Saturday, June 17, 2017

Governor Sinks USS McCulloch -- June 17, 2017

San Francisco Call, 06-January-1907

Earlier this week, oceanographers confirmed the discovery of the wreck of the Coast Guard Cutter McCulloch, which sank on 13-June-1917 after colliding with the Pacific Coast Steamship Company's coastwise liner SS President near Point Conception.  One crewman was severely injured and died in a hospital onshore.  This article, from the 13-June-1917 Tacoma Times, describes the wreck.  


{Untied Press Leased Wire.)

SAN FRANCISCO. June 13.—The U. S. naval cutter McCulloch was sunk by the Pacific Steamship Co.'s steamer Governor in a collision off Point Arguello early today, according to a wireless received here shortly before noon.  The McCulloch's crew were taken off before the vessel went down and there was no loss of life. One seaman was injured.

The vessels collided at 7:26 a. m., and the McCulloch sank at 8:06. A near panic on the Governor followed, a number of passengers fearing that vessel had been badly damaged also.

The McCulloch had a displacement of 1415 tons and was 219 feet long and was built in 1897 at Boston. During the Spanish war she was used as a dispatch boat with the Asiatic fleet and was with Commodore Dewey's squadron at the battle of Manila bay. It was the McCulloch which carried the first news of Dewey's victory to the cable office at Hong Kong. She had been in the coast guard service, but several months ago was taken over by the navy department. During her career as a revenue cutter she participated in more sea rescues than any other vessel on the coast. Capt. H. C. Thomas was in command.

Eight officers and 64 men comprised her crew and she carried four guns.

The Governor had a displacement of 6250 tons and is 392 feet long, and carries a crew of 140. She runs between San Diego, San Francisco and Tacoma. The Governor reached here from the Sound Sunday and left Monday for San Diego. She was built in 1907 at Camden, N. J.

Running in a heavy fog off the point, the Governor is said to have rammed the cutter almost before the crews of either vessel knew the ships were upon each other.

With the passenger steamer standing by, the crew took to the life boats. Seamen, life boats and all were picked up by the Governor, which then resumed her course for San Pedro harbor, where she is due to dock at 5 o'clock this afternoon. At exactly 35 minutes after the crash the McCulloch plunged into the sea.

Officials of the 12th naval district have ordered a special board of inquiry to meet at San Pedro at once.  Headquarters of the Pacific Steamship Co. in Tacoma had received no official notice or report of the collision at an early hour Wednesday afternoon. The Governor carried a large number of  Tacoma and Seattle passengers.

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