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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
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 / Tom Armstrong
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 June 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

Six nuclear powered cruisers sailing together on 28 February 1981. The United States had operated nuclear powered cruisers for over three decades. USS Long Beach (CGN 9) entered service in 1961 while the final cruisers, the California class were decommissioned in 1999 (The Virginia class, the final class designed and built, were decommissioned in 1998). First row, front to back:

USS Virginia (CGN 38)
USS South Carolina (CGN 37)
USS California (CGN 36)

Second row, front to back:

USS Arkansas (CGN 41)
USS Mississippi (CGN 40)
USS Texas (CGN 39)

U.S. Navy

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 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 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)


  USS California (DLGN/CGN 36) collectibles and documents page  

Commanding Officers
Name/Rank Class Final Rank Dates
Miller, Floyd Harry (Hoss), CAPT   RADM 02/16/74 - 03/26/76
Rentz, William Oliphant Kendall, CAPT 1955   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 1968   08/24/88 - 12/21/91
Wallace, Ray Anderson, CAPT 1968   12/21/91 - 01/17/95
Perry, Robert E., CAPT 1972   01/17/95 - 10/03/97
Johnson, Steven Kenneth, CAPT 1974   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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