Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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San Diego (Armored Cruiser No. 6)


USS San Diego (Armored Cruiser No. 6)

USS San Diego (Armored Cruiser No. 6) Painting by Francis Muller, 1920. The ship is sinking off Fire Island, New York, after she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-156, 19 July 1918. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. (NH 55012-KN)


San Diego was launched on 28 April 1904 as armored cruiser California (Armored Cruiser No. 6) and was renamed on 1 September 1914. On 21 January 1915, San Diego suffered an explosion in her No. 1 fire room, killing five Sailors and injuring seven more. Ensign Robert Webster Cary, Jr. and Fireman Second Class Telesforo Trinidad received Medals of Honor for their actions during the fire to save their fellow crewmen.

Following America's entrance into World War I in April 1917, San Diego operated as the flagship for Rear Admiral William F. Fullam, commander of the Patrol Force U.S. Pacific Fleet, until she was reassigned to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet in July. 

On 19 July 1918, while enroute from New Hampshire to New York, San Diego struck a German mine. Captain Harley H. Christy ordered the crew to abandon ship. Six Sailors out of the crew of 1,183 were lost when San Diego sunk off the coast of Fire Island, New York. 

San Diego was the only major warship lost by the United States in World War I. The ship is historically significant in naval architecture and tactics and as a reminder of the close proximity of the enemy to U.S. shores during the war. Additionally, the wreck site is the final resting place for the six Sailors who lost their lives in the service of their country. 

Naval History and Heritage Command manages the wreck site of San Diego as a sunken military craft, a war grave, and as part of the U.S. Navy’s overall cultural resource management program. 

 

Suggested Reading

 

Artifacts

 

Imagery


Photo #: NH 92174  USS San Diego (Armored Cruiser No. 6)

USS San Diego (Armored Cruiser No. 6) off Guaymas, Mexico, 26 December 1915. Photographed by Hopkins. Note Christmas tree mounted on her forecastle. Collection of Thomas P. Naughton, 1973. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. (NH 92174)



USS San Diego (Armored Cruiser No. 6) photographed Jan. 28, 1915

USS San Diego (Armored Cruiser No. 6) photographed 28 January 1915, while serving as flagship of the Pacific Fleet. Her name had been changed from California on 1 September 1914. Note two-star Rear Admiral's flag flying from her mainmast top. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. (NH 55013)



Fireman Second Class Telesforo Trinidad, USN

Fireman Second Class Telesforo Trinidad, USN. Vignette giving details on why CWT Smith received the Medal of Honor for actions taken on board USS San Diego on 21 January 1915. (NH 86980)



NH 84724

U.S. Navy armored cruisers at Montevideo, Uruguay, in May-October 1917. The ship on the right is either USS San Diego (Armored Cruiser #6) or USS South Dakota (Armored Cruiser #9). That at left is either USS Pittsburgh (Armored Cruiser #4) or USS Pueblo (Armored Cruiser #7). Collection of William H. Davis, 1976. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. (NH 84724)



Photo #: NH 55011  USS California (Armored Cruiser No. 6)

USS California (Armored Cruiser No. 6). Photographed circa 1908. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. (NH 55011)



USS CALIFORNIA (ACR-6)

USS Califorina (ACR-6) probably off San Diego, California, about 1910. (NH 73321)



Photo #: NH 92175  USS San Diego (Armored Cruiser No. 6)

USS San Diego (Armored Cruiser No. 6) photographed from an airplane in San Diego harbor, California, 28 March 1916. Collection of Thomas P. Naughton, 1973. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. (NH 92175)



Photo #: NH 82997  USS San Diego (Armored Cruiser No. 6)

USS San Diego (Armored Cruiser No. 6) crew exercising one of the ship's 6/50 broadside guns, circa 1916. Note: gunsight in use; items posted on the bulkhead in the upper right, including safety orders, pennant bearing the ship's name, and Modern Girl poem. Collection of Chief Warrant Officer J.B. Dofflemeyer, 1972. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. (NH 82997)



Photo #: NH 83793  Admiral William B. Caperton, USN

Admiral William B. Caperton, USN, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet (center) with members of his staff on board USS San Diego (Armored Cruiser No. 6) at San Diego, California, circa 1916-17. The ship's after eight-inch gun turret is behind them. Those present are (from left to right): Lieutenant (Junior Grade) H.M. Lammers, USN; Captain R.M. Cutts, USMC; Medical Inspector E.S. Bogert, USN; Admiral Caperton; Pay Inspector J. Fyffe, USN; Lieutenant A.T. Beauregard, USN; and Paymaster C.S. Baker, USN. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Collection of Adm. W.B. Caperton. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. (NH 83793)



USS CALIFORNIA (armored cruiser 6)

USS California (Armored Cruiser No. 6)                         



Photo #: NH 55009  USS California (Armored Cruiser No. 6)

USS California (Armored Cruiser No. 6) underway in San Pablo Bay, California, 1909. Collection of Rear Admiral Ammen Farenholt, USN(MC). U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. (NH 55009)



Photo #: NH 86211  USS California

USS California (Armored Cruiser #6) Taking on coal from a U.S. Navy collier (probably USS Caesar), circa 1907-1908. Location may be a California harbor. The original photograph was printed on a postal card, published by Frank J. Stumm, Benicia, California. Collection of Alfred Cellier, 1977. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. (NH 86211)                       


Published: Mon Jul 20 16:26:40 EDT 2020