Tuesday, June 17, 2008
USS California/USS San Diego
Figure 1: USS California (Armored Cruiser No. 6) photographed circa 1908. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 2: Commissioning of the USS California (ACR-6) at Mare Island Navy Yard on 1 August 1907. Courtesy Darryl Baker. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 3: USS Ohio (BB-12), USS California (ACR-6) and USS South Dakota (ACR-9), between May and July 1908 at Mare Island Navy Yard. The cruisers are moored next to the yard's coal sheds. Note the coal handling equipment installed by the Brown Hoisting Machinery Company in 1904, seen above the coal sheds. Courtesy Darryl Baker. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 4: Stern view of USS California (ACR-6) in San Diego harbor circa 1909. Courtesy Darryl Baker. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 5: USS California (ACR-6) in San Diego harbor circa 1910-1914. Photographed by the Arcade View Company. Courtesy of Captain Don Fink, 1983. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 6: USS San Diego (ACR-6) Off Guaymas, Mexico, 26 December 1915. Photographed by Hopkins. Note Christmas tree mounted on her forecastle. Collection of Thomas P. Naughton, 1973. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 7: Starboard forward quarter view of the USS San Diego (ACR-6) in Mare Island channel on May 4, 1916. U.S. Navy Photo. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 8: USS San Diego (ACR-6) - Painting by Francis Muller, 1920. It depicts the ship sinking off Fire Island, New York, after she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-156, 19 July 1918. Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C., U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
The USS California (Armored Cruiser 6) was a 13,680-ton Pennsylvania class armored cruiser that was built at the Union Iron Works, San Francisco, California, and was commissioned on 1 August 1907. She was approximately 503 feet long and 69 feet wide, and had a top speed of 22 knots and a crew of 830 officers and men. California was armed with four 8-inch guns, fourteen 6-inch guns, eighteen 3-inch guns, and two 18-inch torpedo tubes.
After California was commissioned, she spent 10 years serving in the Pacific. She was assigned to the Second Division, Pacific Fleet, and took part in the naval review at San Francisco in May 1908 for the Secretary of the Navy. California cruised the coasts of Hawaii and Samoa in the fall of 1908 and spent a great deal of time patrolling off the West Coast of the United States. In March 1912, California was sent to the US Asiatic Station in the Far East, but in August she was sent to Nicaragua to protect American lives and property during that country’s political unrest. She then resumed patrolling America’s West Coast but was on constant alert to steam towards Mexico because of the frequent rebellions plaguing that country.
On 1 September 1914, the USS California was renamed San Diego to free up her name for a battleship that was being constructed. San Diego often served as the flagship for the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, but a boiler explosion sent her to the Mare island Navy Yard in California for repairs during the summer of 1915. San Diego resumed her role as flagship in the fall. On 12 February 1917, she was put into reserve status until the start of America’s involvement in World War I.
San Diego was re-commissioned on 7 April 1917 and was the flagship for the Commander, Patrol Force, Pacific Fleet, until 18 July, when she was ordered to join the Atlantic Fleet. She reached Hampton Roads, Virginia, on 4 August and was assigned to Cruiser Division 2. San Diego eventually became the flagship of the Commander, Cruiser Force, Atlantic, and she functioned in this role until 19 September 1917.
San Diego’s next mission was to escort merchant convoys for the first part of their journey to Europe from the United States. San Diego was based at Tompkinsville, New York, and at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and she protected Allied merchant ships from German U-boats until the convoy could be handed off to other escorts in the mid-Atlantic. But on 19 July 1918, while steaming from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to New York City, San Diego was torpedoed by U-156 just to the southeast of Fire Island, New York. The cruiser sank in 28 minutes with the loss of six lives. Although several smaller American naval vessels were sunk during World War I, the USS San Diego was the only major US warship lost during that conflict.
Posted by Remo at 6:22 AM