September 15, 1946 – San Francisco – “William H. Turnquist, 60, veteran captain of the Matson Navigation Co., survivor of the German sinking of the Lusitania off the Irish coast, and a veteran of World Wars I and II, died September 13 in a local hospital after suffering a heart attack on board the ship he had been assigned to command on the San Francisco-Australia run.
Turnquist was a native of Stockholm and had lived in the United States for 40 years. He started his working career as a seaman and was a quartermaster on the Lusitania when the ship was torpedoed. He was rescued after many hours in the waters of the Irish Sea. He was later assigned to a naval ship and participated in many campaigns.
During World War II, he held the rank of captain and commanded an assault transport. He was the skipper of the Calawilli of the Los Angeles Steamship Line on the Los Angeles to Honolulu run when in 1931 the Matson Line absorbed the Los Angeles company. Turnquist was commanding the S.S. Mariposa on the San Francisco-Australia run when World War II broke out. He reported to the Navy and served during the entire conflict.
He reported back to Matson when peace came and had been given command of the S.S. White Squall, which was being put into shape at the Consolidated shipyard here. Turnquist was in charge of the work and had been here for a month.
He lived at 1900 Vallejo Street in San Francisco and is survived by his widow, Mrs. Novelle Turnquist, a son, William H. Turnquist of San Francisco, and a step-sister, Miss Jean Turnquist of Bridgeport, Conn. Funeral services are pending.” (Long Beach Independent)
Navy Patrol Craft Sunk in Collision
September 11, 1944 – San Diego – The checkered career of the U.S. Navy submarine chaser U.S.S. PC-815 ended at 6:47 a.m. when she sank in five minutes after colliding with the destroyer U.S.S. Laffey in a dense fog off San Diego.
Lying in 90 feet of water, the wreck was declared a hazard to navigation and blown up by Navy divers two months later.
One man from the PC-815 was reported missing.
Earlier in her brief career, the ship was commanded by pulp science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, later founder of the Scientology movement.
Ship York Arrives in SF After 170 Days at Sea
September 18, 1849 – San Francisco – After 170 days at sea, the ship York arrived in San Francisco from Boston with 38 members of the Pacific Mining Company, one of the company of adventurous ‘Argonauts’ who traveled from New England to California during the height of the Gold Rush.
Shortly after the York’s arrival in San Francisco, one of her passengers, Thomas R. Campbell of Weymouth, Nova Scotia – “a valuable and much-esteemed member of the Pacific Company,” died on board of “cholera morbus.”
The York stayed on the West Coast and made a single voyage to Australia from San Francisco before she returned in 1851 to be transformed into one of the dozens of floating warehouses permanently positioned along the city waterfront.
In 1882, she was owned by the Bolton, Barron & Co. merchant house and anchored near the California Street Wharf as a store for chili flour. (Weekly Alta California)
Plans Afoot For New Southwestern Ship Launch
September 26, 1919 – Los Angeles – “Officials of the Southwestern Shipbuilding Company are preparing for the launching of the 8800-ton steel freighter, West Niger, next Sunday morning at 11:30 o’clock.
A Los Angeles girl is to christen the ship as it slides from the ways at the San Pedro plant. It is the- twelfth sea-going vessel to be launched from the Southwestern yard.” (Los Angeles Herald)