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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

BB-44 USS CALIFORNIA
1920 - June 1921
Fitting Out

Radio Call Sign: November - Alpha - Foxtrot - Tango

To Additional Pages

1916 - 1919 Construction - Launching
July 1921 - Launching Program - Mare Island History
August - December 1921 Commissioning / Shakedown
1922 - Scenes from the Ship's Welfare Fund
1923 - 1927
1928 - 1940
Pearl Harbor - 1942
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 California73k Bow photo of the California (BB-44) at her outfitting dock at Mare Island Navy Yard circa Feb-Mar 1920. USN photo courtesy of Darryl Baker.
BB-44 California92k Stern photo of the California (BB-44) at her outfitting dock at Mare Island Navy Yard sometime between 7 Feb & 24 Feb 1920. This timeframe established by the dry docking dates of the Rhode Island (BB-17); her masts and stacks are just visible to the right of the California superstructure. Also, USAT Grant & the Comfort are aft of the California. YD-33 is along side of the California. USN photo courtesy of Darryl Baker.
BB-44 California614k California (BB-44) at her outfitting berth. I believe this photo was taken between 7 Feb & 24 Feb 1920. This is based on the fact that the Rhode Island (BB-17) was in dry dock #2 and her gagged mast can be seen in the background above California. Other ships in the background to the left of California are left to right, USAT Mount Vernon and Comfort. The picture shows YD-33 (150 Tons) along side California. The floating crane was used to lift machinery aboard the battleship and the fixed derrick on the California was used to position in the ship. USN photo courtesy of Darryl Baker.
BB-44 California251kCaption reads: "Turret instalion, California (BB-44), Mare Island, California." Circa March - April 1920. Seattle NARA photo # 6065. 13th Naval District, Records of the Naval District & Shore Establishments, courtesy of Tracy White.
BB-44 California74kBow photo of the California (BB-44) at her outfitting dock at Mare Island Navy Yard circa April 1920. USN photo courtesy of Darryl Baker.
BB-44 California105kCaption reads: "Installing live ring on turret # 1, California (BB-44), Mare Island, California." Circa May 1920. A number of 4 stack destroyers are visible moored to the Mare Island to Vallejo causeway.
There were a large number of the destoryers at the yard in this berthing area in the 1919-1921 years.
Seattle NARA photo # 6060. 13th Naval District, Records of the Naval District & Shore Establishments, courtesy of Tracy White. Text courtesy of Darryl Baker.
BB-44 California103kCaption reads: "Instalion of fan turret # 2, California (BB-44), Mare Island, California." Circa May 1920.
The crane is YD-33 (150 tons) purchased in 1918 by Mare Island. Vallejo Yacht Club is just visible to the right of the crane.
Seattle NARA photo # 6063. 13th Naval District, Records of the Naval District & Shore Establishments, courtesy of Tracy White. Text courtesy of Darryl Baker.
BB-44 California76kCaption reads: "Instalion of fan turret # 2, California (BB-44), Mare Island, California." Circa May 1920.
The bell tower of St. Vincent church (on the hill) can just be seen between the crane's boom and the turret.
Seattle NARA photo # 6069. 13th Naval District, Records of the Naval District & Shore Establishments, courtesy of Tracy White. Text courtesy of Darryl Baker.
BB-44 California82kCaption reads: "Turret instalion, California (BB-44), Mare Island, California." Circa May 1920.
Stiff leg crane (Left) was used at the yard for launching small tugs and lifting boilers and engines. Used to install the diesel engine in Maumee (AO-2).
Seattle NARA photo # 6071. 13th Naval District, Records of the Naval District & Shore Establishments, courtesy of Tracy White. Text courtesy of Darryl Baker.
BB-44 California40k Model of the California (BB-44) made at Mare Island 9 July 1920 to aid in her construction. USN photo # 5830, courtesy of Darryl Baker.
BB-44 California71k Bow photo of the California (BB-44) at her outfitting dock at Mare Island Navy Yard on 2 Aug 1920. The US Army Corps Dredge San Pablo is the ship berthed next to the seawall forward of the California. USN photo # 5148, courtesy of Darryl Baker.
BB-44 California85kThe California (BB-44), is seen on the South end of Mare Island on 29 Nov 1920. She is under tow to Hunter Point Shipyard for dry docking for removal of launching cradle. The ferry to the right of California is the General Frisbie. USN photo courtesy of Darryl Baker.
BB-44 California30kThe California (BB-44), in the Mare Island channel with Vallejo in the background on 29 Nov 1920. She is under tow to Hunter Point Shipyard for dry docking for removal of launching cradle. USN photo courtesy of Darryl Baker.
BB-44 California40kThe California (BB-44), is seen in the Mare Island channel with Sperry Mill in the background on 29 Nov 1920. She is under tow to Hunter Point Shipyard for dry docking for removal of launching cradle. USN photo courtesy of Darryl Baker.
BB-44 California62kBows on view of the California (BB-44) in the Mare Island channel on 29 Nov 1920. She is under tow to Hunter Point Shipyard for dry docking for removal of launching cradle. Note the main battery has not yet been installed. USN photo courtesy of Darryl Baker.
BB-44 California44k The California (BB-44) is seen in dry dock at Hunter Point Shipyard on 30 Nov 1920. USN photo courtesy of Darryl Baker.
BB-44 California40k The California (BB-44) is seen in dry dock at Hunter Point Shipyard on 30 Nov 1920. USN photo courtesy of Darryl Baker.
BB-51 Montana133kCaption reads: "4131 Dept. PW. US Navy yard, M.I. Cal. Driving dolphins for relocation of Dart (Yard Ferry on the right) at ouboard end of Montana (BB-51) ways. Yard Labor, allotment 124-3." Note: The two gaged masts of the California (BB-44) being outfitted at Mare Island at the time can be seen in the backbround (left). A large number of four pipe destoyers can also be seen in the background. Shipyard log of 3/17/21 indicates that there were 24 destoryers at the yard at this time. USN photo # 4131, courtesy of Darryl Baker.
BB-44 California81k California (BB-44) at her outfitting berth at Mare Island on 1 April 1921. This photo has a rare view of one of the shipyard steam locomotives (She is pulling a tank car). USN photo courtesy of Darryl Baker.
BB-44 California475k Bow photo of the California (BB-44) at her outfitting dock at Mare Island Navy Yard circa late March 1921.
There are 3 four pipe Destroyers moored in the background. Shipyard log of 3/17/21 indicates that there were 24 destoryers at the yard at this time.
Photo courtesy of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum & battleshipiowa.org. & submitted by Bill Gonyo.
BB-44 California715k Bow view of the California (BB-44) at her outfitting berth with YD 33 alongside on 30 March 1921. Note: One of her forward 14" guns has been installed. USN photo courtesy of Darryl Baker. Photo added 07/11/08.
BB-44 California142kFitting out at Mare Island Navy Yard, The crane at left is swinging one of her 14"/50 guns onto the ship for mounting, circa June 1921.NHC / USN.

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: None


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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