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Baltimore Class Heavy Cruiser

St Paul
St Paul
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Ship Builder Laid Down Launched Completed Fate
CA68 Baltimore Bethlehem, Quincy 26 May 41 28 Jul 42 15 Apr 43 Stricken 15 1971
CA69 Boston Bethlehem, Quincy 31 Jun 41 26 Aug 42 30 Jun 43 Stricken 4 Jan 1974
CA70 Canberra Bethlehem, Quincy 03 Sep 41 19 Apr 43 14 Oct 43 Stricken 31 Jul 1978
CA71 Quincy Bethlehem, Quincy 09 Oct 41 23 Jun 43 15 Dec 43 Stricken 1 Oct 1973
CA72 Pittsburgh Bethlehem, Quincy 03 Feb 43 22 Feb 44 10 Oct 44 Stricken 1 Jul 1973
CA73 St Paul Bethlehem, Quincy 03 Feb 43 16 Sep 44 17 Feb 45 Stricken 31 Jul 1978
CA74 Columbus Bethlehem, Quincy 28 Jun 43 30 Nov 44 08 Jun 45 Stricken 9 Aug 1976
CA75 Helena Bethlehem, Quincy 09 Sep 43 28 Apr 45 04 Sep 45 Stricken 1 Jan 1974
CA122 Oregon City Bethlehem, Quincy 08 Apr 44 09 Jun 45 16 Feb 46 Stricken 1 Nov 1970
CA123 Albany Bethlehem, Quincy 06 Mar 44 30 Jun 45 11 Jun 46 Stricken
CA124 Rochester Bethlehem, Quincy 29 May 44 28 Aug 45 20 Dec 45 Stricken 1 Oct 1973
CA125 Northampton Bethlehem, Quincy 31 Aug 44 27 Jan 51 07 Mar 53 Stricken 31 Dec 1977
CA126 Cambridge Bethlehem, Quincy 16 Dec 44 not launched Cancelled 12 Aug 1945
CA127 Bridgeport Bethlehem, Quincy 13 Jan 45 not launched Cancelled 12 Aug 1945
CA128 Kansas City Bethlehem, Quincy not laid Cancelled 12 Aug 1945
CA129 Tulsa Bethlehem, Quincy not laid Cancelled 12 Aug 1945
CA130 Bremerton New York Sbdg 01 Feb 43 2 Jul 44 29 Apr 45 Stricken 1 Oct 1973
CA131 Fall River New York Sbdg 12 Apr 43 13 Aug 44 01 Jul 45 Stricken 19 Feb 1971
CA132 Macon New York Sbdg 14 Jun 43 15 Oct 44 26 Aug 45 Stricken 1 Nov 1969
CA133 Toledo New York Sbdg 13 Sep 43 05 May 45 27 Oct 46 Stricken 1 Jan 1974
CA135 Los Angeles Philadelphia NY 28 Jul 43 20 Aug 44 22 Jul 45 Stricken 1 Jan 1974
CA136 Chicago Philadelphia NY 28 Jul 43 20 Aug 44 10 Jan 45 stricken 1 Jan 1974
CA137 Norfolk Philadelphia NY 27 Dee 44 Not launched Cancelled 12 Aug 1945
CA138 Scranton Philadelphia NY 27 Dec 44 Not launched Cancelled 12 Aug 1945

Displacement: 14,472 tons / 14,703 tonnes (standard); 17,031 tons / 17,303 tonnes (full load).
Length: 673ft 5in / 205,25m (oa); 664ft / 202.39m (wl).
Beam: 70ft 10in / 21.59m; Draught: 24ft / 7.32m (mean).
Machinery: 4-shaft General Electric geared turbines; 4 Babcock & Wilcox boilers.
Performance: 120,000shp = 33kts; Bunkerage: 2,250 tons oil fuel max.
Range: 10,000nm at 15kts.
Protection: 4in-6in main belt; 2.5in deck; 6in barbettes; tur-rets, 8in front, 3in roof, 2in-3.75in sides.
Guns: nine 8in (3x3); twelve 5in (6x2); forty-eight 40mm
(11x4, 2x2); twenty-four 20mm.
Torpedoes: nil.
Aircraft: four, two catapults.
Complement: 2,039

Helena in 1945
Helena in 1945
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Initial design studies for a new heavy cruiser were started as early as September 1939, as an alternative to the abandoned 8,000-ton CL55 design. The last heavy cruiser, Wichita, suffered from stability problems, and it was intended that any new design would address this defect. Thus the new design took the Wichita and increased the beam by two feet. However, the General Board wished to see a secondary battery of 5in / 38 cal in twin gun-houses and the machinery rearranged as per the Clevelands. The waterline belt was to be extended forward, but otherwise the protective scheme was to be as in Wichita. Wartime experience in Europe had demonstrated the danger of the magnetic mine, and this as well as other war feedback led to the tweaking of the design as time went by, so that, when the contracts were placed for the first four ships on 1 July 1940, the ships differed somewhat from first intentions. Four more ships, CA72 to CA75, were ordered on 9 September 1940, and a final batch of sixteen ships, CA122 to CA138, on 7 August 1942 for FY43.

The hull dimensions ended up rather more than just a modification of Wichita, as length was increased by no less than 65ft and, more importantly, beam by over 9ft to the obvious benefit of stability, which allowed a much greater margin for future growth. The protective scheme, which was not too dissimilar from Wichita, did not benefit to the full extent of the weight saving from the earlier ship, as much of that tonnage was put to strengthening the hull. A 6in main belt tapered to 4in at its lower edge, covered the machinery spaces, reducing to 3in tapered to 2in at the lower edge fore and aft of the machinev spaces. From CA72 the main belt was extended forward from frame 57 to frame 52, to protect the radio rooms. The main armoured deck was 2.5in thick, with end bulkheads between 5in and 6in thick. A conning tower with a wall thickness of 6in was incorporated in the original design, but this was omitted from the first six ships and later ships had a conning tower 6.5in thick. the total weight of armouring was 1,790 tons, representing 12.9 per cent of the standard displacement.

The main machinery was increased in power over that of Wichita, since the new ship's displacement was that much greater. Thus she was given 120,000shp, an increase of 20 per cent for a designed speed of 34kts. There were other more fundamental differences, however, one of the most important being the use of high-pressure steam boilers, which had been adopted for Cleveland, although this heavy cruiser had slightly reduced pressures in comparison with the light cruiser. The boilers were each in their own fireroom, with the forward pair separated from the after pair by the forward turbine room on the unit principle. A further advance was the greatly increased generating capacity, for better damage control and to cater for the spiralling demands of RPC.

The 8in gun was the 55cal Mk 12 or Mk 15 in triple turrets having an elevation of 41 degrees. These guns were similar to those of the earlier heavy cruisers. The secondary armament of 5in/38 was mounted in six twin gunhouses disposed in the pattern of Cleveland, while the light AA originally planned at four of the quadruple 1.1in mountings, was changed early on to 4 quad 40mm. No torpedoes were carried. Four aircraft could be carried, with two catapults but the hangar could accommodate only two aircraft.

Baltimore Class War Records

Baltimore

and her three sisters (Boston, Canberra and Quincy) formed CruDiv 10 in the Pacific as they completed. Baltimore was in TG52.2 for the Makin landings in November 1943, and in the following month was part of carrier force TG50.1 which made a raid on Kwajalein. In January she was with TF58 as a part of TG58.4 for attacks on the Marshall Islands, hitting Wotje, Maloelap and Eniwetok between 29 January and 6 February 1944 in support of the landings on Eniwetok. In February she was involved in the raid on Truk by TF58. Towards the end of March the ship was in the Palaus, Yap and Ulithi, before participating in operations in support of the Hollandia landings. As a unit of a force of nine cruisers with destroyer support, she bombarded the Satawan Islands, south of Truk, on 30 April. Then, in May, Baltimore was with TG58.2 for raids on Marcus and Wake Islands. Raids on the Marianas and Vulcan Islands followed in June, TG58.1 attacking Iwo Jima, Chichijima and Hahajima between 11 and 15 June. In this month, too, she was involved in operations connected with the Saipan landings and the Battle of the Philippine Sea. In July she returned to the USA for refit, and did not rejoin operations until November, when assigned to the Third Fleet at Ulithi as part of TG38.1. She then became involved in raids against Luzon, Formosa, the Chinese coast and Okinawa until the latter end of January 1945, before participating in the first major raids against the Japanese mainland from 10 February with TG58.5. Following these operations, the ship screened attacks on Iwo Jima and then returned to raids against Japan itself and targets in the Inland Sea in March. April saw her back in the Okinawa campaign, where she remained until the late summer. After the surrender she undertook some repatriation trips and remained in Japanese waters until February 1946. Baltimore paid off on 8 July 1946, but recommissioned for postwar service, although she did not participate in the Korean War. She was finally decommissioned on 31 May 1956, and was stricken from reserve on 15 February 1971 and sold to Zidell Explorations Inc. of Portland, Oregon, for breaking up.

Baltimore, October 1944
Baltimore, October 1944
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Baltimore, October 1944
Baltimore, October 1944
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Boston

joined TF58 in January 1944 and supported the landings on Kwajalein, Majuro and Eniwetok in February. At the end of March she was operating in the Palaus and Western Carolines before covering the Hollandia landings between 21 and 24 April. At the end of the month she was with the group of cruisers and destroyers that bombarded the Satawan Islands. Marcus and Wake islands were attacked by carriers screened by the cruiser during May, and raids were made against the Mariana Islands the following month, when the ship was with TG58.1. June also saw the landings on Saipan and operations in the Bonins, as well as the Battle of the Philippine Sea. The Guam landings followed, and in August and September she was part of TG38.1, making raids on the Palaus, Mindanao, Luzon and the Visayas. By October she was with the same group operating off Formosa and the Philippines, then participated in the Battle for Leyte Gulf as a unit of TG38.1, whose carrier aircraft struck at Admiral Kurita's force, sinking the cruiser Noshiro and a destroyer The end of the year saw raids on Northern Formosa and the Ryukyu Islands, especially Okinawa. From the beginning of 1945 she participated in the carrier raids on the Chinese coast, and in the first raids against Tokyo and the Inland Sea. On 1 March Boston returned to the west coast for refit at Long Beach, which was completed in early June. In the final months of the war she covered the carrier raids against targets on the Japanese mainland. After the end of hostilities the ship returned to the USA and paid off on 29 October 1946. In 1952 she began a conversion to a guided-missile cruiser, CAG 1, and recommissioned on 1 November 1955. Her final decommissioning was on 5 May 1970, before being stricken on 4 January 1974. She was sold to Southern Metals for breaking up on 28 March 1975.

Canberra

was so named in honour of the Australian cruiser lost in action at Savo Island in 1942. She arrived in Pearl Harbor on 1 February 1944 to begin her operational service in the Pacific theatre, joining TF58 for the landings on Eniwetok. From March she was a unit of several carrier task forces, screening Yorktown and Enterprise during raids on the Palaus, Yap, Ulithi, Truk and Satawan, and shelling the latter islands as part of a cruiser and destroyer force on 30 April. In May, as part of TG58.2, she carried out raids on Marcus Island and Wake Island. By June she was in action in the Marianas and Vulcan Islands, now with TG58.1, making attacks on Guam, Iwo Jima and other islands, and taking part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. She operated in the Philippines in August, with TF38 as part of TG38.1, when Palau, Mindanao and the Visayas were attacked. In October Canberra participated in carrier strikes against Formosa, Okinawa and Luzon, but during Japanese counterattacks the ship was hit in No. 4 fire room by an aircraft torpedo, and because of a damaged propeller shaft another fire room and both turbine spaces were flooded. She was successfully towed to Ulithi (by Wichita for two days, then by tugs), then to Manus for makeshift repair. Full repairs were carried out at Boston Navy Yard between February and October 1945. She served only briefly postwar, and was decommissioned on 7 March 1947. Reclassified as CAG 2 on 4 January 1952, Canberra recommissioned on 15 June 1956 for further service. She was finally paid off on 2 February 1970 and stricken on 31 July 1978. The ship was sold to National Metal for breaking up.

Quincy

was the only ship of the class to see much wartime service in the Atlantic, serving with TF22 from March 1944. The next month she sailed for the UK and joined the 12th Fleet in European waters for the invasion of Normandy, where she was a component of Force A, the support force for Utah Beach. After carrying out shore bombardments against German positions until early July, the ship was ordered to the Mediterranean to operate from Palermo that month. For the landings in the south of France, Operation Dragoon, she was part of the Support Force as a unit of TG86.4, carrying out shore support bombardments. However, the ship returned the USA in September to refit at Boston until October, after which she carried out a cruise to the Great Bitter lakes with the President aboard for conferences with Arab leaders. Quincy arrived back in home waters in February 1945 and was reassigned to the Pacific Fleet, joining CruDiv 10 off Ulithi on 11 April 1945. For the last few months of the war she screened carrier task forces, bombarded Okinawa and attacked the Japanese islands with TF58. In July she began a second tour of carrier raids against Japanese mainland targets, then participated in occupational duties in Japanese waters after the end of hostilities. On her return to the USA she was paid off on 19 October 1946, but recommissioned on 31 January 1952 for the Korean War, serving with the Seventh Fleet. She was finally paid off on 2 July 1954 and stricken from reserve on 1 October 1973, being sold in 1974 to American Ship Dismantlers for breaking up at Portland, Oregon.

Quincy in 1944
Quincy in 1944
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Pittsburgh

commissioned for CruDiv 19 as Flagship in the Pacific, arriving at Ulithi on 13 February 1945, where she joined TG58.2. That month she covered attacks on Iwo Jima and the Japanese Islands, and, in the following month, raids on Nansei Shoto and Kyushu. During a raid on Japan on 14 March, Japanese bombers badly hit the carrier Franklin, which was escorted away by Pittsburgh. Between March and May the ship was assigned to the Okinawa campaign, but early in June she lost all her bow as far back as the forward 8in turret during a typhoon, but managed to put into Guam, where provisional repairs were made. Full repair in the USA was carried out at Puget Sound, and lasted until September 1945. The ship paid off on 7 March 1946, but recommissioned once more on 25 September 1951, though she was not deployed to the Korean War. She paid off for the last time on 28 August 1956 and remained in reserve status until stricken on 1 July 1973.

Pittsburgh, Guam, June 1945 - after loosing her bow in a typhoon.
Pittsburgh, Guam, June 1945 - after loosing her bow in a typhoon.
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St Paul

also served with CruDiv 19 in the Pacific, but as she only arrived at Pearl Harbor in early June 1945 she saw only limited operational service with TF38 during the final carrier raids on the Japanese mainland between July and August. Postwar the ship served in Chinese waters until the end of 1946, then returned home, but carried out a second tour at Shanghai between March and November 1947. St Paul made three operational tours off Korea during that war, and fired the last salvoes there in July 1953. She remained operational into the early 1970s, including service off Vietnam, until decommissioned on 30 April 1971. After a period in reserve the ship was stricken on 31 July 1978 and scrapped from June 1980.

Columbus

commissioned just before the end of the Pacific war and saw no active service. Postwar she remained operational until paid off on 8 May 1959 for conversion into a guided-missile cruiser, CG 12. After recommissioning on 1 December 1962, she served in that role until paid off on 31 January 1975. She was finally stricken on 9 August 1976 and was sold for breaking up the following August.

Columbus
Columbus
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Helena

also commissioned too late for war service during WW2, but did see service in the Korean War. She remained operational until paid off on 29 June 1963, to be stricken on 1 January 1974. On 13 November 1974 the ship was sold to the Levin Metal Corp. of San Jose, California, for scrapping.

Helena
Helena
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Bremerton

served postwar, being decommissioned on 9 April 1948. On 23 November 1951 she recommissoned for the Korean War then remained operational until paid off again on 29 July 1960. She was stricken from reserve on 1 October 1973.

Fall River

had only a brief active career, being decommissioned on 31 October 1947 and spending the next 24 years in reserve. She was stricken ion 19 February 1971 and sold to Zidell Explorations for scrapping at Portland, Oregon, in 1972.

Macon

commissioned in the final days of WW2and remained operational postwar until 12 April 1950. She recommissioned again shortly afterwards because of the Korean War, but remained in the Atlantic with periods in the Mediterranean until paid off again on 10 March 1961. She was stricken from reserve on 1 November 1969.

Toledo

commissioned well over twelve months after the end of WW2. She did, however, see action during the Korean conflict. She was paid off on 21 May 1960 and stricken from reserve on 1 January 1974. On 13 October 1974 the ship was sold to the National Metal and Steel Corp. of Terminal Island, California, for breaking up.

Los Angeles

commissioned before the end of WW2, but was too late to see active service. On 21 January 1947 she was decommissioned, and remained in reserve until recommissioned for the Korean War on 27 January 1951. She made two tours off Korea, then remained in service until paid off for the last time on 15 November 1963 and stricken on 1 January 1974.

Chicago

commissioned some six months before Los Angeles and arrived at Pearl Harbor to join CruDiv 21 in time to participate in the final bombardments of the Japanese mainland between July and August 1945. After further service in Japan and China, she was decommissioned on 6 June 1947. On 1 November 1958 the ship was redesignated CG 11 and converted to a guided missile cruiser, recommissioning on 2 May 1964. She operated in that role until paid off once more on 1 March 1980.

Chicago
Chicago
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The three ships completed to the modified design did not commission until 1946. Oregon City had a very brief service life and was decommissioned on 15 December 1947. She spent over twenty years in reserve before being stricken on 1 November 1970. Albany was one of the class converted into a guided-missile cruiser, and was finally decommissioned on 29 August 1980. Rochester served during the Korean War and remained operational until decommissioned on 15 August 1961. She was stricken on 1 October 1973, then sold to Zidell Explorations of Portland, Oregon, for breaking up.

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