• East view from Crissy Field overlook with old Coast Guard station on left and city on right

    Presidio of San Francisco


World War II Memorial

World War II Memorial
The World War II Memorial at the Presidio honors American servicemen lost or buried in U.S. Pacific waters.

Dedicated November 29, 1960, the West Coast World War II Memorial is a curved wall of California granite set in a grove of Monterey pine and cypress. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, it bears the names of 413 members of the armed forces who were lost or buried at sea in U.S. Pacific waters between 1941 and 1945.

Dedication of the World War II Memorial

Soldiers fire a salute at the dedication of the World War II Memorial on November 29, 1960. New York sculptor Jean de Marco created the statue of Columbia.

American Battle Monuments Commission

The memorial was built by the American Battle Monuments Commission, a governmental agency also responsible for its maintenance. Cemeteries and memorials maintained by the A.B.M.C. preserve the legacy of American servicemen whose remains were not returned to this country for final interment. The West Coast Memorial is one of three A.B.M.C. memorials on U.S. soil dedicated to missing soldiers of World War II; the others are the East Coast Memorial at Battery Park in New York City and the Honolulu Memorial in Hawaii.
Detail from World War II Memorial
This bas-relief depicts two constellations: Pegasus (the winged horse) and Pisces (the fish). Because  the commemorated men were lost or buried at sea, this is a reference to the stars mariners traditionally used for guidance.

Did You Know?

The San Francisco National Cemetery at the Presidio

The National Cemeteries Act was based on the principles articulated by President Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address--"that these dead shall not have died in vain." Passed by Congress in 1863, the law established thirteen cemeteries to inter veterans of the Armed Forces and their families.