Cleveland-class cruiser

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USS Cleveland (CL-55) underway at sea in late 1942 (NH 55173).jpg
USS Cleveland at sea in 1942
Class overview
Name:Cleveland class
Builders:
Operators: United States Navy
Preceded by:
Succeeded by:Fargo class
In commission:1942–79
Planned:52
Completed:27
Cancelled:3 (9 converted to aircraft carriers, 13 reordered as Fargo class)
Retired:27
Preserved:1 (converted to a Galveston-class guided missile cruiser)
General characteristics
Type:Light cruiser
Displacement:
  • 11,744 long tons (11,932 t) (standard)
  • 14,131 long tons (14,358 t) (max)
Length:
  • 600 ft (180 m) wl
  • 608 ft 4 in (185.42 m) oa
Beam:66 ft 4 in (20.22 m)
Height:113 ft (34 m)
Draft:
  • 25 ft 6 in (7.77 m) (mean)
  • 25 ft (7.6 m) (max)
Installed power:
Propulsion:
Speed:32.5 kn (37.4 mph; 60.2 km/h)
Range:8,640 nmi (16,000 km; 9,940 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)[1]
Complement:
  • 1,255 Total
    • 70 officers
    • 1,115 enlisted men
Armament:
Armor:
  • Belt: 3.25–5 in (83–127 mm)
  • Deck: 2 in (51 mm)
  • Bulkheads: 5 in (130 mm)
  • Turrets Face: 6.50 in (165 mm)
  • Turrets Roof: 3 in (76 mm)
  • Turrets Sides: 3 in (76 mm)
  • Turrets Rear: 1.5 in (38 mm)
  • Barbettes: 6 in (150 mm)
  • Conning tower: 2.25–5 in (57–127 mm)
Aircraft carried:4 × floatplanes
Aviation facilities:2 × stern catapults
Notes:Dimensions in feet from Jane's American Fighting ships of the 20th Century, 1991

The Cleveland class was a group of light cruisers built for the U.S. Navy during World War II, and were the most numerous class of light cruisers ever built.

Development[edit]

The Cleveland-class was a development of the preceding Brooklyn-class. The ships were designed with the goal of increased cruising range, anti-aircraft armament, torpedo protection, etc., compared with earlier U.S. cruisers.[2]

Technical drawing of a Cleveland-class cruiser.

The preferred cruiser of the US Navy, the 6" guns could hurl 10 rounds per minute as opposed to 3 rounds per minute on US heavy cruisers using 8" guns and bagged charges. 27 of the Cleveland Class would be built as opposed to 17 Baltimore Class cruisers. The fleet was complaining bitterly about the slow rate of fire.[3] The US Navy in the 1930s began to deploy drones to use as targets for anti-aircraft targets. These drones could dive to simulate dive bombers and could be used simulate torpedo bombers as well. The results were dismaying to the fleet when the results came in. Without fire control directors and computers, the ships of the fleet would be almost helpless against the density of aircraft attack they envisioned the future war bringing. The mechanical computers alone could weigh up to 10 tons and had to be housed below decks for both weight and protection measures.[4] As World War II was to prove, the dismal assumptions made pre-war were optimistic. Eventually, every anti-aircraft gun platform above 20mm would end up moving to remote power and aiming with associated fire control and radar.[5] As designed the Cleveland Class was already a tight design but requests to widen the ship were turned down because it would affect production rates.[6] To achieve this, the fifth 6-inch gun turret was omitted. This also gave room for the enlargement of the bridge spaces to accommodate the new combat information center and the necessary radars. However, the increase of light anti-aircraft artillery made the class top-heavy towards the end of World War II. To compensate for the weight increase, some ships had one catapult removed, also the rangefinders were removed from turret A.[7] The top weight issues would plague the class with every addition of equipment having to be carefully weighed against what would have to be removed. Fighter control radar installation required the removal of 20mm clipping rooms for instance.[8]

Subclasses[edit]

Fifty-two ships of this class were originally planned, but nine of them were completed as the light aircraft carriers of the Independence class, and two of them were completed to a somewhat different design, with more compact superstructures and just a single stack. These two were called the Fargo class. Of the 27 Cleveland-class cruisers that were commissioned, one (Galveston) was completed as a guided missile cruiser and five were later modified as Galveston and Providence-class guided missile cruisers. Two of each of the guided missile cruiser-classes had enlarged superstructures to serve as flagships. Following the naming convention at the time, all the ships completed as cruisers were named for US cities and towns.[9]

Service[edit]

The Cleveland-class cruisers served mainly in the Pacific Fleet during World War II, especially in the Fast Carrier Task Force, but some of them served off the coasts of Europe and Africa in the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. All of these warships, though worked heavily and damaged in some cases, survived the war. All of this class were initially decommissioned by 1950, except for Manchester, which remained in service until 1956, but six were later finished or converted to guided missile cruisers, and these served into the 1970s. The Clevelands suffered from increasing stability problems as anti-aircraft armament and additional radar was added during the war. None were recommissioned for the Korean War, as they required a crew almost as large as the Baltimore-class ships, and those ships were reactivated instead. All non-converted ships were sold off from the reserve fleet for scrapping beginning in 1959. The six that were completed as or converted into guided missile cruisers were reactivated during the 1950s and then served into the 1970s. All, particularly the Talos-armed ships, suffered from greater stability problems than the original design due to the extra radar equipment and top weight. This problem was particularly severe in Galveston, leading to its premature decommissioning in 1970. Oklahoma City and Little Rock had to have a large amount of ballast and internal rearrangement to allow continued service into the 1970s.[10] The last of these missile ships in service, Oklahoma City, was decommissioned in December 1979.

Preserved ships[edit]

Only one Cleveland-class ship remains. She is the guided missile cruiser Little Rock, now a museum ship along the Niagara River at Buffalo, New York, along with the Fletcher-class destroyer The Sullivans, and the Gato-class submarine, Croaker.[11]

Ships in class[edit]

Ship NameHull No.BuilderLaid downLaunchedCommissioned
Recommissioned
DecommissionedFate
ClevelandCL-55New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey1 July 19401 November 194115 June 19427 February 1947Struck 1 March 1959; Sold for scrap, 18 February 1960
ColumbiaCL-5618 August 194017 December 194129 July 194230 November 1946Struck 1 March 1959; Sold for scrap, 18 February 1959
MontpelierCL-572 December 194012 February 19429 September 194224 January 1947Struck 1 March 1959; Sold for scrap, 22 January 1960
DenverCL-5826 December 19404 April 194215 October 19427 February 1947Struck 1 March 1959; Sold for scrap, 4 February 1960
AmsterdamCL-591 May 1941N/AReordered as the light aircraft carrier USS Independence (CVL-22)
Santa FeCL-607 June 194110 June 194224 November 194229 October 1946Struck 1 March 1959; Sold for scrap, 9 November 1959
TallahasseeCL-612 June 1941N/AReordered as the light aircraft carrier
USS Princeton (CVL-23)
BirminghamCL-62Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia17 February 194120 March 194229 January 19432 January 1947Struck 1 March 1959; Sold for scrap, 12 November 1959
MobileCL-6314 April 194115 May 194224 March 19439 May 1947Struck 1 March 1959; Sold for scrap, 16 December 1959
Vincennes
(ex-Flint)
CL-64Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts7 March 194217 July 194321 January 194410 September 1946Struck 1 April 1966; Sunk as target, 28 October 1969
PasadenaCL-656 February 194328 December 19438 June 194412 January 1950Struck 1 December 1970; Sold for scrap, 5 July 1972
SpringfieldCL-6613 February 19439 March 19449 September 194430 September 1949Struck 31 July 1980; Sold for scrap, 11 March 1980
CLG-72 July 196015 May 1974
TopekaCL-6721 April 194319 August 194423 December 194418 June 1949Struck 1 December 1973; Sold for scrap, 20 March 1975
CLG-826 March 19605 June 1969
New HavenCL-76New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey11 August 1941N/AReordered as the light aircraft carrier
USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24)
HuntingtonCL-7717 November 1941Reordered as the light aircraft carrier
USS Cowpens (CVL-25)
DaytonCL-7829 December 1941Reordered as the light aircraft carrier
USS Monterey (CVL-26)
WilmingtonCL-7916 March 1942Reordered as the light aircraft carrier
USS Cabot (CVL-28)
BiloxiCL-80Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia9 July 194123 February 194331 August 194329 August 1946Struck 1 December 1961; Sold for scrap, 5 March 1962
Houston
(ex-Vicksburg)
CL-814 August 194119 June 194320 December 194315 December 1947Struck 1 March 1959; Sold for scrap, 1 June 1961
ProvidenceCL-82Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts27 July 194328 December 194415 May 194514 June 1949Struck 30 September 1978; Sold for scrap, 15 July 1980
CLG-617 September 195931 August 1973
ManchesterCL-8325 September 19445 March 194629 October 194627 June 1956Struck 1 April 1960; Sold for scrap, 31 October 1961
BuffaloCL-84Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearny, New JerseyN/AN/ACancelled, 16 December 1940
FargoCL-85New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey11 April 1942Reordered as the light aircraft carrier
USS Langley (CVL-27)
Vicksburg
(ex-Cheyenne)
CL-86Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia26 October 194214 December 194312 June 194430 June 1947Struck 1 October 1962; Sold for scrap, 25 August 1964
DuluthCL-879 November 194213 January 194418 September 194425 June 1949Struck 1 January 1960; Sold for scrap, 14 November 1960
NewarkCL-88Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearny, New JerseyN/ACancelled 16 December 1940
MiamiCL-89William Cramp & Sons Shipbuilding Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania2 August 19418 December 194228 December 194330 June 1947Struck 1 September 1961; Sold for scrap, 20 July 1962
Astoria
(ex-Wilkes-Barre)
CL-906 September 19416 March 194317 May 19441 July 1949Struck 1 November 1969; Sold for scrap, 12 January 1971
Oklahoma CityCL-918 December 194220 February 194422 December 194430 June 1947Struck 15 December 1979; Sunk as target, 25 March 1999
CLG-57 September 196015 December 1979
Little RockCL-926 March 194327 August 194417 June 194524 June 1949Struck 22 November 1976; Donated to the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park

as a Museum ship, 1 June 1977

CLG- 43 June 196022 November 1976
GalvestonCL-9327 August 194322 April 194528 May 1958May 1970Struck 21 December 1973; Sold for scrap, 16 May 1975
CLG-3
YoungstownCL-944 September 1944N/AContract cancelled, 12 August 1945
BuffaloCL-99New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey31 August 1942Reordered as the light aircraft carrier
USS Bataan (CVL-29)
NewarkCL-10026 October 1942Reordered as the light aircraft carrier
USS San Jacinto (CVL-30)
AmsterdamCL-101Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia3 March 194325 April 19448 January 194530 June 1947Struck 2 January 1971; Sold for scrap, 11 February 1972
PortsmouthCL-10228 June 194320 September 194425 June 194515 June 1949Struck 15 January 1971; Sold for scrap, 26 February 1974
Wilkes-BarreCL-103New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey14 December 194224 December 19431 July 19449 October 1947Struck 15 January 1971; Sunk in testing, 13 May 1972
AtlantaCL-10425 January 19436 February 19443 December 19441 July 1949Struck 1 October 1962; Sunk in testing, 1 October 1970
DaytonCL-1058 March 194319 March 19447 January 19451 March 1949Struck 1 September 1961; Sold for scrap, 6 April 1962

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Norman Friedman, U.S. Cruisers, An Illustrated Design History p. 479. 1984 ISBN 978-0-87021-718-0
  2. ^ Norman Friedman, U.S. Cruisers, An Illustrated Design History 1984 ISBN 978-0-87021-718-0
  3. ^ US Cruisers: An Illustrated History Friedman, Norman pg 270
  4. ^ Naval Anti-Aircraft Guns and Gunnery loc 3772 - 3792
  5. ^ US Cruisers: An Illustrated History Friedman, Norman pg 259-265
  6. ^ US Cruisers: An Illustrated History Friedman, Norman pg 259-265
  7. ^ Stefan Terzibaschitsch: Kreuzer der U.S. Navy. Koehler, Herford (Germany) 1984, p. 174. ISBN 3-7822-0348-8
  8. ^ US Cruisers: An Illustrated History Friedman, Norman pg 270
  9. ^ M.J. Whitley, Cruisers Of World War Two, An International Encyclopedia 1995 ISBN 978-1-86019-874-8
  10. ^ Those Cleveland Class Cruisers. An exercise in expediency in N.Wilder Post.' Sea Classics Oct 2013, V46, No 10', pp18-25 & 65
  11. ^ "Ships". Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park. Retrieved 13 April 2015.

External links[edit]