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Sacramento

 

A county and river in California; a city in California and a town in Illinois. The first Sacramento was named for the river; the second for the city in California. The third Sacramento (AOE-1) is named for both the river and city.

 

II

 

(Gunboat No. 19: dp. 1,425; 1. 226'2"; b. 40'10 "; dr. 12'6 "; s. 12 k.; cpl. 171; a. 3 4", 2 3-pdrs., 2 1-pdrs.; cl. Sacramento)

 

The second Sacramento, a steel gunboat, was launched on 21 February 1914 by the William Cramp & Sons Shipbuilding Co., Philadelphia, Pa.; sponsored by Miss Phebe Briggs; and commissioned on 26 April 1914 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Comdr. Luke McNamee in command.

 

Sacramento's first duty was in Mexican and Caribbean waters, and she arrived off Vera Cruz on 14 May 1914. Sacramento visited Dominican, Mexican, Nicara-guan, and Honduran ports repeatedly into 1916, protecting United States interests and observing uneasy local political conditions. Arriving at New Orleans on 17 March 1917, Sacramento's crew assisted U.S. Customs authorities in taking over the interned German merchant vessels Breslau, Andromeda, Anna, Louise, and Teresa after the U.S. entered World War I.

 

Departing New Orleans on 15 April, Sacramento proceeded to Newport, R.I., to commence patrol and escort duty off the New England coast. She rescued the crew of the burning British motor ship Sebastian on 8 May and vainly attempted to tow her to Newport, receiving commendation from the British government for her efforts. In late June, she took part in refloating the grounded cruiser Olympia.

 

Assigned to European waters, Sacramento departed New York on 22 July 1917 in company with a British mercantile convoy bound for Gibraltar, arriving on 6 August. As a unit of the United States Patrol Force based at Gibraltar, she performed continuous convoy escort duty to the British Isles with additional service along the North African and Italian coasts into 1918. Following the Armistice, Sacramento was ordered back to the United States. She departed Gibraltar on 11 December 1918 for New Orleans. After completing repairs there, the gunboat steamed to New York prior to her next duty assignment with the United States Naval Forces, Northern Russia. Sacramento arrived at Murmansk on 22 May 1919; and, through July, served as a dispatch ship, distributed food and clothing, provided medical help, and assisted in the withdrawal of American forces from areas bordering the White Sea. Subsequently sailing southward, Sacramento called at Norwegian, British, and French ports before arriving at Gibraltar on 20 September to assist in demobilizing the naval forces there. She returned to Hampton Roads, Va., on 15 February 1920 to join the Atlantic Patrol Force and Special Service Squadron.

 

Designated PG-19 on 17 July 1920, Sacramento's new assignment took her back to Caribbean waters where she spent considerable time cruising off troubled Honduras. She was reassigned to the Asiatic Squadron in 1922, and departed Charleston, S.C., on 12 June en route for the Philippine Islands. Passing through the Mediterranean and transiting the Suez Canal, Sacramento called at Bombay, Colombo, and Singapore while progressing eastward to Manila. Her Asiatic Fleet service was spent largely in Chinese and Japanese ports but included a visit to Vladivostok, Russia, from 11 September to 24 November 1922. She remained on station until 21 December 1928 when she departed Cavite for Caribbean duty. She sailed first to Mare Island, Calif., then joined the Special Service Squadron and cruised the Caribbean, calling at Central American and West Indies ports, into 1932. She departed Balboa, C.Z., on 11 January 1932 bound for San Diego and San Francisco, preparatory to crossing the Pacific for duty with the Asiatic Fleet. She arrived at Shanghai, China, on 1 April 1932 and remained in adjacent waters throughout the gradually worsening crisis, just short of war, during the rest of the 30's. With other U.S. forces, she helped to protect national interests during this period. Ordered home toward the end of the decade, the veteran gunboat departed Cavite on 12 January 1939 for New York, via the Mediterranean.

 

Sacramento served as a training ship for 9th Naval District Reservists, on the Great Lakes, from 20 November 1939 into 1940. Returning to the Boston Navy Yard for refitting, she subsequently departed the Norfolk Navy Yard en route to her next assignment in the Hawaiian Islands. Entering Pearl Harbor on 15 August 1941, she formed part of the local defense of the Navy Yard at the time of the Japanese attack on 7 December 1941. Sacramento's battle stations were manned by 0800 hours on that day; and, two minutes later, her gun crews opened fire on Japanese aircraft attacking "battleship row" off Ford Island. Her batteries assisted in destroying one enemy plane which crossed her bow 200 yards ahead and later helped down another which was pressing home an attack on Nevada. Her boat crews participated in rescue and salvage operations throughout the aftermath of the battle.

 

Sacramento patrolled the Hawaiian Sea Frontier out of Pearl Harbor until 27 September 1942 when she commenced service as a tender for Torpedo Boat Unit 6, Division 2, of MTBRon 1, at Palmyra Island, south of Hawaii; with additional duty as air-sea rescue vessel for the Naval Air Station. She departed Palmyra on 25 November 1942 for San Diego and duty with the Western Sea Frontier patrol force. There she trained gun crews from December of that year to March 1945. Based at San Francisco thereafter, Sacramento operated on weather patrol and plane guard station for the remainder of World War II.

 

Sacramento was decommissioned on 6 February 1946 at Suisun Bay, Calif., and simultaneously transferred to the War Shipping Administration for disposal. She was sold on 23 August 1947 for mercantile service, initially operating under Italian registry as Fermina.

 

Sacramento was awarded one battle star for World War II service.