San Francisco

Photograph of Golden Gate with San Francisco in the background

Naval History and Heritage Command #NH 81893

San Francisco (122.399W 37.801N) was the most important city on the West Coast in 1941, with a population of about 600,000 persons. The area was first explored by Westerners in 1542 and mapped in 1775, when de Alaya first sailed into San Francisco Bay.  The Spanish established the Presidio in 1776 but settlements in the area remained small until after the Mexican War.   The gold rush of 1849 swelled the population, and the transcontinental railroad established San Francisco as the most important city on the West Coast. Industrial facilities included a small Bethlehem Steel mill; Bethlehem Steel's Union Iron shipyard (122.384W 37.761N), which was devoted mostly to Navy construction and repair; and the Western Pipe and Steel yard, which could lay down two C1 transports at a time at its side launching way.

At the time war broke out, there were approximately five freighters and six transports available in the harbor, and there were numerous military and industrial facilities in the Bay area. The port became the Port of Embarkation for men and supplies to the Pacific, exclusive of Alaska and the China-Burma-India theater.

Rail connections

Hunters Point


Moffett Field

Climate Information:

Elevation 52'

Temperatures: Jan 55/45, Apr 62/49, Jul 65/53, Oct 68/54, record 101/27

Rainfall: Jan 11/4.7, Apr 6/1.5, Jul 0/0, Oct 4/1.0 == 22.1" per annum


Huston (1966)

Lane (1951)

Leighton and Coakley (1955)
Pearce and Smith (1990)

Stanton (2006)

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