March 20, 2007
The bridge of the USS San Francisco at Lands End

In 1942 the cruiser USS San Francisco attacked a vastly superior Japanese force off the coast of Guadalcanal. It was the most brutal close-quarters naval engagement of World War II. The San Francisco took some 45 direct hits and sustained heavy damage while sinking one Japanese ship and seriously damaging two others (including a battleship). One hundred and six sailors, including Rear Admiral Daniel Callaghan, were killed and 131 more wounded. Despite it all, the San Francisco safely made it back to port. This savage battle is commemorated by an unusual memorial at Lands End. The USS San Francisco Memorial is oriented toward Guadalcanal, and it eschews the usual symbolic folderol in favor of something far more visceral: a shell-ridden section of the San Francisco's bridge. The sight of heavy-gauge steel perforated like paper captures the fury and horror of that night better than any sculpture ever could. To view more of my photos of the bridge and the memorial at Lands End, click here for my web site, photos 46 to 72.



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The images are not in the public domain. They are the sole property of the artist and may not be reproduced on the Internet, sold, altered, enhanced, modified by artificial, digital or computer imaging or in any other form without the express written permission of the artist. Non-watermarked copies of photographs on this site can be purchased by contacting Ron.