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Tennessee Class Battleship
624.5' x 97.3' x 114'
12 x 14" main guns
14 x 5" guns
4 x 3" guns
2 x torpedo tubes
USN December 7, 1941
Between 1921 until 1941, California served first as flagship of the Pacific Fleet, then as flagship of the Battle Fleet (Battle Force), U.S. Fleet. Her annual activities included joint Army-Navy exercises, tactical and organizational development problems, and fleet concentrations for various purposes. Intensive training and superior performance won her the Battle Efficiency Pennant for 1921 and 1922, and the Gunnery "E" for 1925 and 1926.
In the summer of 1925 California led the Battle Fleet and a division of cruisers from the Scouting Fleet on a good-will cruise to Australia and New Zealand. She took part in the Presidential reviews of 1927, 1930, and 1934. She was modernized in late 1929 and early 1930 and equipped with an improved anti-aircraft battery. In 1940, California began operating from Pearl Harbor.
Pearl Harbor Attack
Reloated & Repaired
California departed Bremerton, Washington, on 31 January 1944 for shakedown at San Pedro, and sailed from San Francisco on 5 May for the invasion of the Marianas. Off Saipan in June, she conducted effective shore bombardment and call fire missions. On 14 June she was hit by a shell from an enemy shore battery which killed one man and wounded nine. Afterwards, her heavy guns helped blast the way for the assault force in the Guam and Tinian from 18 July to 9 August. On 24 August she arrived at Espiritu Santo for repairs to her port bow damaged in a collision with USS Tennessee (BB-43).
Returned to action off Okinawa 15 June 1945 and remained in that embattled area until 21 July. Two days later she joined TF 95 to cover the East China Sea minesweeping operations. After a short voyage to San Pedro Bay, Philippines in August, the ship departed Okinawa on 20 September to cover the landing of the Sixth Army occupation force at Wakanoura. She remained supporting the occupation until 15 October, then sailed via Singapore, Colombo, Ceylon, and Cape Town, South Africa, to Philadelphia, arriving 7 December.
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