Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Jan. 31, 1938: A panorama of a portion of the 100 U.S. Navy ships anchored behind the 26,000-foot breakwater off San Pedro.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

November, 1920: Rear Adm. Spencer S. Wood and staff arrive aboard the Baltimore to take command of the Blue Fleet for U.S. Navy training exercises.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: George Watson / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

November 1920: A Baltimore gun crew fires a round during U.S. Navy war games off the Southern California coast. This photo was published in the Nov. 21, 1920, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: George Watson / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

November, 1920: A mine-laying crew on the Baltimore with a mine, showing the four-wheeled truck on which it is moved.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: George Watson / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 20, 1920: U.S. Navy submarines at San Pedro. The submarine base at San Pedro was closed in 1923. Edges of this print were darkened by a staff artist.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

March 25, 1925: U.S. Navy battleships during live fire training off San Clemente. This photo appeared in the March 26, 1925, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: George Watson / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 22, 1926: Sailors disembark from craft during mock invasion of the harbor in San Pedro. Eight thousand sailors and Marines landed with machine guns and artillery. This photo appeared in the Jan. 23, 1926, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Circa 1925 image of the battleship Oklahoma in Los Angeles Harbor. Between 1927 and 1929 the ship was modernized with new tripod masts and five-inch guns. The Oklahoma was sunk at Pearl Harbor and too badly damaged to be repaired.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Sept. 2, 1926: Five thousand Marines and sailors from the U.S. Navy battle fleet march in San Pedro.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

February 1927: U.S. Navy battleships practice firing at target off San Pedro. From left: the West Virginia, Colorado, Maryland, Tennessee, California and New Mexico. This photo was published in the Feb. 13, 1927, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: George Watson / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Oct. 28, 1929: Visitors mix with sailors on the battleship California during Navy Day. This photo appeared in the Oct. 29, 1929, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Anglees Times Archive/UCLA

April 15, 1929: Navy aircraft pulls out of a 200-mph dive at the New Mexico during U.S. Navy maneuvers off the Southern California coast. This photo appeared in the April 16, 1929, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Arizona pitches in heavy seas after the ship's 1930 modernization. The battleship was sunk at Pearl Harbor.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: National Archives

Circa 1930 photo of the California at anchor at Los Angeles Harbor in San Pedro. The ship was sunk during the attack on Pearl Harbor, but rebuilt and participated in World War II.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Circa 1930 photo of the Maryland at Los Angeles Harbor at San Pedro. The Maryland was damaged during the attack on Pearl Harbor, but after repairs, returned to active service in June 1942.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Circa 1930 image of the West Virginia anchored off San Pedro. During the Pearl Harbor attack the ship was sunk. After repairs, the West Virginia rejoined the fleet in 1944. The ship's name was handwritten onto the negative.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

April 19, 1932: An unidentified cruiser leads a column of warships during the annual Fleet Parade at San Pedro. When this photo appeared in the April 20, 1932, Los Angeles Times, the lead ship was misidentified as the battleship Pennsylvania.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

The Tennessee at sea during the later 1930s. During the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Tennessee was damaged, but was quickly repaired and served in World War II.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Naval History / Heritage Command

April 19, 1932: Cars parked between Point Fermin and White Point in San Pedro during the annual Navy Fleet Parade along the Southern California coast. This photo was published in the April 20, 1932, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

A Navy O2U-1 seaplane is catapulted off the desk of the Idaho during a military training exercise in the San Pedro area. A second plane waits for its turn to launch. This photo appeared in the March 27, 1932, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

April 19, 1932: U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Saratoga during Navy parade off San Pedro. This photo appeared in the April 20, 1932, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

July 31, 1932: Three U.S. Navy submarines on display for tours at San Pedro. On right is the Narwhal, then the Nautilus, and next to that (barely visible in this image) is the Bass.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Sept. 3, 1933: At anchor at San Pedro are, from left: minesweepers Brant and Robin, repair ship Medusa, and cruisers Trenton and Milwaukee. This photo was published in the Sept. 4, 1933, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Circa 1935 photo of the Nevada entering the harbor at San Pedro. The ship was damaged at Pearl Harbor, but repaired and participated in World War II.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Circa 1935 photo of battleship Pennsylvania in harbor at San Pedro. The ship was modernized in 1929-31 with tripod masts and new five-inch guns. During the Pearl Harbor attack, the Pennsylvania was in dry dock and suffered little damage. After repairs the ship participated in World War II.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Aug. 23, 1935: Aircraft flying over battleships. Ninety-eight ships and over 400 aircraft formed a 20-mile-long parade as the fleet sailed into San Diego harbor. This photo appeared in the Aug. 24, 1935, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bill Snyder / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

April 28, 1936: Led by the Chicago, with cruisers Portland and Houston, dozens of ships leave San Pedro for U.S. Navy maneuvers. A total of 130 ships based in San Pedro and San Diego sailed to waters off Panama. This photo appeared in the April 28, 1936, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

June 5, 1937: The USS Houston leads 12 ships into San Pedro after naval war games near Hawaii. This photo appeared in the June 6, 1937 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Jan. 15, 1938: New 10,000-ton cruiser Vincennes after arrival in San Pedro. Painters are working on the new ship and on right is a barge loading supplies. This photo appeared in the Jan. 16, 1938, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

May 22, 1938: U.S. Navy ships light up the sky during annual Harbor Day ceremonies in San Pedro. This photo appeared in the May 23, 1938, Los Angeles Times

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Wide World Photos / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Sep. 30, 1940: The battleship New Mexico drops her bow anchor in Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbor. This photo appeared in the Oct. 1, 1940, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Oct. 30, 1940: Some of 1,200 sailors aboard the liner Washington arriving in San Pedro from Hampton Roads, Va., for training at Pearl Harbor aboard the battleships Colorado, West Virginia and Maryland.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

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The U.S. Navy drops anchor in San Pedro, 1919-1940

In 1914, the Panama Canal opened, allowing the easy movement of U.S. Navy ships between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In June 1919, President Wilson transferred half of the U.S. Navy, about 200 ships, to the Pacific Coast.

An Associated Press story in the June 17, 1919, Los Angeles Times explained:

WASHINGTON, June 16––Orders making effective the proposed division of the United States naval forces into two fleets of equal strength, one to be called the Atlantic, and the other the Pacific Fleet, were issued tonight by the Navy Department.

Each of the two fleets will be comprised of four divisions of battleships and dreadnoughts, two divisions of cruisers, eighteen divisions of destroyers, three divisions of submarines and two divisions of mine layers.

Supply, repair, fuel and hospital ships, tugs and other auxiliaries will be equally divided between the two fleets. As the Pacific fleet heretofore has consisted of only a few battleships and some armored and light cruisers and destroyers, docking facilities and naval bases on the Pacific Coast probably will have to be greatly enlarged. …

On Aug. 9, 1919, the Pacific Battle Fleet anchored in the Port of Los Angeles at San Pedro. The port featured local availability of fuel oil – saving money – and good weather allowing frequent gunnery exercises.

The battle fleet would stay until May 1940. A United Press wire story in the May 8, 1940, Los Angeles Times announced:

HONOLULU, May 7, (U.P.) The United States Battle Fleet today unexpectedly was ordered to remain indefinitely in Hawaiian water and carry out further tactical exercises and maneuvers instead of returning to California bases.

The order, announced by Admiral James O. Richardson, commander-in-chief of the Fleet, means the main body of the American Fleet will be concentrated at this mid-ocean Gibraltar of the Pacific until its duties are completed…

Remaining here indefinitely will be 11 battleships, 14 cruisers, three aircraft carriers, more than 40 destroyers, 16 auxiliary and base ships and 23 submarines from mainland bases, plus the Hawaiian detachment of 10 heavy cruisers and 20 destroyers. Added to these is the large auxiliary naval air force.

Forty-two thousand five hundred officers and men will remain with these ships in the Hawaiian area. …

Of note: in May 1941, the battleships Mississippi, Idaho and New Mexico were among a group of ships transferred to the Atlantic Fleet – thus missing the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese navy.

3 Comments

  1. December 1, 2016, 7:34 am

    As a retired sailor born in LA, I really enjoyed the pictures.

    By: moffettjs@yahoo.com
  2. January 9, 2017, 12:05 pm

    reversed image. Photo is looking west from pt fermin park towards White Point. . ocean should be on the left.

    By: rick
  3. January 9, 2017, 1:13 pm

    The 1932 image of cars parked between Point Fermin and White Point has been reversed. Thanks for your help.

    By: Scott Harrison

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