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Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive

Californian

Sunk 22 June 1918

Freighter:

  • Built in 1900 by the Union Iron Works, San Francisco, CA
  • Launched 12 May 1900
  • Acquired by the Navy 13 May 1918
  • Commissioned 14 May 1918
  • Struck a mine in the Bay of Biscay and sank 22 June 1918
  • Struck from the Navy list 26 August 1918.

    Specifications:

  • Displacement 5,658 t.
  • Length 413'
  • Beam 51'
  • Draft 26' 2"
  • Speed 10 kts.
  • Complement 78
  • Propulsion: Four single-ended boilers, one verticle triple-expansion steam engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Californian
    Californian 126k Union Iron Works, San Francisco, California. Panoramic view of shipways and outfitting area, 1900. USS Wisconsin (Battleship No. 9) is fitting out at left. Ships on the ways are (from left to right): USS Paul Jones (Destroyer No. 10); USS Perry (Destroyer No. 11); USS Wyoming (Monitor No. 10); USS Ohio (Battleship No. 12); and the S.S. Californian
    Courtesy of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, 1971
    The original print is in the Union Iron Works scrapbook, Volume II, page 157
    U.S. Navy photo NH 75110
    Naval Historical Center
    Californian 82k In the lift drydock at the Union Iron Works shipyard, San Francisco, California, during the final stages of her construction, 18 June 1900
    Courtesy of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, 1972
    Copied from the Union Iron Works Scrapbook, Vol. II, page 144
    U.S. Navy photo NH 75276
    Californian 81k Underway in San Francisco Bay, California, during builder's trials in 1900
    Courtesy of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, 1972
    Copied from the Union Iron Works Scrapbook, Vol. II, page 144
    U.S. Navy photos NH 75274 and NH 75275
    Californian 55k
    USS Californian
    Californian 85k Sinking in the Bay of Biscay after striking a mine, 22 June 1918. Photographed from USS Corsair (SP-159)
    Collection of Paul F. Wangerin, 1975
    U.S. Navy photo NH 61072
    Naval Historical Center
    Californian 123k Sinking in the Bay of Biscay on 22 June 1918, after hitting a mine. Photographed from USS Corsair (SP-159)
    Collection of Paul F. Wangerin, 1975
    U.S. Navy photo NH 99783
    Californian 123k Sinking in the Bay of Biscay on 22 June 1918, after hitting a mine. A boat is alongside, below Californian's bridge, probably taking off her crew
    Collection of Paul F. Wangerin, 1975.
    U.S. Navy photos NH 99784 and NH 99785
    Californian 91k
    Californian 103k Sinking in the Bay of Biscay on 22 June 1918, after hitting a mine. Photographed from USS Corsair (SP-159).
    Collection of Paul F. Wangerin, 1975.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 99785
    Californian 148k Survivors of USS Californian on Corsair's quarterdeck, 22 June 1918, after being rescued from their sinking ship.
    Collection of Paul F. Wangerin, 1975.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 99787
    Californian 75k One of the ship's lifeboats comes alongside USS Corsair (SP-159), 22 June 1918. The original print bears the hand-written note: "S.S. Californian last boat."
    Collection of Paul F. Wangerin, 1975
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 99903
    Robert Hurst

    View the Californian
    DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command website
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