This Military Service Page was created/owned by
the Site Administrator
Christy, Harley Hannibal, VADM.
Home Town Circleville, Ohio
Last Address Bethesda, Maryland
Date of Passing Jun 04, 1950
Location of Interment U.S Naval Academy Cemetery - Annapolis, Maryland
Wall/Plot Coordinates Not Specified
Last Known Activity US Navy Vice Admiral. Born in Circleville, Ohio, he graduated from the US Naval Academy Annapolis, Maryland, in 1891. He served in a variety of warship and educational assignments and was in command of two small gunboats in 1902 and as Executive Officer on the USS North Carolina in 1910. Promoted Commander in 1915, he was in command of station ships at Annapolis, Maryland, when he was placed in charge of vessels for the Army Transport, at the Naval Academy, (1915-17). In May 1917, he was promoted Captain in command of the Armored Cruiser USS San Diego engaged in important duty of transporting and escorting troops and supplies to European ports. During World War I, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for distinguished service while in command of USS San Diego which was sunk by a German mine on July 19, 1918. After the war, he was stationed at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, where he was station Commander. In 1924, he was promoted Rear Admiral, held several flag commands ashore and afloat, as well as serving at the Naval War College and other Navy boards in Washington D.C. Christy retired from active duty in October 1934, and in January 1950 was advanced to the rank of Vice Admiral on the Retired List in honor of his combat awards. He died at age 79 in Bethesda, Maryland.
On Dec 7th she was docked at Pearl Harbor: Battleship Row; forward of the Maryland and Oklahoma
Fate: The California was struck by two torpedoes and one bomb. The first torpedo hit at 8:05 a.m.; the second came moments later. With a gaping hole in the ship, it started capsizing. Despite efforts to bail water from the ship, it sank to the harbor bottom after three days of progressive flooding.
The ship was raised via cofferdams, moved to the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard on April, 1942, with repairs to her cage mainmast and all six 14" forward guns were removed to facilitate her refloating. It took until January, 1944 for the ship's total reconstruction but it was a match for most of the newer US battleships in all but it's main guns (still 14").
An after view of the USS California.
January, 1945, the USS California was hit by a Japanese kamikaze where 44 of her crew died and 155 injured. Battle repairs were made to keep her battle-worthy and on station. She stayed on station until the end of the month and returned to Puget Sound for repairs. She was back on station for the landings at Okinawa and from there until the Japanese surrender in mid-August.
Of historical interest is that after the official end of WWII, the USS California was still on duty and after different assignments in Philippines and other areas in SE Asia, she returned to the US on Dec 7, 1945 - exactly 4 years to the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.