Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
U.S.S. SAN FRANCISCO CA-38
The second SAN FRANCISCO (CA-38) was laid down on 9 September 1931 at
the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Calif.; launched on 9 March 1933;
sponsored by Miss Barbara M. Bailly; and commissioned on 10 February 1934,
Capt. Royal E. Ingersoll in command.
After an extensive shakedown cruise--which included operations off
Mexico, in Hawaiian waters, off Washington and British Columbia, and a voyage
to the Panama Canal Zone--the cruiser returned to the Mare Island Navy Yard.
Gunnery installation and conversion to a flagship took her into the new year,
1935. In February, she joined her division, Cruiser Division (CruDiv) 6 at
San Diego. In May, she moved north, participated in Fleet Problem XVI; then
returned to southern California. A few weeks later, she was back off the
northwest coast for fleet tactics, and, in July, she steamed farther north to
Alaska. In August, she returned to California and, through the end of 1938,
SAN FRANCISCO continued to range the eastern Pacific, cruising from the state
of Washington to Peru and from California to Hawaii.
In January 1939, she departed the west coast to participate in Fleet
Problem XX conducted in the Atlantic east of the Lesser Antilles. In March,
she became flagship of CruDiv 7 and commenced a goodwill tour of South
American ports. Departing Guantanamo Bay in early April, she called at ports
on the east coast of that continent, moved through the Strait of Magellan;
visited west coast ports; and, in early June, transited the Panama Canal to
complete her voyage around the continent.
On 1 September, World War II started, and, on the 14th, SAN FRANCISCO
moved south from Norfolk to join the Neutrality Patrol. The cruiser carried
freight and passengers to San Juan, thence sailed for a patrol of the West
Indies as far south as Trinidad. On 14 October, she completed her patrol
back at San Juan and headed for Norfolk, where she remained into January
1940. On the 11th, she headed for Guantanamo Bay, where she was relieved of
flagship duties by WICHITA (CA-45), and whence she returned to the Pacific.
Transiting the Panama Canal in late February, she called at San Pedro
and, in March, continued on to her new home port, Pearl Harbor, where she
rejoined CruDiv 6. In May, she steamed northwest to the Puget Sound Navy
Yard for an overhaul, during which she also received four 3-inch guns. On 29
September, she returned to Pearl Harbor. In early May 1941, she became
flagship of CruDiv 6, and, at the end of July, she moved east for a cruise to
Long Beach, returning to Hawaii on 27 August. In September, the flag of
ComCruDiv 6 was hauled down, and, on 11 October, SAN FRANCISCO entered the
Pearl Harbor Navy Yard for an overhaul which was scheduled for completion on
On 7 December, SAN FRANCISCO was awaiting docking and the cleaning of
her heavily fouled bottom. Her engineering plant was largely broken down for
overhaul. Ammunition for her 5-inch and 8-inch guns had been placed in
storage. Her 3-inch guns had been removed to permit installation of four
1.1-inch quadruple mounts. The 1.1-inch mounts had not been installed. Her
.50 caliber machine guns were being overhauled. Only small arms and two .30
caliber machine guns were available. Moreover, a number of SAN FRANCISCO's
officers and men were absent.
At 0755, Japanese planes began bombing dives on Ford Island, and by
0800, the surprise air attack was well underway. The men in SAN FRANCISCO
had secured the ship for water-tightness and had begun looking for
opportunities to fight back. Some crossed to NEW ORLEANS (CA-32) to man
antiaircraft batteries. Others began using available rifles and machine
guns. Fifty caliber machine gun ammunition was transferred to TRACY (DM-19)
By 1000, the Japanese had left; and work to ready SAN FRANCISCO for
action was begun.
On 14 December, the cruiser left the yard; scaling had been postponed
in favor of more necessary repairs on other ships. On 16 December, she
sortied with Task Force (TF) 14 to relieve Wake Island. The force moved west
with a Marine Corps fighter squadron on board SARATOGA (CV-3) and a Marine
battalion embarked in TANGIER (AV-8). But, when Wake fell to the Japanese on
the 23d, TF 14 was diverted to Midway which it reinforced. On the 29th, the
force returned to Pearl Harbor.
On 8 January 1942, SAN FRANCISCO again moved west. In TF 8, she
steamed toward Samoa to rendezvous with, and cover the offloading of,
transports carrying reinforcements to Tutuila. Thence it joined TF 17 for
raids on Japanese installations in the Gilberts and Marshalls. SAN FRANCISCO
arrived in the Samoan area on the 18th and, on the 24th, was detached to
continue coverage for the transports while the remainder of the task force
and TF 17 conducted offensive operations to the northwest.
On 8 February, SAN FRANCISCO departed Tutuila. On the 10th, she
rejoined CruDiv 6, then in TF 11, and set a course for an area northeast of
the Solomons to strike Rabaul. However, the American force was sighted and
attacked by two waves of twin-engined Japanese bombers. Sixteen of the
planes were destroyed, but the element of surprise had been lost. TF 11
During the next few days, TF 11, centered on LEXINGTON (CV-2),
conducted operations in the South Pacific, then headed for New Guinea to
participate with TF 17 in a raid against Japanese shipping and installations.
On 7 March, one of SAN FRANCISCO's scout planes was reported missing
and could not be found.
On the night of 9 and 10 March, TF's l1 and 17 entered the Gulf of
Papua, whence, at dawn, LEXINGTON and YORKTOWN (CV-5) launched their aircraft
to cross the Owen Stanley range and attack the Japanese at Salamaua and Lae.
The next day, the missing plane was sighted by MINNEAPOLIS (CA-36) and
recovered by SAN FRANCISCO. It had landed on the water, but had been unable
to communicate. The pilot, Lt. J. A. Thomas, and the radioman RM3 O. J.
Gannan, had headed for Australia, sailing the plane backwards as it tended to
head into the prevailing east wind. In five days and 21 hours, they had
covered approximately 385 miles on a course within 5% of that intended.
SAN FRANCISCO returned to Pearl Harbor on the 26th. On 22 April, the
cruiser departed Oahu for San Francisco in the escort of convoy 4093. At the
end of May, she headed west, escorting convoy PW 2076, made up of transports
carrying the 37th Army Division, destined for Suva, and special troops
bound for Australia. The cruiser remained in the escort force as far as
Auckland; thence steamed for Hawaii, arriving at Pearl Harbor on 29 June.
SAN FRANCISCO steamed west with destroyer LAFFEY (DD-459) and seaplane
tender BALLARD (AVD-10) to escort convoy 4120 to the Fiji Islands. From
there, she got underway to rendezvous with the Solomon Islands Expeditionary
Operation "Watchtower," the Guadalcanal-Tulagi offensive, opened on the
morning of 7 August. Through that day and the remainder of the month, SAN
FRANCISCO helped to cover the American forces in the area. The flag of Rear
Admiral Norman Scott, commanding the cruisers attached to TF 18, was shifted
to SAN FRANCISCO.
On 3 September, SAN FRANCISCO's force put into Noumea, New Caledonia,
for fuel and provisions. On the 8th, the ships departed that island to cover
reinforcements moving up to Guadalcanal. On the 11th, SAN FRANCISCO's force,
TF 18, rendezvoused with TF 17, the HORNET (CV-8) group, and, the next day
both groups refueled at sea. On the 14th, the reinforcement convoy departed
the New Hebrides. TF 61 commenced covering operations with TF 17 operating
to the eastward of TF 18 and conforming to the movements of TF 18.
At about 1450, on the 15th, WASP (CV-7) was torpedoed on the starboard
side. Fires broke out on the carrier. Explosions multiplied the fires.
Rear Admiral Scott took command of TF 18. SAN FRANCISCO and SALT LAKE CITY
(CA-25) prepared to take the carrier in tow; but, by 1520, the fires were out
of control and destroyers began taking on survivors. LANSDOWNE (DD-486)
torpedoed the burning hulk. TF 18 headed for Espiritu Santo.
On the morning of 17 September, SAN FRANCISCO, JUNEAU (CL-52), and five
destroyers put back to sea to rendezvous with TF 17 and resume coverage of
reinforcement convoys. Other units of TF 18 had headed for Noumea with WASP
On 23 September, SAN FRANCISCO, SALT LAKE CITY, BOISE (CL-47), HELENA
(CL-50), MINNEAPOLIS, CHESTER (CA-27), and Destroyer Squadron 12 became TF
64, a surface screening and attack force under the command of Rear Admiral
Scott in SAN FRANCISCO. On the 24th, the force headed to the New Hebrides.
On 7 October, TF 64 departed Espiritu Santo and moved back into the
Solomons to cover Allied reinforcements and to intercept similar operations
by the Japanese. On the 11th, at about 1615, the ships commenced a run
northward from Rennel Island, to intercept an enemy force of two cruisers
and six destroyers reported heading for Guadalcanal from the Buin-Faisi area.
The force continued north, to approach Savo Island from the southwest.
By 2330, when the ships were approximately six miles northwest of Savo,
they turned to make a further search of the area. A few minutes after
setting the new course, radar indicated unidentified ships to the west,
several thousand yards distant. At about 2345, the Battle of Cape Esperance
Initial confusion caused both sides to momentarily check their fire in
fear of hitting their own ships. Then, the battle was reopened and continued
until 0020 on the 12th, when surviving Japanese ships retired toward
Shortland. Two American cruisers, SALT LAKE CITY and BOISE, and two
destroyers, DUNCAN (DD-485) and FARENHOLT (DD-491), had been damaged. Later,
DUNCAN went down. A Japanese cruiser and a destroyer had been sunk during
the surface action. Two more enemy destroyers were sunk on the 12th by
planes from Henderson Field. After the engagement, TF 64, having shown the
United States Navy to be the equal of the Imperial Japanese Navy in night
fighting, retired to Espiritu Santo.
On 15 October, SAN FRANCISCO resumed operations in
support of the Guadalcanal campaign. On the evening of the
20th, her group was ordered back to Espiritu Santo. At
2119, torpedoes were reported. CHESTER was hit amidships on
the starboard side but continued under her own power. Three
other torpedoes exploded: one off HELENA's starboard
quarter; a second between HELENA and SAN FRANCISCO; and the
third about 1,200 yards off SAN FRANCISCO's port beam. Two
others were sighted running on the surface.
SAN FRANCISCO reached Espiritu Santo on the night of
the 21st, but departed again on the 22d to intercept any
enemy surface units approaching Guadalcanal from the north
and to cover friendly reinforcements. On the 28th, Rear
Admiral Scott transferred to ATLANTA (CL-51). On the 29th,
SAN FRANCISCO returned to Espiritu Santo; and, on the 30th,
Rear Admiral D. J. Callaghan commanding officer of SAN
FRANCISCO when the United States entered the war, returned
to the ship and raised his flag as CTG 64.4 and prospective
On 31 October, the newly-designated TF 65 departed
Espiritu Santo, the ships again headed into the Solomons to
cover troop landings on Guadalcanal. Bombardment missions
in the Kokumbona and Koli Point areas followed. On 6
November, the transport group completed unloading, and the
force retired, arriving at Espiritu Santo on the 8th. On
the 10th, SAN FRANCISCO, now flagship for TG 67.4, got
underway again toward Guadalcanal.
Just before noon, a Japanese twin-float reconnaissance
plane began shadowing the formation.
The force arrived off Lunga Point on the 12th, and the
transports commenced unloading. By mid-afternoon, an
approaching Japanese air group was reported. At 1318, the
ships got underway. At 1408, 21 enemy planes attacked.
At 1416, an already damaged torpedo plane dropped its
torpedo off SAN FRANCISCO's starboard quarter. The torpedo
passed alongside, but the plane crashed into SAN FRANCISCO's
control aft, swung around that structure, and plunged over
the port side into the sea. Fifteen men were killed, 29
wounded, and one missing. Control aft was demolished. The
ship's secondary command post, Battle Two, was burned out
but was reestablished by dark. The after antiaircraft
director and radar were put out of commission. Three 20
millimeter mounts were destroyed.
The wounded were transferred to attack transport
PRESIDENT JACKSON (APA-18) just before the approach of an
enemy surface force was reported. The covering force
escorted the transports out of the area, then reassembled
and returned. At about midnight, SAN FRANCISCO, in company
with one heavy cruiser, three light cruisers, and eight
destroyers, entered Lengo Channel.
At 0125 on the 13th, the enemy force was discovered
about 27,000 yards to the northwest. Rear Admiral
Callaghan's task group maneuvered to intercept. At 0148,
SAN FRANCISCO opened fire on an enemy cruiser 3,700 yards
off her starboard beam. At 0151, she trained her guns on a
small cruiser or large destroyer 3,300 yards off her
starboard bow. An enemy battleship was then sighted and
taken under fire, initial range 2,200 yards.
At about 0200, SAN FRANCISCO trained her guns on a
second battleship. At the same time, she became the target
of a cruiser off her starboard bow and of a destroyer which
had crossed her bow and was passing down her port side. The
enemy battleship joined the cruiser and the destroyer in
firing on SAN FRANCISCO, whose port 5-inch battery engaged
the destroyer but was put out of action except for one
mount. The battleship put the starboard 5-inch battery out
of commission. SAN FRANCISCO swung left while her main
battery continued to fire on the battleships which, with the
cruiser and the destroyer, continued to pound SAN FRANCISCO.
A direct hit on the navigation bridge killed or badly
wounded all officers except the communications officer.
Steering and engine control were lost and shifted to Battle
Two. Battle Two was out of commission by a direct hit from
the port side. Control was again lost.
Control was then established in the conning tower which
soon received a hit from the starboard side. Steering and
engine control were temporarily lost, then regained. All
communications were dead.
Soon thereafter, the enemy ceased firing. SAN
FRANCISCO followed suit and withdrew eastward along the
north coast of Guadalcanal.
Seventy-seven sailors, including Rear Admiral Callaghan
and Capt. Young, had been killed. One Hundred and five had
been wounded. Of seven missing, three were subsequently
rescued. The ship had taken 45 hits. Structural damage was
extensive, but not serious. No hits had been received below
the waterline. Twenty two fires had been started and
At about 0400, SAN FRANCISCO, all her compasses out of
commission, joined HELENA and followed her through Sealark
At about 1000, JUNEAU's medical personnel transferred
to SAN FRANCISCO to assist in treating the numerous wounded.
An hour later, JUNEAU took a torpedo on the port side, in
the vicinity of the bridge. "The entire ship seemed to
explode in one mighty column of brown and white smoke and
flame which rose easily a thousand feet in the air. The
JUNEAU literally disintegrated." SAN FRANCISCO was hit by
several large fragments from JUNEAU. One man was hit, both
his legs were broken. Nothing was seen in the water after
the smoke lifted.
On the afternoon of 14 November, SAN FRANCISCO returned
to Espiritu Santo. For her participation in the action of
the morning of the 13th, and for that of the night of 11 and
12 October, she received the Presidential Unit Citation. On
18 November, the cruiser sailed for Noumea, and, on the 23d,
she got underway toward the United States. She reached San
Francisco on 11 December. Three days later, repairs were
begun at Mare Island.
On 26 February 1943, she got underway to return to the
South Pacific. After escorting convoy PW 2211 en route, SAN
FRANCISCO arrived at Noumea on 20 March. Five days later,
she continued on to Efate. She arrived back in the Hawaiian
Islands in mid-April; thence headed north to the Aleutians
to join the North Pacific Force, TF 16, and reached Alaska
toward the end of the month. Based at Kuluk Bay, Adak, she
operated in the Aleutians for the next four and one half
months. She patrolled the western approaches to the area,
participated in the assault and occupation of Attu in May
and of Kiska in July; and performed escort duties.
In mid-September, she was ordered back to Pearl Harbor
for repairs and reassignment to TF 14. On the 29th SAN
FRANCISCO departed Pearl Harbor in Task Unit (TU) 14.2.1 for
a raid against Wake and Wilkes Islands. On 5 October, the
group arrived off the target area and conducted two runs by
the enemy positions. On the 11th, her task unit returned to
On the 20th, the force arrived off Makin. SAN
FRANCISCO participated in the pre-invasion bombardment of
Betio, then patrolled outside the transport area to the west
of Makin. On the 26th, she was detached and assigned to TG
50.1, joining YORKTOWN (CV-10), LEXINGTON (CV-16), COWPENS
(CVL-25), five cruisers, and six destroyers. With that
force, she steamed toward the Marshalls to strike Japanese
shipping and installations in the Kwajalein area. On 4
December, the carriers launched their planes against the
targets. Shortly after noon, enemy aerial activity
increased, and, at 1250, SAN FRANCISCO came under attack.
Three torpedo planes closed her on the port bow. Her guns
splashed two. The third was shot down by YORKTOWN. But the
cruiser had been strafed several times. One man had been
killed; 22 were wounded. After dark, the Japanese returned
and, on that night, LEXINGTON was torpedoed. The force
moved north and west. Shortly after 0130, on the 5th, enemy
planes faded from the radar screens. On the 6th, the ships
headed back to Pearl Harbor.
On 22 January 1944, SAN FRANCISCO sortied with TF 52
and again headed for the Marshalls. On the 29th, the
division, screened by destroyers, left the formation and
moved against Japanese installations on Maloelap to
neutralize them during the conquest of Kwajalein. Following
the bombardment, the ships proceeded on to Kwajalein. SAN
FRANCISCO arrived off the atoll at about 0630 on the 31st.
At 0730, she opened fire on targets of opportunity,
initially a small ship inside Kwajalein lagoon. At 0849,
she ceased firing. At 0900, she resumed firing at targets
on Berlin and Beverly Islands. Through the day, she
continued to shell those islands, and, in late afternoon,
added Bennett Island to her targets. During the next week,
she provided pre-landing barrages and support fire for
operations against Burton, Berlin, and Beverly Islands. On
the 8th, the cruiser sailed for Majuro, whence she would
operate as a unit of TF 58, the fast carrier force.
On 12 February, SAN FRANCISCO, in TG 58.2 cleared
Majuro lagoon. Four days later, the carriers launched their
planes against Truk. On the night of 16 and 17 February,
INTREPID (CV-11) was torpedoed. SAN FRANCISCO with others,
was assigned to escort her eastward. On the 19th, the group
split: INTREPID, with two destroyers, continued toward
Pearl Harbor; SAN FRANCISCO and the remaining ships headed
for Majuro. On the 25th SAN FRANCISCO sailed for Hawaii
with TG 58.2. On 20 March, the group returned to Majuro,
refueled, and departed again on the 22d to move against the
Western Carolines. From 30 March to 1 April, carrier planes
hit the Palaus and Woleai. SAN FRANCISCO's planes flew
On 6 April, the force was back in Majuro lagoon. A
week later, the ships set a course for New Guinea. From the
21st to the 28th, TG 58.2 supported the assault landings in
the Hollandia area. On the 29th, the ships moved back into
the Carolines for another raid against Truk. On the 30th,
SAN FRANCISCO was detached and with eight other cruisers,
moved against Satawan. On completion of that bombardment
mission, the cruisers rejoined TG 58.2 and headed back to
Initially at Majuro, SAN FRANCISCO shifted to Kwajalein
in early June, and, on the 10th, departed that atoll in TG
53.15, the bombardment group of the Saipan invasion force.
On the 14th, she commenced two days of shelling Tinian,
then, after the landings on Saipan, shifted to fire support
duties. On the 16th, she temporarily joined CruDiv 9 to
bombard Guam. Word of a Japanese force en route to Saipan,
however, interrupted the cannonade, and the ships returned
On 17 June, SAN FRANCISCO refueled and took up station
between the approaching enemy force and the amphibious force
at Saipan. On the morning of the 19th, the Battle of the
Philippine Sea opened for SAN FRANCISCO. At about 1046, she
was straddled fore and aft by bombs. ". . . a mass of enemy
planes on the screen at 20 miles." At 1126, the cruiser
opened fire. A 40 millimeter shell from INDIANAPOLIS
(CA-35) set off SAN FRANCISCO's smoke screen generators. By
noon, quiet had returned. At 1424, dive bombers made the
last Japanese attack. By the 20th, SAN FRANCISCO steamed
westward in pursuit of the Japanese force. On the 21st, she
returned to the Saipan area and resumed operations with the
covering force for the transports. On 8 July, SAN FRANCISCO
again steamed to Guam to bombard enemy positions. During
the next four days, she shelled targets in the Agat and
Agana areas. On the 12th, she returned to Saipan,
replenished, refueled and, on the 18th, again took station
On that day and on the 19th and the 20th, she shelled
enemy positions, supported beach demolition units, and
provided night harassing and defense repair interdiction in
the Agat and Faci Point areas. On the 21st, she began to
support Marines assaulting the Agat beaches. On the 24th,
the cruiser shifted her fire to the Orote Peninsula.
On the 30th, she headed, via Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor,
for San Francisco. The cruiser arrived back on the west
coast on 16 August for overhaul.
On October 31st, she steamed west again and, on 21
November, arrived at Ulithi where she resumed flagship
duties for CruDiv 6. On 10 December, she cleared the
anchorage and moved toward the Philippines in TG 38.1. On
the 14th and 15th, during carrier strikes against Luzon, SAN
FRANCISCO's planes were employed on antisubmarine patrol and
in rescue work. On the 16th, the force headed for a
rendezvous with TG 30.17, the replenishment force. A
typhoon interrupted the refueling operations, and, on the
17th and 18th, the ships rode out the storm. On the 19th,
she participated in a search for survivors from three
destroyers which had gone down during the typhoon.
On the 20th, TF 38 turned westward again to resume
operations against Luzon, but high seas precluded strikes.
On the 24th, the force returned to Ulithi.
Six days later, the force again sortied from Ulithi.
On 2 and 3 January 1945, strikes were conducted against
Formosa. On the 5th, 6th, and 7th, Luzon was hit. On the
9th, fighter sweeps against Formosa were resumed. The force
then headed for the Bashi Channel and a five-day, high speed
strike against enemy surface units in the South China Sea
and against installations along the coast of Indochina. On
the 15th and 16th, the Hong Kong-Amoy-Swatow area was hit;
and, on the 20th, the force passed through Luzon Strait to
resume operations against Formosa. On the 21st, aerial
opposition was constant. Bogies appeared on the screen
throughout the day. LANGLEY (CVL-27) and TICONDEROGA
(CV-14) were hit. On the 22d, strikes were launched against
the Ryukyus, and, on the 23d, the force headed for the
Arriving on 26 January, the ships sailed again on 10
February. On the 16th and 17th, strikes were conducted
against air facilities in central Honshu. On the 18th, the
force moved toward the Volcano and Bonin Islands; and, on
the 19th, covering operations for the Iwo Jima assault
began. The next day, SAN FRANCISCO closed that island with
other cruisers and assumed fire support duties, which she
continued until the 23d. Then she headed back toward Japan.
On the 25th, Tokyo was the target. Poor weather prohibited
operations against Nagoya on the 26th; and, on the 27th, the
force headed back to Ulithi.
On 21 March, SAN FRANCISCO, now attached to TF 54 for
Operation "Iceberg," departed Ulithi for the Ryukyus. On
the 25th, she approached Kerama Retto west of Okinawa, and
furnished fire support for minesweeping and underwater
demolition operations. That night, she retired and the next
morning moved back in to support the landings and supply
counter battery fire on Aka, Keruma, Zamami, and Yakabi.
By the morning of the 27th, aerial resistance had
begun. On the 28th, SAN FRANCISCO shifted to Okinawa for
shore bombardment in preparation for the assault landings
scheduled for 1 April. On that day, she took up station in
fire support sector 5, west of Naha, and for the next five
days, shelled enemy emplacements, caves, pill boxes, road
junctions, and tanks, trucks, and troop concentrations. At
night, she provided harassing fire near the beachhead.
On 6 April, the cruiser retired to Kerama Retto;
refueled and took on ammunition, assisted in splashing a
"Jill," then, rejoined TF 54 off Okinawa as that force
underwent another air raid. SAN FRANCISCO downed a "Kate."
Dawn of the 7th brought another air raid, during which a
kamikaze attempted to crash the cruiser. It was splashed 50
yards off the starboard bow. After the raid, SAN FRANCISCO
shifted to TF 51 for fire support missions on the east coast
of Okinawa, rejoining TF 54 on the west coast in late
afternoon. On the 11th, air attacks increased; and, the
next day, SAN FRANCISCO set a "Val" on fire. The plane then
glanced off a merchant ship and hit the water, enveloped in
On the 13th and 14th, the cruiser again operated with
TF 51 off the east coast of the embattled island. On the
15th, she returned to Kerama Retto, thence proceeded to
Okinawa and operations with TF 54 in the transport area.
There, she provided night illumination to detect swimmers
and suicide boats and, just before midnight, assisted in
sinking one of the latter. During the night, two further
attempts by suicide boats to close the transports were
With dawn, SAN FRANCISCO returned to the Naha area to
shell the airfield there. On the 17th, she moved up the
coast and fired on the Machinato air field. On the 18th,
she again shifted to the eastern side of the island and,
that night, anchored in Nakagusuku Wan. The next day, SAN
FRANCISCO supported troops in the southern part of the
island. From 21 April through 24 April, she shelled targets
in the Naha airstrip area; and got underway for Ulithi.
On 13 May, SAN FRANCISCO returned to Okinawa, arriving
in Nakagusuku Wan and resuming support activities against
targets in southern Okinawa. For the next few days, SAN
FRANCISCO supported the 96th Infantry Division in an area to
the southeast of Yunabaru. On the 20th, she shifted to
Kutaka Shima, and by the night of the 22d, she had depleted
her supply of ammunition for her main batteries. On the
25th, the Japanese launched a large air attack against
Allied shipping in Nakagusuku Wan. On the 27th, SAN
FRANCISCO provided fire support for the 77th Infantry
Division, and, on the 28th, she retired to Kerama Retto. On
the 30th, the cruiser returned to the western side of
Okinawa and, for the next two weeks, supported operations of
the 1st and 6th Marine Divisions.
On 21 June, SAN FRANCISCO was ordered to join TG 32.15,
120 miles southeast of Okinawa. A week later, she put into
Kerama Retto for a brief stay, then rejoined that group. In
early July, she provided cover for the eastern anchorage.
On the 3d, she sailed toward the Philippines to prepare for
an invasion of the Japanese home islands. The cessation of
hostilities in mid August, however, obviated that operation,
and SAN FRANCISCO prepared for occupation duty.
On 28 August, the cruiser departed Subic Bay for the
China coast. After a show of force in the Yellow Sea and
Gulf of Pohai areas, she covered minesweeping operations
and, on 8 October, anchored at Jinsen, Korea. From the 13th
to the 16th, she participated in another show of force
operation in the Gulf of Pohai area, then returned to
Jinsen, where Rear Admiral J. Wright, ComCruDiv 6, acted as
senior member of the committee for the surrender of Japanese
naval forces in Korea.
On 27 November, SAN FRANCISCO headed home. Arriving at
San Francisco in mid-December, she continued on to the east
coast in early January 1946 and arrived at Philadelphia for
inactivation on the 19th. Decommissioned on 10 February,
she was berthed with the Philadelphia Group of the Atlantic
Reserve Fleet until 1 March 1959 when her name was struck
from the Navy list. On 9 September, she was sold for
scrapping to the Union Mineral and Alloys Corp., New York.
SAN FRANCISCO (CA-38) earned 17 battle stars during
World War II.