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The battleship California was laid down at Mare Island Yard in October 1916 and completed on 15 September 1921. Her standard displacement was 32,600 tons, marginally greater than her sister ship Tennessee. She was 624 feet in length overall, 110 feet in the beam and drew some 35 feet at a maximum. Her armament included 12 14-inch and 16 5-inch guns and numerous 40mm and 20mm anti-aircraft guns. She could carry four aircraft for catapult launch. Her complement was 2,200 men. On 7 December 1941 she was flagship of the Pacific Fleet Battle Force and was moored south-west of Battleship Row on the other side of a shallow bay on Ford Island and opposite Ten Ten Pier. In the First Attack Wave she was the target of Kates from Akagi and Soryu and suffered two torpedo hits at about 0800 hours and a bomb hit shortly thereafter. She was more than usually vulnerable because compartments were opened for maintenance work. The crew managed to counterflood the ship to correct the list she developed and she settled upright on the bottom, her decks just above water and her guns still in action. She was refloated on 24 March 1942 and later fought at Saipan in June, and in the Battles of the Leyte Gulf in October, 1944.

See also: Akagi; Battleship Row; Damage assessment/actual; First Attack Wave; Ford Island; Kate; Soryu; Tennessee; Ten Ten Pier; torpedo

You can find out more about the ship California in the following Osprey books:

CAMPAIGN 62 Pearl Harbor 1941; CAMPAIGN 30 Midway 1942; MEN-AT-ARMS 70 US Army 1941-45; MEN-AT-ARMS 342 US Army in WWII (1) The Pacific