U.S.S. California
DLGN-36 / CGN-36
The Golden Grizzly
In The Beginning, Memories of a Plank Owner

Previous Ships Named California

A Legacy of Naval Service Since 1869

The first of the six Naval ships which have been named after the State of California was a 313-foot sloop launched in 1867 as the MINNETONKA. She was renamed CALIFORNIA in 1869. She was decommissioned at Mare Island in 1873.

California #2
The second CALIFORNIA, ACR-6, a 503-foot armored cruiser was launched in San Francisco in 1904. Designed with a speed of 22 knots, the vessel had a normal displacement of 13,680 tons. She carried 40 officers and 782 enlisted men.
In 1914, her name was changed to SAN DIEGO to permit assignment of the state name to a newly authorized battleship.
The SAN DIEGO was sunk by a German submarine in 1918 off the coast of Long Island. Only six lives were lost; 1,183 survivors were picked up.

California #3
A 179-foot yacht was the third ship to bear the name CALIFORNIA. This vessel, SP-249, was delivered to the Navy in 1917. Armed with two six-pounders and two Colt machine guns, she was designed for a speed of 12 knots.
Her name was changed back to the original HAUOKI in 1918. She served for local patrols out of San Diego, California. In 1920, the ship was sold to a lumber company in Florida.

California #4
The fourth CALIFORNIA, SP-647, was a 58 foot yacht built in 1910. The vessel had a gross register tonnage of 34 tons and a moximum speed of 9.2 knots.
She was commissioned in 1917 and served on local patrol out of San Francisco. She was returned to he owner, the San Francisco Bar Pilot's Association, in 1918.

California #5
The fifth, largest, and most famous ship so named was the battle ship CALIFORNIA (BB-44). She is pictured above as she appeared following a major reconstruction during World War II.
The battleship was commissioned in 1921 and for 21 years served as flagship of the Pacific Fleet, then as flagship of the Battle Fleet. Her measurements were: length, 624 feet; beam, 97 feet; displacement, 32,300 tons; speed, 21 knots; and complement, 57 officers and 1,026 enlisted men.
She was armed with (12) 14"/50 guns, (14) 5"/51 guns and (2) 21-inch submerged torpedo tubes.
On December 7, 1941, she was berthed in "Battleship Row" at Pearl Harbor. Following the arerial attack by the Japanese, the CALIFORNIA sank with only her superstructure above the surface.
The ship was refloated in 1942 and, after repairs, departed for Puget Sound Naval Yard where a major reconstruction was performed. By 1944 the CALIFORNIA was back in service.
During World War II, the CALIFORNIA earned seven battle stars. She participated in the shore bombardments during the Saipan, Guam, and Tinian Operations. During the Leyte Operation the CALIFORNIA took part in the Battle of Surigao Strait. While providing shore bombardment at Lingayen Gulf she was hit by a kamikaze plane. After repairs the ship served off Okinawa, in the East China Sea and in support of the landing of occupation forces in Japan.
The CALIFORNIA was placed in commission in reserve in 1946, out of commission in reserve in 1947, and was sold for scrapping in 1959.

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