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Cleveland Class Light Cruiser

Santa Fe with TF 58
Santa Fe with TF 58
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Ship Builder Laid Down Launched Completed Fate
CL55 Cleveland New York Sbdg 01 Jun 40 01 Nov 41 15 Jun 42 Stricken 1 Mar 1959
CL56 Columbia New York Sbdg 19 Aug 40 17 Dec 41 29 Jul 42 Scrapped 18 Feb 1959
CL57 Montpelier New York Sbdg 02 Dec 40 12 Feb 42 9 Sep 42 Stricken 1 Mar 1959
CL58 Denver New York Sbdg 26 Dec 40 04 Apr 42 15 Oct 42 Scrapped 29 Feb 1960
CL59 Amsterdam New York Sbdg 01 May 41 Completed as CVL22 Independence
CL60 Santa Fe New York Sbdg 07 Jun 41 10 Jun 42 24 Nov 42 Stricken 1 Mar 1959
CL61 Tellahasse New York Sbdg 02 Jun 41 Completed as CV123 Princeton
CL62 Birmingham Newport News 17 Feb 41 20 Mar 42 29 Jan 43 Stricken 1 Mar 1959
CL63 Mobile Newport News 14 Apr 41 15 May 42 24 Mar 43 Stricken 1 Mar 1959
CL64 Vincennes Bethlehem, Quincy 07 Mar 42 17 Jul 43 21 Jan 44 Stricken 1 Apr 1966
CL65 Pasadena Bethlehem, Quincy 06 Feb 43 28 Dec 43 08 Jun 44 Stricken 1 Dec 1970
CL66 Springfield Bethlehem, Quincy 13 Feb 43 9 Mar 44 09 Sep 44 Stricken 30 Jul 1978
CL67 Topeka Bethlehem, Quincy 21 Apr 43 19 Aug 44 23 Dec 44 Stricken 30 Jul 1978
CL76 New Haven New York Sbdg 11 Aug 41 Completed as CVL24 Belleau Wood
CL77 Huntingdon New York Sbdg 17 Nov 41 Completed as CVL25 Cowpens
CL78 Dayton New York Sbdg 29 Dec 41 Completed as CVL26 Monterey
CL79 Wilmington New York Sbdg 16 Mar 42 19 Jun 43 Completed as CVL28 Cabot
CL80 Biloxi Newport News 09 Jul 41 23 Feb 43 31 Aug 43 Stricken 1 Sept 1961
CL81 Houston Newport News 04 Aug 41 20 Dec 43 Stricken 1 Mar 1959
CL82 Providence Bethlehem, Quincy 27 Jul 43 28 Dec 44 15 May 45 Stricken 30 Sept 1978
CL83 Manchester Bethlehem, Quincy 25 Sep 44 05 Mar 46 29 Oct 46 Stricken 1 Apr 1960
CL84 Buffalo Federal, Kearny not laid Cancelled 16 Dec 1940
CL85 Fargo New York Sbdg 11 Apr 42 Completed as CVL27 Langley
CL86 Vicksburg Newport News 26 Oct 42 14 Dec 43 12 Jun 44 Stricken 1 Oct 1962
CL87 Duluth Newport News 9 Nov 42 13 Jan 44 18 Sep 44 Scrapped 14 Nov 1960
CL88 Federal, Kearny not laid Cancelled 16 Dec 1940
CL89 Miami Cramp 02 Aug 41 08 Dec 42 28 Dec 43 Stricken 1 Sept 1961
CL90 Astoria Cramp 06 Sep 41 06 Mar 43 17 May 44 Stricken 1 Nov 1969
CL91 Oklahoma City Cramp 08 Dec 42 20 Feb 44 22 Dec 44 Stricken 15 Dec 1979
CL92 Little Rock Cramp 06 Mar 43 27 Aug 44 17 Jun 45 Stricken 22 Nov 1976
CL93 Galveston Cramp 20 Feb 44 22 Apr 45 28 May 58 Stricken 21 Dec 1973
CL94 Youngstown Cramp 04 Sep 44 notlaunched Cancelled 12 Aug 1945
CL99 Buffalo New York Sbdg Completed as CVL29 Bataan
CL100 Newark New York Sbdg Completed as CVL30 San Jacinto
CL101 Amsterdam Newport News 03 Mar 43 25 Apr 44 08 Jan 45 Stricken 2 Jan 1971
CL102 Portsmouth Newport News 28 Jun 43 20 Sep 44 25 Jun 48 Stricken 1 Dec 1970
CL103 Wilkes Barre New York Sbdg 14 Dec 42 24 Dec 43 1 Jul 44 Stricken 15 Jan 1971
CL104 Atlanta New York Sbdg 25 Jan 43 06 Feb 44 03 Dec 44 Scuttled 1 October 1970
CL105 Dayton New York Sbdg 08 Mar 43 19 Mar 44 07 Jan 45 Stricken 1 Sept 1961

Displacement: 11,744 tons / 11931 tonnes (standard); 14,131 tons / 14,357 tonnes (full load).
Length: 610ft 1in / 185.95m (oa); 600ft / 182.88m (wi).
Beam: 66ft 4in / 20.22m; Draught: 24ft 6in / 7.47m (mean).
Machinery: 4-shaft General Electric geared turbines; 4 Babcock & Wilcox boilers.
Performance: 100,000shp = 32.5kts; Bunkerage: 2,100 tons oil fuel max.
Range: 11,000nm at 15kts.
Protection: 3.5 - 5in main belt; 2in deck; 6in barbettes; turrets, 6.5in (faces), 3in (top & sides); 5in CT.
Guns: twelve 6in (4x3); twelve 5in (6x2); twenty 1.1in (5x4).
Torpedoes: nil.
Aircraft: four, two catapults.
Complement: 1,285.

Birmingham - showing the original rounded bridge, she was torpedoed, damaged by explosion and hit by Kamikaze aircraft but survived the war
Birmingham - showing the original rounded bridge, she was torpedoed, damaged by explosion and hit by Kamikaze aircraft but survived the war
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Two 8,000 ton cruisers armed with 8in or 9 6 in. DP guns were projected in June 1938, to be included in a tentative FY 40 programme. Further projections envisaged some 20 or so such ships being completed in a subsequent ten year programme. By May 1939 this design had developed into a scheme with 10 x 6 in. twin DP turrets, with a secondary armament of 5 quadruple 1.1 in. There was a single Catapult aft on the center line, and two banks of triple tubes were included. Visually, the ship was recognizable as that which was to become the Cleveland. However, the design was badly overstretched and had no margin on the 8,000 ton Treaty limit. Demands from the president for more gun power, and other requests for increased power supplies, soon pushed the ship to 8,200 and then 8,400 tons, the only option for keeping the displacement down to 8,000 tons being the elimination of virtually all protection. The war in Europe caused Britain to suspend adherence to the 8,000 ton limit, and, since the 6 in. gun was no longer of immediate interest to the USN, the designed was dropped. Time was pressing, however, and a new cruiser was badly needed, so on 2nd October 1939 the decision was taken to base the new ships on Helena, with two extra twin 5 in. replacing one 6 in. triple turret.

Vicksburg
Vicksburg
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The new ship was of the same length as Helena, that have the beam increased by 4ft 7in as a result of serious doubts about the stability in the design stage. Experience in the European war had demonstrated the power of ground mines and the danger to ships from underwater damage, as well as the effectiveness of air attack. Solutions to these problems all involved increased weight, particularly in the case of additional AA guns, when the the added weight was high up. Eventually the inclination of the side armour was altered, as were the hull lines, thereby increasing beam. Nevertheless, stability was to remain critical in these ships throughout their lives, and was probably one of the main reasons for their brief post war service despite their relative youth.

Internally, the unit machinery principle was retained, but the adoption of high pressure Stephen boilers allowed reduction in the length of the fire rooms. However, the machinery spaces were enlarged a little over of those of Brooklyn to avoid that design's cramped engineering compartments. A triple bottom was adopted for greater security and the double bottom extended up to the armoured deck, enclosing all magazines.

The main machinery comprised the usual four shaft geared turbine installation, developing 100,000shp. Cruising turbines, included in the original design, were not in fact fitted after CL57.

For the main armament the 6 in. MK16 was retained, in triple turrets, two each fore and aft. Secondary armament comprised 12 x 5 in. DP in 6 twin MK 32 mountings, two on the centerline superfiring on the No. 2 and No. 3 turrets, and the remainder on the beam. This disposition allowed a very respectable heavy AA defence from almost any attack angle. As originally planned, the light AA consisted only of .5 in. MGs, which the European war had quickly shown to be inadequate. Stability considerations precluded the shipping of the new quadruple 1.1 in. without ballasting, but was finally adopted in the face of strong opposition to the reducing of the 5 in. battery. The 40 mm Bofors was adopted but was initially too heavy consequently they were given twin 40 mm. No torpedoes were carried. The aircraft outfit included the standard 4 floatplanes. There were 2 catapults aft on the quarterdeck, below which was the hangar. Orders were placed over the period 1940 - 1943. However, in 1942 9 ships were reordered as light carriers.

Cleveland Class War Records

Cleveland

participated in Operation Torch, the North African landings, in November 1942, as part of the Western Task force, returning to the USA at the end of the month to be transferred to the Pacific for CruDiv 12. She was involved in the final stages of the Guadalcanal campaign, and took part in the Battle of Rennell Island on the night of 29/30 January 1943 as part of TF18. On 6 March, while on a sortie to bombard an airfield in the Kula Gulf, she and her sisters Montpelier and Denver engaged and sank the destroyers Minegumo and Murasame off Kolombangara. During the rest of 1943 she operated in the Solomons, supporting the landings in New Georgia in June/July with TF36.2, and participating in the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay on 1/2 November. By the summer of 1944 Cleveland was in action in the Marianas, Saipan, and she participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea with TF58. February 1945 saw her in the Philippines at the Palawan landings with TG74.2, and at Mindanao in April. In June she was covering the Brunei landings, then Balikpapan, but in July she moved to the Okinawa campaign and then operated in the South China Sea until the end of the war. After her return to the USA in November 1945 she served briefly on training duties, but paid off on 7 February 1947. Cleveland was stricken on 1 March 1959 and sold for breaking up on 18 February 1960, to be scrapped at Baltimore, Maryland.

Columbia

sailed for the Pacific on 9 November 1942, and also joined CruDiv 12 at Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides in December. She participated in the final battles for Guadalcanal and, with TF18, in the Battle of Rennell Island at the end of January 1943. She remained in the Solomon Islands, and in June covered the landings on New Georgia with TF36.2, shelling Shortland and later Munda. Towards the end of September she was involved in the blockade off Kolombangara, when she narrowly escaped torpedoes from a Japanese submarine. In November Columbia covered the landings on Bougainville, which led to the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay on the night of 1/2 November In this action Columbia was one of the ships of CruDiv 12 (Cleveland, Columbia, Denver and Montpelier) involved in the sinking of the cruiser Sendai. The same cruisers, less Denver, shelled positions on Bougainville in December. Operations in the Solomons continued until 4 April 1944, when the ship left for a refit at San Francisco, not returning to the Solomons until August. She covered the Palau landings in September, and the following month was a unit of the Southern Fire Support Group for the Leyte landings, when she participated in the Battle of the Surigao Straits. She operated in the Philippines into early 1945, but off Lingayen, when part of TG77.2, she was heavily hit by a kamikaze on 6 January, which disabled both after turrets. A second hit on 9 January knocked out most of her fire control gear. After provisional repairs at Leyte, the ship returned to the west coast of the USA for full repairs. She arrived back in the south-west Pacific in time for the Balikpapan landings, then transferred to the Okinawa operations in the summer of 1945. After the war Columbia returned home to pay off, and was decommissioned on 30 November 1946. She remained in reserve until sold on 18 February 1959 for scrapping at Chester, Pennsylvania.

nice overhead view of Columbia
nice overhead view of Columbia
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Columbia bombarding the Shortland Islands, 1 November 1943. 80-G-44058
Columbia bombarding the Shortland Islands, 1 November 1943. 80-G-44058
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Montpelier

arrived at Noumea for service in the Pacific theatre with CruDiv 12 on 18 January 1943, assuming the role of flagship of the division on 25 January. A few days later she participated in the Battle of Rennell Island, then operated in the Solomons and the Bismarck Archipelago, including the battle of Empress Augusta Bay on 2 November (when she was damaged), until the summer, when she moved to support operations in the Mariana Islands. She bombarded Saipan from 14 June as part of TG58.3, then took part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea before continuing operations around Saipan, Tinian and Guam until August, when she returned to the USA for refit. Montpelier did not return to action off Leyte until the end of November, then supported the Mindoro landings, followed by those at Lingayen Gulf in January 1945. Thereafter she saw action at Corregidor, Palawan and Mindanao before covering the landing operations at Balikpapan in June/July 1945. For the remainder of the war the ship operated in the East China Sea, then participated in the occupation of Japan. She returned home to pay off, and decommissioned on 24 January 1947, remaining in reserve until stricken on I March 1959. Montpelier was finally sold for scrapping on 22 January 1960, and broken up at Baltimore, Maryland.

Denver

arrived at Efate in the New Hebrides on 14 February 1943, to join CruDiv 12 with TF68. In March she participated in the bombardment of the airfield at Vila on Kolombangara, when two Japanese destroyers were sunk (see Cleveland). At the time of the landings on New Georgia she was with TF36.2 and, in company with her three sisters above, shelled Shortland Island, where there was a Japanese base. On 1/2 November Denver was one of the cruisers involved in the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, where she received some damage from gunfire, after which she supported the landings at Cape Torokina on Bougainville. However, on 13 November the ship was hit by an aerial torpedo while engaged on this task, and the after engine room and after fire room were flooded. She was towed into Espiritu Santo for temporary repairs, then despatched back to Mare Island for full repairs. These lasted from January 1944 until the summer, the ship arriving back at Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands on 22 June. From here she moved north to take part in the bombardment of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, followed by the attack on Palau in September 1944 with TF31. On 22 September Denver was one of the first US ships to enter Ulithi Lagoon, the Pacific Fleet's future main base. In October she moved southeast to Leyte for the assault, and took part in the Battle of the Surigao Straits. Thereafter she operated in the Philippines, covering the landings at Mindoro, Lingayen and Palawan until May 1945. Then followed operations in the Bay of Brunei and Balikpapan in June as part of TG74. Upon completion of this task she returned to the Okinawa campaign to join TF95. After the Japanese surrender the cruiser entered Japanese home waters to evacuate Allied POWs, and on 20 October sailed for home. Postwar she was briefly used for training before being decommissioned on 7 February 1947. Denver, like all her unconverted sisters, never recommissioned and was sold for scrapping on 29 February 1960, arriving at Kearny, New Jersey, to be broken up in November that year.

Amsterdam

CL59 was one of the nine hulls converted into light carriers, commissioning as Independence CVL22. The others were Tallahasse (Princeton CVL23); New Haven (Belleau Wood CVL24); Huntington (Cowpens CVL25); Dayton (Monterey CVL26); Fargo (Langley CVL27); Wilmington (Cabot CVL28); Buffalo (Bataan CVL29); and Newark (San Jacinto CVL30).

Santa Fe

arrived at Pearl Harbor on 22 March 1943 to join CruDiv 13, and the following month was assigned to the Aleutians campaign, taking part in the bombardment of Kiska in July. She returned to Pearl Harbor at the beginning of September to be attached to TF15 for carrier raids on Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands (September), to TF14 for similar raids on Wake Island in October, to TG53.4 for the Gilbert Islands landings in November and to TG50.3 for raids on Kwajalein in December. After a brief return to the USA at the turn of the year, Santa Fe continued operations in the Marshall Islands, supporting the landings at Kwajalein at the end of January with Fire Support Group 53.5 and, with TG58.1, covering the carrier raid on Truk on 17 February. In March the ship moved south-east to the Bismarck Archipelago for the landings at Emirau, where she formed part of the Fire Support Group. Operations in support of the Hollandia landings followed, together with raids on Truk by the carriers before the cruiser returned to Kwajalein at the beginning of May. By June Santa Fe had moved to the Marianas for operations at Saipan, Tinian, Guam and the Pagan Islands. By July this included attacks on Iwo Jima, Yap and Ulithi before the ship returned once again to Eniwetok. Her next operational area was the Philippines, where, with TG38.3, she covered carrier attacks against these islands and Formosa. The landings at Leyte saw her still with this Group, attacking targets on Luzon, and she remained in the Philippine theatre into 1945. By February 1945 she was with TG58.4 with the carriers Yorktown and Randolph for raids on Tokyo and Iwo Jima, then carried out bombardment tasks against the latter target. However, in March she returned to the west coast for refit and did not leave the USA again until early August, by which time the war was all but over. Santa Fe was decommissioned on 19 October 1946 and remained in reserve until stricken on 1 March 1959. The ship was sold for breaking up on 9 November 1959, and arrived at Portland, Oregon, for scrapping in 1960.

Birmingham

operated in the Atlantic until the autumn of 1943, during which time she escorted troop convoys with TF65 from the USA to the Mediterranean in preparation for the landings in Sicily. She was present at the landings, Operation Husky, in July, but in August returned to the USA and transferred to the Pacific to join CruDiv 13, escorting the carriers of TF15 in attacks on Tarawa by mid-September 1943. By November she was in the Solomons, covering operations at Cape Torokina, when, on the night of 8/9 November, she was damaged by bombs and a torpedo from Japanese aircraft. Repair at Mare Island extended into February 1944, the ship returning to the south Pacific to join TF58 later that month. Over the next few months she escorted the carrier raids on the Marianas - Saipan, Tinian and Guam as well as raids against the Philippines. In October Birmingham was with TF38 for attacks against Okinawa. In the Philippines, however, she was badly damaged on 24 October when the carrier Princeton, herself a Cleveland hull, was hit by Japanese dive bombers and blew up with the cruiser still alongside. This time repairs lasted until January 1945. On her return to the operational theatre in March 1945 she participated in the Iwo Jima landings and the Okinawa campaign, only to be damaged yet again on 4 May 1945, this time by a kamikaze. Repairs were effected at Pearl Harbor, and she resumed service in August off Okinawa. After the war she returned to the USA to pay off, and was decommissioned on 2 January 1947. Birmingham was stricken on 1 March 1959 and was scrapped at Long Beach, California, from December that year.

Birmingham
Birmingham
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Mobile

joined CruDiv 13 in the Pacific and was a part of TFl5 for the attack on Marcus island on 31 August 1943, followed by another on Tarawa in mid-September and one on Wake Island on 5/6 October, when the cruiser shelled positions on the island. By the beginning of the next month Mobile was in the Solomons for the landings at Cape Torokina, Bougainville, with TG52.3, after which she joined TG53.4 for the landings in the Gilbert Islands. The year finished with raids on Kwajalein as part of TG50.3 in December. She was back in these waters in January as part of Fire Support Group 53.6 for the Kwajalein landings, and in February she covered a carrier mid on Truk. In March the cruiser was in the Bismarck Archipelago for the assault on Emimrau, following which she provided fire support at the Hollandia landings in April. By June she was involved in the carrier raids on Saipan, Guam and Tinian in the Marianas by TF58, and in September, now with TF38, she took part in the raids on the Visayas, in the central Philippines. Further attacks were made against airfields on Formosa and in Luzon in October. At the Battle off Cape Engano on 24/25 October the ship was a part of TF34 when the carrier Chiyoda, crippled by aircraft, was finished off by Mobile and her consorts (Santa Fe, New Orleans and Wichita, together with destroyers). The early part of 1945 was spent under refit, but Mobile returned to the south Pacific to participate in the Okinawa campaign with TF51 until May, then in August escorted a carrier raid against Wake Island. At the end of hostilities she was present in Sagami Bay for the Japanese surrender. After trips to and from the USA with repatriated troops and POWs, Mobile decommissioned on 9 May 1947. Stricken on 1 March 1959, the ship was sold to Zidell Explorations Inc. for scrapping on 16 December 1959, and left in tow for the breaker's yard at Portland, Oregon, on 19 January 1960.

Mobile
Mobile
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Vincennes

assumed the role of Flagship CruDiv 14 after completion, and served in Caribbean and home waters until mid-April, when transferred to the Pacific, arriving at Pearl Harbor on 6 May. In June she joined TF58 for raids on the Mariana Islands, operating with TG58.4 (Essex), and participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. In August she was a component of TG38.2 for raids on the Bonin Islands. In the autumn Vincennes operated against Mindanao, Luzon, Okinawa and Formosa, covering the carrier forces. In October she was at Leyte Gulf, but at the beginning of 1945 operated in the South China Sea against targets in Indo-China and Okinawa. Most of her remaining months of hostilities were spent covering carrier raids against Okinawa and the Japanese mainland until she withdrew to the USA for refit in June. After the war she carried out a number of repatriation cruises to the Pacific before paying off on 10 September 1946. Vincennes was stricken on 1 April 1966, subsequently being used as a target for missiles, and was finally sunk on 28 October 1969.

Vincennes in 1944
Vincennes in 1944
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Pasadena

did not enter service until the summer of 1944, sailing for the Pacific to join CruDiv 17 on 25 September. Based at Ulithi, she operated with TF38, carrying out attacks against Formosa and Luzon until the end of 1944. In 1945 she operated in the South China Sea and off IndoChina, participating in the first major carrier raid against Tokyo and supporting the Okinawa landings, with TF58. For the remainder of the war Pasadena covered carrier strikes against the Japanese mainland, Okinawa, and the offshore islands. After the war she remained in commission until 12 January 1950, and was finally stricken on 1 December 1970, arriving at Zidell Exploration Inc., Tacoma, Washington, for scrapping in November 1972.

Springfield

served in the Atlantic until February 1945, then went to the Pacific for CruDiv 17, arriving at Ulithi on 6 March. With TG58.3 she participated in the raids on Kyushu, and in April joined the Okinawa campaign. After a spell in the Philippines she joined the carrier forces attacking targets on the Japanese mainland until the end of the war. Postwar, the ship was decommissioned on 31 January 1950, then converted into a guided missile cruiser, CLG 7, and recommissioned on 2 July 1960. She served in that role until paid off again on 15 May 1974 and stricken from reserve on 30 September 1978.

Topeka

arrived at Pearl Harbor on 2 May 1945 and assumed the task of Flagship, CruDiv 18, joining operations off Okinawa with TG38.1 for the closing stages of that campaign. She participated in the final attacks on the Japanese mainland, and was present at the surrender in Tokyo Bay. Postwar, Topeka remained operational until decommissioned on 18 June 1949. After a period in reserve she was another of the class to be selected for conversion into a guided-missile cruiser, recommissioning as CLG 8 on 26 March 1960. She was finally paid off on 5 June 1969 and stricken from reserve on 1 December 1973. She was sold to Southern Metals for breaking up on 28 March 1975.

Biloxi

served with CruDiv 13 in the Pacific, and in the early part of 1944 participated in the landings in the Gilbert Islands, beginning with Kwajalein in January. The following month she was with TF58.1 for a carrier raid on Truk, and later that month saw action in the Marianas, Palaus, Yap and Ulithi before supporting the Hollandia landings by shelling Japanese strongpoints. June saw Biloxi in the Marianas once more, in preparation for the landings on the islands in the group, which began on 14 June (Saipan). She was in action at the Battle of the Philippine Sea, then served in the Bonins and during the landings on Guam in August. For the rest of the summer the cruiser supported operations in the Palaus, Yap and Ulithi, as well as the Bonins again and the Vulcan Islands. By October, however, she was in the Philippine theatre, operating at Luzon and involved in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, when she was a part of TG38.2. By the turn of the year she was in the South China Sea, and next month covered carrier raids against the Japanese mainland and offshore islands. During March she was at the landings on Iwo Jima, and also became involved in the Okinawa campaign, being slightly damaged by kamikaze attack on 27 March. Biloxi left the south Pacific to refit in the USA at the end of April, not returning until July. She participated in a final raid on Wake Island before the end of hostilities, then took part in the occupation of Japan. She paid off on 29 October 1946, to be finally stricken on 1 September 1961 and broken up at Portland, Oregon, the following year.

Houston

commissioned for CruDiv 14 in the Pacific, and by June I944 was escorting carrier groups in the Marianas, the Bonins and during the Battle of the Philippine Sea. In October she operated off Okinawa and Formosa, but on 14 October, while operating with TG38.1, the ship was hit by an aircraft torpedo which exploded under the hull amidships. The damage was severe, with all four machinery spaces flooded and extensive secondary flooding, as well as much distortion of the armoured deck. It was estimated that her displacement following the torpedoing was some 20,900 tons. She was towed away towards Ulithi, but received another torpedo hit on 16 October that caused petrol fires aft and almost resulted in her loss. Nevertheless, fair weather allowed her to reach Ulithi safely, where temporary repairs were made. On 27 October the ship left for the east coast, and was under repair at New York Navy Yard until October 1945. In 1947 she made a deployment to the Mediterranean, but decommissioned on 15 December that year. Stricken on 1 March 1959, the ship was scrapped at Maryland, in 1960.

Houston - badly damaged 14 October 1944 off Okinawa, following hit by aircraft torpedo causing extensive flooding. She was hit again on 16 October and almost lost. Photo provided by John Pospisil.
Houston - badly damaged 14 October 1944 off Okinawa, following hit by aircraft torpedo causing extensive flooding. She was hit again on 16 October and almost lost. Photo provided by John Pospisil.
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Houston after the second torpedo hit. 19N110859
Houston after the second torpedo hit. 19N110859
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Providence

did not see service in WW2because she only commissioned in May 1945. She paid off on 14 June 1949 and was later selected for conversion into a CLG. She recommissioned on 17 September 1959 as CLG 6, and served until decommissioned on 31 August 1973. After a further period in reserve, she was stricken on 30 September I978 and sold to National Metal for scrapping in March 1981.

Providence
Providence
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Manchester

was another ship not to see war service, in this case because she did not commission until the autumn of 1946. She was the last of the class to remain in commission in an unconverted state, and saw service during the Korean War, making three operational tours. She was paid off on 27 June 1956 and stricken from reserve status on 1 April 1960. Sold for scrapping on 31 October that year, the ship was scrapped at Richmond, California, in 1961.

Vicksburg

joined CruDiv 14 on completion, but was used for training duties until the end of 1944 and did not reach Pearl Harbor until mid January 1945. She joined TF54 in February for the assault on Iwo Jima, where she took part in the preliminary shore bombardments. In March, as part of TF58.1, she covered the carrier strikes against Kyushu, the southernmost of the main Japanese islands, and against targets in the Inland Sea. She was still with TF58 when attacks were launched against Okinawa in April, but in July was with TF95 when sorties were made into the East China Sea as well as in support of the Okinawa operations. She also participated in the attacks on Wake Island in July and August, and, at the surrender, joined the fleet in Japanese waters. She left Japan in mid-September, arriving back in the USA on 15 October. Her postwar service was brief, and the ship paid off on 30 June 1947. She was not converted to a CLG, and remained in reserve until stricken on 1 October 1962, then being used for test purposes and finally sold for scrapping on 25 August 1964 and broken up by the National Metal & Steel Corp at Terminal Island, California, where she arrived on 19 September 1964.

Duluth

served on the Atlantic coast until ordered to the Pacific, sailing for Pearl Harbor on 7 April 1945. A unit of CruDiv 18, she served as escort to the carrier groups of the 5th Fleet. However, she was damaged in the typhoon incident of 5 June and retired to Guam for repairs, returning to TF38 in mid-July for the final carrier raids against the Japanese mainland. On 16 September she entered Tokyo Bay, but left for home at the beginning of October. Postwar she was operational in the Pacific fleet until decommissioned on 25 June 1949. Duluth was sold for breaking up on 14 November 1960.

Miami

commissioned at the end of December 1943 and operated on the east coast until 16 April 1944, when she sailed for the Pacific, arriving at Pearl Harbor on 6 May. She was a member of CruDiv 14, and in June participated in the carrier raids against the Mariana and Vulcan Islands as a unit of TG58.4. Strikes were carried out against Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima, Chichijima, Hahajima and Pagan. In August and September Miami was with TG38.2 for raids on Palau, Mindanao and Luzon, and in October the raids were against targets in Formosa and Okinawa, as well as the Philippines, in preparation for the landings at Leyte. She was still involved in attacks on targets in the Philippines in December, operating from Ulithi and supporting the Luzon landings with TG38.3 and covering raids against Formosa and the Southern Ryukus. Further raids were made against the Indo-Chinese coast and Hong Kong in January 1945. February saw the first major raid against Tokyo, when she was with TG58.1, and on 2 March she was one of a group of cruisers (Vicksburg, Vincennes and San Diego) shelling the Ryukyu Islands. In March she was also involved in screening the carrier raids against Kyushu and the Inland Sea, but by April the main thrust of attacks was against Okinawa. However, that month the ship was recalled to the USA for refit, which was not completed until a few days before the end of the war. Miami sailed for Pearl Harbor at the end of August, and participated in occupation duties until the autumn. On 10 December 1945 the ship arrived back on the west coast, and on 30 June 1947 decommissioned to reserve. Miami was stricken on 1 September 1961 and sold for scrapping on 26 July 1962, to be broken up at Richmond, California.

Miami in heavy seas, 17 Feb 1944
Miami in heavy seas, 17 Feb 1944
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Astoria

joined CruDiv 14 after completion, but in the summer of 1944 was reassigned to CruDiv 17. By December she was with TG38.2 in support of the Luzon landings in the Philippines, the carriers hitting targets in China and Formosa. In February/March the ship was part of TG58.5 for attacks against Tokyo, the Japanese mainland, and in support of the Iwo Jima landings. The following month she was one of the units committed to the Okinawa campaign until July, when attacks were resumed on the Japanese mainland. These were continued to the end of the war. Postwar Astoria remained in service until 1949, when she was decommissioned on 1 July. She was another of the class never to recommission, and was finally stricken on 1 November 1969. Astoria was sold for scrapping on 12 January 1971 to the Nicolai Joffe Corp. of Beverley Hills, California, and broken up at Richmond, California.

Astoria, October 1944
Astoria, October 1944
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Oklahoma City

arrived at Pearl Harbor at the beginning of May 1945 to serve with the 3rd Fleet off Okinawa and on carrier group screening in the final raids against the Japanese mainland until the end of the war. After occupation duties, she returned home and served until decommissioned on 30 June 1947. Selected for conversion to a guided-missile cruiser, she recommissioned on 7 September 1960 as CLG 5, and served until paid off on 15 December 1979. Sunk during a weapons training exercise, Tandem Thrust 99, 26 March 1999.

Little Rock

saw no war service, and continued in postwar operation until paid off on 24 June 1949. On 23 May 1957 she was reclassified as CLG 4 and converted to a guided-missile cruiser, recommissioning on 3 June 1960. She finally paid off again on 15 December 1979 and was stricken on 22 November 1976. The ship was towed to Buffalo, New York, on 15 July 1977 to become a museum ship.

Galveston

was suspended on 24 April 1946, when virtually complete, being towed straight into reserve. On 4 February 1956 she was reclassified as GLG 93, and finally commissioned on 28 May 1958 as CLG 3. She remained in service until decommissioned on 25 May 1970, being stricken on 21 December 1973.

Amsterdam

joined CruDiv 18 in the Pacific in June 1945 and saw some limited action against the Japanese mainland in the closing stages of the wan She was decommissioned on 30 June 1947, and remained in reserve until stricken on 2 January 1971.

Portsmouth

commissioned just before the end of the war, but saw no operational service. She remained in commission until paid off on 15 June 1949, then languished in reserve until stricken on 1 December 1970.

Wilkes-Barre

commissioned in the summer of 1944 and transferred to the Pacific in October, arriving at Pearl Harbor in mid-November. After carrying out training, she joined CruDiv 17 at Ulithi in December and sailed with TF38 to operate off Formosa and the Philippines on 30 December 1944. The early part of January was spent in the South China Sea, and at this time the ship participated in the Lingayen landings. Towards the end of the month she covered carrier raids against targets in Formosa again, then returned to Ulithi, when TF38 became TF58. During February she escorted the Tokyo raid with TG58.3 and supported the operations off Iwo Jima, Chichijima and Hahajima. March saw another raid against Japan, targets on the southern island of Kyushu being hit by the carrier's aircraft. By April TG58.3, of which Wilkes-Barre was a part, had been committed to the Okinawa campaign, which continued throughout the month. During the summer she continued to screen the carrier groups on their raids against the Japanese mainland until the surrender. The cruiser arrived in Tokyo Bay on 3 September 1945. After service in Japanese waters the ship sailed for Korea on 9 November, then transferred to China, being based at Tsingtau until the end of the year. She arrived back on the US west coast on 31 January 1946. Her postwar service was brief, the ship being decommissioned on 9 October 1947. After more than twenty years in reserve, she was stricken on 15 January 1971 and finally sunk off the Florida Keys as a breakwater and artificial reef on 12/13 May 1972, following underwater tests.

Wilkes Barr off San Pedro, January 1946. NH98602
Wilkes Barr off San Pedro, January 1946. NH98602
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Atlanta

joined CruDiv 18 and saw limited active service with TF38 in the final attacks on Okinawa, the Ryukus and the Japanese mainland before participating in occupation duties until the end of September. She paid off on 1 July 1949 and was stricken from reserve on 1 October 1962. Reclassified as IX304 for experimental purposes on 15 May 1964, the ship was used for shock testing until stricken once more on 1 April 1970. She was finally scuttled on 1 October 1970.

Atlanta
Atlanta
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Dayton

was another of the class just too late to see much war service, participating in the final carrier raids on the Japanese mainland from July 1945. She was back in US home waters by November that year, and subsequently saw service in the Mediterranean until decommissioned on 1 March 1949. Stricken from reserve after more than twenty years, she was sold to Boston Metals and broken up at Baltimore, Maryland, in 1962.

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