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NavSource Online: Cruiser Photo Archive


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - India - November

Tactical Voice Radio Call: "GOLDEN GRIZZLY"

Patch image contributed by Mike Smolinski
Displacement 9,561 Tons, Dimensions, 596' (oa) x 61' x 31' 6" (Max)
Armament 2 Standard SAM 1x2, (80 Missiles) 2 x 5"/54RF, ASROC (24 Missiles) 4 x12.75" TT.
Machinery, 60,000 SHP; 2 G.E. Reactors (D2G), Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 30+ Knots, Crew 540.

Operational and Building Data
Keel laid on 23 JAN 1970 at Newport News Shipyard, Newport News, VA
Launched 22 SEP 1971
Commissioned 16 FEB 1974
Reclassified CGN 36 on 30 Jun 1975
Decommissioned 09 JUL 1999
Stricken 09 JUL 1999
Fate: Disposed - Hulk recycled at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard 12 MAY 2000

Patch image contributed by Mike Smolinski

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (5) - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (7)
Second Row - Navy Expeditionary Medal (2) - National Defense Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Third Row - Southwest Asia Service Medal (1) - Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (11) - Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

Click On Image
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
467k The keel plate for the California being authenticated by Mrs. Glenard P. Lipscomb, wife of the congressman from California. Dale Hargrave
759k Keel laying at Newport News Shipyard, Newport News, VA, 23 January 1970. Dale Hargrave
  California sitting on the ways at Newport News Shipbuilding a few days before her launching on 22 September 1971. Dale Hargrave
57k Launching Invitation for USS California (DLGN 36) on 22 Sept 1971 at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. Robert M. Cieri
162k Newport News Shipyard Launch Bulletin, SEP 1971 Robert M. Cieri
California 161k Launching booklet, 22 SEP 1971. Robert M. Cieri
41k Commissioning Invitation for the USS California (DLGN 36), held at Naval Station Norfolk on 16 February 1974 Robert M. Cieri
California 353k Commissioning Booklet, 16 FEB 1974. Robert M. Cieri
56k Commissioning commerative postal cover. Robert M. Cieri
83k Mrs. Pat Nixon christening the California. S. Dale Hargrave
68k California sliding down the ways. S. Dale Hargrave
California 400k Undated photo in drydock. Robert M. Cieri
California 46k Starboard view, underway. USN
California 157k

Undated port side view.

U.S. Navy photo.

Wendell Royce McLaughlin Jr.
California 65k Undated port side view. Robert Hirsh
California 362k Undated starboard bow view. Robert M. Cieri
45k Port quarter view, date and location unknown. Robert Hirsh
California 105k "The Navy's second nuclear task force is shown off the Virginia Capes. USS Nimitz (CVN 68) is escorted by the nuclear-powered cruisers USS California (CGN 36) and USS South Carolina (CGN 37)." From the NAVSEA Journal.

This photo was possibly taken in 1975.

Bob Bush
California 123k This is a picture of the Nimitz Task Group from 1976 with USS South Carolina (CGN 37) (top), USS Nimitz (CVN 68), and USS California (CGN 36).
Michael Boyd,
USS California
California 64k Taken at Portsmouth, England on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee Celebration of Queen Elizabeth 28 Jun 1977. Vernon C. Cook USN (Ret.)
118k Spring 1980, on the USS California (DLGN 36) somewhere in the Indian Ocean or Persian Gulf, on a Sunday - the blue missile is called a TSAM (Training Surface-to-Air Missile) and is used for system testing and exercise.

Photo courtesy of Tony Alter

Bill Gonyo

An aerial starboard bow view of six nuclear-powered guided missile cruisers underway in formation during exercise READEX 1-81. The ships are, from left to right: USS TEXAS (CGN 39), USS MISSISSIPPI (CGN 40), USS CALIFORNIA (CGN 36), USS SOUTH CAROLINA (CGN 37), USS VIRGINIA (CGN 38) and USS ARKANSAS (CGN 41). Photo taken 26 February 1981 by PH1 Anthony Alleyne.

DOD Photo #DN-SC-87-08333

Steve Dietrich

1 June 1981 - An aerial port bow view of the nuclear-powered guided-missile cruiser USS California (CGN 36) underway. An SH-3H Sea King helicopter, having just taken off from her stern heli-platform, is visible to the right.

U.S. Navy photo #DN-SC-85-07718 by: PH2 Collins.

Robert M. Cieri
California 264k Change of Command booklet, NOV 1985 Robert M. Cieri
California 64k While at sea in 1987. USN
California 64k Pierside at Pearl Harbor 1987. Larry Lee
California 84k July 1987, Just passing under the Golden Gate Bridge returning from her World Cruise. D. Stephenson, SMC, USN (Ret)
California 54k 1983, Off Point Loma, Port Bow view. D. Stephenson, SMC, USN (Ret)
California 125k Change of Command booklet, 21 DEC 1991 Robert M. Cieri
California 228k Working up for deployment, October 1997, off the coast of Port Angeles Washington. USN
California 521k

USS California launches a missile skyward to a target two miles away. USS California is operating in the Pacific Ocean during RIMPAC '98. RIMPAC '98 is designed to enhance the tactical capabilities of participating units in major aspects of maritime operations at sea. RIMPAC '98 is the sixteenth in a series of Pacific naval exercises.

DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Spike Call. (980721-N-5961C-003)

California 154k Deactivation Booklet, 28 AUG 1998. Robert M. Cieri

Commanding Officers
Name/Rank Final Rank Dates
Miller, Floyd Harry (Hoss), CAPT RADM 02/16/74 - 03/26/76
Rentz, William Oliphant Kendall, CAPT   03/26/76 - 06/79
Smith, Charles Jacob, CAPT   06/79 - 09/4/82
Paulson, Gaylord O., CAPT   09/4/82 - 11/85
Williams III, Richard D., CAPT RADM 11/85 - 08/24/88
Burrow, Barry Vaile, CAPT   08/24/88 - 12/21/91
Wallace, Ray Anderson, CAPT   12/21/91 - 01/17/95
Perry, Robert E., CAPT   01/17/95 - 10/03/97
Johnson, Steven Kenneth, CAPT   10/03/97 - 07/09/99

(Courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves - Photos courtesy of Bill Gonyo)

This Vessel Was Not Listed IN DANFS

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name:
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 Cruiser Pages By Andrew Toppan.

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