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USS San Francisco Memorial Foundation
C/O Art Curtis
P.O. Box 318063
San Francisco, CA 94131-8063

Art Curtis:



SSN 711USS San Francisco SSN 711:
USS SAN FRANCISCO was built at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia and was commissioned on 24 April 1981. After initial shakedown operations, the ship joined the Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet and transited to its homeport of Pearl Harbor. While enroute, the ship conducted its initial visit to San Francisco, participating in Fleet Week 1981.

During its first operating cycle the ship completed deployments to the Western Pacific in 1983, 1985, and 1986, conducting a variety of operations and exercises as a member of the U.S. Seventh Fleet. The ship conducted independent submarine operations deployed to the Northern Pacific in 1986 and 1988, and earned the coveted Battle Efficiency "E" for Submarine Squadron SEVEN in 1985 and 1988.

During a demanding DEPOT Modernization Period (DMP) at Pearl HarborNaval Shipyard in 1989-1990, the ship was equipped with the newest and most capable submarine sensor and combat systems and made fully ready to perform the variety of missions assigned to the submarine force.

Following the DMP, SAN FRANCISCO completed sea trials and a series of rigorous certification inspections and returned to the fleet to resume operations. Two highly successful deployments to the Western Pacific were completed in 1992 and 1994 with ports of call in Hong Kong, Singapore, Chinhae, South Korea, Guam, Sasebo, Japan and Yokosuko, Japan. In December 1994, the ship conducted a dependents cruise to Lahaina, Maui.

In January of 1995, SAN FRANCISCO was awarded the 1994 Commander Submarine Squadron SEVEN "T" for excellence in tactical operations. SAN FRANCISCO was also awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for its outstanding performance during the WESTPAC deployment in 1994.

USS SAN FRANCISCO was the host ship for the COMSUBPAC Change of Command ceremony on February 23, 1996. From June - December 1996 the ship deployed to the Western Pacific, visiting Yokosukoand Sasebo, Japan; Subic Bay, Philippines; and Guam, USA.

In October of 1999, SAN FRANCISCO returned to it's namesake city of San Francisco to participate in Fleet Week 1999.

In its life, USS SAN FRANCISCO has carried the pride and charm of its namesake city to the far reaches of the Pacific including: Pattaya, Thailand; Hong Kong; Yokosuko and Sasebo Japan; Okinawa; Subic Bay, Philippines; Singapore; Guam; Chinhae, Korea; Perth, Australia; Esquimalt, BC; as well as the stateside ports of Bremerton, Washington; San Diego and San Francisco, California; Lahaina, Maui, and Kona, Hawaii.

In 2000, SAN FRANCISCO changed homeport to Norfolk, Va., and on December 18, 2002, the submarine again changed homeport to Apra, Guam.

Accidents aboard USS SAN FRANCISCO:

Date Where Events January 8, 2005

350 miles south of Guam

At 12 noon, January 8, Guam Time, the USS SAN FRANCISCO hits an unchartered undersea mountain while travelling at high speed about 500 ft below surface. The submarine is able to surface and head back to Guam. One critically injured sailor died January 9, while 23 other crewmen are treated for injuries by SEAL medical personnel that came aboard January 9. On its way back to Guam, the SAN FRANCISCO is escorted by USNS GYSGT FRED W. STOCKHAM (T-AK 3017) and USCGC GALVESTON ISLAND (WPB 1349). USNS KISKA (T-AE 35) as well as military aircraft stood by to assist if required.

USS SAN FRANCISCO arrived at Guam the afternoon of January 10.

There were no reports of damage to the reactor plant which is operating normally.

The photos below show the SAN FRANCISCO dry-docked at Guam on January 27. Clearly visible is the heavy bow damage.

On May 9, 2005, the Navy announced the completion of the investigation into the accident. The report states that "The findings of fact show that SAN FRANCISCO, while transiting at flank (maximum) speed and submerged to 525 feet, hit a seamount that did not appear on the chart being used for navigation," and that "Other charts in SAN FRANCISCO's possession did, however, clearly display a navigation hazard in the vicinity of the grounding. SAN FRANCISCO's navigation team failed to review those charts adequately and transfer pertinent data to the chart being used for navigation, as relevant directives and the ship's own procedures required." The report continues "If SAN FRANCISCO's leaders and watch teams had complied with requisite procedures and exercised prudent navigation practices, the grounding would most likely have been avoided. Even if not wholly avoided, however, the grounding would not have been as severe and loss of life may have been prevented."

"Earlier evacuation or arrival of medical officers would not have changed the outcome for [Petty Officer] Ashley" the investigation said in regard to the two additional medical personnel flown aboard by helicopter and two attempts to medically evacuate him by helicopter.

Another 97 of 137 crew members reported injuries ranging from minor bruising and muscle strains to two who suffered dislocated shoulders. Sixty-eight of them were evaluated and treated aboard, while the remaining 29 were treated at Naval Hospital Guam when SAN FRANCISCO returned to port under her own power January 10. Just three of them were admitted overnight for further evaluation and treatment.

As a result of the collision, U.S. 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert relieved Cmdr. Kevin Mooney of his command of SAN FRANCISCO February 12 following non-judicial punishment proceedings in Yokosuka, Japan. Mooney also received a letter of reprimand.

But Greenert, in his endorsement of the investigation, also praised Mooney's prior record and performance following the impact.

"Although the grounding incident compelled me to punish and remove him from command, in my opinion it does not negate 19 years of exemplary service," the admiral wrote. "Prior to the grounding incident, USS SAN FRANCISCO demonstrated a trend of continuing improvement and compiled an impressive record of achievement under Mooney's leadership. Moreover, the crew's post-grounding response under his direct leadership was commendable and enabled the sub's recovery and safe return to port."

Greenert also criticized the executive officer and navigation team for their share of the responsibility, saying their "failure to adequately and critically review applicable publications and available charts led to submission of an ill-advised voyage plan and hindered the commanding officer's ability to make fully informed safety-of-ship decisions."

Six crew members (including enlisted, senior enlisted and officer) were punished March 22 by Capt. Bradley Gehrke, commander of Submarine Squadron 15 on Guam, to which SAN FRANCISCO was assigned. The punishments included reduction in rate and punitive letters of reprimand.

About the Ship's Name, about the City of San Francisco:

The ship's name honors the city of San Francisco: California's "Port of Gold;" the financial and insurance capital of the west; a dominant port in world trade and "THE CITY" to northern and central Californians. This 200 year old port occupies a 46 square mile fingertip between the Pacific Ocean and one of the world's greatest natural harbors. San Francisco's first permanent settlements were the Presidio, established in 1776 by the Spanish, and the Mission San Francisco do Asis, founded by the Franciscan fathers at about the same time. With the discovery of gold in 1848, the sleepy settlement sprang almost overnight to a city of 900 people and then steadily grew to nearly 5 million residents today. San Francisco's cosmopolitan character comes primarily from the fact that three out of every ten inhabitants of the Bay Area were born outside of the United States or have at least one foreign-born parent. The city - known variously as the Paris of the Est, Baghdad-by-the-Bay, and the Gateway to the Orient - has some 30 foreign language publications. Its culture has been enriched by the traditions and folkways of countless ethnic groups. Within its boundaries are Chinatown, North Beach, Fisherman's Wharf and Nob Hill. It is truly a city of great charm.


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