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U.S.S. CALIFORNIA

(BB-44)

Golden Bear

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BB-44 USS CALIFORNIA

The United States Navy brought USS California into service with her commission in August 1921. For the next couple of decades, the ship worked throughout the Pacific area. She often acted as flagship during this time. In 1925, she was part of the major naval visit to Australia and New Zealand. In 1940, she reported, along with much of the Pacific fleet, to Pearl Harbor.

On December 7, 1941, USS California was in port when the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor. The ship sustained heavy damage from bombs and torpedoes. Within a few days, she was at the bottom of the harbor. For the next couple of years, the Navy worked to salvage and modernize her. She didn’t come out of dry dock until January of 1944. She was there for the invasions of Saipan, Guam, and Tinian during the summer of 1944. As autumn arrived, she participated in the invasion of Leyte and the Battle of Surigao Strait. The opening of 1945 brought USS California into action at Lingayen Gulf. However, on January 6, she sustained damaged from a kamikaze plan. After repairs, she returned to action in June 1945 to help finish the Okinawa campaign. After the war, the Navy decommissioned her in February 1947 and sold her for scrap in 1959.

BB-44 Deployments - Major Events

Add a BB-44 Shellback Initiation Add a BB-44 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
OCT 1916 Keel Date: 25 OCT 1916
at Mare Island Naval Shipyard Vallejo CA
NOV 1919 Launch Date: 20 NOV 1919
AUG 1921 Commissioned: 10 AUG 1921
DEC 1941 - JAN 1942 Middle Pacific
JAN 1945 - JAN 1945 On 1/6/45. Jackie Wyatt was killed in action and buried at sea.
FEB 1947 Decommissioned: 14 FEB 1947

BB-44 General Specifications

Class: Tennessee-class battleship

Complement: 57 Officers and 1026 Enlisted

Displacement: 32300 tons

Length: 624.5 feet

Beam: 97.3 feet

Draft: 30.3 feet

Final Disposition: Sold for scrap 10 July 1959