USS Saint Louis (CL-49) bombarding Guam, 21 July 1944

USS Saint Louis (CL-49) bombarding Guam, 21 July 1944


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US Navy Light Cruisers 1941-45, Mark Stille .Covers the five classes of US Navy light cruisers that saw service during the Second World War, with sections on their design, weaponry, radar, combat experience. Nicely organised, with the wartime service records separated out from the main text, so that the design history of the light cruisers flows nicely. Interesting to see how new roles had to be found for them, after other technology replaced them as reconnaissance aircraft [read full review]


USS Saint Louis (CL-49) bombarding Guam, 21 July 1944 - History

10,000 Tons
608.3' x 61.7' x 19.8'
15 x 6"/47 cal guns
8 x 5"/38 cal guns
16 x 1.1/75 cal AA guns
12 x 20mm AA guns
1 x depth charge rack

At Norfolk, underwent fitting out and completed her shakedown cruise on October 6, 1939. Over the next eleven months, commenced neutrality patrol operations across the West Indies to the North Atlantic. Departed September 3, 1940 with an inspection board to evaluate naval and air bases from Newfoundland to British Guiana, that the US Navy gained access in exchange for lend lease to the British then returned to Norfolk on October 27.

On November 9, departed for the Pacific, transiting the Panama Canal on November 14 then proceeded to Pearl Harbor arriving December 12. Participated in fleet maneuvers and conducted patrols during the winter of 1940 and 1941 then to Mare Island for overhaul then returned to Pearl Harbor on June 20.

Two months later, she sailed west with other cruisers of the Battle Force patrolled between Wake, Midway, and Guam then, proceeded to Manila, whence she returned to Hawaii at the end of September. On September 28, returned to Pearl Harbor for maintenance.

Pearl Harbor Attack
On December 7, 1941 moored to the pier at Southeast Loch inside Pearl Harbor. At 07:56, Japanese planes were sighted by observers on board St. Louis. Within minutes, the ship was at general quarters, and her operable antiaircraft guns were manned and firing on the attackers. By 08:06, preparations for getting underway had begun. At about 08:20, one of the cruiser's gun crews shot down its first enemy torpedo plane. By 09:00, two more enemy aircraft had joined the first. At 09:31, St. Louis moved away from the pier and headed for South Channel and the open sea. Fifteen minutes later, her 6 inch guns, whose power leads had been disconnected, were in full operating order.

As the cruiser moved into the channel entrance, she became the target of a midget submarine. The enemy's torpedoes, however, exploded on striking a shoal less than 200 yards from the ship. Destroyers then pounded the bottom with depth charges and St. Louis continued out to sea where she joined in the search for the Japanese fleet. After failing to locate the enemy strike force, the hunters returned to Pearl Harbor on 10 December, and St. Louis turned to escorting transports carrying casualties to San Francisco and troops to Hawaii.

Wartime History
On 6 January 1942, she departed San Francisco with Task Force 17, centered on carrier, Yorktown, and escorted the ships transporting the Marine Expeditionary Force to Samoa to reinforce defenses there. Between 20 January and 24 January, the Yorktown group covered the offloading at Pago Pago then moved to conduct air strikes in the Marshalls and the Gilberts before returning to Pearl Harbor on 7 February.

Upon her return to Pearl Harbor, St. Louis resumed escort duty with Hawaii&ndashCalifornia convoys. In the spring, after a trip to the New Hebrides, escorted SS President Coolidge, which was carrying President Quezon of the Philippines to the west coast, arriving at San Francisco on 8 May. The following day, she was again bound for Pearl Harbor. There, she switched to a reinforcement group carrying Marine aircraft and personnel to Midway in anticipation of Japanese efforts to take that key outpost. On the 25th, she delivered her charges to their mid-ocean destination then moved north as a unit of TP 8 to reinforce Aleutian defenses.

On 31 May, St. Louis arrived at Kodiak refueled and got underway to patrol south of the Alaskan Peninsula. Through July, she continued the patrols, ranging westward to intercept enemy shipping. On 3 August 3, 1942 she departed for for Kiska Island to participate in her first shore bombardment mission.

On August 7, 1942 Rear Admiral William W. Smith's Task Group 8.6 (TG 8.6) bombardment group shells Kiska Island including USS Louisville (CA-28), USS Indianapolis (CA-35), USS Nashville (CL-43), USS Honolulu (CL-48) and USS St. Louis (CL-49) plus destroyers USS Elliot (DD-146), USS Reid (DD-369), USS Case (DD-370), USS Gridley (DD-380) and USS McCall (DD-400). Although fog limited observation their floatplanes reported ships sinking in Kiska Harbor and fires burning among shore installations. The Japanese were caught by surprise and took fifteen minutes before shore batteries returned fire and Japanese seaplanes made ineffective attacks. The operation was considered a success despite the scanty information on its results.

After that mission, the cruiser returned to Kodiak on August 11, 1942 and continued patrols in the Aleutian area and covered the Allied landing on Adak Island. On October 25, 1942, she proceeded via Dutch Harbor to Mare Island for overhaul.

On 4 December, she departed San Francisco with transports bound for New Caledonia. She shepherded the convoy to Noume on the 21st, then shifted to Espiritu Santo whence she proceeded into the Solomons. She commenced operations there in January 1943 with bombardments of Japanese air facilities at Munda and Kolombangara and, during the next five months, repeated those raids and patrolled the &ldquoSlot&rdquo in the Central Solomons in an effort to halt the &ldquoTokyo Express&rdquo reinforcement and supply shipping that sought, almost nightly, to bolster Japanese garrisons.

Shortly after midnight on 4 July&ndash5 July, she participated in the bombardment of Vila and Bairoko Harbor, New Georgia. Her division, Cruiser Division 9 and its screen, Destroyer Squadron 21 (DesRon 21) then retired back toward Tulagi to replenish as troops were landed at Rice Anchorage.

Battle of Kolombangara
Early on the morning of the July 6, 1943 the cruiser-destroyer force located and engaged ten enemy destroyers headed for Vila with reinforcements embarked. During the Battle of Kula Gulf lost was USS Helena (CL-50) plus two enemy ships sunk.

Battle of Kolombangara
On July 12, 1943 the same force, Task Force 18 (TF-18) reinforced by DesRon 12, moved from Tulagi up the &ldquoSlot&rdquo northward. On July 13, 1943 after 1:00am during the Battle of Kolombangara (Second Battle of Kula Gulf) engaged an enemy force including Jintsu and five destroyers. During the battle, which raged for over an hour, the Japanese cruiser Jintsu and USS Gwin were sunk and the light cruisers HMNZS Leander, Honolulu, and St. Louis were damaged. St. Louis took a torpedo which hit well forward and twisted her bow, but caused no serious casualties.

She returned to Tulagi on the afternoon of the 13th. From there, she moved on to Espiritu Santo for temporary repairs then steamed east, to Mare Island, to complete the work. In mid-November, she returned to the Solomons and, from the 20th to the 25th, covered marines fighting for Bougainville. In December, she returned to that island to shell troop concentrations and, in January 1944, shifted southward to bombard enemy installations in the Shortlands. Thence, she moved back to Bougainville to cover the landing of reinforcements at Cape Torokina. On 10 January, she headed back to Florida Island. In February, she again moved northwest, this time into the extreme northern Solomons and the Bismarcks. On the 13th, she arrived in the area between Buka and St. George Channel to support landing operations in the Green Islands off New Ireland.

At 18:55 on the 14th, six Vals were sighted approaching St. Louis's group. Crossing astern of the ships, the enemy planes went out to the southeast, turned, and returned. Only five remained in the formation which split into two groups. Two of the planes closed towards St. Louis.

The first plane dropped three bombs, all near misses. The second released three more. One scored on the light cruiser the other two were near misses just off the port quarter. The bomb which hit St. Louis penetrated the 40 millimeter clipping room near the number 6 mount and exploded in the midship living compartment. Twenty-three died and 20 were wounded, 10 seriously. A fire which had started in the clipping room was extinguished. Both of her planes were rendered inoperable her ventilation system was damaged. Communication with the after engine room ceased, and the cruiser slowed to 18 knots. On the 15th, she survived another air attack and was then ordered back to Purvis Bay.

Repairs were completed by the end of the month and, in March, St. Louis resumed operations with her division. Through May, she remained in the Solomons. Then, on 4 June, she moved north to the Marshalls, whence, on the 10th, she sailed for the Marianas in TF 52, the Saipan assault force. Four days later, she cruised off southern Saipan. On the 15th, she shelled the Charan Kanoa area retired as the landings took place then moved back to provide call fire support and to shell targets of opportunity. On the 16th, she proceeded south and bombarded the Asan beach area of Guam. She then returned to Saipan and, on the 17th, shifted to an area north of that island where she remained through the battle of the Philippine Sea. On the 22nd, she returned to Saipan and, after screening the refueling group for two days, proceeded to the Marshalls.

On 14 July, St. Louis again headed for the Marianas. The next day, she damaged her number 3 propeller and lost 39 feet of the tail shaft. Nevertheless, two days later, she arrived off Guam as scheduled and, during the afternoon, covered underwater demolition teams working the proposed landing beaches. Preinvasion shore bombardment followed and, after the landings on the 21st, she provided support fire and call fire. On the 29th, St. Louis departed the Marianas for Pearl Harbor, whence she was routed on to California for overhaul. In mid-October, she steamed back to Hawaii trained until the end of the month then moved on across the Pacific, via Ulithi and Kossol Roads, to the Philippines, arriving in Leyte Gulf on 16 November.

Leyte Gulf
During the next ten days, she patrolled Leyte Gulf and Surigao Strait using her anti-aircraft guns to protect shipping in the area.

On November 27, 1944 shortly before noon a formation of 12-14 enemy aircraft attacked the cruiser formation including St. Louis and was unscathed during the brief air raid. A request was made for a friendly Combat Air Patrol (CAP) but none arrived to render aid.

At 11:30am ten more enemy planes arrived and divided into three groups of four, four and two. At 11:38am a D3A Val hit and on fire made a kamikaze attack (suicide dive) and hit St. Louis on the port quarter and exploded on impact causing fires aboard the hanger area and nearby spaces and 20mm gun crews no. 7, no, 8, no. 9 and no. 10 were killed or wounded.

At 11:39, a second enemy plane on fire aimed at the port beam of St. Louis and the cruiser attempted to reach flank speed and perform a hard right turn as the plane passed over the no. 4 turret and crashed into the sea only 100 yards away.

Next, at 11:51am two more enemy planes both on fire attacked St. Louis. The first was shot down and crashed into the sea off the port quarter and the second dove in from starboard and crashed almost on board on the port side and tore off a 20' section of armor belt and caused holes in the hull. By 11:52, the damaged cruiser developed a list to port.

At 12:10pm another Japanese suicde plane approached but was shot down 400 yards astern. At 12:20pm, enemy torpedo planes approached and released aerial torpedoes. St. Louis warned a nearby PT Boat that barely avoided one of the torpedoes and luckily none of them impacted.

At 12:36pm St. Louis was back on an even keel. Within thirty minutes of the attacks, all major fires were extinguished and salvage work began. During all the day's attacks a total of 15 were killed, 1 missing, 21 seriously wounded and 22 sustained minor injuries.

On November 28, 1944 the most seriously wounded were transferred off for medical attention. On November 30, 1944 entered San Pedro Bay where temporary repairs were made then departed via Seealder Harbor and was the first ship to enter USS ABSD-4 for repairs then crossed the Pacific bound for California.

During late December 1944 arrived in California and underwent more repairs. On March 1, 1945 departed California across the Pacific to Ulithi and joined the fast carrier force. By the end of the month, she had participated in strikes against the southern Japan then moved south to the Ryukyus to join Task Force 54 (TF-54) and participated in shore bombardment of Okinawa Island and guarded minesweepers and underwater demolition teams clearing channels to the assault beaches.

On March 31, 1944 entered Kerama Retto to replenish then returned to station off Okinawa Island to support the U.S. forces that landed on the Hagushi beaches April 1, 1945. Five days later, the cruiser covered minesweepers off Ie Jima, then resumed fire support and antiaircraft duties off Okinawa. On 18 May, she departed Hagushi for a brief respite at Leyte and, in mid-June, she resumed support operations off Okinawa. On 25 July, she shifted to TF 95 and on the 28th, she supported air strikes against Japanese installations on the Asiatic mainland. Sweeps of the East China Sea followed and, in early August, she anchored in Buckner Bay, where she remained through the end of hostilities on 15 August.

Postwar duties kept the cruiser in the Far East for another two and one-half months. In late August, while in the Philippines, she was assigned to TF 73, the Yangtze River Patrol Force. During September, as other ships joined the force, she was at Buckner Bay and, in October, she moved on to Shanghai. In mid-October, she helped to lift Chinese Army units to Formosa then she joined the "Magic Carpet" fleet to carry veterans back to the United States.

Post War
St. Louis completed her first "Magic Carpet" run at San Francisco on 9 November and by mid-January 1946, made two more runs, both to islands in the Central and Southwest Pacific. In early February, she sailed for the east coast and arrived at Philadelphia for inactivation on the 25th. She was decommissioned on 20 June and berthed at League Island with the 16th (Inactive) Fleet through the decade.

Early in the 1950s, she was designated for transfer to the government of Brazil. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 22 January 1951 and, on the 29th, she was commissioned in the Brazilian Navy as Tamandare. Tamandare (C-12) was stricken from the Brazilian Navy in 1976. Sold four years later.

Sinking History
On August 24, 1980 while under tow to Taiwan sunk off South Africa, near the Cape of Good Hope at roughly Lat 38° 48 min S Long 1° 24 min W.

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USS Saint Louis (CL-49) bombarding Guam, 21 July 1944 - History

(CL 49: dp. 10,000 1. 608'4" b. 61'8", dr. 19'10" (mean) s. 33 k., cpl. 888 a. 15 6", 8 5", 16 1.1",12 20mm., 1 act. cl. St. Louis)

The fifth St. Louis (CL-49) was laid down on 10 December 1936 by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va., Launched on 15 April 1938, sponsored by Miss Nancy Lee Morrill, and commissioned on 19 May 1939, Capt. Charles H. Morrison in command.

Fitted out and based at Norfolk, St. Louis completed shakedown on 6 October, then commenced Neutrality Patrol operations which, during the next 11 months, took her from the West Indies into the North Atlantic. On 3 September 1940, she put to sea with an inspection board embarked to evaluate possible sites, from Newfoundland to British Guiana, for naval and air bases to be gained in exchange for destroyers transferred to the British government. She returned to Norfolk on 27 October and, on 9 November, sailed for the Pacific.

Transiting the Panama Canal five days later, St. Louis reached Pearl Harbor on 12 December. She participated in fleet maneuvers and conducted patrols during the winter of 1940 and 41 then steamed to California for an overhaul at Mare Island. She returned to Pearl Harbor on 20 June and resumed operations in Hawaiian waters.

Two months later, she sailed west with other cruisers of the Battle Force, patrolled between Wake, Midway, and Guam, then, proceeded to Manila, whence she returned to Hawaii at the end of September. On the 28th of that month, she entered the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard for upkeep and, on 7 December, she was moored to the pier in Southeast Lock.

That Sunday morning at 0756, Japanese planes were sighted by observers on board St. Louis. Within minutes, the ship was at general quarters, and her operable antiaircraft guns were manned and firing on the attackers. By 0806, preparations for getting underway had begun. At about 0820, one of the cruiser's gun crews shot down its first enemy torpedo plane. By 0900, two more enemy aircraft had joined the first. At 0931, St. Louis moved away from the pier and headed for South Channel and the open sea. Fifteen minutes later, her 6-inch guns, whose power leads had been disconnected, were in full operating order.

As the cruiser moved into the channel entrance, she became the target of a midget submarine. The enemy's torpedoes, however, exploded on striking a shoal less than 200 yards from the ship. Destroyers then pounded the bottom with depth charges and St. Louis continued out to sea where she joined in the search for the Japanese fleet. After failing to locate the enemy strike force, the hunters returned to Pearl Harbor on 10 December, and St. Louis turned to escorting transports carrying casualties to San Francisco and troops to Hawaii.

On 6 January 1942, she departed San Francisco with Task Force (TF) 17, centered on carrier, Yorktown, and escorted the ships transporting the Marine Expeditionary Force to Samoa to reinforce defenses there. Between 20 and 24 January, the Yorktown group covered the offloading at Pago Pago, then moved to conduct air strikes in the Marshalls and the Gilberts before returning to Pearl Harbor on 7 February.

Upon her return to Pearl Harbor, St. Louis resumed escort duty with Hawaii-California convoys. In the spring, after a trip to the New Hebrides, she escorted SS President Coolidge, which was carrying President Quezon of the Philippines to the west coast, arriving at San Francisco on 8 May. The following day, she was again bound for Pearl Harbor. There, she switched to a reinforcement group carrying Marine aircraft and personnel to Midway in anticipation of Japanese efforts to take that key outpost. On the 25th she delivered her charges to their mid-ocean destination then moved north as a unit of TF 8 to reinforce Aleutian defenses.

On 31 May, St. Louis arrived at Kodiak refueled and got underway to patrol south of the Alaskan Peninsula. Through July, she continued the patrols ranging westward to intercept enemy shipping. On 3 August, she headed for Kiska for her first shore bombardment mission. Four days later, she shelled that enemy-held island then retired, returning to Kodiak on the 11th.

After that mission, the cruiser continued patrols in the Aleutian area and covered the Allied occupation of Adak. On 25 October, she proceeded via Dutch Harbor to California for an overhaul at Mare Island.

On 4 December, she departed San Francisco with transports bound for New Caledonia. She shepherded the convoy into its Noumean anchorage on the 21st then shifted to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, whence she proceeded into the Solomons. She commenced operations there in January 1943 with bombardments of Japanese air facilities at Munda and Kolombangara and, during the next five months, repeated those raids and patrolled the "Slot" in the Central Solomons in an effort to halt the "Tokyo Express"—reinforcement and supply shipping that sought, almost nightly, to bolster Japanese garrisons.

Shortly after midnight on 4-5 July, she participated in the bombardment of Vila and Bairoko Harbor, New Georgia. Her division, Cruiser Division 9 (CruDiv 9) and its screen, Destroyer Squadron 21 (DesRon 21), then retired back toward Tulagi to replenish as troops were landed at Rice Anchorage. Early on the morning of the 6th, however, the cruiser-destroyer force located and engaged ten enemy destroyers headed for Vila with reinforcements embarked. In the ensuing Battle of Kula Gulf, Helena ( CL

50) and two enemy ships were sunk.

Six nights later, the force, TF 18, reinforced by DesRon 12, moved back up the "Slot" from Tulagi and soon after 0100 on the 13th, engaged an enemy force of one light cruiser, Jintsu, and five destroyers in the Battle of Kolombangara. During the battle, which raged for over an hour, Jintsu and Gwin (DD-433) were sunk and New Zealand light cruiser Leander, Honolulu (C

48), and St. Louis were damaged. St. Louis took a torpedo which hit well forward and twisted her bow, but caused no serious casualties.

She returned to Tulagi on the afternoon of the 13th. From there, she moved on to Espiritu Santo for temporary repairs then steamed east, to Mare Island, to complete the work. In mid November, she returned to the Solomons and, from the 20th to the 25th, covered marines fighting for Bougainville. In December, she returned to that island to shell troop concentrations and, in January 1944, shifted southward to bombard enemy installations in the Shortland Islands. Thence she moved back to Bougainville to cover the landing of reinforcements at Cape Torokina. On 10 January, she headed back to Florida Island. In February, she again moved northwest, this time into the extreme northern Solomons and the Bismarcks. On the 13th, she arrived in the area between Buka and St. George Channel to support landing operations in the Green Islands off New Ireland.

At 1855 on the 14th, six Vals were sighted approaching St. Louis's group. Crossing astern of the ships, the enemy planes went out to the southeast, turned, and reapproached. Only five remained in the formation which split into two groups. Two of the planes closed St. Louis.

The first plane dropped three bombs, all near misses. The second released three more. One scored on the light cruiser the other two were near misses just off the port quarter. The bomb which hit St. Louis penetrated the 40 millemeter clipping room near the number 6 mount and exploded in the midship living compartment. Twenty-three died and 20 were wounded, 10 seriously. A fire which had started in the clipping room was extinguished. Both of her planes were rendered inoperable, her ventilation system was damaged. Communication with the after engine room ceased, and the cruiser slowed to 18 knots. On the 15th, she survived another air attack and was then ordered back to Purvis Bay.

Repairs were completed by the end of the month and in March, St. Louis resumed operations with her division. Through May, she remained in the Solomons. Then, on 4 June, she moved north to the Marshalls whence, on the 10th, she sailed for the Marianas in TF 52, the Saipan assault force. Four days later, she cruised off southern Saipan. On the 15th, she shelled the Charan Kanoa area retired as the landings took place, then moved back to provide call fire support and to shell targets of opportunity. On the 16th, she proceeded south and bombarded the Asan beach area of Guam. She then returned to Saipan and, on the 17th shifted to an area north of that island where she remained through the Battle of the Philippine Sea. On the 22d, she returned to Saipan and, after screening the refueling group for two days, proceeded to the Marshalls.

On 14 July, St. Louis again headed for the Marianas. The next day, she damaged her number 3 propeller and lost 39 feet of the tail shaft. Nevertheless, two days later, she arrived off Guam as scheduled and, during the afternoon, covered underwater demolition teams working the proposed landing beaches. Pre-invasion shore bombardment followed and, after the landings on the 21st, she provided support fire and call fire. On the 29th, St. Louis departed the Marianas for Pearl Harbor, whence she was routed on to California for overhaul. In mid-October, she steamed back to Hawaii trained until the end of the month, then moved on across the Pacific, via Ulithi and Kossol Roads, to the Philippines, arriving in Leyte Gulf on 16 November.

During the next 10 days, she patrolled in the gulf and in Surigao Strait, adding her batteries to the antiaircraft guns protecting shipping in the area. Shortly before noon on the 27th, a formation of 12 to 14 enemy planes attacked the cruiser's formation. St. Louis was unscathed in the brief battle. A request was made for CAP cover, but Japanese planes continued to command the air. At 1130, another 10 enemy planes filled the space vacated by the first flight and broke into three attack groups of four, four, and two. At 1138, a Val, hit and aflame, made a suicide dive on St. Louis from the port quarter and exploded with its bomb on impact. Fires broke out in the cruiser's hangar area and spaces. All crew members of 20 millimeter guns 7 through 10 were killed or wounded.

At 1139, a second burning enemy plane headed at her on the port beam. Flank speed was rung up and the rudder was put hard right. The plane passed over number 4 turret and crashed 100 yards out.

At 1146, there was still no CAP cover over the cruiser's formation, and, at 1151, two more enemy planes, both burning, attacked St. Louis. The first was splashed off the port quarter the second drove in from starboard and crashed almost on board on the port side. A 20-foot section of armor belt was lost and numerous holes were torn in her hull. By 1152, the ship had taken on a list to port. At 1210, another suicide-minded Japanese pilot closed St. Louis. He was stopped 400 yards astern. Ten minutes later, enemy torpedo planes moved in to attack. St. Louis, warned by a PT boat, barely avoided contact with a lethal package dropped by one of the planes.

By 1236, the cruiser was back on an even keel. Thirty minutes later, all major fires were out and salvage work had been started. Medical work was well under way: 15 were dead, 1 was missing, 21 were seriously wounded, 22 had sustained minor injuries. On the 28th, St. Louis's seriously injured were transferred and, on the 30th, she put into San Pedro Bay for temporary repairs which allowed her to reach California toward the end of December.

On 1 March 1945, St. Louis departed California and, at mid-month, she joined the fast carrier force at Ulithi. By the end of the month, she had participated in strikes against the southern Japanese home islands then moved south to the Ryukyus to join TF 54 bombarded Okinawa, and guarded minesweepers and underwater demolition teams clearing channels to the assault beaches. On the 31st, she put into Kerama Retto to replenish, then returned to the larger island to support the forces landed on the Hagushi beaches on 1 April.

Five days later, the cruiser covered minesweepers off Ie Jima, then resumed fire support and antiaircraft duties off Okinawa. On 18 May, she departed Hagushi for a brief respite at Leyte and, in mid-June, she resumed support operations off Okinawa. On 25 July, she shifted to TF 95, and on the 28th, she supported air strikes against Japanese installations on the Asiatic mainland. Sweeps of the East China Sea followed and, in early August, she anchored in Buckner Bay, where she remained through the end of hostilities on 15 August.

Postwar duties kept the cruiser in the Far East for another two and one-half months. In late August while in the Philippines she was assigned to TF 73 the Yangtze River Patrol Force. During September, as other ships joined the force, she was at Buckner Bay and, in October, she moved on to Shanghai. In midOctober, she helped to lift Chinese Army units to Formosa, then she joined the "Magic Carpet" fleet to carry veterans back to the United States.

St. Louis completed her first "Magic Carpet" run atSan Francisco on 9 November, and by mid-January 1946, made two more runs, both to islands in the Central and Southwest Pacific. In early February she sailed for the east coast and arrived at Philade

phia for inactivation on the 25th. She was decommissioned on 20 June and berthed at League Island with the 16th (Inactive) Fleet through the decade. Early in the 1950's, she was designated for transfer to the government of Brazil. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 22 January 1951, and, on the 29th, she was commissioned in the Brazilian Navy as Tamandare.


USS SAINT LOUIS CL-49 Naval Cover 1939 RICHELL Cachet AZORES

USS SAINT LOUIS CL-49 Naval Cover 1939 RICHELL Cachet AZORES It was sent 23 Aug 1939. It was franked with stamp "Prexie". This envelope is in good, but not perfect condition. Please look at the scan and make your own judgement. Member USCS #10385 (I al . Read More

Item Specifics
Item Description

USS SAINT LOUIS CL-49 Naval Cover 1939 RICHELL Cachet AZORES

It was sent 23 Aug 1939. It was franked with stamp "Prexie".

This envelope is in good, but not perfect condition. Please look at the scan and make your own judgement.

Member USCS #10385 (I also earned the stamp collecting merit badge as a boy!). Please contact me if you have specific cover needs. I have thousands for sale, including navals (USS, USNS, USCGC, Coast Guard, ship, Maritime), military posts, event, APO, hotel, postal history, memoribilia, etc. I also offer approvals service with FREE SHIPPING to repeat USA customers.

Uss st. Louis (cl-49), the lead ship of her class of light cruiser, was the fifth ship of the united states navy named after the city of st. Louis, missouri. Commissioned in 1939, she was very active in the pacific during world war ii, earning eleven battle stars.

She was deactivated shortly after the war, but was recommissioned into the brazilian navy as almirante tamandarÉ in 1951. She served until 1976, and sank under tow to the scrappers in 1980.

Contents
1 Construction
2 Inter-War Period
2.1 ATLANTIC

5 Transfer to Brazil
6 Awards
7 References
8 External Links
Construction[Edit]
St. Louis was laid down on 10 december 1936 by the newport news shipbuilding and dry dock company, newport news, virginia launched on 15 april 1938 sponsored by miss nancy lee morrill and commissioned on 19 may 1939, captain charles h. Morrison in command.[5]

Inter-War Period[Edit]
Atlantic[Edit]
Fitted out and based at norfolk, st. Louis completed shakedown on 6 october, then commenced neutrality patrol operations which, during the next 11 months, took her from the west indies into the north atlantic. On 3 september 1940, she put to sea with an inspection board embarked to evaluate possible sites, from newfoundland to british guiana, for naval and air bases to be gained in exchange for destroyers transferred to the british government. She returned to norfolk on 27 october.[5]

Pacific[Edit]
St. Louis sailed for the pacific on 9 november. Transiting the panama canal five days later, st. Louis reached pearl harbor on 12 december. She participated in fleet maneuvers and conducted patrols during the winter of 1940–1941, then steamed to california for an overhaul at mare island. She returned to pearl harbor on 20 june and resumed operations in hawaiian waters.[5]

Two months later, st. Louis sailed west with other cruisers of the battle force, patrolled between wake island, midway atoll, and guam, then, proceeded to manila, returning to hawaii at the end of september. On 28 september 1941, she entered the pearl harbor navy yard for upkeep.[5]

World War Ii[Edit]
This message denotes the first us ship, uss st. Louis (cl49) to clear pearl harbor. (national archives and records administration) [note that this is in answer to question "is channel clear?" and faint writing at bottom concerning the answer being held until st. Louis had successfully cleared.]

On 7 december 1941, st. Louis was moored to the pier in southeast lock at the time of the japanese attack on pearl harbor. At 7:56, japanese planes were sighted by observers on board st. Louis. Within minutes, the ship was at general quarters, and her operable anti-aircraft guns were manned and firing on the attackers. By 8:06, preparations for getting underway had begun. At about 8:20, one of the cruiser's gun crews shot down its first japanese torpedo plane. By 9:00, two more japanese aircraft had joined the first. At 9:31, st. Louis moved away from the pier and headed for south channel and the open sea. 15 minutes later, her 6 in (150 mm) guns, whose power leads had been disconnected, were in full operating order.[5]

As the cruiser moved into the channel entrance, she became the target of a midget submarine. The japanese torpedoes, however, exploded on striking a shoal less than 200 yd (180 m) from the ship. Destroyers then pounded the bottom with depth charges and st. Louis continued out to sea where she joined detroit and phoenix, both of which also left pearl harbor during the attack, and a few destroyers in the search for the japanese fleet. After failing to locate the japanese strike force, the hunters returned to pearl harbor on 10 december. St. Louis turned to escorting transports carrying casualties to san francisco and troops to hawaii.[5]

For her success during the attack on pearl harbor, the ship was given the nickname "lucky lou."[6]

On 6 january 1942, she departed san francisco with task force 17 (tf 17), centered around yorktown, and escorted the ships transporting the marine expeditionary force to samoa to reinforce defenses there. From 20–24 january, the yorktown group covered the offloading at pago pago, then moved to conduct air strikes in the marshalls and the gilberts before returning to pearl harbor on 7 february.[5]

Upon her return to pearl harbor, st. Louis resumed escort duty with hawaii–california convoys. In the spring, after a trip to the new hebrides, she escorted president coolidge, which was carrying president manuel l. Quezon of the philippines to the west coast, arriving at san francisco on 8 may. The following day, she was again bound for pearl harbor. There, she switched to a reinforcement group carrying marine aircraft and personnel to midway in anticipation of japanese efforts to take that key outpost. On the 25th, she delivered her charges to their mid-ocean destination, then moved north as a unit of tf 8 to reinforce aleutian defenses.[5]

On 31 may, st. Louis arrived at kodiak island, refueled, and got underway to patrol south of the alaskan peninsula. Through july, she continued the patrols, ranging westward to intercept enemy shipping. On 3 august, she headed for kiska for her first shore bombardment mission. Four days later, she shelled that enemy-held island, then returned to kodiak on the 11th.[5]

After that mission, the cruiser continued patrols in the aleutian area and covered the allied occupation of adak island. On 25 october, she proceeded via dutch harbor to california for an overhaul at mare island.[5]

On 4 december 1942, she departed san francisco with transports bound for new caledonia. She shepherded the convoy into its noumÉan anchorage on the 21st, then shifted to espiritu santo, new hebrides, where she proceeded into the solomons. She commenced operations there in january 1943 with bombardments of japanese air facilities at munda and kolombangara, and during the next five months, repeated those raids and patrolled "the slot" in the central solomons in an effort to halt the "tokyo express": reinforcement and supply shipping that sought, almost nightly, to bolster japanese garrisons.[5]

Shortly after midnight on 4–5 july, she participated in the bombardment of vila and bairoko harbor, new georgia. Her division, cruiser division 9 (crudiv 9) and its screen, destroyer squadron 21 (desron 21), then retired back toward tulagi to replenish as troops were landed at rice anchorage. Early on the morning of the 6th, however, the force located and engaged ten enemy destroyers headed for vila with reinforcements embarked. In the battle of kula gulf, helena and two enemy ships were sunk.[5]

St. Louis after the battle of kolombangara, showing torpedo damage to her bows

Six nights later, the force, tf 18, reinforced by desron 12, moved back up "the slot" from tulagi, and soon after 0100 on the 13th, engaged an enemy force consisting of the japanese cruiser jintsu and five destroyers in the battle of kolombangara. During the battle, which raged for over an hour, jintsu and gwin were sunk and hmnzs leander, honolulu, and st. Louis were damaged. St. Louis took a torpedo which hit well forward and twisted her bow, but caused no serious casualties.[5]

She returned to tulagi on the afternoon of the 13th. From there, she moved on to espiritu santo for temporary repairs, then steamed east, to mare island, to complete the work. In mid-november, she returned to the solomons, and from the 20th–25th covered marines fighting for bougainville island. In december, she returned to that island to shell troop concentrations and, in january 1944, shifted southward to bombard enemy installations in the shortland islands. Then, she moved back to bougainville to cover the landing of reinforcements at cape torokina.[5]

On 10 january 1944, st. Louis headed back to florida island. In february, she again moved northwest, this time into the extreme northern solomons and the bismarcks. On the 13th, she arrived in the area between buka and st. George channel to support landing operations in the green islands, off of new ireland.[5]

At 1855 on the 14th, six aichi d3a "val" dive bombers were sighted approaching st. Louis's group. Crossing astern of the ships, the enemy planes went out to the southeast before turning and coming back. Only five remained in the formation, which split off into two groups. Two of the planes closed on st. Louis.[5]

The first plane dropped three bombs, all near misses. The second released three more. One scored on the light cruiser, the others being near misses just off the port quarter. The bomb that hit penetrated the 40 mm clipping room near the no. 6 gun mount, and exploded in the midships living compartment. Twenty-three died and 20 were wounded, 10 seriously. A fire, which had started in the clipping room, was extinguished. Both of her scout planes were rendered inoperable, and her ventilation system was damaged. Communication with the after engine room ceased, and the cruiser slowed to 18 kn (21 mph 33 km/h). On the 15th, she survived another air attack and was then ordered back to purvis bay.[5]

Repairs were completed by the end of the month, and in march, st. Louis resumed operations with her division. Through may, she remained in the solomons. On 4 june, she moved north to the marshalls, where on the 10th, she sailed for the mariana islands in tf 52, the saipan assault force. Four days later, she cruised off southern saipan. On the 15th, she shelled the chalan kanoa area, retired as the landings took place, then moved back to provide call fire support and to shell targets of opportunity. On the 16th, she proceeded south and bombarded the asan beach area of guam. She then returned to saipan and, on the 17th, shifted to an area north of that island where she remained through the battle of the philippine sea. On the 22nd, she returned to saipan and, after screening the refueling group for two days, proceeded to the marshalls.[5]

On 14 july 1944, st. Louis again headed for the marianas. The next day, she damaged her no. 3 propeller and lost 39 ft (12 m) of the tail shaft. Nevertheless, two days later, she arrived off guam as scheduled and, during the afternoon, covered underwater demolition teams working the proposed landing beaches. Pre-invasion shore bombardment followed, and after the landings on the 21st, she provided support fire and call fire. On the 29th, st. Louis departed the marianas for pearl harbor, where she was routed on to california for overhaul. In mid-october, she steamed back to hawaii, trained until the end of the month, then moved on across the pacific, via ulithi and kossol roads, to the philippines, arriving in leyte gulf on 16 november.[5]

St. Louis hit by a kamikaze off leyte, 27 november 1944

During the next 10 days, she patrolled in the gulf and in surigao strait, adding her batteries to the anti-aircraft guns protecting shipping in the area. Shortly before noon on 27 november, a formation of 12–14 enemy planes attacked the cruiser's formation. St. Louis was unscathed in the brief battle. A request was made for cap cover, but japanese planes continued to command the air. At 1130, another 10 enemy planes filled the space vacated by the first flight and broke into three attack groups of four, four, and two. At 1138, a "val" made a kamikaze dive on st. Louis from the port quarter, and exploded with its bomb on impact. Fires broke out in the cruiser's hangar area and spaces. All crew members of 20 mm guns 7–10 were killed or wounded.[5]

At 1139, a second burning enemy plane headed at her on the port beam. Flank speed was rung up and the rudder was put hard right. The plane passed over no. 4 turret and crashed 100 yd (91 m) out.[5]

At 1146, there was still no cap cover over the cruiser's formation, and at 1151, two more enemy planes, both burning, attacked st. Louis. The first was splashed off the port quarter, and the second drove in from starboard and crashed almost on board on the port side. A 20 ft (6.1 m) section of armor belt was lost and numerous holes were torn in her hull. By 1152, the ship had taken on a list to port. At 1210, another kamikaze closed on st. Louis. It was stopped 400 yd (370 m) astern. Ten minutes later, enemy torpedo bombers moved in to attack. St. Louis, warned by a pt boat, barely avoided contact with a lethal package dropped by one of the planes.[5]

By 1236, the cruiser was back on an even keel. Thirty minutes later, all major fires were out, and salvage work had been started. Medical work was well under way: 15 were dead, one was missing, 21 were seriously wounded, and 22 had sustained minor injuries. On the 28th, st. Louis's seriously injured were transferred, and on the 30th, she put into san pedro bay for temporary repairs which allowed her to reach california toward the end of december.[5]

On 1 march 1945, st. Louis departed california, and at mid-month, she joined the fast carrier force at ulithi. By the end of the month, she had participated in strikes against the southern japanese home islands, then moved south to the ryukyu islands to join tf 54, bombarded okinawa, and guarded minesweepers and underwater demolition teams clearing channels to the assault beaches. On the 31st, she put into kerama retto to replenish, then returned to the larger island to support the forces landed on the hagushi beaches on 1 april.[5]

Five days later, the cruiser covered minesweepers off iwo jima, then resumed fire support and antiaircraft duties off okinawa. On 18 may, she departed hagushi for a brief respite at leyte, and in mid-june, she resumed support operations off okinawa. On 25 july, she shifted to tf 95, and on the 28th, she supported air strikes against japanese installations on the asiatic mainland. Sweeps of the east china sea followed, and in early august, she anchored in buckner bay, where she remained until the end of hostilities on 15 august.[5]

Post-War[Edit]
China[Edit]
Post-war duties kept the cruiser in the far east for another two and one-half months. In late august 1945, while in the philippines, she was assigned to tf 73 of the yangtze river patrol force. During september, as other ships joined the force, she was at buckner bay, and in october, she moved on to shanghai. In mid-october, she helped to lift chinese army units to formosa.[5]

Magic Carpet[Edit]
St. Louis joined the "magic carpet" fleet to carry world war ii veterans back to the united states. She completed her first "magic carpet" run at san francisco on 9 november 1945, and by mid-january 1946 had made two more runs, both to islands in the central and southwest pacific.[5]

In early february 1946, st. Louis sailed for the east coast and arrived at philadelphia for deactivation on the 25th. She was decommissioned on 20 june and berthed at league island with the 16th (inactive) fleet through the decade.[5]

Transfer to Brazil[Edit]
Squadron of the brazilian navy. In the center, the cruiser almirante tamandarÉ, surrounded by four fletcher-class vessels.

In 1951, st. Louis was designated for transfer to the government of brazil. Her name was struck from the us naval vessel register on 22 january 1951, and on the 29th, she was commissioned in the brazilian navy as the almirante tamandarÉ (c-12)[5] and served as the fleet flagship until 1976. She was deployed as part of the force in the lobster war between brazil and france. Decommissioned for the final time and placed into reserve, the tamandare was eventually sold for scrap to taiwan in 1980 and was under tow to the breakers yard (taiwan) when she flooded and sank on 24 august 1980, near cape of good hope, at 38°48′28″s 1°23′59″w.

Awards[Edit]
St. Louis earned 11 battle stars during world war ii.


Post-war [ edit | edit source ]

China [ edit | edit source ]

Post-war duties kept the cruiser in the Far East for another two and one-half months. In late August 1945, while in the Philippines, she was assigned to TF 73 of the Yangtze River Patrol Force. During September, as other ships joined the force, she was at Buckner Bay, and in October, she moved on to Shanghai. In mid-October, she helped to lift Chinese Army units to Formosa.

Magic Carpet [ edit | edit source ]

St. Louis joined the "Magic Carpet" fleet to carry World War II veterans back to the United States. She completed her first "Magic Carpet" run at San Francisco on 9 November 1945, and by mid-January 1946 had made two more runs, both to islands in the Central and Southwest Pacific. In early February 1946, St. Louis sailed for the east coast and arrived at Philadelphia for deactivation on the 25th. She was decommissioned on 20 June and berthed at League Island with the 16th (Inactive) Fleet through the decade.


USS St. Louis incoming!

USS St. Louis (CL-49) is the leadship of the St. Louis light cruiser class. In Azur Lane, she is the oldest sister to USS Helena (CL-50).

She was ordered on February 13, 1929.

Construction began on Lucky Lou on December 10, 1936.

She launched on April 15, 1938.

She was commissioned into the USN on May 19th, 1939.

For the first eleven months of her service, she participated in neutrality patrols in escorting US convoys against German u-boats.

After that, she underwent maintenance and participated in observations for the new US air and naval base sites from Newfoundland to British Guiana in exchange for destroyers.

After that she transferred over to the Pacific at Pearl Harbor where she underwent naval exercises, patrols with other cruisers from US held islands in the pacific, and an overhaul at Mare Island in 1940-1941.

She was moored at the Southeast Lock at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. During the attack, her crew successfully got her underway where she managed to avoid damage and even shot down a Japanese torpedo plane. She luckily manged to avoid a Midget Submarine attack where the torpedoes hit a shoal instead. She joined with fellow cruisers USS Phoenix and Detroit along with a few destroyers who successfully went out to sea to try to find the Japanese strike force to no avail. Her success in avoiding Japanese attacks earned her the nickname "Lucky Lou".

On December 10th, 1941 she began convoy escort duty for the transports of casualties from the pearl harbor attack to the US mainland.

On January 6th, 1942, USS Saint Louis joined with Task Force 17, a USN strike group centered around the USS Yorktown (CV-5) to help reinforce defenses from the Japanese naval blitzkrieg in 1942.

From January 20th-24th, she took part in the Gilbert Island raids where USS Yorktown launched airstrikes at targets.

Upon her return to Pearl Harbor on February 7th, 1942, USS Saint Louis returned to escorting convoys between Hawaii and California.

After her trip from New Helbrides, she escorted the luxary liner SS Calvin Coolidge who was carrying the Philippines president, Manuel L. Quezon, whose country fell to the Japanese invasion, to San Francisco, California. She arrived there on May 8th.

After that, she would help to bring key Marine aircraft to Midway Island to reinforce the US defenses there on 25th of May.

After that, she joined with Task force 8 to help reinforce the Aleutian defenses.

From May 31st to July, she did patrols around the area to help intercept enemy shipping.

On August 3rd, USS Saint Louis conducted her first bombardment where she shelled a couple of enemy held Islands.

She helped to cover the allied occupation of Adak Island and more patrols after her bombardment missions.

Had an overhaul at October 25th, 1942.

On December 4th, 1942, Lucky Lou returned to the Aleutian campaign where she escorted more convoys before on the 21st, she was ordered to head for the Solomon Islands to reinforce there.

On January 1943, for the next five months, USS Saint Louis conducted raids at the 'slot' of the Solomon Islands to hit any 'Tokyo Express' convoy runs as well bombarded Japanese air facilities in Munda and Kolombangara.

On July 4th-5th 1943, she was part of Cruiser Division 9 (along with her sister USS Helena) and destroyer division 21 where they raided Vila and Bairoko Harbor, New Georgia.

On July 6th, 1943, she participated in the battle of Kula Gulf where in an attempt to stem reinforcements from Vila attacked them. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:USS_Helena_(CL-50)firing_during_the_Battle_of_Kula_Gulf,6_July_1943(80-G-54553).jpg#/media/File:USS_Helena(CL-50)_firing_during_the_Battle_of_Kula_Gulf,6_July_1943(80-G-54553).jpg

here's USS Saint Louis and her sister USS Helena firing.

During this battle, the USN managed to sink 2 destroyers, damaged 2 more, and allowed 850 of the 2600 promised troops for Vila. However, this would come at a great personal cost to USS Saint Louis as she would lose her sister USS Helena in this battle.

Six nights later, she participated in the more Japanese favored Battle of Kolombangara where the allied forces there would suffer one destroyer being sunk (USS Gwin) and three cruisers being heavily damaged, including USS Saint Louis, HMNZS Leander, and USS Honolulu.

She and HMNZS Leander engaging and possibly sinking the Japanese cruiser Jintsu.

After that battle, "Lucky Lou" would make for Espiritu Santo for temporary repairs before she went to Mare Island for the permanent repairs she needed.

After months of repairs, she returned to the Solomons where she helped US Marines to take the Bougainville Island through shore bombardment supports from November 1943 to January 1944.

On January 10th, 1944, she moved to the extreme north of Solomons to support more landings at Green Islands, New Ireland.

On January 14th, she and her group encountered several Japanese Val Dive Bombers where one of them managed to severely damage her. The attacks would result in her midship compartment exploding and killing 23 and wounding 20. On the 15th, she survived another air attack as she made for Purvis Bay.

She would undergo a couple of months repairs before she returned to action on March 1944.

On June 10th, 1944, USS Saint Louis joined with the Saipan assault force where she provided plenty of support there.

On July 14th, 1944, while making her way to the Marianas, she damaged her propeller number 3 and lost 39 feet of her tail shaft. Despite this, she arrived as scheduled at Guam where she helped provide undewater demolitions for the proposed landing beaches and more fire support.

Only on July 29th did USS Saint Louis left for Pearl Harbor for an overhaul, training, and repairs.

She returned to Leyte Gulf on November 16th, 1944. During which she provided aa and fire support against the Japanese Kamikazes.

For which she would be a victim of on November 27th, 1944. A kamikaze with it's bomb exploded on her, causing heavy damage and killing or wounded all 7-10 men on one of her 20 mm guns.

Lucky Lou managed to survive this as several more kamikazes would try to hit her, all miss, and thanks to an alert friendly PT boat, barely managed to dodge torpedoes from attacking Torpedo planes.

For the next several months, USS Saint Louis transferred her casualties and made way to California for permanent repairs after undergoing temporary repairs at San Pedro Bay, Philippines.

On March 1st, 1945, USS Saint Louis departed to California where she joined with the fast carrier task force at Ulithi.

At the end of the month, USS Saint Louis participated in bombarding Japanese home Islands and moved to Okinawa to provide more support and protect minesweeper and demolition crews as they soften up the Japanese defenses there.

Until the Japanese surrender, she busied herself supporting the landings at Iwo Jima and Okinawa however she was ordered to with fire support, protection, etc.

USS Saint Louis (CL-49) earned 11 battle stars from the war.

After the war, she went to China where she joined with patrol groups at the Yangtze River and help lift Chinese Army units to Formosa.

She participated in Operation Magic Carpet where she made a few runs from San Francisco to Central and Southwest Pacific to pick up homeward bound troops.

On February 16th, 1946, she arrived at Philadelphia USA where she was deactivated on the 25th.

She was decommissioned on June 20th, 1946 where she would remain there with the 16th (inactive) fleet for half a decade.

In 1951, Brazil would purchase USS Saint Louis for her services in their navy.

USN struck her from their registers on January 22, 1951.

the Brazillian Navy commissioned her as Almirante Tamandaré (C-12). The former USS Saint Louis would serve as the Brazilian Navy flagship from 1951 to 1976. During this period, she participated in the Brazilian and French Lobster war where the Brazilians would get concessions in their favor from the French fishermen.

On June 28th, 1976, the former USS Saint Louis now known as Almirante Tamandaré was decommissioned from the Brazilian Navy.

Her fate is that she was sold for scrap to Taiwan in 1980, but during the transfer at sea, her hull was flooded and sank beneath the sea around Cape of Good Hope.

Her future successor was USS Saint Louis (LKA-116), a Charleston class amphibious cargo ship that served in the Vietnam war and for nearly three decades till her retirement in 1992. Recently on September 21st, 2018, she was sunk as a target ship. Another successor is down the line as a freedom class Littoral combat ship.


USS New Orleans (CA-32)


Figure 1: USS New Orleans (CA-32) in English waters, circa June 1934. Photographed by Wright & Logan, Southsea, England. Donation of Captain Joseph Finnegan, USN (Retired), 1970. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 2: USS New Orleans (CA-32) in port, circa 1937. Note the broad band painted on her after smokestack, probably a recognition feature. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 3: USS New Orleans (CA-32) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 9 February 1942. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 4: USS New Orleans (CA-32) underway during exercises in Hawaiian waters, 8 July 1942. Official US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 5: Port bow view as USS New Orleans (CA-32) entered Tulagi harbor in the Solomon Islands about 8 hours after being struck by a torpedo, 1 December 1942. US Navy photo from the collection of Fred Overman family. Courtesy Henry A. Wristen, FTCS(DV) USN (Ret.). Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 6: USS New Orleans (CA-32) seen here after the Battle of Tassafaronga. The PT boat in the foreground is carrying survivors from the USS Northampton (CA 26). US Navy photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 7: USS New Orleans (CA-32) camouflaged at Tulagi, Solomon Islands, some days after she was torpedoed during the Battle of Tassafaronga on 30 November 1942. Note that her stern is riding high, and that her forward end is low in the water. The torpedo and subsequent explosion had severed her bow between No. 1 and No. 2 eight-inch gun turrets. Official US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the US National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 8: Patched up in Australia, USS New Orleans (CA-32) is heading to the United States for a new bow and permanent repairs. In order to balance the ship, the barrels were removed from No. 2 turret and stored at the stern. US Navy photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 9: USS New Orleans (CA-32) steams through a tight turn in Elliot Bay, Washington, 30 July 1943, following battle damage repairs and overhaul at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Washington. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 10: USS New Orleans (CA-32) off the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, following battle damage repairs and overhaul, 5 August 1943. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 11: USS New Orleans (CA-32) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 8 March 1945. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the US National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.

Named after a city in Louisiana, the 9,950-ton USS New Orleans (CA-32) was the lead ship in a class of seven heavy cruisers. New Orleans was built at the New York Navy Yard, New York, and was commissioned on 15 February 1934. The ship was approximately 588 feet long and 61 feet wide, had a top speed of 32 knots, and had a crew of 708 officers and men. New Orleans was armed with nine 8-inch guns, eight 5-inch guns, and eight .50-caliber machine guns, and carried four aircraft.

New Orleans conducted her shakedown cruise to northern Europe in May and June of 1934 and returned to New York on 28 June. The heavy cruiser then steamed to the Pacific to participate in exercises with the cruiser USS Houston and the airship Macon. For the next two years, New Orleans served in the Atlantic, though she periodically sailed to the Pacific and then was regularly stationed there after early 1937. New Orleans was based at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and remained there for the next four years.

On the morning of 7 December 1941, New Orleans was moored at Pearl Harbor and was taking electricity from the dock while her engines were being repaired. Unfortunately, after the attack on Pearl Harbor started, all electrical power to the ship was halted. As the engineers on board frantically tried to restore power, Japanese bombs were exploding next to the ship. Crewmen were defiantly firing at the Japanese aircraft with rifles and pistols for several minutes until power was restored. Once the ship had electrical power, the ship’s anti-aircraft batteries started firing at the enemy planes. New Orleans continued firing at the enemy aircraft until the attack was over. Several crewmen were injured when a fragmentation bomb blew up next to the ship. But, other than that, the ship was ready to leave the harbor which was, by this time, engulfed in flames.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, New Orleans briefly escorted convoys until she was sent to San Francisco on 13 January 1942 for engineering repairs and the installation of a new search radar as well as several 20-mm guns. The ship then escorted a convoy to Brisbane, Australia, on 12 February and from there escorted yet another convoy to Noumea, New Caledonia. After that, New Orleans returned to Pearl Harbor.

New Orleans joined Task Force 11 and on 15 April 1942 she began escorting the carrier USS Yorktown. This large American task force steamed southwest of the New Hebrides and a few days later, on 7-8 May, the ships participated in the momentous Battle of the Coral Sea, which was the first major carrier battle of the war. Although American carrier pilots sank one Japanese carrier, the Japanese mortally wounded an American carrier, USS Lexington. Lexington was wracked by explosions and engulfed in flames. New Orleans was sent to assist the stricken carrier. As flames continued to spread on board Lexington, her crewmen began to abandon ship. As New Orleans stood by the sinking carrier, many of her crewmen dove into the water to rescue the survivors from the carrier, especially the wounded ones. The motor lifeboats from New Orleans came in close to the flaming Lexington to pick up even more men, even though bombs that were stored on board the carrier were exploding on a regular basis. Metal and debris showered the surrounding area, yet New Orleans’ boat crews continued plucking men out of the water. New Orleans rescued approximately 580 men from Lexington before the cruiser had to leave the area. Lexington, though, was a tough ship and even though she was devastated by fire and internal explosions, the carrier remained afloat. To prevent the burning hulk from falling into the hands of the Japanese, Lexington had to be sunk by two torpedoes from an American destroyer. She sank on an even keel after one last, major explosion. New Orleans brought her 580 survivors to Noumea and then patrolled the eastern Solomon Islands before sailing back to Pearl Harbor for supplies.

New Orleans left Pearl Harbor on 28 May 1942 and began escorting the carrier USS Enterprise. A few days later on 2 June, this task force participated in the cataclysmic Battle of Midway. Midway was the naval turning point in the Pacific during World War II, where American carrier pilots sank four Japanese carriers for the loss of one American carrier, USS Yorktown. New Orleans remained by the side of Enterprise, protecting her from Japanese aircraft. Fortunately for the US Navy, Enterprise survived the battle. The American victory at Midway stopped Japan’s eastward expansion and heavily crippled her naval air arm for the rest of the war. After the battle, New Orleans returned to Pearl Harbor.

New Orleans left Pearl Harbor on 7 July 1942 and rendezvoused off the Fiji Islands with an American task force for the invasion of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. New Orleans escorted the carrier USS Saratoga and assisted in repelling serious Japanese air attacks off Guadalcanal on 24-25 August. The task force New Orleans was in defended the American invasion of Guadalcanal and prevented the Japanese from reinforcing Guadalcanal during the Battle of the Eastern Solomon Islands. But when Saratoga was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on 31 August, New Orleans escorted her back to Pearl Harbor for repairs, arriving there on 21 September.

Once Saratoga was repaired, New Orleans sailed with her to Fiji early in November and then proceeded to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, before arriving back in the Solomon Islands on 27 November 1942. On the night of 30 November, New Orleans, along with four other cruisers and six destroyers ran into a column of eight Japanese destroyers not far from Guadalcanal. What followed was the Battle of Tassafaronga and it turned out to be a disaster for the US Navy. The Japanese were not only experts at fighting at night, but their destroyers were armed with the powerful Type 93 “Long Lance” torpedoes, perhaps the best torpedoes in the world at that time. As the American task force attacked, the Japanese destroyers fired a large number of torpedoes at the American warships. The flagship of the American task force, the cruiser USS Minneapolis, was hit by two torpedoes. Minneapolis was severely damaged and slowed down almost immediately. New Orleans was in line right behind Minneapolis and was approaching the crippled flagship so rapidly that the commander of New Orleans, Captain Clifford H. Roper, was forced to throw his rudder hard right to avoid hitting Minneapolis. Unfortunately, in doing so, Captain Roper steered his ship right into the path of some oncoming torpedoes. One of the torpedoes hit New Orleans’ port bow abreast two gun magazines. The combined blast of the torpedo plus the two magazines going up completely tore off the bow of the ship as far back as the No. 2 8-inch turret. The crew was horrified as they watched the bow of their ship, with its No. 1 8-inch gun turret pointing skyward, pass along the port side of the ship, gouging holes in New Orleans along the way and tangling briefly with the propellers once it hit the cruiser’s stern. The entire event happened so suddenly that the crewmen at the stern of the ship thought that Minneapolis had sunk and that they were passing the remains of that ship.

New Orleans was in desperate shape. Roughly 120 feet of her bow, over one fifth of the ship’s length, was gone. All of the men in the detached bow and in the No. 2 turret, which had been consumed by flames, were killed by the initial blast. But the New Orleans’ engines were intact, power and lighting were normal, and the fires were under control. Captain Roper remained on the bridge where he had a clear view ahead while his executive officer stayed aft to control steering and the engines. Although water pressure severely strained the bulkheads on the forward part of the ship, the bulkheads held. The crew kept the ship afloat even though the forward end of the ship was down by about 40 feet into the water. So long as the bulkheads held, the ship remained afloat and could even make five knots, which was amazing considering the shape the ship was in. Blown to pieces but still afloat, New Orleans made it to the tiny American port at Tulagi, a small island just south of Florida Island in the Solomons. Of the five American cruisers that took part in the battle, one was sunk and three were severely damaged and out of action. The Japanese lost only one destroyer, making this one of the worst defeats for the US Navy during World War II.

Tulagi Harbor was very small and used mainly as a repair base for motor torpedo boats. The repair crews here were not used to seeing something as large as a heavy cruiser, but they did the best they could with what they had. They first put New Orleans under camouflage netting to hide the wounded warship from Japanese aircraft. Then they worked with the ship’s crew to create a jury-rigged temporary bow made from coconut tree logs. They also used the logs to strengthen the ship’s bulkheads. The repairs seemed to hold and on 12 December New Orleans left Tulagi and headed for Australia for more permanent repairs in a normal dockyard. Even though the ship was battered and missing her bow, New Orleans steamed gallantly into the harbor at Sydney, Australia, on 24 December 1942, Christmas Eve. It was an amazing journey, especially since Japanese aircraft, warships, or submarines could have easily sunk the ship on its way to Australia. On 7 March 1943, New Orleans left Sydney with a temporary steel bow and made its way back to the United States. The cruiser arrived at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Washington, a few weeks later where a new bow was already built and waiting for her.

After the new bow was welded on and the ship was totally repaired, New Orleans returned to Pearl Harbor on 31 August 1943. For the remainder of the war in the Pacific, New Orleans used her guns to bombard Japanese shore positions and also escorted various carrier task forces. Her major combat operations in 1943 and 1944 included the invasions of the Gilbert Islands in November 1943, the Marshall Islands in January and February 1944, and attacks on New Guinea in April and the Marianas Islands in June and July. While steaming off the coast of New Guinea on 22 April, a disabled plane from the carrier USS Yorktown flew directly into New Orleans’ mainmast, with parts of the shattered aircraft hitting gun mounts as they fell into the sea. The ship was sprayed with flaming gasoline as the plane exploded on impact, with one crewmember on board the ship being killed and another seriously wounded. But New Orleans remained in action. She went on to bombard the Palau Islands in September, Leyte in the Philippines in October and Mindoro in December.

In December 1944, New Orleans returned to the United States and entered the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, for an overhaul. After the overhaul was completed, New Orleans returned to battle and participated in the invasion of Okinawa from April to June 1945. As usual, she bombarded land targets and escorted other ships when needed. By late August, after the war in the Pacific had ended, New Orleans supported the American occupation operations in China and Korea. From late 1945 to early 1946, New Orleans transported US troops home from Asia. The ship arrived at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, in March 1946 to prepare for inactivation. USS New Orleans was formally decommissioned on 10 February 1947 and was put in reserve until struck from the Navy List on 1 March 1959. This noble warship was sold for scrapping on 22 September later that year.

Rarely has one warship suffered such horrific damage and manage to survive. Not only did New Orleans survive, but she went on to serve in most of the major American amphibious invasions during the latter part of the war in the Pacific. A truly unique warship and one that earned 17 battle stars for her service during World War II.


USS Saint Louis (CL-49) bombarding Guam, 21 July 1944 - History

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Launched: 12 September 1943, as SS Arthur P. Gorman

Acquired: 18 September 1943

Commissioned: 8 April 1944, as USS Tutuila

Decommissioned: 7 December 1946

Recommissioned: 7 May 1951

Decommissioned: 21 February 1972

Motto: Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom

Name: ROCN Tian Tai (ARG 516)

Meaning: Heavenly Platform

Commissioned: February 1972

Displacement: 4,023 long tons (4,088 t)

Length: 441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)

Propulsion: Triple Expansion Machinery, Single Propeller, 2,500 hp (1,864 kW)

Speed: 12.5 knots (23.2 km/h 14.4 mph)

1 x single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount

2 x twin 40mm AA gun mounts

12 x single 20mm AA gun mounts

More History.

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Name: Tutuila (PG-44)
Namesake: Tutuila
Builder: Kiangnan Dockyard and Engineering Works, Shanghai
Laid down: 17 October 1926
Launched: 14 June 1927
Commissioned: 2 March 1928
Reclassified: PR-4, 16 June 1928
Decommissioned: 18 January 1942
Struck: 26 March 1942
Fate: Transferred to China under lend-lease, 16 February 1942

Permanent transfer, 17 February 1948

Name: RCS Mei Yuan
Acquired: 16 February 1942
Fate: Scuttled to prevent capture, May 1949

Type: River gunboat
Displacement: 395 long tons (401 t)
Length: 159 ft 5 in (48.59 m)
Beam: 27 ft 1 in (8.26 m)
Draft: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Speed: 14.37 kn (16.54 mph 26.61 km/h)
Complement: 61 officers and enlisted
Armament:

10 × .30 in (7.62 mm) machine guns


USS Tutuila (PG-44) was a gunboat in the service of the United States Navy from 1928 until her transfer to China under lend-lease in 1942.

Contents
1 Construction
2 Service history
2.1 Yangtze Patrol, 1928-1937
2.2 Sino-Japanese War, 1937-1941
2.3 World War II, 1941-1942
2.4 Republic of China Navy, 1942-1949
3 References
4 External links

Construction
Tutuila was laid down on 17 October 1926 at the Kiangnan Dockyard and Engineering Works in Shanghai, China launched on 14 June 1927, sponsored by Miss Beverly Pollard and commissioned on 2 March 1928, with Lieutenant Commander Frederick Baltzly in command.
Service history
Yangtze Patrol, 1928-1937

Assigned to the Yangtze Patrol (YangPat) and redesignated river gunboat PR-4 on 16 June 1928, Tutuila cruised on shakedown up the Yangtze River from Shanghai to Yichang, where she joined her sister ship Guam in mid-July. Convoying river steamers through the upper reaches of the Yangtze on her first passage through the scenic gorges, she flew the flag of Rear Admiral Yates Stirling, Jr., Commander, Yangtze Patrol (ComYangPat). Tutuila's shallow draft enabled her to traverse the treacherous rapids of the gorges with ease, so that the fluctuating water levels did not hinder her year-round access to the upper stretch of the Yangtze. Her duty with YangPat offered excitement and variety: conducting roving armed patrols convoying merchantmen providing armed guards for American flag steamers and "showing the flag" to protect American lives and property in a land where civil strife and warfare had been a way of life for centuries.

Dealing with sniping by bandits or warlord troops in the 1920s and 1930s required both tact and&mdashon occasion&mdasha few well-placed rounds of 3 in (76 mm) or .30 in (7.62 mm) gunfire. One incident which called for a mixture of diplomacy and force came in 1929, when Lt. Cdr. S. D. Truesdell was in command of the gunboat. He called on the Chinese warlord from whose territory some rifle shots had come. During a discussion of the incident, the general explained that his men were merely "country boys, who meant no harm". Truesdell replied that he, too, had some "country boys" among his own crew. He noted that he had found them tinkering with the after 3-inch gun, pointing it at the general's conspicuous white headquarters as they practiced their range-finding. Truesdell's rejoinder bore immediate fruit the sniper fire ceased.
Sino-Japanese War, 1937-1941

In 1937, the complexion of life for the Yangtze gunboats changed. The undeclared Second Sino-Japanese War began in July and spread to the Yangtze valley in August&ndashSeptember. Japanese river operations effectively bottled up the river for neutral gunboats, and their proximity to war zones produced incidents such as the sinking of Panay by Japanese aircraft on 12 December 1937. On 3 August 1938, Tutuila followed Luzon up the river to Chungking, as the YangPat flagship carried the American Ambassador&mdashNelson T. Johnson&mdashto that river port.

Tutuila remained at Chungking as station ship with little hope of relief. Further Japanese operations resulted in the capture of Hankow in October 1938, making river travel below the former Chinese capital city subject to harassment and obstruction by the Japanese Navy. Such conditions resulted in the stranding of Tutuila at Chungking, where she remained through 1941.

On 8 May 1940 Tutuila ran aground and was damaged. She remained stranded until refloated on 13 May then repaired and returned to service.

After the fall of Hankow, the Chinese moved their capital up river to Tutuila's station, Chungking. Japanese forces thus stepped up the intensity of their attacks on that city, and air raids were common occurrences during the spring, summer, and fall. Only winter bad weather prevented the Japanese from year-round heavy raids. Moored at Lungmenhao Lagoon, Tutuila bore a charmed life until 31 July 1941, when Japanese bombs landed close aboard, holing the ship at her waterline and destroying the ship's motor skimmer with its outboard motor.

By late 1941, as the situation in the Far East worsened, four gunboats remained with YangPat and one in the South China Patrol. Admiral Hart's reduction of naval forces in Chinese waters cut this number to two. Luzon&mdashwith Rear Admiral William A. Glassford, ComYangPat, aboard&mdashdeparted from Shanghai for Manila on 28 November 1941 in company with Oahu. Wake remained at Shanghai as station ship Tutuila, beyond hope of escape, remained marooned at Chungking. Mindanao departed Hong Kong at approximately the same time and arrived in the Philippines shortly after hostilities commenced.

World War II, 1941-1942
Shortly after his arrival in Manila, RAdm. Glassford deactivated the Yangtze Patrol on 6 December 1941. Within a few days, Japanese air attacks had devastated Pearl Harbor and hostilities were underway with a rapidity which caught Wake unawares at Shanghai, where she was captured. For Tutuila, however, this news only heightened the anxiety.

Her residual complement of two officers and 22 enlisted men was ordered to depart from Chungking without their ship. She was then taken under the jurisdiction of the Naval Attaché attached to the American Embassy, Chungking. She was decommissioned on 18 January 1942, the same day Tutuila's crew flew out of the city.
Republic of China Navy, 1942-1949

The attaché delivered the ship to an authorized representative of the Republic of China on 16 February 1942. Then, under terms of lend-lease, the U.S. Navy leased the gunboat to China on 19 March, her name becoming Mei Yuan, which can be translated as "of American origin". The name Tutuila was struck from the U.S. Naval Vessel Register on 26 March.

The ship was permanently transferred to the Chinese government on 17 February 1948. She served the Nationalist Navy until near the end of the Civil War which ravaged China after World War II. As Communist forces advanced upon Shanghai, the Nationalists abandoned and scuttled Mei Yuan to prevent her capture. Her subsequent fate is unknown.

History of The USS Tutuila (ARG-4)

​ Arthur P. Gorman was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1179) on 11 August 1943 at Baltimore, Md., by the Bethlehem Steel Co., renamed USS Tutuila on 8 September and designated ARG-4 launched on 12 September transferred to the Navy when 80 percent complete for conversion to an internal combustion engine repair ship on 18 September, converted by the Maryland Drydock Co., and commissioned there on 8 April 1944, Comdr. George T. Boldizsar in command.

Tutuila underwent shakedown in Hampton Roads from 20 April to 24 May before sailing for the Panama Canal and proceeding via San Diego, Pearl Harbor, and Eniwetok to the South Pacific.

Early in August, the repair ship joined Service Squadron (ServRon) 10 based at Purvis Bay, in the once hotly contested Solomon Islands. Tutuila served the Fleet as a floating advance base as it swept its way across the Pacific toward Japan. For the final year of the war, the repair ship engaged in round-the-clock work schedules which seldom slackened.

​ Tutuila aided in the build up for the operations which led to the liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese yoke. Upon completion of this campaign, American task forces set their sights on islands closer to the Japanese homeland. Iwo Jima and Okinawa fell to the telling power of American shells, bombs, and troops which stormed ashore supported by a great Allied armada. Soon, the Allied navies were within shelling distance of the Japanese home islands themselves.

During this time, the repair ship operated first out of Manus, in the Admiralties, before moving to Ulithi in the Carolines. In the wake of the liberation of the Philippines, Tutuila arrived at Leyte on 24 May 1945 and provided repair services there to a wide variety of ships and smaller craft from the date of her arrival until the end of hostilities.

Yet, Tutuila's work was far from over. As American and Allied forces prepared for occupation of the Japanese homeland, the ship joined those forces headed north for duty off Nippon's shores. On 30 August, Tutuila (in company with Jason (ARH 1), Whitney (AD-4) and 11 smaller ships) set out on the first leg of the voyage northward. One day out, a typhoon lashed at the convoy, forcing the slower repair ship to remain with the "small boys" while Jason and Whitney received orders to run for Japan. On 2 September, having weathered the storm and shepherded her charges to safe harbor, Tutuila dropped anchor in Buckner Bay, Okinawa.

From there, Tutuila proceeded with a 33-ship convoy, bound for Korea, making port at Jinsen (now called Inchon) on 24 September 1946. She operated there as a maintenance vessel for ships engaged in the repatriation of Japanese prisoners of war. She continued this work after moving to Taku, China, where she arrived on 26 January 1946.

Departing Taku on 30 March, the ship steamed to Shanghai, China, where she dropped anchor on 2 April. Six days later, she sailed for the United States. The ship transited the Panama Canal and arrived at New Orleans on 20 May. Following repairs, she moved to Galveston, Tex., on 9 June 1946 for deactivation and was decommissioned there six months later, on 7 December 1946.

She lay basking in the Texas sun until the summer of 1950, when North Korean troops crossed the 38th parallel and invaded South Korea. As the United States armed forces mobilized to support the United Nations effort, Tutuila received the call to return to active service. Towed to Orange, Tex., she was reconditioned with new shop machinery which replaced her 5-inch and 40-millimeter guns and their magazines. On 7 May 1951 the ship was re-commissioned and assigned to the Service Force, Atlantic Fleet.

Tutuila arrived at Norfolk on 30 May 1951 and served there until 13 October, when she proceeded to Baltimore for one week before returning to Hampton Roads where she remained from 23 October 1951 to 16 June 1952.

Calling briefly at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from 20 to 23 June, she operated out of Norfolk again from 28 June to 15 August and from 22 August to 30 October, with a stint at New York in between. She continued this routine of east coast operations from 1952 through 1957, with occasional calls at Port-au-Prince, Haiti Havana, Cuba and Guantanamo Bay.

In 1957, the ship paid good will calls to Bermuda in June and Nova Scotia in August, with groups of Explorer Scouts embarked for each cruise. In October 1958, Tutuila again visited Havana and then proceeded to Philadelphia, where she took part in a special project for reclaiming materiel from ships in reserve before returning to Norfolk. She underwent a major overhaul at the Norfolk Navy Yard from 31 October 1958 to 21 January 1959 before proceeding to Guantanamo Bay late in March. But for a round-trip cruise to Port-au-Prince from 10 to 12 April, the ship served there until summer when she returned to the Virginia capes for antisubmarine exercises. The ship continued her operations out of Norfolk until the autumn of 1962.

On one occasion, the repair ship encountered merchantman SS William Johnson in distress while en route to Norfolk and, within a short time, Tutuila sent over a repair crew to correct the engineering casualty.

Cuban Missile Crisis and Dominican Intervention

American reconnaissance planes flying over Cuba in the fall of 1962 noticed unusual activities there, and, when photographic prints were developed, the unusual items and activities were found to be Russian-built missiles and missile sites. In reaction to this threat President John F. Kennedy ordered the Navy to throw a cordon around Cuba, instituting a "quarantine" of the island. In this tense climate, Navy destroyers and patrol planes formed a picket line, turning back Russian ships carrying missiles.

Tutuila proceeded to Morehead City, N.C., where she rendered services before stopping at Norfolk to load cargo and proceed south to support the quarantine line. Basing out of Roosevelt Roads and Vieques, Puerto Rico, the ship provided supplies and services for the ships engaged in blockading Cuban sea lanes.

After the Soviet Government complied with President Kennedy's demand for the withdrawal of the missiles and all of their associated technicians, sites, and the like, tensions eased. Tutuila proceeded north toward Norfolk but encountered a storm (much like the one weathered in 1945, with 80-knot winds and heavy seas) which caused a three-day delay in her returning to home port.

Operating out of Norfolk and Charleston, S.C., through 1964, the ship provided repair services during Operation "Springboard" in January of 1965. Visits to San Juan and Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, Frederiksted and St. Croix, in the American Virgin Islands and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. provided the crew with sightseeing and recreational activities in between her regular duties out of the east coast ports of Norfolk and Charleston. In March 1965, Tutuila participated in a program to reclaim materiel and special equipment installed on radar picket destroyers which were currently being decommissioned at Bayonne, N.J.

As flagship of ServRon 4, Tutuila returned to Norfolk before heading south to the strife-torn Dominican Republic. While performing repair and support duties during the months of April and May, the ship conducted a special series of operations geared toward supplying needed petroleum products to light and power facilities in Santo Domingo after rebel gunfire had prevented normal tanker deliveries

For the remainder of the year 1965, she continued operations out of Norfolk following the Dominican intervention, calling at San Juan and Guantanamo Bay for refresher training after her annual Portsmouth overhaul. During March and April 1966, Tutuila underwent extensive preparation for overseas deployment, as repair shops, berthing and messing spaces were air conditioned, and new communications equipment was procured and installed.

The repair ship sailed from Norfolk on 9 May and transited the Panama Canal on 18 May. After brief stops at Pearl Harbor and at Subic Bay in the Philippines, the repair ship arrived at An Thoi, Phu Quoc Island, in the Gulf of Siam, to support Operation "Market Time" off the coast of South Vietnam.

Relieving Krishna (APL-28) on 19 July, Tutuila commenced servicing the nimble and hard-hitting PCF's, or "Swift" boats, attached to Division 11. WPB's of the Coast Guard's Division 11 were based on Tutuila as well.

The following month found Tutuila's LCM's and their crews participating in Operation "Seamount," an Army directed landing operation to clear the southern Phu Quoc Island of enemy forces. Landing South Vietnamese troops at four locations, Tutuila's boats also carried supplies and ammunition to the Allied ground forces while helicopters evacuated casualties to the repair ship for medical attention .

Krishna returned to An Thoi on 8 October to relieve Tutuila, which then steamed to Bangkok, Thailand, for rest and relaxation for her crew. The repair ship then arrived back off the Vietnamese coast, reaching Vung Tau, off Cape St. Jacques, on 18 October. Here she supported Operations "Market Time", "Game Warden", and "Stable Door" through the end of 1966.

The opening days of the new year, 1967, saw the repair ship taking up support duties for the Mobile Riverine Force established at Vung Tau for operations in the Mekong Delta. Here, she assisted in the preparation of ASPB's and other small patrol craft until USS Askari (APL-30) arrived and took over the major repair and maintenance work.

Tutuila conducted in-country availability for the first time on Hisser (DER-100) on 9 January. Her repair crews finished another difficult job in just five days the overhauling and repairing of the troublesome diesel generators of USS Benewah (APB 35).

Turned over to the operational control of Commander, Naval Support Activity, Saigon, in April 1967, the ship commenced services to LST's engaged in operations off the mouth of the Mekong River. During this period, the repair ship continued to provide support and maintenance facilities for craft of the Mobile Riverine Assault Force and supported Coastal Division 13 as well. Further, Tutuila's 3-inch guns spoke in anger for the first time in the Vietnam conflict, as the ship undertook a shore bombardment in the Rung Sat Special Zone, providing harassment and interdiction fire into an area of suspected Viet Cong activity north of Vung Tau.

Returning to An Thoi in October 1967, Tutuila relieved Krishna and provided support for coastal divisions of Navy and Coast Guard before proceeding to Kaoshiung, Taiwan, for five days of upkeep in late November. She returned to Vung Tau on 7 December to continue supporting coastal interdiction operations.

The repair ship remained at Vung Tau until taking over duties at An Thoi in April 1968 from Krishna. While remaining on station through the summer Tutuila also trained South Vietnamese sailors in the operation of PCF's, four of which had been transferred to the Republic of Vietnam in August. Tutuila's hard work earned the Navy Unit Commendation as a result of the labors conducted at both Vung Tau and An Thoi.

Extensive improvements in habitability highlighted the yard work conducted at Yokosuka in January 1969, while the main engine, auxiliary pumps, and the three main generators were all subjected to thorough overhauling. On 21 March, the ship departed from Yokosuka for sea trials and refresher training, a virtually new ship both inside and out. The final week of training completed by 22 April, Tutuila cleared the Japanese isles on the 27th, bound, once more, for Vietnam.

After a five-day visit to Hong Kong en route, the ship dropped anchor at Vung Tau on 14 May. She commenced work almost immediately, conducting a temporary availability on Brule (AKL-28) before 1 June and filling 36 work requests from Mark (AKL-12) as well as repair work and availability requirements for local YFR craft and the Republic of Korea LSM-610.

On 12 June, Tutuila got underway for An Thoi where she supported the continuation of "Market Time," as well as "SEAFLOAT" and "SEALORDS," while maintaining PCF's, YFU's, APUBI, and several LST's.

For the months of June and July, the ship also undertook further training operations repairing 17 Vietnamese Navy PCF's and training 39 Vietnamese blue jackets in diesel engine overhaul. Saint Francis River (LSMR-525) underwent two weeks of restricted availability, adding to the repair ship's already busy and round-the-clock schedule. Fulfilling these and other requests for South Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, and United States Navy units, Tutuila remained busy for the remainder of her active career off Vietnam receiving three Navy Unit Commendations in the process. Late in 1971, she was selected for transfer to the Republic of China Navy.

On New Year's Day 1972, Tutuila departed Vung Tau after six years of combat support duties. Many times she had hoisted PCF's or other patrol craft onto pontoons alongside for complete overhauls her crew had taught their Vietnamese counterparts the intricacies of diesel power plants and generators. Her guns had even conducted one offensive shore bombardment. Vietnam lay behind her as she headed for Hong Kong on 1 January 1972. Six days of bad weather jostled her before she finally made port at the British Crown Colony on 7 January.

Her stay at Hong Kong was not all rest and relaxation, however, as much lay ahead to be done in preparation for the transfer to the Chinese Navy. Tutuila's crew gave her a "face lift" which included painting, overhauling engines, and getting her records and accounts in order. She departed Hong Kong on 13 January and arrived at Subic Bay two days later, where upon arrival, the work of off-loading supplies and ammunition began.

Departing Subic Bay on 29 January, Tutuila made port at Kaoshiung on 2 February to the accompaniment of a Chinese military band which played tunes from the dockside. For the next three weeks, final checks were undertaken to put the finishing touches on the transfer. Finally, by 21 February 1972, all was in readiness. On that day, Tutuila was decommissioned and struck from the Navy list. Transferred to the Nationalist Chinese Navy, she was renamed Pien Tai and serves as a supply ship into 1979.

Tutuila received (7) Battle Stars, (3) Navy Unit Commendations, and for her Vietnam service.

Awards earned during the Vietnam War:

(3) Navy Unit Commendations

Meritorious Unit Commendation

RVN Gallantry Cross with Palm

First Class, with Palm, RVN Campaign Medal with 60's device

(7) Battle Stars for her Vietnam Service Medal.

Crewmember Larry Maust reports these additions and corrections to the above:

"Just wanted to correct some things about the History of the USS Tutuila, I was aboard her from about the beginning of 1970 until she was turned over to the Chinese at Kaoshiung in 1971. All the time I was aboard except for when I came aboard in Japan and a few R&R trips the Tutuila was stationed in Nha Be. Your history does not indicate that for almost 2 years she sat in the river there."

Crewmember Ralph Cooke (RM3) shares the following memories of the Tutuila towards the end of WWII and shortly after:

I boarded the USS Tutuila on December 4, 1945 at Taku. I was a Seaman First Class and made Radioman Third Class in early 1946.

On March 30 1946 we left Taku for Shanghai to take on stores before crossing the Pacific to go through the Panama Canal. On this trip we had a little scare when it was thought we sighted a floating mine. We were on alert status but nothing developed.

We pulled liberty in Shanghai in the days of April 4-7, 1946. On April 8 we started out the Yangtze River and on our way across the ocean. The voyage was without incident but did encounter heavy seas at times. I think our top speed was 11.2 knots so we were thirty three days in arriving at the Panama Canal. We went through the Canal on May 11. Our captain had us dressed in our whites and standing at attention as we moved through the canal.

We had some days of liberty in the Canal Zone from Balboa on the Atlantic side until May 15 when we set sail for New Orleans. We arrive in New Orleans on May 20, 1946. This is the last entry on my personal log.

I know following our time in New Orleans we went to Houston where the Tutuila was in dry-dock. Following this we moved on to Orange, Texas where we put her in "mothballs."

From there I was sent to St. Louis, Missouri where I was discharged from the Navy on July 23, 1946. My tour of duty was eighteen months and 15 days. I spent my 18th birthday in Pearl Harbor aboard the USS Robin Doncaster which we rode from SF Treasure Island to Okinawa with two breakdowns at sea. We stayed three weeks in Pearl Harbor for repairs and in so doing missed that terrible typhoon that tore up so many places in October of 1945.

​ We moved from Okinawa on the USS Magoffin to Shanghai. I was aboard the USS Ankares, a cargo ship, which took us to Taku where I boarded the USS Tutuila as a radioman, SFC.

Some of the men on the crew had been aboard the Tutuila from the time it followed the invasions in the Solomon Islands all the way up through the Philippines and until the end of the war when the ship was sent to Taku to service the LCI's, LCM's and LST's and any other diesel powered crafts.

I remember Christmas Day, 1945. I came topside for a breath of fresh air and an LST was tied up alongside. It was filled with Japanese soldiers and their families who were being repatriated back to Japan from China. It was a sight still vivid in my memory.

Thanks for your work on this site. I will need to spend more time looking it over. I never knew the ship was re-commissioned in 1951 to engage in other service.

I am a retired minister after 52 years of work and am presently at home in Norfolk, Nebraska where we have lived for over six years to be close to my wife's mother who is now 103 years of age.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

USS Pasadena (CL-65)


Figure 1: USS Pasadena (CL-65) underway off Boston, Massachusetts, 21 July 1944. Photographed from a Squadron ZP-11 blimp, position is 42 45'N, 70 50'W. Pasadena is painted in Camouflage Measure 32, Design 24d. Official US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 2: USS Pasadena (CL-65) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 2 May 1946. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 3: USS Pasadena (CL-65) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 2 May 1946. Among the attack transports alongside the seawall at left are USS Shelburne (APA-205) and USS Sarasota (APA-204). Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 4: USS Pasadena (CL-65) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 2 May 1946. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 5: USS Pasadena (CL-65) entering Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, during a NROTC midshipmen's cruise in the summer of 1948. The photograph was released for publication on 9 August 1948. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 6: View in the Combat Information Center (CIC) of USS Pasadena (CL-65), 21 November 1944. Note aircraft status board in the center background. Official US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 7: Forward view taken of USS Pasadena (CL-65) at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 8 May 1946. Note crewmen working on the ship, and the many visible details of her structure, among them the two forward 6-inch triple gun turrets and two of her six 5-inch twin gun mounts. White outlines mark recent alterations to the ship. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 8: View amidships of USS Pasadena (CL-65) taken at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 8 May 1946. Note details of her structure, among them two 5-inch twin gun mounts, twin and quadruple 40-mm gun mounts, whaleboat and davits, and life rafts.The truck on shore is an international type, with Navy serial number 45742. White outlines mark recent alterations to the ship. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 9: View aft of USS Pasadena (CL-65) taken at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 8 May 1946. Note details of her structure, among them 6-inch triple gun turrets, 5-inch twin gun mounts, and Curtiss SC floatplanes on the catapults. White outlines mark recent alterations to the ship. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 10: Port bow view of USS Pasadena (CL-65) at anchor while assigned to the Pacific Reserve Fleet in Bremerton, Washington, 1972. Photograph courtesy of Richard Leonhardt. Click on photograph for larger image.

Named after a city in California, the 10,000-ton Cleveland class light cruiser USS Pasadena (CL-65) was built by the Bethlehem Steel Company at Quincy, Massachusetts, and was commissioned on 8 June 1944. The ship was approximately 610 feet long and 66 feet wide, had a top speed of 32 knots, and had a crew of 1,319 officers and men. Pasadena was armed with 12 6-inch guns, 12 5-inch guns, 28 40-mm guns, and 10 20-mm guns, and carried four aircraft.

Pasadena completed her shakedown cruise in the summer of 1944 and on 25 September began her journey to the Pacific theater of operations during World War II. She joined Task Force 38 at Ulithi atoll in the middle of November and for the rest of the year participated in operations against Luzon and Formosa in support of the Philippine campaign. In mid-January 1945, as the battle for Luzon continued, Task Force 38 steamed into the South China Sea and attacked Japanese installations and shipping along the coasts of Indo-China and Formosa. In February, Pasadena’s task force (now called TF 58) attacked the Japanese home islands, and then moved southeast to provide cover for the amphibious assault on Iwo Jima. Pasadena joined other major warships in bombarding Japanese targets on the island. During this time, Pasadena was assigned patrol duties as well.

After returning to Ulithi for ammunition and provisions, Pasadena’s task force began the process of “softening up” the Japanese home islands and the Ryukyu Islands for the major assault that was about to take place on the principal target of Okinawa. Pasadena remained at sea for 80 days as flagship of Cruiser Division 17 and participated in the night bombardments of Minami Daito (28 March and 10 May) and in the continuous bombardment against Japanese positions on Okinawa and Kyushu (1 April to 30 May 1945).

After again returning to Ulithi for more provisions in June 1945, Pasadena’s task force made its last attacks against the Japanese home islands in July and August, pounding coastal targets in northern Honshu and Hokkaido in anticipation of heavy resistance for what appeared inevitable, the amphibious assault on Japan. The US Navy expected tough resistance to the American landings on the Japanese home islands and, considering the terrible US casualties sustained during the assault on Okinawa (approximately 50,000 Americans killed or wounded), their expectations were probably right. But after America dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945.

After hostilities ended in the Pacific, Pasadena began occupation duties. On 23 August 1945, she became the flagship of Task Group 35.1 and on 27 August dropped anchor in Sagami Wan, Honshu, Japan. But on 2 September, Pasadena was at Tokyo Bay to witness Japan’s formal surrender to the Allies on board the battleship USS Missouri. From then until mid January 1946, Pasadena remained in Tokyo Bay supporting American occupation forces. On 19 January, the ship returned to the United States and eventually arrived at San Pedro, California, for a badly needed overhaul.

By September 1946, Pasadena was ready to return to duty and once again headed west. From November 1946 to February 1947, Pasadena participated in naval exercises in Micronesia and then fleet maneuvers in Hawaiian waters. After that, she returned to California. During the summer of 1948, the ship conducted an NROTC training cruise and then on 1 October she got underway for the Far East. Pasadena arrived at Tsingtao, China, at the end of October and continued patrolling off the coast of that troubled nation until May 1949, as Communist forces successfully completed their long fight to win control of China.

On 1 June 1949, Pasadena returned to the United States and began inactivation preparations in September 1949. She was decommissioned at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Washington, in January 1950 and remained in the Pacific Reserve Fleet for twenty years. USS Pasadena was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in December 1970 and was sold for scrapping in July 1972. Pasadena received five battle stars for her service during World War II.


Crew [ edit | edit source ]

Crew of the Canberra plotting target data

The size of the crew of a Baltimore-class cruiser varied by era and by tactical situation. Different sources also differ about the numbers. Naturally, the crew sizes were larger during wartime and furthermore, some cruisers—including all three of the modified Albany-class—were used as flagships and therefore housed an admiral and his staff. At launch, during and shortly after the war, the crews consisted of around 60 officers and about 1000 rank and file crewmen. When an admiral's staff was aboard during wartime, this number could swell to 80 officers and 1500 crewmen. On the Bostons, the standard crew, even in peacetime and without an admiral's staff, was 80 officers and around 1650 crewmen. Because the Albany-class was equipped almost exclusively for guided-missiles, it required fewer crew than the Bostons, and was roughly comparable numerically to the basic Baltimore. Compared to today's crew sizes, these numbers seem high. The modern Ticonderoga-class cruiser is manned by about 400, a sign of the advances of automation and computerization on warships through the Navy's Smart Ship program. Quarters for the crew lay mostly below deck as the superstructure was the site of the Combat Information Center (CIC) and possibly the Admiral's headquarters.


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