacIntosh, Royal Navy.

In January of 1943, the Victorious arrived at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Virginia, to begin modifications and upgrades necessary to handle the American aircraft and equipment. After the Norfolk refit, the Victorious transited the Panama Canal and arrived at Pearl Harbor in March 1943 to join the Saratoga Battle Group, Task Force 14. Between March and May, the Victorious underwent additional modifications at Pearl to specifically handle the American versions of the Grumman TBF Avenger (or British Avenger) and F4F Wildcat (British Martlet). To complete the makeover and new look, the Victorious temporarily shed her typical British Atlantic "admiralty disruptive camouflage scheme" (irregular patterns of dark and light tones) for the American standard navy gray.

On May 17, 1943, the Victorious, now code-named "Robin," along with USS Saratoga, arrived at the Solomon Islands as part of Task Force 36 commanded by Rear Admiral DeWitt Ramsey, USN. The Saratoga and Victorious would become the core of Task Group 36.3 under Rear Admiral F. P. Sherman along with the USS North Carolina (BB-55), USS Massachusetts (BB-59), USS Indiana (BB-58), USS San Diego (CL-53), USS San Juan (CL-54), HMAS Australia (D84, a heavy cruiser) and several escort vessels. Her ship’s crew was British, but her aircrew and aircraft were American. No one involved had any illusions that she wouldn’t be identified as the Victorious by enemy pilots, so she proudly flew her British Jack throughout her time with the Yanks, even when only the Yanks were flying on and off her flight deck.

The highlight of the Victorious’s very short career with the USN was her involvement in providing cover during the Munda landings on the island of New Georgia in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands. The Saratoga, with its larger complement of aircraft, supplied the strike force for the landing while the Victorious handled the air cover for the task group. Shortly after this, she supported the Bougainville invasion before leaving for home, and the name USS Robin was once again the sole province of its rightful owner, a long-time minesweeper recently converted to an ocean tug.

Although Victorious’s stint with the US Navy was not as illustrious as it could have been, that did not detract from her otherwise proud place in history. Before the USN loan, the Victorious was involved in the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck and, after returning to the Royal Navy, she took part in the sinking of Bismarck‘s sister ship, the Tirpitz. She would later return to the Pacific, once again working with the USN, and take part in the battle for Okinawa.


This Aircraft Carrier Did Not Exist

One of the strange little stories of World War II involves the aircraft carrier USS Robin, which didn’t really exist.

There was a carrier that sailors called the Robin. She and her sailors were underneath U.S. Navy command, took part in American battles and launched U.S. planes with American pilots. She certainly was a carrier, not to be confused with another USS Robin, a minesweeper.

But the carrier Robin, generally speaking, was an illusion.

So what was going on? Turns out, Robin was the product of the Navy’s desperation in the Pacific theater during the tumultuous months of late 1942 and early 1943. Robin was actually the codenamed HMS Victorious, a British Illustrious-class carrier leased to the United States.

At the time, America needed every carrier it could get.

𠇊ircraft carriers had arrived at the point of technological development that they gave … a range-extension option that was not available to a battleship fleet,” historian Francis Pike wrote in his recent and exhaustive book Hirohito’s War.

“With overwhelming superiority in terms of numbers of carriers, quality of aircraft and above all, superb fliers, brilliantly led and trained, Japan needed to bring the U.S. Pacific Navy to battle as soon as possible.”

December 1942 was one of America’s low points. It was a year after Pearl Harbor and the Japanese fleet had not yet been crushed. In the South Pacific, the Navy had one fully operational fleet carrier, USS Saratoga. Japanese aircraft and destroyers sent the carrier USS Hornet to the bottom in October. USS Enterprise was battered.

Army troops and Marines had just begun expelling the last of Japan’s troops from Guadalcanal — the beginning of an island hopping campaign that would eventually extend thousands of miles into the Western Pacific. A renewed Japanese carrier assault could reverse these early, meager gains.

That’s when HMS Victorious came to rescue the American fleet.

Joseph Tremain, inਊ fascinating article for Armchair General magazine, described the Victorious‘ handover from the United Kingdom to her transformation into Robin. The carrier first arrived for her refit at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in January 1943.

After the Norfolk refit, the Victorious transited the Panama Canal and arrived at Pearl Harbor in March 1943 to join the Saratoga Battle Group, Task Force 14. Between March and May, the Victorious underwent additional modifications at Pearl to specifically handle the American versions of the Grumman TBF Avenger (or British Avenger) and F4F Wildcat (British Martlet). To complete the makeover and new look, the Victorioustemporarily shed her typical British Atlantic �miralty disruptive camouflage scheme” (irregular patterns of dark and light tones) for the American standard navy gray.

On May 17, 1943, the Victorious, now code-named “Robin,” along with USS Saratoga, arrived at the Solomon Islands as part of Task Force 36 commanded by Rear Admiral DeWitt Ramsey, USN. The Saratoga and Victorious would become the core of Task Group 36.3 under Rear Admiral F. P. Sherman along with the USS North Carolina (BB-55), USS Massachusetts (BB-59), USS Indiana (BB-58), USS San Diego (CL-53), USS San Juan(CL-54), HMAS Australia (D84, a heavy cruiser) and several escort vessels. Her ship’s crew was British, but her aircrew and aircraft were American. No one involved had any illusions that she wouldn’t be identified as the Victorious by enemy pilots, so she proudly flew her British Jack throughout her time with the Yanks, even when only the Yanks were flying on and off her flight deck.


WWII: This Aircraft Carrier Did Not Exist

One of the strange little stories of World War II involves the aircraft carrier USS Robin, which didn’t really exist.

There was a carrier that sailors called the Robin. She and her sailors were underneath U.S. Navy command, took part in American battles and launched U.S. planes with American pilots. She certainly was a carrier, not to be confused with another USS Robin, a minesweeper.

But the carrier Robin, generally speaking, was an illusion.

So what was going on? Turns out, Robin was the product of the Navy’s desperation in the Pacific theater during the tumultuous months of late 1942 and early 1943. Robin was actually the codenamed HMS Victorious, a British Illustrious-class carrier leased to the United States.

At the time, America needed every carrier it could get.

𠇊ircraft carriers had arrived at the point of technological development that they gave … a range-extension option that was not available to a battleship fleet,” historian Francis Pike wrote in his recent and exhaustive book Hirohito’s War.

“With overwhelming superiority in terms of numbers of carriers, quality of aircraft and above all, superb fliers, brilliantly led and trained, Japan needed to bring the U.S. Pacific Navy to battle as soon as possible.”

December 1942 was one of America’s low points. It was a year after Pearl Harbor and the Japanese fleet had not yet been crushed. In the South Pacific, the Navy had one fully operational fleet carrier, USS Saratoga. Japanese aircraft and destroyers sent the carrier USS Hornet to the bottom in October. USS Enterprise was battered.

Army troops and Marines had just begun expelling the last of Japan’s troops from Guadalcanal — the beginning of an island hopping campaign that would eventually extend thousands of miles into the Western Pacific. A renewed Japanese carrier assault could reverse these early, meager gains.

That’s when HMS Victorious came to rescue the American fleet.

Joseph Tremain, inਊ fascinating article for Armchair General magazine, described the Victorious‘ handover from the United Kingdom to her transformation into Robin. The carrier first arrived for her refit at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in January 1943.

After the Norfolk refit, the Victorious transited the Panama Canal and arrived at Pearl Harbor in March 1943 to join the Saratoga Battle Group, Task Force 14. Between March and May, the Victorious underwent additional modifications at Pearl to specifically handle the American versions of the Grumman TBF Avenger (or British Avenger) and F4F Wildcat (British Martlet). To complete the makeover and new look, the Victorioustemporarily shed her typical British Atlantic �miralty disruptive camouflage scheme” (irregular patterns of dark and light tones) for the American standard navy gray.

On May 17, 1943, the Victorious, now code-named “Robin,” along with USS Saratoga, arrived at the Solomon Islands as part of Task Force 36 commanded by Rear Admiral DeWitt Ramsey, USN. The Saratoga and Victorious would become the core of Task Group 36.3 under Rear Admiral F. P. Sherman along with the USS North Carolina (BB-55), USS Massachusetts (BB-59), USS Indiana (BB-58), USS San Diego (CL-53), USS San Juan(CL-54), HMAS Australia (D84, a heavy cruiser) and several escort vessels. Her ship’s crew was British, but her aircrew and aircraft were American. No one involved had any illusions that she wouldn’t be identified as the Victorious by enemy pilots, so she proudly flew her British Jack throughout her time with the Yanks, even when only the Yanks were flying on and off her flight deck.


Watch the video: USS San Diego


Comments:

  1. Juma

    I saw it by chance. Not expected.

  2. Alpheus

    I know how to act ...

  3. Minh

    No. None of this is true. I'm not talking about the conversation, I'm talking about finally. All arguments are gamno.

  4. Angel

    I believe that you are making a mistake. I can defend my position. Email me at PM.

  5. Kermichael

    In my opinion you cheated like the child.

  6. Orvelle

    Wacker, what phrase ..., a splendid thought



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