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New Orleans Class Heavy Cruiser

 Vincennes - Portsmouth UK June 1937
Vincennes - Portsmouth UK June 1937
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Ship Builder Laid Down Launched Completed Fate
CA32 New Orleans New York NY 14 Mar 31 12 Apr 33 15 Feb 34 Stricken 1 Mar 1959
CA34 Astoria Puget Sound NY 01 Sep 30 16 Dec 33 28 Apr 34 Lost 9 Aug 1942
CA36 Minneapolis Philadelphia NY 27 Jun 31 06 Sep 33 19 May 34 Stricken 1 Mar 1959
CA37 Tuscaloosa New York Sbdg 03 Sep 31 15 Nov 33 17 Aug 34 Stricken 1 Mar 1959
CA38 San Francisco Mare Island CA 09 Sep 31 09 Mar 33 10 Feb 34 Stricken 1 Mar 1959
CA39 Quincy Bethlehem, Quincy 15 Nov 33 19 Jun 35 09 Jun 36 Lost 9 Aug 1942
CA44 Vincennes Bethlehem, Quincy 02 Jan 34 21 May 36 24 Feb 37 Lost 9 Aug 1942

Displacement: 10,136 tons / 10,298 tonnes (standard); 12,493 tons / 12,892 tonnes (full load).
Length: 588ft / 179.22m (oa); 578ft / 176.16m, (wl).
Beam: 61ft 9in / 18.82m; Draught: 22ft 9in / 6.93m (mean).
Machinery: 4-shaft Westinghouse geared turbines; 8 Babcock & Wilcox boilers.
Performance: 107,000shp = 32.7kts; Bunkerage: 1,861 tons oil fuel max.
Range: 10,000nm at 15kts.
Protection: 4in-5.75in main belt; 2.25in deck (machinery); magazines, 3in-4in sides, 2.25in crowns; 5in barbettes; turrets, 6in fronts, 2.25in roof, 1.5in sides
Guns: nine 8in (3x3); eight 5in (8xl); eight .5in MGs (8xl).
Torpedoes: nil.
Aircraft: four, two catapults.
Complement: 868.

San Francisco
San Francisco
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This group of ships comprised the three '29 ships originally intended to be of the Portland design on order from Naval Yards, three from FY30, CA37-39, and one from FY31, CA44. The London Naval Treaty of 1930 had allowed the laying down of CA44 in 1934 and only one in 1935. The latter ship was actually built as a modified Brooklyn, while the other three ships, Nos. 40-42, were built as light cruisers of the Brooklyn class.

By the time this class was in design, the extent of the underweight of the first heavy cruisers had become known and their protection was enhanced accordingly. The hull was some 14ft shorter on the waterline, and beam was reduced by over 4ft compared with the Portlands. The reduction in length was achieved by abandoning the unit arrangement of the machinery spaces and reducing the length of each engine room by 4ft. From this reduction followed a saving in the length of the armour belt, which in turn gave a saving in weight which could be used to increase the thickness of the side belt. This was now 5in thick and 4ft 8in deep, with the lower portion 3in thick. The total depth of the belt was 9ft 8in Internally, the forward magazines had 3in to 4in side protection, and the after magazines 3in to 4.7in. Horizontal protection comprised a 2.5in deck, reduced to 1.1in outside the magazines. The barbette armour was increased to 5in, and a 2.5in conning tower was fitted. It was also found possible to give the turrets some protection against 8in gunfire, unlike those of the earlier ships, which could be penetrated by destroyer gunfire. Thus the turrets had 8in faces. Protection represented 15 per cent of normal displacement.

Tuscaloosa and San Francisco received lighter 8in gun and more compact turret (about 40 tons less), and in consequence had their barbette armour increased to 6.5in. However, the displacement had by now risen uncomfortably close to the treaty limit, and the margin had been almost totally eroded. As a result CA39 had her protection reduced, in particular the barbette armour and CA44 followed suit.

The machinery arrangements differed by the placing of all fire rooms forward of the engine rooms, risking 2 engine rooms being disabled by a single torpedo. Otherwise machinery was as the Portlands. Emergency diesel generators were fitted in CA38, 39 and 44 for the first time. Bunkerage and thus range was reduced.

The first 3 ships had Mk 9 or 14 guns, the remainder Mk12.

The abandonment of the unit principle moved the aft funnel forward, and the catapults were fitted abaft it, with the hangers for 4 floatplanes further aft.

New Orleans Class War Records

New Orleans

served with CruDiv 6 in the Pacific throughout her career. With San Francisco, she was one of only two heavy cruisers at Pearl Harbor in December 1941. She was in dockyard hands until January 1942, then carried out convoy duties to Australia and Noumea the following month before returning to Pearl Harbor, then operating in the New Hebrides with TF11. In May 1942 she participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea, and in June was at the Battle of Midway. In July she screened the carrier Saratoga and escorted her following her torpedoing. At the Battle of Tassafaronga, on the night of 30 November, she was a component of TF67, which had been deployed to intercept a force of Japanese destroyers attempting to run supplies to Guadalcanal. During this action, which was disastrous for the USN, she received a torpedo hit which caused two forward magazines to explode and blow off her bow. Everything forward of No. 2 turret disappeared. Escorted by the destroyer Maury, she limped into Tulagi, then sailed via Sydney back to Puget Sound for repair. It was not until the end of August 1943 that she returned to Pearl Harbor In the following months she saw action at Wake island and the Gilbert Islands, and by January 1944 was bombarding Japanese positions at Kwajalein. In February she escorted carrier raids against Truk, during which she and her sister Minneapolis intercepted and sank the small training ship (former cruiser) Katori and the destroyer Maikaze. In April she covered the landings at Hollandia. Mid-summer saw her in action at Saipan, Truk, and at the Battle of the Philippine Sea. In September she bombarded Iwo Jima. At Leyte Gulf in October she was a part of TF34, and as part of a light surface strike force sank the damaged Japanese light carrier Chiyoda and the undamaged destroyer Hatsutsuki. Between December 1944 and March 1945 she was under refit at Mare Island, but arrived at Ulithi on 18 April to participate in the fighting around Okinawa until June 1945. In August she was deployed to Chinese and Korean waters to accept the Japanese surrender, but left for home in mid-November, arriving at San Francisco on 8 December. She was paid off on 10 February 1947 and placed in reserve until stricken on 1 March 1959, being sold for scrapping on 22 September that year. She arrived at Baltimore in December for breaking up by Baltimore Metals Co.

New Orleans with her bow blown off after Tassafaronga
New Orleans with her bow blown off after Tassafaronga
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Astoria

joined CruDiv 7 on entering service, but was reassigned to CruDiv 6 by 1937. She remained with this division until sunk in 1942. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor she was with TF11, en route to Midway Island with marine aircraft reinforcements. Later that same month she was a part of TF14, tasked with attempting to run reinforcements to beleaguered Wake Island. In February 1942 she was part of the screen for the carrier Yorktown during a raid by TF17 against Rabaul, but this had to be aborted. The following month she was attached to the ANZAC force with Louisville, Chicago and Australia (RAN), covering a carrier strike against Papua New Guinea. She participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942, again with TF17, and was at Midway with the same task force, but afterwards joined TF11. By August, however, she had been deployed to Guadalcanal to give gunfire support to the US landings there, and on the night of 8/9 August, when the Japanese counterattacked, she was heavily hit by gunfire and torpedoes off Savo Island in the early hours of 9 August. Serious fires broke out, and these ultimately touched off the forward 5in magazine while the ship was under tow by the destroyer minesweeper Hopkins about midday, whereupon she capsized and sank.

Astoria off Long Beach in the 30s. NH57404
Astoria off Long Beach in the 30s. NH57404
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Astoria, July 1942, exercising off Hawaii
Astoria, July 1942, exercising off Hawaii
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Minneapolis

made a cruise to Europe after commissioning, then joined CruDiv 7 in the Pacific. After Pearl Harbor she carried out patrol duties off Hawaii until February 1942, then operated with Lexington as TF11. She escorted troop convoys from the Panama Canal to the SW Pacific, and was then assigned to the ANZAC force, operating in the Coral Sea and New Hebrides. In March she screened the carrier raid on Papua New Guinea. She was at the Battle of the Coral Sea and at Midway, with TF16. From August she was operating in the Guadalcanal campaign, but while acting as Flagship for TF67 at the Battle of Tassafaronga she was struck by two torpedoes from Japanese destroyers. One blew off the bow as far back as the forward turret, and the other flooded No. 2 fire room. The damaged ship eventually returned to the USA under her own steam for repair. Minneapolis was out of action until September 1943, when she returned to the South Pacific to join TF14 in October for an attack on Wake Island by carrier aircraft and the cruiser's guns. She participated in the occupation of Makin Island during November and December, then in 1944 went to the Marianas and Caroline Islands, bombarding Saipan in June. That same month she was with TF58 at the Battle of the Philippine Sea. After supporting the landings at Leyte, the cruiser participated in the Battle for Leyte Gulf, and then supported landings at Bataan and Corregidor before being ordered to the Okinawa campaign. She remained in this theatre until April 1945, when her guns were worn out and she sailed for the USA for refit. At the end of the war she was in the Philippines, and then deployed to Korea to accept the Japanese surrender. After her return home in 1946 she was finally decommissioned on 10 February 1947, and saw no further service until stricken on 1 March 1959. The ship was sold for scrapping on 14 August the same year, and arrived at Chester, Pennsylvania, for breaking up in July 1960, having been sold to the Union Metals and Alloys Corp.

Minneapolis
Minneapolis
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Minneapolis
Minneapolis
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Minneapolis after Tassafaronga, December 1942. 80G211215
Minneapolis after Tassafaronga, December 1942. 80G211215
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Minneapolis leaving Pearl Harbor after repairs, April 1943. 80GK541
Minneapolis leaving Pearl Harbor after repairs, April 1943. 80GK541
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Tuscaloosa

served with CruDiv 6 initially on the US west coast and the Pacific. At the beginning of 1939 she transferred to the east coast, making a cruise around South America in the spring. On the outbreak of war in Europe she participated in the Neutrality Patrol in the North Atlantic, where she remained on various duties, including the escorting of US troop convoys to Iceland in August 1941. From April 1942 she was based at Scapa Flow with the British Home Fleet for duty on the Arctic convoy routes, but in September she returned to the USA for refit preparatory to taking part in the invasion of North Africa, Operation Torch, in November. As part of the Western Task Force off Casablanca she engaged Vichy French ships in the ensuing action, damaging Fougueux, and avoided torpedo attacks by the submarines Meduse and Antiope. After the success of the landings, the ship returned to the USA for refit, then escorted convoys to North Africa. In September 1943 she was once again in northern waters, screening the US carrier Ranger during raids on Axis bases in Norway. After a sortie to Spitzbergen in October, Tuscaloosa left the Home Fleet and returned to the USA. She was involved in the invasion of Normandy in June/July 1944 as part of Force A, the support force for Utah Beach. Her final operation in European waters was the landings in the south of France in August 1944, following which she was reassigned to the Pacific. In January 1945 she joined the 3rd Fleet at Ulithi, participating in the bombardment of Iwo Jima the following month. In March she was operating off Okinawa, then transferred to the 7th Fleet at Subic Bay in the Philippines. Her final wartime service was in Chinese and Korean waters, and she arrived back in San Francisco on 10 January 1946, being paid off on 13 February. She spent the remainder of her life in reserve, and was stricken on 1 March 1959 and sold to the Boston Metals Company for breaking up on 25 June, arriving in Baltimore for scrapping in the following month.

Tuscaloosa - March 1942
Tuscaloosa - March 1942
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San Francisco

spent the prewar years in the Pacific with CruDiv 6, but in 1938 transferred to the Caribbean. After the start of the war in Europe she took part in the Neutrality Patrol operating in the Caribbean, with Patrol 7/8. However, early in 1940 she was relieved by Wichita and returned to join CruDiv 6 at Pearl Harbor At the time of the Japanese attack she was under refit at the Pearl Harbor Naval Yard, but escaped damage in the raid. Refit work was suspended, and she then operated with TF14 and the carrier Saratoga in the attempts to relieve Wake Island. Later in January 1942 she was part of TF11 (Lexington) in an abortive attempt to attack the same island following its capture by the Japanese. Following this sortie, she remained with TF11 and covered troop convoys between the Panama Canal and the South Pacific before TF11 was assigned to the ANZAC force for an attack on Rabaul in the New Hebrides. This sortie was detected by the Japanese on 20 February, and resulted merely in air-to-air combat between the carrier's aeroplanes and the Japanese. After the Japanese landings in New Guinea, at Lae in the Huon Gulf in early March, San Francisco was part of the combined force of TF11 and TF17 (Lexington and Yorktown) that made a raid on the Japanese landing points and scored some success. In April the ship was employed on convoy duties between the USA and Australia, but when the US forces landed on Guadalcanal San Francisco participated as a unit of TF61, assigned to the Air Support Force, Unit 1. On 7 August she assumed the role of flagship of the cruisers attached to TF18. Towards the end of August she was at the Battle of the eastern Solomons, and in October she was a component of TF64 during the Battle of Cape Esperance, assisting in the sinking of the destroyer Fubuki. That same month she was involved in the Battle of Santa Cruz, as well as seeing action against Japanese positions on Guadalcanal. During operations off Lunga Point, Guadalcanal, on 12 November, the ship was hit by a Japanese aircraft which damaged the after fire control position and caused casualties. Worse followed that night, when San Francisco's force was surprised off Savo Island and the cruiser Atlanta and four destroyers were sunk, and every other ship except the destroyer Fletcher was damaged by Japanese battleships and destroyers. San Francisco was very badly damaged, both her captain and flag officer being among the casualties. However, the damaged cruiser was able to return to the USA, and repairs were carried out at Mare Island. On 26 February 1943 she returned to the South Pacific, but in April was assigned to the Aleutians with TF16, where she remained for about four and a half months, taking part in the bombardments of Attu and Kiska and their recapture. Following these operations in the North Pacific, she sailed south once more and joined TU14.2.1 in attacks on Wake Island at the beginning of October. By November she was involved in operations in the Gilbert Islands, providing fire support for the Makin landings, and in December she was at Kwajalein. In 1944 San Francisco joined TF58, seeing action at Kwajalein, Hollandia, Saipan, Guam and at the Battle of the Philippine Sea. In July she returned to the USA for refit, and was out of service until late October, when she sailed for the South Pacific once more. By the end of November the ship was at Ulithi as Flagship of CruDiv 6, and then served in the Philippines and South China Sea before participating in operations around the Bonin Islands and Iwo Jima. San Francisco was also involved in operations at Okinawa and later in the Philippines again. After the war she served in China and Korea, but returned to the USA on 12 January 1946, paying-off on 10 February 1947. San Francisco saw no further service, and remained in reserve until stricken on 1 March 1959. On 9 September she was sold to Union Mineral and Alloy Corp, New York, for breaking up, and was scrapped at Panama City, Florida, in 1959.

San Francisco - pre 1943
San Francisco - pre 1943
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San Francisco - December 1942
San Francisco - December 1942
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San Francisco - off Mare Island, 15 February 1943. 19N41052
San Francisco - off Mare Island, 15 February 1943. 19N41052
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San Francisco - off Mare Island, 13 October 1944. 19N73588
San Francisco - off Mare Island, 13 October 1944. 19N73588
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Quincy

commissioned for CruDiv 8 in the Atlantic, and in the summer of 1936 served in the Mediterranean during the Spanish Civil War. After her relief by Raleigh in September she returned to the USA, and in the spring of 1937 transferred to the west coast to join CruDiv 7. Her service in the Pacific continued until she was reassigned to the Atlantic at the beginning of 1939 where she made a cruise around South America and was employed on training duties. The same pattern continued until the spring of 1941, where she carried out Neutrality Patrols in the mid and North Atlantic, as well as convoy escort duties across the South Atlantic to Cape Town and north to Iceland. After a refit at New York Navy Yard between March and May 1942, the ship was reassigned to the Pacific and joined TF18. On 7 August she was in action off Lunga Point, Guadalcanal, but on 9 August she was sunk in action off Savo Island by a force of Japanese cruisers and destroyers.

Quincy, 1937. NH50314
Quincy, 1937. NH50314
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Quincy and Tuscaloosa near the Strait of Magellan, May 1939. NH83591
Quincy and Tuscaloosa near the Strait of Magellan, May 1939. NH83591
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Quincy, good detailed view looking forward from the secondary conn, May 1942. 19N 30725
Quincy, good detailed view looking forward from the secondary conn, May 1942. 19N 30725
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Quincy, New Caledonia, 3 August 1942. 80GK563
Quincy, New Caledonia, 3 August 1942. 80GK563
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Quincy illuminated by Japanese searchlights during the battle of Savo Island. NH50346
Quincy illuminated by Japanese searchlights during the battle of Savo Island. NH50346
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Vincennes

, after a cruise to Scandinavia and Europe, joined CruDiv 7 on the west coast, but in April 1939 transferred to the east coast. After the outbreak of war in Europe she took part in the Neutrality Patrol, then in March 1942 went to the Pacific. She was a part of the force for the Tokyo Raid in April, then spent a period under refit at Pearl Harbor until mid-July, when she went to the Guadalcanal area with TG62. She, too, was one of three sister ships sunk at the Battle of Savo Island in the early hours of 9 August 1942.

nice close up view of Vincennes
nice close up view of Vincennes
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Vincennes at high speed, February 1937. NH95303
Vincennes at high speed, February 1937. NH95303
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Vincennes
Vincennes
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Vincennes passing as Yorktown is abandoned. 80G21664
Vincennes passing as Yorktown is abandoned. 80G21664
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Vincennes July 1942 exercising off Hawaii with Astoria
Vincennes July 1942 exercising off Hawaii with Astoria
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