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76 years ago, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

In 1940 USS California (BB-44), flagship of the Battle Force in the Pacific, switched her base to Pearl Harbor.
On 7 December 1941 she was moored off Ford Island at the southernmost berth of "Battleship Row" and was with
other dreadnoughts of the Battle Force when the Japanese launched their aerial attack. At 0805 a bomb exploded below decks, setting off an antiaircraft ammunition magazine. A second bomb ruptured her bow plates.
Before the attack, California was about to undergo a material inspection, watertight integrity was not at its maximum; consequently the ship suffered great damage when hit. Despite valiant efforts to keep her afloat the in-rushing water could not be isolated and California settled into the mud with only her superstructure remaining above the surface. The battleship was raised in March 1942 and received repairs and modernization work that lasted until January 1944, over two years after she was sunk. California then continued her valiant and heroic service to the NAVY and the war effort earning seven battle stars for her World War II service.

Several years ago I was shopping for exotic wood for Randall knife handle material. I called a company to place an order and asked the salesman if he had anything really unique that could be used for knife handles. He said he would check and get back with me. When he called back he said that he had a small amount of original teak deck planking from USS California BB-44. They had purchased the planks from a salvage company several years earlier and had one left. I bought it on the spot. After cutting, sizing and stabilizing I had enough Teak decking for six knife handles. While the knives were being crafted I also found six challenge coins for California. The knife is a Randall model #1-8" in stainless. I chose to use brass furniture and red, white and blue spacers to continue the Navy connection. I've scrimshawed an aerial depiction of Ford Island and Battleship Row as it appeared in late 1941.

 

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76 years ago, December 7, 1941–a date which will live in infamy–the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

In 1940 USS California (BB-44), flagship of the Battle Force in the Pacific, switched her base to Pearl Harbor.
On 7 December 1941 she was moored off Ford Island at the southernmost berth of "Battleship Row" and was with
other dreadnoughts of the Battle Force when the Japanese launched their aerial attack. At 0805 a bomb exploded below decks, setting off an antiaircraft ammunition magazine. A second bomb ruptured her bow plates.
Before the attack, California was about to undergo a material inspection, watertight integrity was not at its maximum; consequently the ship suffered great damage when hit. Despite valiant efforts to keep her afloat the in-rushing water could not be isolated and California settled into the mud with only her superstructure remaining above the surface. The battleship was raised in March 1942 and received repairs and modernization work that lasted until January 1944, over two years after she was sunk. California then continued her valiant and heroic service to the NAVY and the war effort earning seven battle stars for her World War II service.

Several years ago I was shopping for exotic wood for Randall knife handle material. I called a company to place an order and asked the salesman if he had anything really unique that could be used for knife handles. He said he would check and get back with me. When he called back he said that he had a small amount of original teak deck planking from USS California BB-44. They had purchased the planks from a salvage company several years earlier and had one left. I bought it on the spot. After cutting, sizing and stabilizing I had enough Teak decking for six knife handles. While the knives were being crafted I also found six challenge coins for California. The knife is a Randall model #1-8" in stainless. I chose to use brass furniture and red, white and blue spacers to continue the Navy connection. I've scrimshawed an aerial depiction of Ford Island and Battleship Row as it appeared in late 1941.

I'm pretty sure that I posted this before, but my grandfather was a supervisor during the construction of the California at Mare Island. This is a medal that was passed out at the launch in 1919. The USS California was the largest ship constructed on the West Coast.

Best regards,
 

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76 years ago, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

In 1940 USS California (BB-44), flagship of the Battle Force in the Pacific, switched her base to Pearl Harbor.
On 7 December 1941 she was moored off Ford Island at the southernmost berth of "Battleship Row" and was with
other dreadnoughts of the Battle Force when the Japanese launched their aerial attack. At 0805 a bomb exploded below decks, setting off an antiaircraft ammunition magazine. A second bomb ruptured her bow plates.
Before the attack, California was about to undergo a material inspection, watertight integrity was not at its maximum; consequently the ship suffered great damage when hit. Despite valiant efforts to keep her afloat the in-rushing water could not be isolated and California settled into the mud with only her superstructure remaining above the surface. The battleship was raised in March 1942 and received repairs and modernization work that lasted until January 1944, over two years after she was sunk. California then continued her valiant and heroic service to the NAVY and the war effort earning seven battle stars for her World War II service.

Several years ago I was shopping for exotic wood for Randall knife handle material. I called a company to place an order and asked the salesman if he had anything really unique that could be used for knife handles. He said he would check and get back with me. When he called back he said that he had a small amount of original teak deck planking from USS California BB-44. They had purchased the planks from a salvage company several years earlier and had one left. I bought it on the spot. After cutting, sizing and stabilizing I had enough Teak decking for six knife handles. While the knives were being crafted I also found six challenge coins for California. The knife is a Randall model #1-8" in stainless. I chose to use brass furniture and red, white and blue spacers to continue the Navy connection. I've scrimshawed an aerial depiction of Ford Island and Battleship Row as it appeared in late 1941.

Interesting story and a gorgeous knife! Well done Rick!
 
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My father was in the Navy for six months when Pearl was attacked. Thank God he was serving in the Caribbean on a sea plane tender at the time. During 1943 to 1945 he served on the USS Manlove DE36 in the Pacific. The USS Manlove DE36 was named after Officer Author C. Manlove who died on the USS Arizona on Dec 7 1941.
My father enlisted out of high school in 1940. He was a sea-going Marine aboard the light cruiser USS Honolulu during the attack at Pearl, the Honolulu received only light damage. He and his ship went on to see action in the Battles of the Coral Sea and Savo Island, and in the Aleutians. He passed on December 7, 1994.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think a special effort such as that deserves recognition.

Most days of the week are pretty ordinary, but that Sunday morning at that particular time was different.

Bud


Thanks for noticing Bud!
 
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