Daily Event for July 19, 2005

July 19, 1918 the armored cruiser USS San Diego CA-6 sank after hitting a mine off Fire Island, New York. San Diego was launched as California (ACR-6) at Union Iron Works in 1904. In 1912 USS California was sent to Nicaragua to protect American interests during the political unrest. On Jan. 21, 1915 USS San Diego suffered a boiler explosion which killed nine men, more deaths were prevented due to the courage of several crewmen, two men, Ensign Robert W. Cary Jr. and Fireman 2nd Class Telesforo Trinidad exhibited extraordinary courage.

Cary, later Rear Admiral, held the watertight door bodily while it was being closed electrically from the bridge, even as steam from the devastated boiler swirled around him. Several men escaped certain death due to his actions. Trinidad returned to the boiler room, even under the threat of further explosions to rescue another man. Trinidad was burned on the face. For their heroism both men received the Medal of Honor.

On July 19, 1918 the San Diego had returned from convoy escort duty when she hit a mine laid by SMS U-156. San Diego went down with the loss of six of her crew. She was the only major warship loss suffered by the U.S.A. in World War 1. The wreck remains today where she sank.

© 2005 Michael W. Pocock

Portrait of USS San Diego sinking by Francis Muller.


Roll of Honor
In memory of those who lost their lives in USS San Diego CA-6
"As long as we embrace them in our memory, their spirit will always be with us"

Blaine, Clyde C.
Fireman 1st Class
Davis, Thomas E.
Engineman 2nd Class
Harris, Paul J.
Seaman 2nd Class
Munson, Andrew
Machinist's Mate 2nd Class
Rochet, James F.
Engineman 2nd Class
Thomas, Frazier O.
Machinist's Mate 2nd Class

To submit a photo, biographical information or correction please email the webmaster.