World War II National Submarine Memorial - West
A Brief History
U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II was first formed in 1955 by surviving members of the U.S. Navy's elite Submarine Service. U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II was issued a Federal Charter in 1981 by the Congress of the United States.
The Los Angeles Area Chapter of U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II was formed and issued a charter by the National Organization in early 1960. Meetings were held in members' homes until the Hollywood American Legion provided a meeting place in 1963. As the membership grew, a larger meeting place was sought and in 1969 the Naval Weapons Station, Seal Beach, California, graciously provided Building 206. Today these meetings are now held in Building 6, where they meet jointly with the Los Angeles-Pasadena Base of United States Submarine Veterans, Inc.
In 1960, the Los Angeles Area Chapter, even though small, had a dream of someday constructing a memorial to honor those shipmates who so gallantly and couragously made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. On 13 January 1977, ground was broken and their dream became the National Submarine Memorial - West. The closeness and comradeship that was so necessary in the long, dark days of World War II is still evident today as testified to by the unselfish and generous contributions of funds and labor needed to construct and maintain this living memorial.
Twenty years later, the Los Angeles-Pasadena Base of United States Submarine Veterans, Incorporated was issued a charter by their National Organization. Upon receiving their charter on June 3, 1997, the two organizations began to meet together at the Naval Weapons Station. Since the United States Submarine Veterans endeavor to keep alive the memory of all submariners --from the strictly diesel boat sailor to the strictly nuclear boat sailor, and those who made the transition between the two --it was only natural that the two organizations would work together to perpetuate the memory of their shipmates.
To this end, the California Center for Military History is proud to join with the members of the Los Angeles Area Chapter of U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II and Los Angeles-Pasadena Base of United States Submarine Veterans Incorporated in honoring our valiant Submariners of the U.S. Navy who gave their lives in the service of their country. We recognize their dedication, deeds and supreme sacrifice.
National World War II Submarine Memorial - West is located just outside the main gate of the Naval Weapons Station, Seal Beach, California
National World War II Submarine Memorial - West
Bronze plaques display the names of each of the 52 submarines lost in World War II and list the date, place and names of each sailor who was lost on board these submarines