USS California ACR-5 - History

USS California ACR-5 - History

USS California ACR-5

California II
ACR: dp. 13,680, 1. 603'11": b. 69'7", dr. 24'1", B. 22
k.; cpl. 829; a. 4 8", 14 6", 18 3", 2 18" tt.; cl.
Pennsylvania)

The second California (Armored Cruiser 6) was launched 28 April 1904 by Union Iron Works, San Francisco, Calif.; sponsored by Miss F. Pardee, and commissioned 1 August 1907, Captain V. L. Cottman in command.

Joining the 2d Division, Pacific Fleet, California took part in the naval review at San Francisco in May 1908 for the Secretary of the Navy. Aside from a cruise to Hawaii and Samoa in the fall of 1908, the cruiser operated along the west coast, sharpening her readiness through training exercises and drills, until December 1911, when she sailed for Honolulu, and in March 1912 continued westward for duty on the Asiatic Station. After this service representing American power and prestige in the Far East, she returned home in August 1912, and was ordered to Corinto, Nicaragua, then embroiled in internal political disturbance. Here she protected American lives and property, then resumed her operations along the west coast; she cruised off California, and kept a watchful eye on Mexico, at that time also suffering political disturbance.

California was renamed San Diego on 1 September 1914, and served as flagship for Commander-in-Chief,Pacific Fleet, intermittently until a boiler explosion put her in Mare Island Navy Yard in reduced commission through the summer of 1915. San Diego returned to duty as flagship through 12 February 1917, when she went into reserve status until the opening of World War I. Placed in full commission 7 April, the cruiser operated as flagship for Commander, Patrol Force, Pacific Fleet, until 18 July when she was ordered to the Atlantic Fleet. Reaching Hampton Roads, VA., 4 August, she joined Cruiser Division 2, and later broke the flag of Commander, Cruiser Force, Atlantic, which she flew until 19 September.

San Diego's essential mission was the escort of convoys through the first dangerous leg of their passages to Europe. Based on Tompkinsville, N.Y., and Halifax, N.S., she operated in the weather-torn, submarine infested North Atlantic safely convoying all of her charges to the ocean escort. On 19 July 1918, bound from Portsmouth, N.H., to New York, San Diego was torpedoed by the German submarine U-156 southeast of Fire Island. The cruiser sank in 28 minutes with the loss of 6 lives, the only major warship lost by the United States in World War I.


USS Pennsylvania (ACR-4)

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/26/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

USS Pennsylvania (ACR-4) formed the lead ship of the six-strong Pennsylvania-class of armored cruisers in service with the United States Navy during the early 1900s. Her sisters included USS West Virginia (ACR-5), USS California (ACR-6), USS Colorado (ACR-7), USS Maryland (ACR-8) and USS South Dakota (ACR-9). The class was constructed from 1901 until 1908 and served until 1927 before being scrapped to fulfill the American commitment to the London Naval Treaty of 1930. Of the six completed, one was lost. All were renamed at different times in their ocean-going careers to free up designations for incoming battleships joining the service.

USS Pennsylvania was ordered on March 3rd, 1899 and built by William Cramp & Sons of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, her keel being laid down on August 7th, 1901. She was launched on August 22nd, 1903 and formally commissioned on March 9th, 1905.

As completed, USS Pennsylvania featured a displacement of 13,900 tons and a length of 504 feet, a beam of 69.6 feet and a draught of 24 feet. Power was from 32 x Niclausse boilers feeding 2 x triple expansion reciprocating engines driving 23,000 horsepower to 2 x shafts. Speeds in ideal conditions could reach up to 22 knots. Her crew complement numbered 889 led by 80 officers and included some 64 marine elements. The ship's primary battery was 4 x 8" (200mm) /40 caliber Mark 5 main guns set as two guns to two turrets. This was supported by 14 x 6" (150mm) /50 caliber Mark 6 guns and 18 x 3" (76mm) /50 caliber fast-firing cannons. 12 x 3-pounder (47mm) Driggs-Schroeder guns were also carried for shorter-ranged work and 2 x 1-pounder (37mm) Driggs-Schroeder guns were used for salute functions. As was the case with other warships of the period, Pennsylvania was also completed with torpedo tubes, these being 2 x 18" (460mm) launchers. Armor protection ranged from 6" at the belt and 6" on her deck to 6.5" at the turrets and 9 inches at the conning tower.

Her profile included four smoke funnels at midships bookended by two main masts. Her bridge section was appropriately held well-forward in the design with a commanding view over the forecastle. A primary turret was fitted fore and the other aft while smaller-caliber guns protruded from her upper hull sides.

Her first actions involved cruising the American east coast and Caribbean waters. In late 1906 she was sent to Asia to enforce American trade routes and interests overseas concerning the Pacific. The vessel then operated along the American west coast for the latter half of 1907 and managed calls at Chile and Peru during 1910. Prior o 1911, she underwent a refit which changed her propulsion scheme to include 8 x modified boilers with 12 x Babcock & Wilcox boiler units. Her added two more saluting guns and lost her 12 x 3-pounders. USS Pennsylvania then became the recipient of the first fixed-wing aircraft landing on a ship (with arrestor hook) when the event was recorded on January 18th, 1911. To accommodate the task, a short flight deck was added over her stern section. The event took place at San Francisco Bay, California with Eugene Ely at the controls of a pusher-powered biplane.

She was sent to reserve in mid-1911 and used as a trainer for a time. Because of the influx of new American battleships, she lost the name "Pennsylvania" and was recommissioned as "USS Pittsburgh" on August 27th, 1912, ending her days under this name - though reclassified on July 17th, 1920 under the hull symbol of (CA-4). Prior to 1921, she was part of another refit.

As Pittsburgh she continued her ocean-going career before being sold off for scrap on December 21st, 1931.


100 Years Later

Is it possible that modern technology can help solve the mystery of what exactly sank San Diego? The Navy is currently trying to do just that, using the wreck as an opportunity to conduct a training exercise for Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two.

According to Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC), which is leading the survey of San Diego, “This dive is part of an ongoing partnership to use Navy wreck sites which provide valuable, non-intrusive, training for the diving, salvage, and rescue community.

The mutually beneficial training also results in current information on the condition of sunken military craft for NHHC’s Underwater Archaeology Branch which is charged with managing the site.”

Officer’s Wardroom Pantry Call Box from WWI-era ship USS San Diego. Photo Credits- Naval History and Heritage

Current information is vital to NHHC’s Underwater Archeology Branch in its management and preservation of over 2,500 military shipwrecks and 14,000 sunken aircraft, because hazards such as fuel stores or live ordnance may become exposed over the years due to environmental factors or “unauthorized disturbance” (outlawed in 2004) from souvenir hunters. A unique challenge to many wrecks is that they serve as war graves, and some may even contain state secrets.

USS San Diego. Photographed from an airplane in San Diego harbor, California, 28 March 1916. Collection of Thomas P. Naughton, 1973. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

According to NHHC, Military Sealift Command rescue and salvage ship USNS Grasp (T-ARS-51) is participating in the dives, and more notably, they “are being documented by a mass communication specialist from Expeditionary Combat Camera in what will be that command’s final operational mission before it is disestablished this fall after more than 100 years of service documenting fleet and military operations around the world.”

In 2017, divers were able to determine that the shipwreck of the San Diego was in good condition for its age, but their visual evidence was too obscured to be able to say definitely that a mine caused the damage in the hull—damage that is rapidly deteriorating as the years pass. In 2018, there is a new chance that mystery may be solved, and an uncertainty removed from the story of USS San Diego and its gallant crew.


USS California ACR-5 - History

The California (SSN 781) is the eighth Virginia-class submarine, and the eighth United States Navy ship named for the state of California. The contract to build her was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding on August 14, 2003. Construction began on Feb. 15, 2006, with keel authentication occurring on May 1, 2009.

November 6, 2010 The Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) California is christened during an 11 a.m. ceremony at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va. Mrs. Donna Willard, wife of Adm. Robert F. Willard, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, served as sponsor of the ship. Cmdr. Dana A. Nelson is the prospective commanding officer The ship was launched on Nov. 14.

July 2, 2011 The California returned to Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding after successfully completing its alpha sea trials.

August 7, U.S. Navy took delivery of PCU California from HII Newport News Shipbuilding more than eight-and-a-half months early to the contract date and nearly five months faster than NNS' previous delivery of New Mexico (SSN 779).

October 21, SSN 781 returned to Naval Station Norfolk after successfully completed a six-week weapons systems acceptance trials.

October 29, USS California was commissioned during an 11 a.m. EDT ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Va.

January 6, 2012 The California arrived at its new homeport of Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Conn.

January 29, 2013 USS California returned to Naval Submarine Base New London after an 11-month Post Shakedown Availability (PSA) at the General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard.

February 1, Cmdr. Shawn W. Huey relieved Cmdr. Dana A. Nelson as CO of the California during a change-of-command ceremony at the Naval Submarine Library and Museum in Groton.

May 12, 2014 USS California departed Naval Submarine Base New London for routine training.

June 8, The Virginia-class attack submarine arrived in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, for emergent repairs Undocked on June 30.

July 2?, USS California departed Groton for its maiden North Atlantic deployment.

October 14, The California moored at Carrier Pier 3 in Arsenal de Brest, France, for a three-day port call.

January 12, 2015 SSN 781 recently moored at Naval Station Rota, Spain, for a routine port call.

January 24, USS California returned to NSB New London after a six-month deployment. The sub traveled more than 40,000 n.m. and also made port calls to Faslane, Scotland and Haakonsvern, Norway.

April 24, Cmdr. John E. Sager relieved Cmdr. Shawn W. Huey as the 3rd CO of California during a change-of-command ceremony on board the sub at NSB New London.

August 7, The California departed Naval Station Mayport, Fla., after a routine port call Brief stop off NSB New London for personnel transfer on Aug. 17 Returned home on Aug. 18.?

October 16, The eighth Virginia-class attack submarine returned to homeport after a month-long underway for routine training. En route to Groton, USS California embarked federal, state and local officials to kick off "Connecticut&rsquos Submarine Century," a yearlong celebration to commemorate the arrival of the first submarine to NSB New London.

November 5, USS California departed Port Canaveral, Fla., after a routine port call Returned to Groton on Nov. 23.

February 4, 2016 The California returned to Naval Submarine Base New London after underway for routine training Underway again on Feb. ? Brief stop off Groton on Feb. 9 Underway for local operations on March ? Brief stop off Groton on March 7 and 9th Moored at Pier 10N on March 14 Underway again on April 2?.

May 1, SSN 781 moored at Trident Wharf in Port Canaveral, Fla., for a brief stop to embark VIP guests.

May 2, USS California moored outboard the USS Cole (DDG 67) at Berth 21, Pier 7 in Port Everglades, Fla., for a week-long port visit to participate in annual Fleet Week celebration.

May 23, The California made a brief stop off Groton for personnel transfer Returned home on May 25 Underway again on June 1? Brief stop off Groton on June 21, June 24, July 11, 14 and 17th Returned to NSB New London on July 20.

August 2, USS California departed homeport for a scheduled North Atlantic deployment.

November 5, The California moored at Her Majesty Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde in Faslane, Scotland, for a mid-deployment voyage repairs.

January 12, 2017 SSN 781 recently moored at Berth 3, Pier 1 on Naval Station Rota, Spain Conducted an ordnance loading exercise, in coordination with Navy Munitions Command Rota and Naval Submarine Support Facility (NSSF) New London, on Jan. 13 Underway on Jan. 18.

January 31, The California made a brief stop off Groton to embark Nuclear Propulsion Examination Board (NPEB) personnel for Operational Reactor Safeguards Examination (ORSE).

February 2, USS California moored at Pier 8N on Naval Submarine Base New London following a six-month deployment. The sub traveled more than 30,000 nautical miles and also made port calls to Haakonsvern, Norway.

March 16, The Virginia-class attack submarine returned to homeport after a nine-day underway.

March 31, Capt. Brian L. Sittlow relieved Capt. John E. McGunnigle, Jr., as Commander, Submarine Squadron (COMSUBRON) 4, during a change-of-command ceremony on board the USS California at NSB New London.

May 2, USS California moored at Wharf D1 in Naval Station Mayport, Fla., for a brief stop Moored at Trident Wharf in Port Canaveral in conjunction with the Space Coast Submarine Birthday Ball from May 6-7 Returned home on May ?.

June 1?, The California departed homeport for Prospective Commanding Officer (PCO) operations Moored at Trident Wharf in Port Canaveral for a brief stop on June 19 and June 26 Moored at Pier 6N in Naval Submarine Base New London on June 2?.

July 7, Cmdr. David Payne relieved Cmdr. John E. Sager as CO of the SSN 781 during a change-of-command ceremony at Dealey Center theater on NSB New London.

July 12, USS California departed Naval Submarine Base New London for routine operations Moored at Trident Wharf in Port Canaveral for a brief stop on July 17 Conducted surface operations off Port Everglades on July 20 Brief stop off Groton on Aug. 4 Returned home on Aug. 11 Underway again on Oct. 6.

October 10, The California made a brief stop off Groton for personnel transfer Brief stop off Groton again on Oct. 13 and Oct. 18 Moored at Electric Boat shipyard from Oct. 2?-31 Returned home on Nov. 2.

January 24, 2018 USS California moored at Naval Submarine Base New London after underway for routine operations.

March 2?, USS California departed homeport for a scheduled North Atlantic deployment.

June 3, The California departed HMNB Clyde in Faslane, Scotland, after a routine port call Moored at HMNB Clyde again from Aug. 6-?.

September 21, USS California moored at Pier 8N on Naval Submarine Base New London following a six-month deployment. The sub traveled approximately 42,000 nautical miles and also made port calls to Haakonsvern, Norway.

February ?, 2019 SSN 781 departed Naval Submarine Base New London for routine operations Brief stop off Groton for personnel transfer on Feb. 6 and 8th.

May 5, USS California moored pierside at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, for a Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability (DSRA) Entered the Dry Dock #3 on July 11.

March 13, 2020 Cmdr. James Henry relieved Cmdr. David Payne as CO of the California during a change-of-command ceremony at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard's auditorium.

June 6, 2021 USS California departed Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for sea trials Moored at Naval Submarine Base New London on June 12.?


Ships – List for NAS Home » Ships – List for NAS

USS HORNET (CV-8)
USS ANTIETAM (CV-36)
USS PRINCETON (CVS 37)
USS BOXER (CV 21)
USS VALLEY FORGE (CV 45)
USS PHILLIPPINE SEA (CV 47)
USS BAIROKO (CVE 115)
USS CARD (CVU 11)
USS CORE (CVU 13)
USS BRETON (CVU 23)
USS SITKOH BAY (CVU 86)
USS CAPE ESPERENCE (CVU 88)
USS THETIS BAY (CVE 90)
USS WINDHAM BAY (CVE 92)
USS SALISBURY SOUND (AV 13)
USS ONSLOW (AKV 48)
USS ORCA (AKV 49)

USS HORNET (CV 12)
USS HANCOCK (CV 19)
USS BON HOMME RICHARD (CV 31)
USS ORISKANY (CV 34)
USS MIDWAY (CV 41)
USS CORAL SEA (CV 43)
USS SALISBURY SOUND (AV 13)

USS MARS (AFS 1)
USS NIAGARA FALLS (AFS 3)
USS HANCOCK (CVA 19)
USS ORISKANY (CVA 31)
USS BON HOME RICHARD (CVA 31)
USS MIDWAY (CVA 41)
USS CORAL SEA (CVA 43)
USS RANGER (CVA 61)
USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65)

USS WABASH (ACR 5)
USS PYRO (AE 24)
USS KILAUEA (AE 226)
USS VEGA (AF 59)
USS MARS (AFS 1)
USS NIAGARA FALLS (AFS 3)
USS WHITE PLANES (AFS 4)
USS SAN JOSE (AFS 7)
USS SANTUARY (AH 17)
USS SACRAMENTO (AOE 1)
USS WHICHITA (AOR 1)
USS KANSAS CITY (AOR 3)
USS ROANOAKE (AOR 7)
USS HECTOR (AR 7)
USS HANCOCK (CVA 19)
USS BON HOMME RICHARD (CVA 31)
USS ORISKANY (CVA 34)
USS MIDWAY (CVA 41)
USS RANGER (CVA 61)
USS CORAL SEA (CVA 43)
USS ENTERPRISE (CVAN 65)
USS WILTSIE (DD 716)
USS CARPENTER (DD 825)
USS TULARE (LKA 112)
USS EXCEL (MSO 439)

USS SAMUEL GOMPERS (AD 37)
USS MARS (AFS 1)
USS NIAGARA FALLS (AFS 3)
USS WICHITA (AOR 1)
USS KANSAS CITY (AOR 3)
USS WABASH (AOR 5)
USS ROANOAKE (AOR 7)
USS CALIFORNIA (CGN 36)
USS TEXAS (CGN 36)
USS ARKANSAS (CGN 41)
USS CORAL SEA (CV 43)
USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65)
USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70)
USS EXCEL (MSO 439)
USS GALLANT (MSO 489)
USS WHITE PLAINS (AFS 4)
USS SAN JOSE (AFS 7)
USS SANTUARY (AH 17)
USS HECTOR (AR 7)
USS HANCOCK (CVA 19)
USS ORISKANY (CVA 34)
USS MIDWAY (CVA 41)
USS RANGER (CVA 61)
USS ENTERPRISE (CVAN 65)
USS WILTSIE (DD 716)
USS CARPENTER (DD 825)
USS TULARE (LKA 112)

USS SAMUEL GOMPERS (AD 37)
USS MARS (AFS 1)
USS KANSAS CITY (AOR 3)
USS CALIFORNIA (CDN 36)
USS TEXAS (CGN 39)
USS ARKANSAS (CGN 41)
USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70)
USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72)
X-USS HORNET (CVS 12)


U.S.S. CALIFORNIA

The USS CALIFORNIA (CGN-36), a California class nuclear powered cruiser, was commissioned on 16 FEB 1974. USS CALIFORNIA initially served with the Atlantic fleet after commissioning. Her first crossing of the Atlantic was for the 25th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II assuming the throne of England. CALIFORNIA's following "MED" deployments had a destination of the Indian Ocean due to the Iranian Hostage Crisis. The second of these concluded as an around the world cruise. With a change of homeport to Alameda, CA in 1983, CALIFORNIA's deployments took her to the Western Pacific and, often, back to the Indian Ocean. USS CALIFORNIA served her country for 25 years, 4 months and 23 days, until decommissioned on 9 JUL 1999. The hulk of the CALIFORNIA was processing by the Nuclear-Powered Ship-Submarine Recycling Facility at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard was completed in May 2000.

The USS CALIFORNIA (CGN-36) deployment history and significant events of her service career follow:


USS California (CGN 36)

USS CALIFORNIA was the lead ship of the fourth class of nuclear powered guided missile cruisers in the Navy and the sixth ship in the Navy to bear the name.

General Characteristics: Awarded: June 13, 1968
Keel laid: January 23, 1970
Launched: September 22, 1971
Commissioned: February 16, 1974
Decommissioned: July 9, 1999
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News Va.
Propulsion system: two D2G General Electric nuclear reactors
Propellers: two
Length: 597 feet (182 meters)
Beam: 61 feet (18.6 meters)
Draft: 31,5 feet (9.6 meters)
Displacement: approx. 10,500 tons
Speed: 30+ knots
Aircraft: none, but landing platform
Armament: two Mk 141 Harpoon missile launchers, two Mk 45 5-inch/54 caliber lightweight guns, two 20mm Phalanx CIWS, one ASROC missile launcher, two Mk 13 missile launchers for Standard missiles (MR), Mk 46 torpedoes
Crew: 40 officers and 544 enlisted

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS CALIFORNIA. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

USS CALIFORNIA Cruise Books:

Accidents aboard USS CALIFORNIA:

USS CALIFORNIA's Commanding Officers:

History of USS CALIFORNIA:

The keel was laid for the"Golden Grizzly" on January 23, 1970 at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Newport News, Va. She was launched on September 22, 1971 with a "near miss" of the champagne bottle by First Lady Mrs. Richard M. Nixon. The USS CALIFORNIA was commissioned on February 16, 1974 at Pier 12 of the Norfolk Naval Station, Norfolk, Va.

For ten years, USS CALIFORNIA, the sixth ship to bear the name, steamed the Atlantic and Indian Oceans as well as the Mediterranean Sea from this homeport, serving three times with the Sixth Fleet and twice with the Seventh Fleet. Her first Mediterranean Cruise was from July 1976 to February 1977.

In the summer of 1977, CALIFORNIA represented the United States Surface Fleet at the Silver Jubilee Review in Portsmouth, England. More than 150 warships from 18 nations participated in this commemoration of the 25th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's coronation.

Two years later, reactionary Moslems intensified their revolt against the Shah of Iran. Following seizure of the U. S. Embassy in Iran, CALIFORNIA, along with USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) and USS TEXAS (CGN 39), interrupted a routine Mediterranean cruise to steam from Livorno, Italy, to the southern coast of Iran in the North Arabian Sea. The all-nuclear task group completed the 12,000-mile transit in only eighteen days, remained on station in the Indian Ocean for the next five months, and eventually returned to Norfolk from the 80,000-mile, nine-month deployment in May of 1980.

The following year, CALIFORNIA completed its second Indian Ocean cruise. Upon returning to Norfolk via the Panama Canal, the cruiser became the first nuclear-powered surface ship to circumnavigate the globe since the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) task force completed Operation Sea Orbit in 1964.

In September 1983, the "Golden Grizzly" left Norfolk for the last time, steaming through the Panama Canal to its new homeport, Naval Air Station, Alameda, California. The ship embarked on its first Western Pacific and Indian Ocean cruise in February 1985 as a member of the USS CONSTELLATION (CV 64) battle group. During the spring of 1986, CALIFORNIA conducted several weeks of Bering Sea operations and became the first cruiser to visit Adak, Alaska, since World War II. She again deployed to the Western Pacific and completed a second "Around-the-World" cruise in 1987.

The year 1988 brought continued high-tempo operations as CALIFORNIA cruised the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans for a third time. The ship served as battle group Anti-Surface Warfare Commander during the RIMPAC 88 exercise as well as for Olympic Presence Operations off the Korean Peninsula. Subsequently, during her 1988-1989 deployment, CALIFORNIA assumed duties as Anti-Air Warfare Commander for operations in the North Arabian Sea and Arabian Gulf. While assigned patrol duties in the Strait of Hormuz in December 1988, CALIFORNIA conducted the last USN EARNEST WILL convoy mission through the strait.

The summer of 1989 saw CALIFORNIA tasked with Northern Pacific operations as part of a CNO project to study the effects of Near-Land Operating Areas on carrier battle group operations. In September and October of 1989, the "Golden Grizzly" participated as an anti-air-warfare picket ship in PACEX 89, the largest combined sailing of U. S. and allied naval units since World War II.

In April 1990, CALIFORNIA entered the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington for a three-year refueling complex overhaul, including two new D2G high endurance reactor cores in her engineering plant with adequate fuel capacity to power the ship for more than 20 years of normal operations, and the New Treat Upgrade Combat Systems Suite. Upon completion of the overhaul in January 1993, CALIFORNIA began a series of exercises and evaluations in preparation for deployment. These included independent training in all aspects of its mission as well as coordinated battle group exercises.

In June 1994, CALIFORNIA joined the USS KITTY HAWK (CV 63) battle group in the Western Pacific for the ship's first deployment in five years. CALIFORNIA exchanged personnel with the Republic of Korea Navy for a combined exercise and with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force for ANNUALEX 06G and KEEN EDGE 95. The cruiser also took part in a LINKEX exercise with United States forces in and near Korea, establishing the most extensive tactical data link ever in this region. The deployment wrapped up with participation in TANDEM THRUST 95, a joint exercise with the armed forces of the United States, Australia, and several allied nations. CALIFORNIA then returned to her home at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard just before Christmas 1994.

In 1995, CALIFORNIA completed a four-month maintenance availability, improving the reliability of her propulsion plant and updating her combat systems. In September 1995, the "Golden Brizzly" sailed in a parade of ships through Pearl Harbor as part of the ceremony commemorating the end of World War II.

In May 1996, CALIFORNIA left for the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans and the Arabian Gulf on a routine six-month deployment with the USS CARL VINSON Battle Group. CALIFORNIA received the Meritorious Unit Commendation for operations SOUTHERN WATCH and DESERT STRIKE for shared duties as Air Warfare Commander for the Carl Vinson Battle Group.

Having completed a short but intense maintenance period in the spring of 1997, CALIFORNIA conducted a series of training operations and evaluations including a live-fire missile exercise, and Operational Reactor Safeguards Examination, and a Final Evaluation Period. CALIFORNIA was awarded the Battle Efficiency Award for outstanding operational readiness throughout 1997.

In January 1998, CALIFORNIA deployed to the Eastern Pacific and the Caribbean Sea in support of Counterdrug Operations as the Air Warfare Commander for the Joint Inter-Agency Task Force (JIATF) East. In July, she gave her last "GRIZZLY ROAR" by participating in RIMPAC 98 as a member of the Bilateral force.

The USS CALIFORNIA Deactivation Ceremony was held on 28 August 1998 at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington.


USS California ACR-5 - History

THE UNITED STATES NAVY: ITS RISE TO GLOBAL PARITY 1900-1922

My thanks again to Graham Watson, retired from the History Department of Cardiff University, for this valuable contribution to the United States Navy in World War 1.

Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

- Rise to Global Parity, 1900-1922 ( here )


Organisation and Technology

- Royal Navy Log Books of the World War 1-era, includes references to USN ships escorting North Atlantic convoys, river gunboat operations in China etc

The United States Navy was one of three navies which emerged as major players on the oceans of the world in the early years of the twentieth century. Like the navies of Germany and Japan it developed from a largely coast-defence force to challenge the three dominant navies of the nineteenth-century - Great Britain, France and Russia.

This process began with the victory of the United States in the Spanish-American War of 1898 which brought new maritime responsibilities in the Caribbean and Far East. The need to secure the sea route to the soon to be constructed Panama Canal, and the acquisition of the Philippines in an increasingly unstable western Pacific were the most obvious impulses for the creation of a larger navy. The enthusiasm for naval might which characterised most powers in this period was enhanced by the unexpected elevation of one of the disciples of Arthur Mahan to the post of Commander-in-Chief of the United States Navy: President Theodore Roosevelt. Awareness of American economic and industrial might played a significant part in rise of the United States at the beginning of the twentieth-century.

A number of comparisons can be made between American naval developments and those which occurred in the other navies of this period.

1. With its new international responsibilities, there was more justification and understanding of the emergence of the United States Navy. Although not welcomed with open arms, there does not appear to have been the concern and worry which the emergence of the Imperial German Navy created.

2. Unlike the French, American policy makers and leaders quickly abandoned previous concepts of a coastal defence navy, and concentrated on the creation of a battle fleet.

3. Like the French the battle fleet lacked balance. The construction of the fleet produced a substantial force of battleships without a supporting force of cruisers. The Americans followed the French example in the construction of large armoured cruisers which were too slow for fleet work, and too large and expensive for trade protection duties. They did produce an adequate force of sea-going destroyers - like the British - to provide a substantial torpedo striking force

4. The political and professional structure needed to develop and command a large naval force was as weak and diffuse as that of Germany but worked better in practice because of a more consistent focus compared with that of the German Kaiser.

5. The tactical structures of a battle fleet evolved like those of Great Britain with the gradual introduction of fleets, squadrons and flotillas. This process was speeded up in 1915 and 1916 as the Americans absorbed lessons from the war: this included a small naval staff to give focus and leadership along British lines.

6. Surprisingly, in view of its new acquisitions, the American followed the British example, and created a geographically concentrated battle fleet. This was the Atlantic Fleet. A substantial force was not formed in the Pacific until 1919.

The final step to parity was the enormous naval strength which the United States Navy had by 1919-1920 the result of both the ship-building programmes from 1916 onwards, and the elimination or weakening of rivals whose participation in the Great War was longer and more catastrophic.

DateWhereEvents
June 6, 1977Norfolk, Va.



President Woodrow Wilson Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D Roosevelt in 1913, aged 31*

* In World War 2, British First Sea Lord and then Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed President Roosevelt as "Former Naval Person" because of the latter's World War 1 post. Churchill himself was first appointed First Sea Lord in 1911 at age 37 until resigning in 1915.

The Commander-in-Chief of the United States Navy was the President, and during this period was:

6th March 1897-
14th September 1901-
6th March 1909-
6th March 1913-
6th March 1921-
William B McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Warren G Harding

Routine administration was devolved to the Secretary of the Navy:

6th March 1897-
1st May 1902-
1st July 1904-
1st July 1905-
5th December 1907-
1st December 1908-
6th March 1909-
6th March 1913-
6th March 1921-
John D Long
William H. Moody
Paul Morton
Charles Bonaparte
Victor Metcalf
Truman Newberry
George Meyer
Josephus Daniels
Edwin Denby

Amongst the Assistant Secretaries of the Navy were the related Roosevelts:

19th April 1897-10th May 1898-
17th March 1913-26th August 1920-
10th March 1921-30th September 1924-
Theodore Roosevelt
Franklin D Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt Jr.

The heads of each could be a civilian or a naval officer, all of whom were considered as Rear Admirals who were 'additional in grade' and outside the restrictions of age, time in office etc, which applied to flag officers.

Two further developments took place in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War:

(1) The General Board was created on 14th September 1901 as a forum which could tender advice to the Secretary of the Navy on all matters pertaining to the development of the service. Composed largely of senior flag officers on the verge of retirement, it was chaired by Admiral Dewey until 1917. He was succeeded by Rear Admiral Albert Winterhalter who had been CinC Asiatic Fleet.

(2) On 7th May 1903, the coastline of the United States was divided into a series of Naval Districts. Initially responsible for coast defences, they assumed a wider range of responsibilities from 1911. Most naval district commanders of this period were junior flag officers or captains. Some remained paper organisations, without staff, until 1915. None can be equated with the Royal Navy's Home Commands, the French Maritime Prefectures, or the German Baltic and North Sea Naval Stations.

1st Naval District
2nd Naval District
3rd Naval District
4th Naval District
5th Naval District
6th Naval District
7th Naval District
8th Naval District
9th-11th Naval Districts
12th Naval District
13th Naval District
14th Naval District
15th Naval District
Boston
Newport RI
New York
Philadelphia
Norfolk
Charleston
Miami
New Orleans
Great Lakes
San Francisco
Seattle
Hawaii - formed 1916
Panama CZ - August 1917

Until 11th May 1915, there was no equivalent to the Chief of the Naval Staff in the United States Navy. There was a flag officer described as Aide for Operations to the General Board. The post of Chief of Naval Operations was created as a result of knowledge of the role of similar positions in London, Paris and Berlin.

The status of the post was enhanced when the first occupant, Rear Admiral William Benson [who was the most junior flag officer] was given the acting rank of Admiral for the duration of his term of office [4 years]. He was succeeded by Admiral Robert Coontz on 1st November 1919. Throughout his term of office, his staff consisted of one captain and one clerk.

3. FLAG OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY.






Admiral William Benson, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Henry Mayo, Atlantic Fleet Admiral William Caperton, Pacific Fleet Admiral Albert Winterhalter, Asiatic Fleet until 1917

The four posts designated for rank of admiral

The only substantive rank of flag officer was that of Rear Admiral . The singular exception to this was Admiral of the Navy George Dewey who had been given a special life-time rank as a reward for his victory at Manila Bay in 1898. From 1915, a small number of flag officers were given the acting rank of either Vice Admiral or Admiral while holding certain designated appointments . They reverted to Rear Admiral when relinquishing those appointments.

Four posts were designated for the rank of Admiral :

One post was designated as a Vice Admiral's appointment:

From 1917 the new post of Commander US Naval Forces Europe was designated as a Vice Admiral and then upgraded to Admiral in December 1918.

At the same time, the Commander Cruiser Force, Atlantic Fleet and the Commander US Naval Forces France became Vice Admirals.

This system of a single substantive rank, and a few temporary promotions, prevailed until the end of World War Two. The same system applied in the United States Army. It was the result of congressional determination to prevent the emergence of an officer class with possible political aspirations. This had been the response to misgivings over the role of President George Washington and Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton in the 1790's.

A further method of asserting civilian control was legislation which determined the age limits, length of sea service, and description of the posts to be held by flag officers. All appointments were subject to approval by the United States Senate. A major consequence of this legislation was the relatively brief spell in office of an individual flag officer, most of whom did not hold more than the one appointment.

As a result the United States Navy had a relatively faster turnover of flag officers than its European counterparts. When expansion occurred in 1917, the Navy Department had to resort to a series of temporary appointments for the duration of the conflict.

The following table shows the numbers of flag officers available for service between 1914 and 1919. Four categories of flag officer are listed - substantive rank additional in grade - these are the bureau chiefs temporary and temporary additional in grade.

Date Substantive Temporary Additional in Grade Temp. Additional
1.1.14
25 0 7 0
1.1.15 26
0
8
0
1.1.16
24 0
6*
0
1.1.17
30 0
9
0
1.1.18
24 10
9
4
1.1.19
25
30
14
2

* plus possibly 3 administrative posts filled by civilians

[all Rear Admirals except *** Vice Admiral and ****Admiral]





Admiral William Sims*
US Naval Forces Europe
Admiral Henry B Wilson**
US Naval Forces France
Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman, 6BS, Grand Fleet (US Atlantic Fleet) Rear Admiral Joseph Strauss , Mine Force (US Atlantic Fleet)

Commanders Active in European Waters

Aide of Operations, General Board
11.2.1913-Bradley Fiske

Bureau or Equivalent Chiefs
(it is not known when the "Bu" abbreviations were introduced or which of them are relevant to this list)

Yards & Docks (BuDocks)
see Bureau of Docks & Yards, 1917-1918
Howard Stanford
.16-Fred Harris
.17-Charles Parks
Navigation (BuNav) Victor Blue
.16-Leigh Palmer
.18-Victor Blue
Bureau Ordnance (BuOrd) Joseph Strauss
.16-Ralph Earle
Construction & Repair (BuCon) Richard Watt
.14-David Taylor
Steam Engineering (BuEng from 1920) Robert Griffin
Supplies & Accounts (BuSandS) Samuel McGowan
Medicine & Surgery (BuMed) Charles Stoke
.14-William Braisted
Judge Advocate General (JAG) Ridley Maclean
.17-William Watts
.18-George Clark
Commandant USMC [created 1918]
George Barnett


USS Sealion Was The Navy&rsquos Unique Helicopter-Accommodating Submarine

U.S. NAVY / PUBLIC DOMAIN

From the very early days of naval aviation, there have been attempts, some more successful than others, to operate fixed-wing aircraft, chiefly floatplanes, from submarines. By the time the helicopter had become an established part of air warfare, soon after World War II, the idea of any kind of aircraft-carrying submarines was essentially dead. But that didn’t stop the U.S. Navy from operating at least one helicopter from a submarine, during a remarkable series of trials aboard the USS Sealion in the mid-1950s.

By now, the helicopter had proven its worth in Korea and was increasingly becoming indispensable for maritime operations, too, its key missions including search and rescue, utility transport, and anti-submarine warfare. There was another mission that the helicopter was quickly making its own — amphibious assault. In November 1956, the Suez Crisis fiasco in Egypt saw British commandos flown by helicopter from the decks of aircraft carriers as part of an amphibious invasion force. It was the first time that such an operation was carried out and it would prove hugely influential.


5 Facts About Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona

1. Twenty-three sets of brothers died aboard USS Arizona.
There were 37 confirmed pairs or trios of brothers assigned to USS Arizona on December 7, 1941. Of these 77 men, 62 were killed, and 23 sets of brothers died. Only one full set of brothers, Kenneth and Russell Warriner, survived the attack Kenneth was away at flight school in San Diego on that day and Russell was badly wounded but recovered. Both members of the ship’s only father-and-son pair, Thomas Augusta Free and his son William Thomas Free, were killed in action.

Though family members often served on the same ship before World War II, U.S. officials attempted to discourage the practice after Pearl Harbor. However, no official regulations were established, and by the end of the war hundreds of brothers had fought𠅊nd died¬—together. The five Sullivan brothers of Waterloo, Iowa, for instance, jointly enlisted after learning that a friend, Bill Ball, had died aboard USS Arizona Their only condition upon enlistment was that they be assigned to the same ship. In November 1942, all five siblings were killed in action when their light cruiser, USS Juneau, was sunk during the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.

2. USS Arizona’s entire band was lost in the attack.
Almost half of the casualties at Pearl Harbor occurred on the naval battleship USS Arizona, which was hit four times by Japanese bombers and eventually sank. Among the 1,177 crewmen killed were all 21 members of the Arizona’s band, known as U.S. Navy Band Unit (NBU) 22. Most of its members were up on deck preparing to play music for the daily flag raising ceremony when the attack began. They instantly moved to man their battle positions beneath the ship’s gun turret. At no other time in American history has an entire military band died in action.

The night before the attack, NBU 22 had attended the latest round of the annual �ttle of Music” competition between military bands from U.S. ships based at Pearl Harbor. Contrary to some reports, NBU 22 did not perform, having already qualified for the finals set to be held on December 20, 1941. Following the assault, the unit was unanimously declared the winner of that year’s contest, and the award was permanently renamed the USS Arizona Band Trophy.

3. Fuel continues to leak from USS Arizona’s wreckage.
On December 6, 1941, Arizona took on a full load of fuel—nearly 1.5 million gallons—in preparation for its scheduled trip to the mainland later that month. The next day, much of it fed the explosion and subsequent fires that destroyed the ship following its attack by Japanese bombers. However, despite the raging fire and ravages of time, some 500,000 gallons are still slowly seeping out of the ship’s submerged wreckage: Nearly 70 years after its demise, Arizona continues to spill up to 9 quarts of oil into the harbor each day. In the mid-1990s, environmental concerns led the National Park Service to commission a series of site studies to determine the long-term effects of the oil leakage.

Some scientists have warned of a possible �tastrophic” eruption of oil from the wreckage, which they believe would cause extensive damage to the Hawaiian shoreline and disrupt U.S. naval functions in the area. The NPS and other governmental agencies continue to monitor the deterioration of the wreck site but are reluctant to perform extensive repairs or modifications due to the Arizona’s role as a “war grave.” In fact, the oil that often coats the surface of the water surrounding the ship has added an emotional gravity for many who visit the memorial and is sometimes referred to as the “tears of the Arizona,” or 𠇋lack tears.”

4. Some former crewmembers have chosen USS Arizona as their final resting place.
The bonds between the crewmembers of Arizona have lasted far beyond the ship’s loss on December 7, 1941. Since 1982, the U.S. Navy has allowed survivors of USS Arizona to be interred in the ship’s wreckage upon their deaths. Following a full military funeral at the Arizona memorial, the cremated remains are placed in an urn and then deposited by divers beneath one of the Arizona’s gun turrets. To date, more than 30 Arizona crewmen who survived Pearl Harbor have chosen the ship as their final resting place. Crewmembers who served on the ship prior to the attack may have their ashes scattered above the wreck site, and those who served on other vessels stationed at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, may have their ashes scattered above their former ships. As of November 2011, only 18 of the 355 crewmen who survived the bombing of USS Arizona are known to be alive.

5. A memorial was built at the USS Arizona site, thanks in part to Elvis Presley.
After Arizona sank, its superstructure and main armament were salvaged and reused to support the war effort, leaving its hull, two gun turrets and the remains of more than 1,000 crewmen submerged in less than 40 feet of water. In 1949 the Pacific War Memorial Commission was established to create a permanent tribute to those who had lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor, but it wasn’t until 1958 that President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation to create a national memorial. The funds to build it came from both the public sector and private donors, including one unlikely source. In March 1961, entertainer Elvis Presley, who had recently finished a two-year stint in the U.S. Army, performed a benefit concert at Pearl Harbor’s Block Arena that raised over $50,000—more than 10 percent of the USS Arizona Memorial’s final cost. The monument was officially dedicated on May 30, 1962, and attracts more than 1 million visitors each year.

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