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The story of the United States cruiser San Juan is, in reality, the chronicle of a relatively small group of men, and of ships, bound together in allegiance to a common flag -- the colors of a free nation whose peacetime borders boast no fortifications, save the guns of a salt water fleet. It is the story of a Navy which arose from staggering defeat to "bring the fleets of two aggressor nations to their knees, receiving their surrender within four months of each other."
It is the saga of a sleek anti-aircraft cruiser whose graceful lines and latent power won for it the affectionate nickname "Panther" -- a nickname which matured, as the San Juan itself matured, through fifteen major engagements against an enemy victorious in every war since 1596. The sobriquet gained material being by way of a signalman's sewing cunning and under Captain J. E. Maher, U.S.N., the San Juan's first commanding officer, the "Panther Flag" gained recognition as a battle flag and from that time on flew from the foretruck during the "Panther's" strikes against Japan.
E.G. Hines, USNR
United States Navy, World War 1939-1945, Regimental histories, U.S.S. San Juan, "Panther", CL-54, anti-aircraft cruiser
Hines, Eugene G. USNR, "The Panther strikes, a history of the U.S.S. San Juan CL54" (1946). World War Regimental Histories. 148.
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