USS San Diego
"Always Watchful"
Ship Crest




Per fess Celeste and Gules fimbriated Argent, in chief a Spanish caravel Proper and in base issuant a demi-trident Or superimposed on its staff by conjoined stylized dolphins of the second, garnished and fimbriated of the third, all below and between the trident tines, four mullets in fess of the last; all within a bordure Azure (Dark Blue) fimbriated Gules charged with eighteen (18) mullets Or.


From a wreath Argent and Celeste, a belfry Proper surmounted in base by a palm wreath Vert.


: Behind the shield four swords – a U.S. Naval Officer’s sword, U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Mameluke sword, U.S. Navy Enlisted Chief Petty Officer’s cutlass and a U.S. Marine Non-Commissioned Officer’s sword in saltire, points downward.
   MOTTO: A scroll Azure (Dark Blue) doubled Argent and inscribed ‘SEMPER VIGILANS’ translates to ‘Ever Vigilant’, Argent.


SHIELD: The dark blue represents the traditional mission of a deep-water Navy while the lighter blue represents the near shore environments where USS San Diego will carry out her mission. The Spanish sailing caravel and stylized dolphins are adapted from the City of San Diego’s coat of arms. The caravel is an artistic representation of the San Salvador, flagship of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo who landed at San Diego Bay in 1542. The caravel carries a blue and gold pennant, the City of San Diego flag, and a flag with six lightning bolts alluding to USS San Diego being the sixth ship of the San Antonio class of Landing Platform Dock (LPD) ships. The demi-trident indicates naval dominance and the ship’s ability to conduct expeditionary operations utilizing the Marine Corps’ mobility triad – Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), landing craft air cushion (LCAC), and the Marine Corps’ tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey – in support of the U.S. maritime strategy. The four stars represent ships to bear the name San Diego. The red is representative of the U.S. Marine Corps. The eighteen (18) gold stars pay tribute to the battle stars awarded to USS San Diego (CL-53) for her combat service during World War II.

CREST: The belfry, also adapted from the City of San Diego’s coat of arms, recalls the city’s origin as a mission settlement. The mission bell has been replaced with a ship’s bell acknowledging the city’s long standing connection to maritime industry and the U.S. Navy. The palm wreath signifies honor and victory.

SUPPORTERS: The U.S. Navy Officer sword, U.S. Marine Corps Mameluke, and U.S. Navy and Marine Corps enlisted swords symbolize the synergy between the two services. Furthermore, the placement of the swords symbolizes the leadership and direction provided by commissioned officers combined with the strength and support of the senior enlisted cadre forging the foundation of USS San Diego’s crew and the Navy-Marine Corps Team.


About USS San Diego 

LPD 22 Artis Rendering  LPD 22 (2011)


Then Secretary of the Navy Gordon England named LPD 22 San Diego on 30 April 2004. "San Diego is home to a large number of the Pacific Fleet's ships. For decades our Nation's Sailors and Marines have begun their service to America at boot camps in San Diego. Thousands of military families and veterans have fallen in love with the area and are fortunate enough to live and work in San Diego. USS San Diego will project American power to the far corners of the earth and support the cause of freedom well into the 21st century," England said.


Secretary England noted the longstanding relationship between the U.S. Navy and residents of San Diego, "San Diego is a great Navy town and one of the world's finest harbors. For more than a century, the city has served as a vital base of operations for the U.S. Navy and the citizens of 'America's Finest City' have welcomed our Sailors and Marines as neighbors." 

Other Ships Previously Named San Diego 

USS California (Armored Cruiser No. 6), a 13,680-ton Pennsylvania class armored cruiser, was commissioned in August 1907 and renamed San Diego in 1914. USS San Diego performed convoy escort duty in World War I before being torpedoed and sunk off Fire Island, New York, by the German submarine U-156 in 1918.


The second San Diego (CL-53), an antiaircraft light cruiser, was commissioned on 10 January 1942. The ship supported the first American offensive of the war, the invasion of the Solomon’s at Guadalcanal in 1942, participated in operations throughout the Pacific during World II and o n 27 August 1945, San Diego was the first major Allied warship to enter Tokyo Bay since the beginning of the war. USS San Diego was decommissioned and placed in the Pacific Reserve Fleet on 4 November 1946. She earned 18 battle stars for service in World War II.


The third San Diego (AFS 6), a combat stores ship, was commissioned on 24 May 1969. As the largest of the three previous San Diego’s, AFS 6 was 581 feet long and had a beam of 79 feet - still smaller than LPD 22. Over the years she provided underway replenishment and refueling- at-sea services to thousands of ships. This USS San Diego was decommissioned and simultaneously placed in service by MSC as USN San Diego (T-AFS-6), on 11 August 1993 and eventually placed out of service in December 1997.


LPD 22's keel was laid down May 23, 2007. The ship was delivered to the Navy on December 19, 2011 and was comissioned on May 19, 2019

History - (click on images / text below)

AFS 6 

AFS 6 (1969 - 1993)

CL 53 

US Navy Ships History Files 

US Navy Ships History Files


Ship Characteristics
Length 684 feet (208.5 meters)
Beam 105 feet (31.9 meters)
Displacement Approximately 24,900 tons full load
Speed In excess of 22 knots (24.2 mph)
Aircraft Four CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters or two MV-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft may be launched or recovered simultaneously. The ship’s hangar can store 1-2 aircraft.
Armament Two 30 mm Close-in-Guns, for surface threat defense; two Rolling Airframe Missile launchers for air defense
Landing Craft Two LCACs (air cushion) or one LCU (conventional)
EFVs 14 Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles
Power plant Four Colt-Pielstick diesel engines, two shafts, 41,600 shp
Crew 360 Sailors (28 officers, 332 enlisted) and 3 Marines
Troops 699 (66 officers, 633 enlisted); surge to 800 total.
Other LPD 17 Class: USS San Antonio (LPD 17), USS New Orleans (LPD 18), USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), Green Bay (LPD 20), New York (LPD 21), San Diego (LPD 22), Anchorage (LPD 23), Arlington (LPD 24), and Somerset (LPD 25)

 Commissioned: 19 MAY 2012  Location: San Diego, CA
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