Small Craft Attend USS California (BB-44)

Stricken USS California (BB-44) sinking after two torpedo hits and multiple bomb hits and near misses. Her starboard side is scorched from oil fires at 1000 Hours. USS Widgeon (ASR-1) tied up to starboard at 1125 Hours; USS Bobolink (AM-20) tied up alongside Widgeon at 1730 and ten minutes later passed hoses to begin pumping out floodwater. At 1800 USS Swan (AVP-7) tied up alongside California's port quarter (extreme right in this view). A fuel barge pumped off her bunker oil. Joined by USS Nokomis (YT-142) and USS Vireo (AM-52), ships attempted to outpace California's flooding. On Sunday morning, December 7, California's bilge covers were left open for inspection; the starboard covers were dogged down when the attack started, but the torpedo hits prevented her crew from reaching the port side. Those open hatches flooded, and heavy pumps were in great demand along all the sunken ships. California's attendees pumped throughout the night but she settled to the bottom on December 10.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
National Archives and Records Ad
Archival Identifier: 
Date Photographed: 
Sunday, December 7, 1941
Pearl Harbor
United States of America