Special 75th Anniversary Event Commemorating the Battle of Guadalcanal

Sunday, May 28th, 2017 | 12:00 – 1:30 pm

A turning point in the Battle for the Pacific, Guadalcanal marked the end of the southern march of Imperial Japanese forces towards the resource rich continent of Australia. This was a hard-fought campaign with great losses on both sides, and the sacrifices of the men of the USS San Francisco during this battle are honored during this annual event.

Every year on the Sunday before Memorial Day out at beautiful Land’s End overlooking the Golden Gate, the survivors of the USS San Francisco (CA-38) come together along with friends, family, and service members from all the uniformed branches to pay tribute to our Veterans past and present. The program, held at the USS San Francisco Memorial, is a formal and solemn event attended by a couple of hundred observers and attendees; the program focuses on a Chair of Honor recipient and is designed as a tribute to the officers and sailors of this great ship that lost their lives during the naval battle at Guadalcanal.

This year our program will honor the Veterans of the Vietnam War with RADM Tom Brown, USN (Ret.) being given the “Chair of Honor.” The Memorial Foundation is privileged to have Rear Admiral Brown, a career Naval Aviator, in attendance to speak about his era of service that spanned from Vietnam through the Cold War.

Few people know that our City’s namesake, the USS San Francisco (CA-38), was one of the most decorated ships of the Second World War. In November of 1942 the USS San Francisco was the flagship of Rear Admiral Daniel Callaghan, a San Francisco native and graduate of Saint Ignatius. Admiral Callaghan in the pitch dark of night steered the San Francisco and her group of ships to take on the Imperial Japanese fleet that was to shell the unprotected Marines freshly landed on the beaches of Guadalcanal.  He knew the mission was suicide, and chose to defend the lives of the Marines on those beaches at all cost. Our Memorial Event celebrates the life of Admiral Callaghan and the lives of all those officers and sailors that died that night in a selfless act of courage and sacrifice. As we stand out at Land’s End we remember all those who left our great city through our Golden Gate never to return to the land they helped keep safe for us.

Each year, fewer and fewer of our second World War survivors can join us and while they are still able, we feel fortunate to be able to honor them at this ceremony and I believe you would both enjoy our event as well as be moved by the people in attendance and hearing their stories. Media representatives will also be given access to interview “Chief Johnny” Jon Gordon, a Pearl Harbor survivor who served on the San Francisco through the entire Second World War through 17 naval battles.


USS San Francisco (CA-38)
Memorial Ceremony
Sunday 28 May, 2016
12:00pm – 1:30pm
USS San Francisco Memorial Park
Lands End, Ft. Miley, San Francisco
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the World Famous Cliff House

Memorial Ceremony Schedule:

  • Pre-Ceremony Music Band of The West USNSCC
  • Parade Colors Color Guards
  • National Anthem Vallejo Choral Society
  • Pledge of Allegiance Chaplain Edgar Fulwider, USMC
  • Invocation Chaplain Edgar Fulwider, USMC
  • Post Colors Color Guards
  • Welcoming Remarks John A. McKnight, MM2N USN
  • Master of Ceremony CAPT Stanley E. Ellexson Jr., USN (Ret)
  • VIP Remarks Judge Quentin Kopp
  • Supervisor Mark Farrell
  • Mr. Jun Yamada, Consul General of Japan (Invited)
  • Chair of Honor Introductions CAPT Michelle Lockwood, USN (Ret)
  • Chair of Honor RADM Tom Brown, USN (Ret)
  • Roll Call and Bell Ceremony CAPT Stanley E. Ellexson, Jr.,USN (Ret)
  • Taps and Echo Band of The West USNSCC
  • Navy Hymn Vallejo Choral Society
  • America The Beautiful Vallejo Choral Society
  • Benediction Chaplain Edgar Fulwider, USMC
  • Amazing Grace Lynne S. Miller, H.O.B.
  • Retire Colors Color Guards
  • Closing Comments and Ask Maj Gene Redding, USMC (Ret)
  • “Frisco” Veterans Gather on Monument for Historic Photo

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