british British Royal Navy - Admiralty - RN SS California (+1943)
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nationality british
purpose transport
type passenger ship
propulsion steam turbine
date built 1923
weight (tons) 16792  grt
dimensions 167.64 x 21.34 x 11.8 m
material steel
engine 2 x Steam turbines, dual shaft, 2 screws
speed 16  knots
yard no. 494
IMO/Off. no. 147871
about the loss
cause lost air raid
date lost 11/07/1943  [dd/mm/yyyy]
about people
Stephen & Sons Ltd., Alexander Stephen, Glasgow
last owner
[1]British Royal Navy - Admiralty - RN, London
SS California (+1943)
period 1939 ~ 1943
IMO/Off. no.: 147871
prev. owners
[2]Anchor Line Ltd. - Henderson Bros., Glasgow
SS California
period 1923 ~ 1939
IMO/Off. no.: 147871
about the wreck
depth (m.)
war grave
entered by Allen Tony
entered 17/04/2008
last update Allen Tony
last update 11/07/2014
Allen Tony17/04/2008
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 Stuart Cameron,
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copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu
 copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Allen Collection copyright: Colin Campbell 
 copyright: UK Hydrographic Office copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu 
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Allen Tony17/04/2008California SS was a British Passenger Steam Vessel of 16,792 tons built in 1923 by Alexander Stephen & Sons Glasgow, Yard No 494 for the Anchor Line (Henderson Bros.) Ltd., Glasgow. In 1935 she was transferred to the Anchor Line (1935) Ltd. In 1939 she was requisioned by the Admiralty and coverted to a Armed Merchant Cruiser. In 1942 she was used as a Troop Ship. On the 11th July 1943 when on route from the Clyde to Freetown she was bombed and set on fire off Portugal 41.15N 15.245W.

She was sunk by escort the next day.
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 Stuart Cameron,

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About Owners
British Royal Navy - Admiralty - RN, London

In 1509 when Henry VIII was crowned he realised the growing navel power of King James IV of Scots. James had built an impressive fleet to control the Western Isles and was allied to France. Henry built up of his own fleet, the Navy Royal, as it was then known. New ships were constructed, the best known being the Mary Rose. Smaller types of warships (galleases) combining the best features of oars, sails and guns were also built. By Henry's death in 1547 his fleet had grown to 58 vessels.

In 1546 a 'Council of the Marine' was established which later became the 'Navy Board'. The Navy Board was in charge of the daily administration of the navy until 1832 when it was combined with the Board of the Admiralty.

Elizabeth I inherited a fleet of only 27 ships in 1558. Instead of building up her own fleet Elizabeth encouraged private enterprise against Spain's new empire. Men like Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake to command groups of Royal and private ships to attack the Spanish. When Spain threatened invasion with its Armada in 1588 the Navy of England both Royal and private defended the realm.

Early in the Seventeenth Century, larger galleons were built with heavier armaments. the largest English ship was Sovereign of the Seas built for prestige purposes by Charles I in 1637. The first ship with three gun decks to carry her 102 guns, she was the most powerful ship in the world for many years.

When King Charles II came to the throne in 1660 he inherited a huge fleet of 154 ships. This was a permanent professional national force and the beginning of the Royal Navy as we know it today.

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About Builders
 Stephen & Sons Ltd., Alexander Stephen, Glasgow
Alexander Stephen and Sons Limited, often referred to simply as Alex Stephens, was a Scottish shipbuilding company based in Linthouse, Govan in Glasgow, on the River Clyde. Alexander Stephen, a member of the third generation of the family, merged the Aberdeen and Arbroath businesses in 1828 and then, after closing the Aberdeen yard in 1829, moved production to the Panmure yard in Dundee in 1842. In 1850 part of the business was transferred to Kelvinhaugh yard, now known as Yorkhill Quay, near Glasgow. The Arbroath yard finally closed in 1857. Then in 1870 the business moved to Linthouse near Glasgow.

In a tragic disater in 1883, the Daphne, a steamer, capsized after its launch from the yard, and 124 workers lost their lives. The Dundee shipyard was sold in 1893. In 1968, Stephens was incorporated into Upper Clyde Shipbuilders and was closed after the latter organisation collapsed in 1971.

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SS California (+1943)
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