|Namesake:||A resident of California (previous name retained)|
|Builder:||Union Iron Works, San Francisco, California|
|Launched:||12 May 1900|
|Acquired:||13 May 1918|
|Commissioned:||14 May 1918|
|Fate:||Sunk by naval mine 22 June 1918|
|Notes:||In commercial service as SS Californian 1900-1918|
|Tonnage:||5,658 gross tons|
|Length:||413 ft (126 m)|
|Beam:||51 ft (16 m)|
|Draft:||26 ft 2 in (7.98 m) (mean)|
SS Californian was launched on 12 May 1900 at San Francisco, California, by Union Iron Works and delivered later that year to the American-Hawaiian Steamship Company of New York City. After the United States entered World War I, the United States Shipping Board acquired Californian for war service and transferred her to the U.S. Navy on 13 May 1918. The Navy commissioned her as USS Californian on 14 May 1918 with Lieutenant Commander D. Malman, USNRF, in command.
On 22 June 1918, while proceeding through the Bay of Biscay, Californian struck a naval mine. Although a gallant attempt was made to tow her to port, she sank later that day. Her crew abandoned ship in good order and was picked up by the patrol vessel USS Corsair (SP-159) without suffering any casualties.
Unlike most commercial ships commissioned into U.S. Navy service during World War I, Californian never received a naval registry identification number.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Department of the Navy: Naval Historical Center Online Library of Selected Images: U.S. Navy Ships: USS Californian (1918-1918). Originally the Civilian Freighter Californian (1900).
- NavSource Online: Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive: Arizonan (ID 4245-A)