Pacific Battlefleet Welcomes Returning CITY OF LOS ANGELES (90 Years Ago In LA)

Extracts from Chapter Two: October 2, 1922

Hollywood to Honolulu: the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company (a book) by Gordon Ghareeb and Martin Cox

Marking the 90th anniversary of the start of the first regular passenger and freight service from Los Angeles – Honolulu, I have serialized some extracts from our book Hollywood to Honolulu: the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company by Gordon Ghareeb and Martin Cox. (Published by Steamship Historical Society of America 2009)

Departing Honolulu, SS CITY OF LOS ANGELES, Author’s collection

About the same time that the CITY OF HONOLULU tied up in Oahu a boxing match was underway on the afterdecks of the eastbound CITY OF LOS ANGELES.  It was just one of many shipboard diversions staged for the entertainment of the exclusive passengers.  Two days later on October 2nd 1922, the big steamer rounded Los Angeles light and slowly steamed between two rows of anchored warships in the outer harbor.  The welcoming event had been planned by United States Navy Admiral Eberle and LASSCO officials as a grand finale to a wildly successful maiden voyage.  As the CITY OF LOS ANGELES made her way through the boulevard of Pacific battlefleet ships, the bands onboard each played “Home, Sweet Home” while whistles bellowed in salute throughout the port.  Members of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce that had remained in California were taken out on submarine chaser No.306 to greet their returning fraternity aboard the liner.  Tying up alongside berth 156 at noon the passengers strutted ashore amid a sea of flower leis, ukuleles and American flags.  Mayor Cryer summed up the voyage by saying that, “Hawaiian businessmen have shipping connections of many years’ standing and some are directors in firms having interests in other ports – but they welcomed us just the same and are ready to do business with us.”  The reference to Matson and San Francisco was unmistakable but the moment belonged to Los Angeles and its aggressive band of entrepreneurs.

LASSCO baggage sticker, author’s collection

End of part six

Book Review: Hollywood to Honolulu: The story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company

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