SS California (1923)
SS California passing the Statue of Liberty, New York, 1925.
|Port of registry:||Glasgow|
|Builder:||Alexander Stephen & Sons, Glasgow|
|Yard number:||494 |
|Launched:||17 April 1923|
|Identification:||Official number: 1147871|
|Fate:||Crippled by German air attack 11 July 1943 and sunk the next day by the Royal Navy|
|Tonnage:||16,792 GRT |
|Length:||167.64 m (550.0 ft)|
|Beam:||21.34 m (70.0 ft)|
|Speed:||16 kn (30 km/h)|
California was built by Alexander Stephen & Sons, of Linthouse, Glasgow. Photographs of the ship taken in the 1930s show only one funnel, suggesting either a major refit, or that the original fore and aft funnels were for show only. Note the Infobox photograph shows smoke emerging only from the middle funnel.
California carried passengers between Glasgow and New York, and in 1935 she was transferred to the Anchor Line (1935) Ltd.
World War II
On 8 July 1943 the small fast Convoy Faith, comprising MV Port Fairy, the troopships Duchess of York and California, and escorted by the destroyer HMS Douglas and the frigate HMS Moyola, sailed Port Glasgow, Scotland, for Freetown, Sierra Leone. On the evening of 10 July the convoy made rendezvous with the Canadian destroyer HMCS Iroquois 500 miles WSW of Land's End. On 11 July 1943 when about 300 miles west of Vigo, Spain, the convoy was attacked by three Focke-Wulf Fw 200 aircraft of Kampfgeschwader 40 based at Merignac near Bordeaux.
Accurate high-altitude bombing left the Duchess of York and California blazing. Both ships were abandoned, and in the early hours of 12 July they were sunk by Royal Navy torpedoes in position  as it was feared the flames from the ships would attract U boats. The attack cost the lives of 46 servicemen and crew.
- "Clyde Built database". http://www.clydesite.co.uk/clydebuilt/viewship.asp?id=3569. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
- ""1147871"" (subscription required). Miramar Ship Index. R.B. Haworth. http://www.miramarshipindex.org.nz. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
- "Mercantile Marine.com". http://www.mercantilemarine.org/showthread.php?t=110&page=2. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- "Maritime Disasters of World War II". http://members.iinet.net.au/~gduncan/maritime-1a.html. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- "Wrecksite.eu website - SS California". http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?32081. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
- "Anchor Line at Ships List website". http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/anchor.html. Retrieved 2008-06-25.