The following account of the demolition of the "Pacifica" statue was published in the Oakland Tribune on Thursday, Jan. 22, 1942:

PACIFICA, EXPOSITION SYMBOL OF PEACE, GROVELS IN DUST

Pacifica is dead.

The peace in the Pacific which she symbolized in her reign over the 1939-40 Golden Gate International Expositions had long preceded her in death.

However, men already look ahead to the years "after the war ... "

"We are planning to rebuild Pacifica in metal to become a Western Statue of Liberty," Jules Charbeneau, managing director of the Pacifica Preservation Committee, declared when the big statue was taken down yesterday.

"We're hoping to mount her on a 30-foot pedestal atop a promontory 125 feet high midway between Treasure and Yerba Buena islands after peace has returned to the Pacific."

There was scant ceremony ... only matter-of-fact preparations ... for Pacifica's death.

Workmen punched holes through her chest and heart and drove cables through them. These, in turn, were attached to a waiting Army truck.

Pacifica was in the way.

She had to bow to war's insistent command. Naval barracks were to take her place in the storied Court of the Seven Seas.

Capt. Ross Culp of the Navy stood by to give the signal to "haul away."

Beside him was Chief Bugle Master G.M. Wagstaff of San Leandro to sound Pacifica's requiem -- "Taps."


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Captain Ross gave the hand signal. Cables grew taut and a truck motor, coupled in compound low, rumbled in the distance.

Pacifica swayed slightly. A small shower of plaster cascaded off her shoulders. Then she tilted forward slowly, ponderously, as though to kneel in prayer to the peace that was no more.

Then the spell was broken as some wag shouted, "Timber!"

The massive statue gained momentum in the fall and crashed with clouds of plaster billowing around her broken body.

Pacifica was dead.

When the dust had cleared away, members of the American Women's Volunteer Service posed with defense posters in front of pile of rubble. They were Mrs. T.C. Howe Jr., Mrs. Robert Lapham Jr., Mrs. Algernon Gibson, Miss Sheyla Johnson, Miss Alice Hemmings, and Miss Nan Tucker, all attired in trim uniforms.

Contact Gary Peterson at 925-952-5053. Follow him at Twitter.com/garyscribe.