Public Art

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1975 Strand Way
Coronado, CA, 92118

First Ashore Naked Warrior - John Seward Johnson II - 2016

Public Art

About the artist:

The “Naked Warrior,” as named by sculptor John Seward Johnson II, is a Navy combat swimmer wearing shorts, fins and a face mask. The City Council accepted the gift from the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida. The statue also honors all maritime commando units that have provided the same skills and support found in today’s U.S. Navy SEAL teams. Coronado strives to place public art throughout Coronado. Its Cultural Arts Commission recommended approval of the public art piece, which features a UDT swimmer astride a World War II battle obstacle, to the City Council after receiving input from the Parks and Recreation, Historic Resource and Design Review commissions. The City constructed the statue’s base and installed the landscaping required at the site, which is near the Glorietta Bay Boat Launch Ramp. Site preparation and installation costed $50,000 with a dedication ceremony which coincided with Veterans Day 2016. Nicknamed “Naked Warriors” for their lack of clothing and equipment, these frogmen would swim into enemy waters from far offshore to reconnoiter heavily defended beaches without weapons or support. They would return with explosives to destroy any natural or man-made obstacles they found that might impede Allied amphibious landings. The statue is approximately six feet tall and mounted on a two-foot “horned scully,” a type of boat obstacle that was placed on beaches to prevent Allied amphibious landings. Currently, there are two “Naked Warrior” statues, one in Fort Pierce, Florida and one in Waimanalo Beach in Hawaii. Prior to this sculpture there was no monument commemorating U.S. Navy SEALs and their unique culture, history and connection to Coronado. Seven locations were evaluated. The installation includes lighting, construction of the base, landscaping and a commemorative plaque. A raised pedestal raises the statue to a finished height of 10 feet.