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Training ship California State during the 1930s.
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Class: HENRY COUNTY (IX-34)
Design EFC Design 1099
Displacement (tons): 2,490 light, 3,640 full
Dimensions (feet): 261.8' oa, 253.5' wl x 43.7' x 24.5' mean full
Original Armament: None
Later armaments: --
Speed (kts.): 9.5
Propulsion (HP): 1,400
Machinery: 1 screw, vertical triple expansion
||24 May 30
||American SB, Lorain
||14 Jun 19
||18 Oct 19
||27 May 30
||22 Aug 30
||30 Jun 40
||30 Jun 40
||19 Nov 47
FY not assigned (transferred). This World War I EFC Design 1099 standard Great Lakes-built freighter was transferred by the Shipping Board to the Navy on 24 May 1930 with the intent that the Navy would loan her to the State of California for service as a marine school ship. The ship was placed in commission as USS HENRY COUNTY on 27 May 30 on the east coast, steamed to San Francisco, and decommissioned and turned over to the State of California on 22 Aug 30. She was renamed CALIFORNIA STATE and commissioned by the California Nautical School on 23 Jan 31. T.S. CALIFORNIA STATE was given the file symbol IX-34 in the Navy Filing Manual. On 8 Jan 41 SecNav directed the Bureau of Ships to adopt the symbol IX as a type designator for miscellaneous Navy ships, including those carried on the Navy List as "Unclassified," using the numbers assigned to them in the Filing Manual as hull numbers, but by this time CALIFORNIA STATE had been deleted from the Navy List and thus never officially had a BuShips hull number.
Funding shortages delayed the completion of the renovations of CALIFORNIA STATE until December 1931, and additional funding shortages in 1933 and 1935 threatened the continued existence of both the ship and the school. The Merchant Marine Act of 1936 gave Federal recognition and support to the maritime industry including its training programs. On 10 Oct 39 the California Nautical School changed its name to the California Maritime Academy. Under a Presidential reorganization plan of 11 Apr 40 CALIFORNIA STATE was stricken from the Navy List and transferred to the Maritime Commission on 30 Jun 40, and she subsequently became part of the U. S. Maritime Service, the training division of the War Shipping Administration. It was Maritime Commission policy to name the training ships of the state schools for their state nicknames, and CALIFORNIA STATE became GOLDEN STATE in 1941. After the war she was replaced by USS MELLENA (AKA-32) which was commissioned as T.S. GOLDEN BEAR on 7 Sep 46. GOLDEN STATE was delivered to her buyer in November 1947 and was converted in November and December 1947 at the Bethlehem Steel Company's Alameda Repair Yard for tramp service under the American flag. Her buyer, John E. Tsavaris, President of the Panormetis S.S. Company, had just been released as a Commander in the U.S. Navy and was a former repair superintendent at the Boston Naval Shipyard.
||Ex merc. HENRY COUNTY, (ID-4408C, completed Nov 19), begun as LAKE FELLOWSHIP. Loaned to California 22 Aug 30 as training ship, renamed CALIFORNIA STATE and commissioned by the California Nautical School on 23 Jan 31. To W.S.A. Training Service (USMS) 1940 via MC, renamed GOLDEN STATE 1941. To NDRF 13 Aug 46. Merc. ISLE OF PATMOS (U.S.) Nov 47, SANTA ROSA (Brazilian) Jun 51, scrapped Aug 62.
Compiled: 21 Dec 2010
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2010