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Wichita, U.S. Heavy Cruiser


Photograph of Wichita

Naval Historical Center #93415

Photograph of Wichita class heavy cruiser

ONI 222

Specifications:

Tonnage 10,600 tons standard displacement
Dimensions 608'3" by 61'10" by 25'
185.39m by 18.85m by 7.62m
Maximum speed       32.5 knots
Complement 929
Aircraft 2 catapults
4 seaplanes
Armament 3x3 8"/55 guns
8x1 5"/38 dual-purpose guns
2x4 1.1"/75 AA guns
8 0.50 machine guns
Protection 1437 tons:
6" (152mm) belt backed by STS steel
6" (152mm) bulkheads
2.25" (57mm) deck
8"/3.75"/2.75" (203mm/95mm/70mm) turret front/side/roof
7" (178mm) barbettes
6" (152mm) conning tower
Machinery
4-shaft Parsons geared turbine (100,000 shp)
8 Babcock & Wilcox boilers
Bunkerage 1984 tons fuel oil
Range 10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km) at 15 knots
Sensors
Radar (likely SC)
Modifications

Radar regularly updated

1943-11: 1.1" guns replaced with 4x4, 2x2 40mm Bofors AA guns and 18x1 20mm Oerlikon AA guns

1945: 2x2 40mm guns added


The Wichita was completed in 1939 at Philadelphia Navy Yard. She was an excellent design considering that she had to live under the treaty restrictions. She was basically an improved Brooklyn with 8" guns and heavier armor than any of her foreign counterparts. She had good range and improved antiaircraft arcs of fire, and she had conical barbettes to permit the use of turrets with wider gun separation without exceeding space and weight constraints. These new turrets reduced dispersion of shot, which had long been a problem with U.S. 8" gun turrets. However, like too many American designs, she ended up somewhat top-heavy, and her machinery dispersal was inadequate. Her lack of stability restricted wartime modifications.

Wichita was deployed to the Pacific in December 1942.

Photo Gallery


Photograph of bridge of Wichita

U.S. Navy

References

DANFS

Whitley (1995)

Worth (2001)


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