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Dear Mr. Nickerson,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships and Stations, 1941 - 1983 in the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (Record Group 24) that include the deck logs of the USS San Diego (CL-53) from its commissioning on 10 January 1942 through its decommissioning on 4 November 1946. We also located World War II Action and Operational Reports in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Record Group 38) that may include reports submitted by the USS San Diego. For more information, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plus, we located Moving Images Relating to Military Activities, ca. 1947 - 1980 in the General Records of the Department of the Navy (Record Group 428) that includes 6 films relating to the USS San Diego. For more information, please contact National Archives at College Park - Motion Pictures (RDSM) via email at email@example.com.
Photographs of various U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps activities dating from 1940 to 2007 are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Still Picture (RDSS). Please contact RDSS via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a search for photographs of specific ships.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2, RDSM, and RDSS. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
In addition, we located World War II War Diaries, Other Operational Records and Histories, ca. 1/1/1942 - ca. 6/1/1946 in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Record Group 38) which contains war diaries and reports concerning the USS San Diego’s activities during World War 2. These records have been digitized and can be viewed online through the Catalog. Please keep in mind that the Catalog does not always list files in chronological order.
You also may be interested in the cruise book for the USS San Diego published 1945. Cruise books are unofficial publications published by a ship's crew to document a cruise, deployment, or war. They often include photographs of the crew and aspects of ship life not found in official records. Copies can be found in the Navy Department Library's Collection.
Plus, The USS San Diego Memorial Association has some information on their website.
Finally, the unofficial website NavSource has a page on the USS San Diego.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!