Monument to US Servicemen

3.5m stone and iron monument in front of the old customs house in Barcelona. The monument is surrounded by trees and a few people on a sunny spring day.
Monument to US sailors and marines, Barcelona

On the night of January 17th 1977, 49 American servicemen lost their lives in a tragic accident in Barcelona harbour.

The men, who were serving aboard the USS Guam and USS Trenton, had been enjoying a few hours of shore leave in Barcelona and were returning to their ships when the small boat they were travelling in collided with a Spanish cargo vessel.

The LCM-6 class liberty boat quickly turned over, tipping the 124 men aboard into the cold dark waters of Barcelona harbour. Despite the rapid response of harbour workers and other crewmembers, 49 men lost their lives.

Close up of the monument which is made of wrought iron in the form of waves
Monument to US servicemen

One year later, a 3.5m iron and stone monument was erected on the Barcelona wharf a few metres from where the accident happened. In 1997 the monument was moved to its current location next to the old customs building and the Christopher Columbus monument.

The stone base of the monument bears the names of the sailors and marines who lost their lives and a metal plaque with an inscription which reads:

In memory of the members of the US Navy and the US Marine corps serving in the USS Guam and USS Trenton who perished in this port on 17 January 1977 and in gratitude to the citizens, officials and rescue teams of Barcelona for their cooperation with the US forces.

The metal plaque on the side of the monument to us servicemen in Barcelona. The design includes an eagle atop a globe and an anchor with the letters USN.
Monument to American sailors and marines


Plaça del Portal de la Pau, Barcelona

How to get there

The nearest metro stop is Drassanes on the L3 green line.

Several bus routes stop nearby, including the open top city tour buses and the T3 shuttle bus to the cruise ships.

Other attractions nearby


Plaça Portal de la pau, Barcelona


  1. While at my cousin’s Memorial Service, I was asked if I knew he had been a hero. I hadn’t, but I wasn’t surprised. I was told an accident/collision occurred In Barcelona, Spain in 1979 aboard a Navy ship. My cousin was on a Marine boat that rescued the Navy sailors — 200 were rescued, and 30 passed. His name was NICK LINKOWITZ, and he had been at Lejeune, but I don’t remember when. The closest story I could come to was yours. Is this the right place to look for info?

    1. Hi Nancy,

      Thanks for your comment.

      There used to be an official US Navy report about the incident online which I originally linked to in this post.

      Unfortunately, when I searched for it this evening, it no longer seems to be available.

      At the moment, apart from this post, the only information that I’ve been able to find online is a couple of old articles from Spanish newspapers.

      I imagine that if you contact some of your cousin’s colleagues from when he served in the Marines, they will be able to give you more information.

  2. I was part of the search and rescue team that night. It took us 3 day to recover the dead. Its something I will never forget. I suffer from ptsd . I will have the impact from this accident daily. May you brothers rip we assume the watch.

  3. MY name is Shields, E.R. LCPL gunner in the Anti-tank platoon, H&S co. 1/6, serving on the U.S.S. Guam the night of the tragedy. We lost several 106 men that night. I haven’t been back yet, but our Marine brothers have not been forgotten! R.I.P Lcpl Paul Asplundh from Kentucky…….

  4. This is Cherry,DF USMC. Delta Battery, 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines, Camp LeJune, NC.
    I WAS ON THE USS TRENTON AND AT THE STATUE with 5 others WHEN THE BOATS COLLIDED. It was a horrible sound.
    We only lost one of our battery members. I was carrying his video recording device and we held in our hands the last films of that young marine. We sent it home to his parents shortly after arriving on board. He was a good marine! I was one of the last marines to board the Trenton days later. Bless our lost brother’s that night. All of them!

    1. Cherry,D. F. USMC
      I was there that fateful night.
      On the pier. We had missed the boat by 5 minutes. Could hear the collision.
      I was on the USS Trenton with Delta Battery, 2nd Battalion, 10th. Marines, Camp LeJune, NC. We lost one proud brother that night.
      I’m with you all in the memories of those lost.

      1. Engineer of the second and last boat, we had a bad night, have two quarters in DeMossville and McCreary County Kentucky. Loren King and David Chapman (Chappy)” I made it to your final resting place, your family embraced me and took me in”. I was honored to share memories of you with your Mother, Brother and Sister a Gold Star Family. The Forgotten 49 Veterans Day is very hard RIP

    2. Jeannie King Hamlin,
      I was on shore that tragic night. We could hear the accident take place.
      I was on the USS Trenton. Delta Battery, 2nd. Battalion, 10th. Marines.
      I knew a marine named King on that cruise. He was from a different unit and I can’t remember whom. I believe he was from the southern states. A fairly big young man. Blond to reddish hair. We got along very well. As with some marine’s we did our share of fighting.
      As all, we’re sorry for your loss.

    3. Jeanie, I have been to your brothers grave twice trying to return personal items, how do I reach you my name is Bud Sanders and engineer on second mic boat. King was my shop supervisor and I remember hanging at his house with his family.

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