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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

BB-44 USS CALIFORNIA
Pearl Harbor - 1942

Radio Call Sign: November - Alpha - Foxtrot - Tango

To Additional Pages

1916 - 1919 Construction - Launching
1920 - June 1921
Fitting Out

July 1921 - Launching Program - Mare Island History
August - December 1921 Commissioning / Shakedown
1922 - Scenes from the Ship's Welfare Fund
1923 - 1927
1928 - 1940
1943 - 1945
1946 - 1959


Tennessee Class Battleship: Displacement 32,300 Tons, Dimensions, 624' (oa) x 97' 4" x 31' (Max). Armament 12 x 14"/50 14 x 5"/51, 4 x 3"/50AA 2 x 21" tt. Armor, 13 1/2" Belt, 18" Turrets, 3 1/2" +1 1/2" Decks, 16" Conning Tower. Machinery, 28,500 SHP; Turbines with electric drive, 4 screws. Speed, 21 Knots, Crew 1083.

Operational and Building Data: Laid down by Mare Island Naval Ship Yard, October 25, 1916. Launched November 20, 1919. Commissioned August 10, 1921. Decommissioned February 14, 1947. Stricken March 1, 1959.
Fate: Sold July 1, 1959 and broken up for scrap.

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BB-44 California44kOil on canvas painting by the artist Anthony Saunders entitled "Pearl Harbor, California (BB-44)". At dawn on the 7th December 1941, 350 Japanese warplanes flew from their carriers and attacked the US pacific fleet at Pearl harbor, on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. the attack concentrated on "Battleship Row" which included California (Left) and Nevada (BB-36) (Right) which was the only battleship to get underway during the attack. However coming under intense bomb attack she was later beached. For the Japanese the success was not total. as the US carrier fleet was out on manoeuvres on the day of the attack. Text and drawing courtesy of naval-art.com
BB-44 California91kCrew abandoning the damaged California (BB-44) as burning oil drifts down on the ship, at about 1000 hrs on the morning of 7 December 1941, shortly after the end of the Japanese raid. The capsized hull of Oklahoma (BB-37) is visible at the right.Official U.S. Navy Photograph,USNHC # NH 97399, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-44 California97kView looking down "Battleship Row" from Ford Island Naval Air Station,shortly after the Japanese torpedo plane attack. California (BB-44) is at left, listing to port after receiving two torpedo hits. In the center are Maryland (BB-46) with the capsized Oklahoma (BB-37) alongside. Neosho (AO-23) is at right, backing clear of the area. Most smoke is from Arizona (BB-39).Submitted by Scott Dyben.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-32640, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-44 California101kTugs and other ships trying to keep California (BB-44) afloat, soon after the Japanese torpedoed and bombed her at Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # NH 64474, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-44 California95k California (BB-44) slowly sinking alongside Ford Island as a result of bomb and torpedo damage, 7 December 1941. Shaw (DD-373) is burning in the floating dry dock YFD-2 in the left distance. Nevada (BB-36) is beached in the left-center distance. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-32456, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-44 California95k View of California (BB-44), taken a day or two after the Japanese raid. Bobolink (AM-20), at left, Vireo (AM-52) and YW-10 are off the battleship's stern, assisting with efforts to keep her afloat.
Note the caption reads West Virginia (BB-48) instead of California.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 95569. Collection of Vice Admiral Homer N. Wallin, USN(Retired), 1975.
BB-44 California79kScene on the southeastern part of Ford Island, looking northeasterly, with California (BB-44) in right center, listing to port after being hit by Japanese aerial torpedoes and bombs. Official U.S. Navy Photograph,USNHC # 80-G-32463, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-44 California95kChief Radioman Thomas James Reeves, USN, who was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for heroism while serving on board California (BB-44) during the 7 December 1941 Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor. Halftone reproduction, copied from the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1948, The Navy", page 248. USNHC # NH 101649
BB-44 California95kSurrounded by boats and yard craft, the California (BB-44) struggles to stay afloat. She remained afloat for three days before being allowed to settle into the muddy bottom. USN photo.
BB-44 California18kThe California (BB-44) resting on the bottom resting on an even keel.USN official photo, courtesy of the USS California Association.
BB-44 California136kBow on view of the California (BB-44) undergoing salvage. Her cage mainmastand all six 14" forward guns were removed to facilitate her refloating.USN photo.
BB-44 California128kClose up of the California (BB-44)resting on the bottom undergoing salvage. She still has her gun barrels and mainmast in place so this is probably at the start of the salvage operations.USN photo.
BB-44 California118kRemoval of one of the sunken battleship's 14"/50 guns from turret # 3, circa early February 1942. View looks aft, with the ship's fantail aircraft crane in the left middle distance.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # NH 64487, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-44 California122kPreparing to lift the sunken battleship's "basket" mainmast, using a large floating crane, while she was under salvage at Pearl Harbor on 12 February 1942.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # NH 55037, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-44 California117kFloating crane removes the sunken battleship's "basket" mainmast, while she was under salvage at Pearl Harbor on 13 February 1942.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # NH 55038, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-44 California165kThe sunken battleship's "basket" mainmast is lifted free after it had been cut away during salvage operations at Pearl Harbor, 13 February 1942.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # NH 55035, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-44 California122kPumping out the ship after installation of a cofferdam along her bow's port side, while she was under salvage at Pearl Harbor on 27 February 1942.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # NH 55034, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-44 California114k 10 March 1942 photo of #3 turret, with guns removed and covered in canvas. Cofferdam shoring is visible in this photo. From the book "Resurrection-Salvaging the Battle Fleet at Pearl Harbor", written by Dan Madsen. National Archives photo courtesy of Mike Green.
BB-44 California108k 10 March 1942 photo of the construction of California's (BB-44) portside quarter deck cofferdam. Divers are bolting the latest section to the ship, while Pacific Bridge carpenters begin shoring it to the ship's superstructure. From the book "Resurrection-Salvaging the Battle Fleet at Pearl Harbor", written by Dan Madsen. National Archives photo courtesy of Mike Green.
BB-44 California134k 10 March 1942 photo with the remnants of Battleship Row lying in the distance, the stern section of the California's (BB-44)cofferdam sits on a barge waiting placement in front of the stern crane. From the book "Resurrection-Salvaging the Battle Fleet at Pearl Harbor", written by Dan Madsen. National Archives photo courtesy of Mike Green.
BB-44 California105k The forward quay of the California's (BB-44) F-3 anchorage is seen with shower and restroom facilities mounted atop and around it. Securing anchor chains still hold the ship in place and a causeway, leading to salvage crew living quarters is in the foreground. From the book "Resurrection-Salvaging the Battle Fleet at Pearl Harbor", written by Dan Madsen. National Archives photo courtesy of Mike Green.
BB-44 California93k Sitting atop scaffolding erected on the California's (BB-44) fantail, a Pomona deep-well power pump is seen pumping out the battleship's lower decks. Photo taken on 14 March 1942. From the book "Resurrection-Salvaging the Battle Fleet at Pearl Harbor", written by Dan Madsen. National Archives photo courtesy of Mike Green.
BB-44 California126k The California's (BB-44)portside main deck berthing area as seen on 19 March 1942 as the ship was refloated. In addition to the debris cleanup, body retrieval began two days later, as the crews continued in their efforts. From the book "Resurrection-Salvaging the Battle Fleet at Pearl Harbor", written by Dan Madsen. National Archives photo courtesy of Mike Green.
BB-44 California156kRefloating operations, while the ship was under salvage at Pearl Harbor on 30 March 1942. Note cofferdam installed along her port bow and forward turrets with guns removed.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # NH 55036, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-44 California148k 9 April 1942 photo of the California's (BB-44) stern crossing the sill of Dry-dock #2, four months after she settled to the bottom of Pearl Harbor. From the book "Resurrection-Salvaging the Battle Fleet at Pearl Harbor", written by Dan Madsen. National Archives photo courtesy of Mike Green.
BB-44 California132kPort broadside view of the California (BB-44) on the bottom. The scarred and blistered paint at the waterline is probably where she was struck by a torpedo. USN photo.
BB-44 California84kTorpedo damage to the hull of California (BB-44), photographed at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard in April 1942, soon after the ship had been drydocked for repairs. This is California's forward torpedo hole, centered at about Frame 52. Note armor belt at the top of the hole and bilge keel below it. Official U.S. Navy Photograph,USNHC # 80-G-32917, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-44 California160k The California (BB-44) comes up: - the oil line on the fence-type cofferdam around her quarterdeck shows how deep the wreck was submerged.USNI photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels. Photo added 07/25/08.
BB-44 California103kView from astern after the ship had been refloated, showing the ship's slight trim to port and the extensive wooden cofferdam erected around her quarterdeck, 5 April 1942. Lexington (CV-2) is visible in the left distance, drydocked at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # NH 83070, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-44 California95kCalifornia (BB-44) just after she was placed in the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard's Drydock Number Two, 9 April 1942. California had been sunk as a result of the 7 December 1941 Japanese air raid and was refloated on 24 March 1942. Note the mud on the ship's propeller shafts and struts and on the drydock floor below them.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # NH 64483, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-44 California71k Completed hull repairs to damaged area between frames 49 - 57 on the starboard side. June 6, 1942. Seattle NARA photo # 1603-42. Record Group 181, 13th Naval District, Records of the Naval District & Shore Establishments, courtesy of Tracy White.
BB-44 California115k Completed hull repairs to damaged area between frames 6 - 21 on the port side. 6 June 1942. Seattle NARA photo # 1606-42. Record Group 181, 13th Naval District, Records of the Naval District & Shore Establishments, courtesy of Tracy White.
BB-44 California52k California (BB-44), 7 June 1942, view from aloft off starboard bow, just prior to undocking. Seattle NARA photo # 1614-42. Record Group 181, 13th Naval District, Records of the Naval District & Shore Establishments, courtesy of Tracy White.
BB-44 California53kCalifornia (BB-44), 7 June 1942, view of the off port quarter, just prior to undocking. Seattle NARA photo # 1618-42. Record Group 181, 13th Naval District, Records of the Naval District & Shore Establishments, courtesy of Tracy White.
BB-44 California57k 7 June 1942, general view off port bow, as the California (BB-44) left the drydock. Seattle NARA photo # 1620-42. Record Group 181, 13th Naval District, Records of the Naval District & Shore Establishments, courtesy of Tracy White.
BB-44 California47k 7 June 1942, View off starboard quarter just prior to undocking. Seattle NARA photo # 1610-42. Record Group 181, 13th Naval District, Records of the Naval District & Shore Establishments, courtesy of Tracy White.
BB-44 California45k 7 June 1942, View head on just prior to undocking. Seattle NARA photo # 1615-42. Record Group 181, 13th Naval District, Records of the Naval District & Shore Establishments, courtesy of Tracy White.
BB-44 California51k 7 June 1942, View off starboard bow just prior to undocking. Seattle NARA photo # 1616-42. Record Group 181, 13th Naval District, Records of the Naval District & Shore Establishments, courtesy of Tracy White.
BB-44 California57k 9 June 1942, completed hull repairs to damaged area between frames # 49 - 57 on the starboard side. Seattle NARA photo # 1603-42. Record Group 181, 13th Naval District, Records of the Naval District & Shore Establishments, courtesy of Tracy White.
BB-44 California154kAt the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, 18 July 1942, during reinstallation of her 14"/50 main battery guns. A large floating crane is alongside her starboard bow, placing a gun in Turret # 1. Guns are also visible in Turret # 3, whose top has not yet been put in place. Note anti-torpedo nets protecting the ship.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # NH 83997, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
Pearl Harbor106k Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii view looking northward, with the Navy Yard industrial area in the foreground and the Marine Barracks in the lower right, 28 July 1942. Ford Island is at left, with Oklahoma (BB-37) and Arizona (BB-39) under salvage nearby. San Diego (CL-53) is in the upper center.
West Virginia (BB-48) is in Drydock Number One, in the lower left, and California (BB-44) is alongside the wharf at the extreme right. Cruisers alongside the pier in right center are Northampton (CA-26) (left) and Pensacola (CA-24). Submarines alongside 1010 Dock, just beyond Drydock # 1, are Trout (SS-202), Pollack (SS-180), Dolphin (SS-169) and Cachalot (SS-170). Note camouflage on many of the Navy Yard's buildings.
Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Collection of The Honorable James V. Forrestal. Official U.S. Navy Photograph NH 84002, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

USS CALIFORNIA BB-44 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The Hazegray & Underway Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Crew Contact And Reunion Information
Contact Name: Vincent Nonnon
Address: 23 Green Ave Valley Cottage, N.Y. 10989-1952
Phone: 845-268-7761
E-mail: prunebarge@verizon.net
Note About Contacts.

The contact listed, Was the contact at the time for this ship when located. If another person now is the contact, E-mail me and I will update this entry. These contacts are compiled from various sources over a long period of time and may or may not be correct. Every effort has been made to list the newest contact if more than one contact was found.


Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway Battleship Pages By Andrew Toppan.

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