Thursday, March 18, 2010
Mystery History -- Solved
JM in Pasadena nailed it. (Email me, JM, to claim your fabulous prize!)
In the photo above, Mrs. C.G. Wopschall christens the USS Pasadena during launching ceremonies at Bethlehem Steel Corporation's Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Mass., on Dec. 28, 1943.
Mrs. Wopschall's husband was the mayor of Pasadena at the time. Here's his photo from the Hall of Mayors:
The ship was launched that same day.
The USS Pasadena was commissioned into official World War II duty in autumn 1944 to take part in the Pacific operations against Japan, during which she escorted aircraft carriers as they hit targets in the Philippines, the South China Sea and other areas. She also provided gunfire support during the difficult campaigns to capture Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and was in Tokyo Bay when Japan formally surrendered on Sept. 2, 1945.
Here's a photo of the ship entering Pearl Harbor in 1948.
The very first rendition of her official emblem was designed by Walt Disney himself.
She was decommissioned in 1950 to begin two decades in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in 1970 and sold for scrap in 1972.
She was the second USS Pasadena, the first having been commissioned into World War I service in 1918.
And the third USS Pasadena is a U.S. Navy submarine that is in active service with its home port at Pearl Harbor. Her emblem is an updated version of Disney's original drawing, including a rose.
My dad was a Navy man, so this kind of thing is very close to my heart.
Many thanks to the Naval Historical Center and the USS Pasadena Foundation.