San Francisco in World War II (Images of America)
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Everything changed on the morning of December 7, 1941, and life in San Francisco was no exception. Flush with excitement and tourism in the wake of the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, the city was stunned at the severity of the Pearl Harbor attack, and quickly settled into organized chaos with its new role as a major deployment center for the remainder of the war. "Frisco" teemed with servicemen and servicewomen during and after the conflict, forever changing the face of this waterfront city. Warships roamed the bay, and fearsome gun embankments appeared on the cliffs facing the sea, preparing to repel an invasion that never happened.
Library.) Singers Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore visit wounded veteran Gene Coddington, age 21, at LettermanGeneral Hospital in this May 1944 photograph. Coddington sustained his injuries fighting inBougainville. (Courtesy San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.) A military sentry stands guard at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in May 1944. In 1940, the navyhad obtained ownership of the shipyard for shipbuilding, repair, and maintenance activities. (Courtesy U.S. Navy.) In June
demolitionexperts drag a Japanesetorpedo head section ashore,just west of the Golden GateBridge in June 1946. The 12-foot section was suspected ofbeing live. A section recoveredearlier appears in the lowerright. (Courtesy San FranciscoHistory Center, San FranciscoPublic Library.) At the time this November 1950 aerial photograph of Angel Island was taken, an army engineers’board was recommending that the island be restored to military use; however, it eventually becamea state park. (Courtesy San
for which the construction weight had been keptbelow 10,000 tons, as agreed to by the participating nations at the London Naval Conference of1930. She was christened and launched with a bottle of water (Prohibition-era laws meant thatchampagne was not an option) from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir near Yosemite. (Courtesy JohnM. Egan, USMC.) USS San Francisco veteran CharlesWilson was reading the SundayHonolulu newspaper on turret twowhen the Japanese military attackedPearl Harbor. Wilson served on
minuscule pay into war bonds.During the war, the army again had apresence on the island as GIs mannedantiaircraft guns on cell-block roofs,waiting for Japanese planes that nevercame. (Courtesy San Francisco HistoryCenter, San Francisco Public Library.) A crowd of 15,000 workers listen to Vice Adm. John Wills Greenslade present an award of excellenceto the San Francisco yard of Bethlehem Steel Company in 1942. Vice Admiral Greensladepresented the “E” burgee to general manager A. S. Gunn, and the
inland locations as ordered byPresident Roosevelt. Both housesof Congress passed Public Law 503,which authorized the evacuation ofthe Japanese. (Courtesy author.) This station at 49 Fourth Street was one of two of the San Francisco Recruiting and InductionDistricts. The site is now the location of a Marriott hotel. (Courtesy author.) Military officials welcomed donations of scrap iron in the form of old cannon or cannonballsthat had served as monuments of past wars. Pictured in March 1942, this