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Cleveland Class, U.S. Light Cruisers


Photograph of Cleveland-class light
                  cruiser

Naval Historical Center # NH 55173

Schematic diagram of Cleveland class light cruiser

ONI 222


Specifications:


Tonnage

11,700 tons standard

Dimensions

610' by 66'3" by 24'7"
185.93m by 20.19m by 7.49m

Maximum speed      

32.5 knots

Complement

1285

Aircraft

2 catapults
4 seaplanes

Armament

4x3 6"/47 guns
6x2 5"/38 dual purpose guns
4x2 40mm Bofors AA guns
13x1 20mm Oerlikon AA guns

Protection

1468 tons:
5" (127mm) machinery belt tapering to 3.3" (83mm) backed by 0.5" (16mm) STS plating
5" (127mm) machinery bulkheads tapering to 2" (51mm)
2" (51mm) forward magazine belt
4.7" (120mm) aft magazine belt
3.7" (93mm) magazine bulkheads
2" (51mm) armor deck
6" (152mm) barbettes
6"/3"/3"/1.3" (152mm/76mm/76mm/32mm) turret face/roof/side/rear
1.3" (32mm) secondary guns
5" (130 mm) conning tower (first nine units only)
Triple bottom
Double bottom to armored deck enclosing magazines
Immune zones
9,500 to 22,000 yards against 6" shells
Machinery
4-shaft General Electric geared turbines (100,000 shp)
4 Babcock & Wilcox boilers

Bunkerage

2100 tons fuel oil

Range

11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km) at 15 knots
Sensors
SC radar
Modifications
Highly variable by unit.

1942-11: Light antiaircraft increased to 4x2, 2x4 40mm guns.

All units equipped with SG and FC radar by 1943-6.

1944-5: Light antiaicraft increased to 6x2, 4x4 40mm guns, 10x1 20mm Oerlikon AA guns

One catapult removed late in the war.


The Clevelands were completed in 1942-45. Based largely on the Brooklyns, these were excellent ships, with good firepower, protection, and basic toughness. The second Houston survived two torpedo hits that resulted in over 9000 tons of flooding, a remarkable demonstration of hull strength. Their machinery was well-dispersed and they were very maneuverable. Their greatest weakness, which they shared with too many other American designs, was that they were top heavy. Perhaps this explains why members of other services often referred to American sailors as "pukes."

The design went back to 1938, when the tentative FY40 program called for two 8000-ton cruisers. The projected numbers went up as the world crisis deepened, and by May 1939 the features being demanded had evolved beyond what could be fit on an 8000-ton displacement. The outbreak of war in Europe effectively ended the treaty limitations, and new cruisers were needed in a hurry, leading to a decision on 2 October 1939 to base the new ships on Helena, the final Brooklyn to be completed. The most visible difference was the replacement of one main turret with an additional pair of heavy antiaircraft turrets. Stability concerns also required a larger beam.

None were lost in combat, though, as previously noted, Houston came very close to being lost off Formosa.

Several units of this class were converted on the ways to Independence-class light carriers.


Units in the Pacific:

Columbia

arrived 1942-11-14

Cleveland

arrived 1942-12-10

Montpelier

arrived 1943-1-1

Denver

arrived 1943-1-29

Santa Fe

arrived 1943-3-14

Mobile

arrived 1943-7-16

Birmingham

arrived 1943-8-31

Biloxi

arrived 1943-12

Houston

arrived 1944-4-23

Miami

arrived 1944-4-23

Vincennes

arrived 1944-4-23

Pasadena

arrived 1944-10-2

Wilkes-Barre

arrived 1944-10-27

Astoria

arrived 1944-12-1

Vicksburg

arrived 1945-1-11

Springfield

arrived 1945-2-5

Atlanta

arrived 1945-4

Duluth

arrived 1945-4-1

Topeka

arrived 1945-4-19

Oklahoma City      

arrived 1945-4-25

Dayton

arrived 1945-5

Amsterdam

arrived 1945-6-1

Photo Gallery

Profile
                view of Cleveland-class cruiser

U.S. Navy

Forward view of Cleveland-class cruiser

U.S. Navy

Aft view of Cleveland-class cruiser

U.S. Navy

Overhead view of Cleveland

U.S. Navy

Photograph of foremast of Denver in 1944.

U.S. Navy

Photograph of rear superstructure of
                Cleveland-class cruiser

U.S. Navy

Photograph of aircraft catapults of Cleveland-class
                cruiser

U.S. Navy

References

DANFS

Friedman (1984)

Gogin (2008; accessed 2012-11-24)

Whitley (1995)

Worth (2001)



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