Friday, December 9, 2016

USS California (ACR-6)

The USS California (ACR-6) was the second ship so named in the U.S. Navy. It was an armored cruiser and the only one of the Pennsylvania cruiser class built. She was launched in 1904 by Union Iron Works of San Francisco.

She joined the 2nd Division, Pacific Fleet, and took part in a Naval review in San Francisco in May 1908. She cruised to Hawaii and Samoa in the autumn of 1909 and then operated mostly along the west coast of the United States, training and drilling her sailors.

She sailed to Hawaii in December 1911 and then in early 1912 sailed to the Asiatic Station where she joined other ships stationed in the Far East representing American power and prestige. She returned home from the Asiatic Station in August 1912 and was quickly sent to Corinto, Nicaragua, which was then in the throes of a political disturbance. Her primary objective was to protect American lives and property.

She then kept a watchful eye on Mexico, which was also suffering from political disturbances, by sailing in Pacific coastal waters. While there the USS California was involved in an international incident in which two of her crew were shot and killed.

She was renamed the USS San Diego sometime before 1915 and at one time was the flagship of the Pacific Fleet.

USS California (ACR-6) circa 1915 after she had been renamed USS San Diego;
photograph courtesy of Wikipedia

On 19 July 1918 she was sunk off Long Island by a German mine.

Alexander Muir was stationed aboard the USS California when the 1910 census was enumerated. According to his World War I draft registration card, he had served in the U.S. Navy for four years. So he likely participated in the events in Nicaragua and Mexico and perhaps the ship's initial cruise to the Far East.

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