The Adventure Continues… World War II

Although I was completely unaware of its existence during my two visits to the Queen Mary in 1974 and 1985, the giant crane featured in the first half of this 1993 episode of California’s Gold was sitting a mere five miles away. It was that very same crane (built in 1941) which lifted the “Spruce Goose” from its original hanger on its way to being displayed inside the large dome you may have seen in last Monday’s post. Even after the Long Beach Navy Shipyard was closed down in 1997, the useful life of the massive crane was still not finished; in 1996 it was purchased by the Panama Canal Commission and moved to the Panama Canal Zone, where it continues in operation to this day.

Huell goes back in time to learn about two fascinating, yet obscure, California footnotes to World War II: a German-made crane which is the largest self-propelled floating crane berthed at Long Beach Naval Shipyard, and an incident in 1942 involving a Japanese submarine that shelled the oil field of Ellwood in Goleta in Santa Barbara County.

(Click on the linked image below to see the video.)

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