Sac History Happenings

News and developments in Sacramento and California history

December 7, 2011
USS Sacramento fought at Pearl Harbor

USS SACRAMENTO.JPGThere have been three warships named the USS Sacramento. The second one (PG-19) was a WWI-era gunboat that served mostly in Japan and China between the wars. In August 1941 the ship was assigned to the 14th Naval District stationed at Pearl Harbor.

When the Japanese attacked on Dec. 7, the Sacramento was berthed next to a couple destroyers across from Battleship Row. The gunship's crew scrambled shortly after 8 a.m and helped shoot down two enemy planes targeting the larger vessels. Later they helped rescue a couple dozen sailors from the battleship Oklahoma. For its distinguished service during the attack, the Sacramento was awarded a battle star.

USS SACRAMENTO BELL.JPGThe Sacramento served in various capacities during World War II and was decommissioned in 1946. The following year it was sold as a merchant ship, initially under Italian registry. We don't know her ultimate fate, but fortunately her bell, signal flags, radio messages and other artifacts were preserved by sailors and donated to the City. On Oct. 16,1984, the bell was formally dedicated in a ceremony at the Old Sacramento Docking Barge at L Street and the river.

For this 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, The Bee has published articles on aging WWII vets and an El Dorado County woman who witnessed the battle as a child. Accompanying the stories is a photo gallery and list of informative online resources.

USS Sacramento (PG-19) resources:
NavSource Gunboat Photo Archive
Wikipedia article
USS Sacramento history, 1914-1947
Naval Warfare: USS Sacramento
Center for Sacramento History photos and artifacts
Sacramento Bee articles about the USS Sacramento

PHOTO CREDITS: (Top) the USS Sacramento, circa 1940. (Left) the bell from the USS Sacramento hangs near the Tower Bridge. 2009 Sacramento Bee photograph by Randy Pench

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About Sac History Happenings

California and Sacramento have a long, rich, vibrant history. And our region is blessed with an abundance of historical resources maintained by museums, libraries, archives and societies. This blog aims to alert readers to the latest developments in local/state historical education and research.

Send tips concerning upcoming exhibits, tours, lectures and meetings, as well as new books, magazine articles and online collections to the blog's contributors.

The Contributors:

Michael Dolgushkin

Michael Dolgushkin is Manuscript Librarian at the California State Library History Section. He is co-author of San Francisco's California Street Cable Cars and is a frequent contributor to the California State Library Foundation Bulletin. Contact him at

Amanda Graham

Amanda Graham is a Certified Archivist working in the Sacramento Room of the Sacramento Public Library. She earned a BS in History from Southern Oregon University and a MS in Information Studies with an emphasis in archives from The University of Texas at Austin. Contact her at

Pete basofin

Pete Basofin is Director of Editorial Research at The Sacramento Bee. He previously worked at The St. Petersburg Times and Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune. Contact him at

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