Touring the San Francisco Bay Area
We have been visiting our eldest daughter, son-in-law and relatives in the San Francisco Bay Area since June 5, 2017 and are leaving for Taiwan later today on June 12. Here are some notes taken for our visit in the Bay Area.
We visited the USS Hornet Sea, Air, Space Museum in Alameda on June 6. The museum was inside the USS Hornet Aircraft Carrier CV-12 which was commissioned in 1943 and it only took 13 months to build in order to quickly enter into the WWII. It played an important role in the WWII, Cold War peacetime tensions, the Vietnam War and the Apollo program, then was decommissioned in 1970.
Through the professional explanations by the docent (voluntary knowledgeable guide in the museum) who is my wife's uncle and has been working in the museum as a volunteer docent for 15 years in the museum with honor and pride, we toured around many facilities and compartments/ rooms in the Carrier.
The Carrier served as the recovery ship for the three astronauts (Armstrong, Collins & Aldrin) of Apollo 11 after they returned to the earth in 1969. We saw the Apollo Command Module, the footsteps the astronauts remained on the Carrier when they walked on the deck, and the Mobile Quarantine Facility. This facility was used for Apollo 11-14, it was no longer needed after Apollo 14 as there were no germs and bugs found in the Moon! The Carrier also conducted the recovery mission for the Apollo 12.
We saw many aircrafts on hangar deck and flight deck including jet and propeller aircraft such as fighters, torpedo bombers, etc. as well as helicopters (there are about 100 aircrafts attached to a Carrier), also viewed living necessity facilities for officers and crews, i.e. kitchens, dining rooms, lounge, bed rooms, bakery, clinic, pharmacy, dental rooms, etc.
We entered into the ship's navigation and flight deck control areas of the island, viewing the respective commanding rooms for the three highest ranking commanders - Admiral (chief commander for the combat ship group, Carrier is the flag ship), Captain (responsible for the Carrier) and Air boss (responsible for air operations), radar guided weapons, flag man position, etc.
We were down into the engineering spaces and combat related facilities such as dress changing room and ready room for pilots, the engine room (steam turbine, control panel, etc.), jail rooms, catapults, radar room, sonobuoy, ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare), meteorological room, CIC (Combat Information Center), etc.
The flight deck of Carrier is as large as 3 football fields. We enjoyed the spectacular view over the San Francisco Bay and downtown from the deck!
There was a special exhibition that the 100th Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team consisting of Japanese American soldiers who entered combat in the European battlefield in 1943 and 1944 respectively through the end of WWII and had numerous achievements. They became the most decorated unit in U.S. military history for its size and length of service!
It's a very educational tour not only for the Carrier but also the history of WWII!
We learned the history of Campbell as well as the Santa Clara Valley by visiting the Campbell Historical Museum on June 8, walking around the town of Campbell and driving through several areas such as Palo Alto, Saratoga, Fremont, Milpitas, etc. during the week.
The Native Americans had inhabited the land for thousands of years before Spanish occupied the area. Ohlone was the Native American people of the Northern California settled here before Spanish came in 1777.
The area was part of Mexico together with the rest of California and some other states during 1821-1846. After the Mexican-American War, the current California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, etc. were given to the U.S.
California became the 31st state of the U.S. in 1850. Following the "gold rush" in 1849, in 1851 Benjamin and Mary Campbell moved to the current area of Campbell City which was established as a town in 1887.
The economy in the whole Santa Clara Valley has been prosperous by growing orchards from 1850's then building the cannery industry from 1870's. It has become the global epicenter of fruit processing since 1880's thru 1930's! They led the fruit canning industry in the world through the Second Industrial Revolution (1870-1914).
With establishment of Stanford University in 1891, it set an early foundation for the future high-tech industry in the Valley. During 1940-1950, the WWII and Cold War defense spending boosted the high-tech development. In 1959, the first silicon based integrated circuit was invented, it further drove the fast computing era.
It is amazing to see the Valley throughout the journey of "from Canneries to Computers" and it becomes the famous "Silicon Valley" - the center of the high-tech industry in the world. Many major high-tech companies are headquartered here. The high-tech industries in the Valley have been also leading the world through the Third Industrial Revolution (1960-present, also called Digital Revolution)! The Silicon Valley has been expanding to the East Bay Area.
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