October 15, 1992 – San Diego – “The amphibious assault ship, U.S.S. Essex (LHD-2), will be commissioned at Naval Air Station North Island this Saturday at 10 a.m.
Secretary of Defense Richard B. Cheney will deliver the principal address. Other dignitaries making an appearance include Acting Secretary of the Navy, Sean O’Keefe.
The 844-fool, 40,500-ton ship will serve principally as the centerpiece for an amphibious-ready group—transporting, deploying, commanding and supporting all elements of a Marine Landing Force in assault by air and amphibious craft. Secondary missions include operating with an aircraft carrier battle group, providing aircraft command/control facilities for sea control missions. Essex is also outfitted for disaster relief and other humanitarian operations. It has six fully-equipped medical operating rooms, four dental operating rooms and hospital facilities capable of caring for 600 patients.
Fabrication work for the Essex began in July 1988, with its keel being laid in February 1989. The ship was launched on Jan. 4, 1991, On March 16, 1991, Lynne Cheney, wife of Richard Cheney, christened the new ship Essex in honor of four previous ships named Essex—a lineage that extends back to the American Revolution. The Essex sailed into the Gulf of Mexico on March 2, 1992, for its initial pre-delivery at-sea testing. Delivered to the Navy on July 10, 1992, the ship will be commissioned Oct. 17.
The Essex was built utilizing the revolutionary modular construction techniques pioneered by Ingalls Shipbuilding, which produced a ship that was more than 70 percent complete when launched. Modular construction of the ship in five sections featured extensive pre-outfitting of machinery, hardware and equipment prior to those sections being joined and the hull integrated. The Essex required more than 21,000 tons of steel, 400 tons of aluminum, 600 miles of electrical cable, 80 miles of piping and tubing of various types and sizes, as well as 10 miles of ventilation ducting. The hull required 16,200 gallons of paint. The ship has 2.2 acres of usable flight deck area. It is 788 feet long at the waterline, 819 feet long at the flight deck, and has a beam of 106 feet.
It is the first ship specifically designed and built to accommodate the Harrier Short TakeOff/Vertical Landing (STO/VL) jet aircraft and the Navy’s air cushion landing craft (LCAC). The Essex has an internal communication system consisting of 800 telephones, 109 sound-powered telephone systems, 20 internal communication and announcing systems, an internal radio system, three video recorders, 49 receivers, 179 television outlets and a complete audio-visual studio.
For creature comforts, the ship is equipped with onboard recreational facilities such as a library, recreation room, hobby shops and closed circuit television facilities located throughout crew and troop quarters.” (San Diego Union)
Granada Wrecked on the Rocks at Fort Point
October 13, 1860 – San Francisco – “The ill-fated steamer Granada wrecked upon the rocks at Fort Point on the night of October 13, 1860.
The Granada was a vessel of about 1400 tons, six years old, and had been running in the line between Aspinwall and Havana. She was one of the two vessels, the Moses Taylor being the other, purchased by Marshall O. Roberts and intended for the Pacific side of the new line between San Francisco and the Atlantic States by way of Tehuantepec.
She left New York on her way to San Francisco on July 14, 1860, came through the Straits of Magellan, and after 14,000 miles of ocean voyage, without an accident, was wrecked upon endeavoring to enter her harbor of destination. She had taken on board a pilot before passing Point Lobos, and it was doubtless owing to his rashness that the vessel was lost. He attempted to bring her in at evening and during a very heavy fog.
A short time before the vessel struck, he had ordered a full head of steam to be turned on; and the ship was going at full speed when breakers were observed at her bow. The order was given to reverse the engines, but it was too late; she was already firmly imbedded in the sand and on the rocks — and there she remained. There was no freight and no passengers on board but a son of Mr. Roberts. There was no loss of life. Strenuous attempts with steam-tugs and by pumping were made to save the steamer, but all failed and the wreck was dismasted.
It was sold at auction “for the benefit of whom it might concern” for $9,400; and measures were immediately taken to remove the engines, boilers and other valuable parts. The rocky shore where the wreck lies has become famous for wrecks. It is the same where several previous ones took place, among them the Jenny Lind and Golden Fleece, the Chateau Palmer only a few years ago, and the General Cushing. The ship Euterpe went ashore there a few months since, but was fortunately recovered.” (Hutchings California Magazine)