FIRST - Pacific Coast torpedoed ship in WWII - Crescent City, CA
Posted by: thebeav69
N 41° 45.035 W 124° 11.795
10T E 400515 N 4622775
Quick Description: The SS Emidio WWII memorial is located on the corner of Front St and H St in Beach Front Park in Crescent City, CA.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 9/11/2012 4:26:58 PM
Waymark Code: WMF8T8
Welcome to the SS Emidio WII Memorial. This memorial contains a portion of the front bow of the SS Emidio, a petroleum tanker, that became the FIRST torpedoed Pacific Coast ship of WWII by a Japanese submarine, on Dec 20, 1941 off the Eureka coast. The ship drifted and came to rest in Crescent City Harbor days later, 85 miles north of where it was attacked.
In 1951 this small portion of the ship was monumented and made a historical marker. With the exception of a short period of time away from this location for restoration a few years ago, this memorial has stood here as a reminder to all who pass by it of the proximity that WWII was brought, almost literally to our doorsteps.
There is a plaque monumented on the ship hull that says the following:
THIS MEMORIAL IS DEDICATED TO THE FOLLOWING CREWMEN
OF THE SS EMIDIO, WHO DIED IN THE ATTACK BY
A JAPANESE SUBMARINE ON DECEMBER 20, 1941
O.S. STEWART S. MCGILLIVERAY
O.S. FREDERIC W. POTTS
3RD ASSISTANT B WINTERS
FIREMAN KENNETH K. KIMES
MESSMAN R.W. PENNINGTON
PLACED BY THE ST. GEORGE REEF LIGHTHOUSE MUSEUM PROJECT
IN COOPERATION WITH THE MERCHANT MARINE VETERANS OF WORLD WAR II.
HULL RESTORATION DONE BY VOLUNTEERS
OF THE ST. GEORGE REEF LIGHTHOUSE
The following excerpt is from the Military Museum website and explains what happened that fateful day on December 20, 1941:
On 20 December 1941, 25 miles west of Cape Mendocino, the Imperial Japanese Navy's I-17 shells and then fires two torpedoes at the 6, 912-ton Socony-Vacuum oil company tanker EMIDIO returning empty from Seattle to San Francisco. A patrolling PBY "Catalina" flying boat of Patrol Squadron (VP) 44 spots the EMIDIO dead in the water with people going over the sides and getting into lifeboats. The PBY also spots the I-17 on the surface and starts an attack. As depth charges are dropped, Commander Nishino Kozo dives and makes his escape. The EMIDIO, hit in the stern, does not sink. She is finally run aground off Crescent City, California, 85 miles north of where she was torpedoed. The Coast Guard Cutter SHAWNEE rescues 31 survivors.
That same day, Headquarters, Combined Fleet's Intelligence Bureau learns of the pending arrival of the battleships USS MISSISSIPPI, NEW MEXICO and the IDAHO on the West Coast. Vice Admiral Shimizu orders the I-17 along with the I-9 and the I-25 to intercept the battleships that are expected to arrive at Los Angeles on 25 December.
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