The last great naval battle of World War II is commemorated on the San Diego embarcadero by the Battle of Leyte Gulf Memorial. The memorial consists of 13 polished black granite panels--one for each ship in Taffy 3--arranged in a V-shape. In the center is a bronze bust of Vice-Admiral Clifton A.F. Sprague. Taffy 3 was composed of lightly armed or unarmed escort carriers, destroyers and destroyer escorts.
This small group was all that stood between a superior force of Japanese battleships, cruisers and destroyers and the landing force at Leyte in the Philippines. Admiral Sprague directed his small force of ships and planes in a series of attacks and maneuvers that ultimately resulted in the withdrawal of the Japanese fleet. Four of Taffy 3's ships were sunk and over 800 men were killed, but Taffy 3 protected the soldiers on the beach and prevented the disruption of the landings in the Philippines.
Each panel of the memorial is etched with a picture of one of the ships of Taffy 3 and its information. The memorial is dedicated to the sailors and aviators who fought the battle by the survivors. Another memorial to this ships that were lost that day is at Rosecrans National Cemetery at Point Loma.