We love history and Fresno certainly has a long one but did you know there were actually three US Navy ships named for Fresno?
The latest USS Fresno was a Newport-class tank landing ship. Construction began on December 16, 1967 at San Diego, California, by the National Steel & Shipbuilding Company. The USS Fresno launched on September 28, 1968, and was commissioned November 22, 1969.
This USS Fresno saw extensive service during the latter stages of the Vietnam War. Assigned to the Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet, and home ported at San Diego, California. It was decommissioned in 1993, and was sunk off the coast of Guam as part of a training mission in 2014.
While that’s cool, we found this great news reel of the launch of the USS Fresno built in 1945 as a Cruiser.
You have to watch this!
Here’s a few details about this USS Fresno:
- It was a Juneau-class light cruiser
- It weighed over 6,000 tons.
- With 33 tons of radar equipment.
- The armored steel was almost 4 inches thick.
- The ship held 47 officers and 706 men.
- The ship was 540 ft long, 50 ft wide.
- With 52 guns!
- The bottle was a California Sparkling Wine from Roma Wine Company.
- Roma was a wine company from Fresno California and touted as “America’s largest selling wine”.
- Their slogan was “Made in California for enjoyment throughout the world.”
- The Sponsor (she broke the bottle on the hull) was Mrs Ruth R Martin, who was nominated by Fresno’s Navy Club.
- Sadly, she the ship was sold for scrap on June 17th 1966. 🙁
We found Mrs. Martin in the 1940 Census. What happened to Roma? We found a few articles but if you have details we’d love to know more.