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United States' Des Moines class cruisers

Design

There were eight / twelve planned heavy cruisers in the Des Moines class. These were the last of the major heavy cruiser designs of World War II. None were finished in time to serve in World War II.

Aircraft

There were intended to be two catapults for launching the aircraft. Most of the ships didn't have them installed.

Armament

Originally the ships were to have the 8" L/55 Mk 16 guns which were automatic rapid firing, but weren't available until late 1945. They were also very heavy and twin turrets were considered.

  Weight of Shell Rate of Fire Range Elevation
8" L/55 Mk 16 335 lb 30/minute 30,050 yards 41°

Engines

There was a boiler and a turbine in each of the three forward engine rooms. The fourth room had the turbine and boiler separated.

Ships

CA-134 USS Des Moines

  • Manufacturer: Bethlehem at Quincy
  • March 3, 1945, May 28, 1945: Laid down.
  • September 27, 1946, 1946: Launched.
  • November 16, 1948, November 17, 1948: Completed.

CA-139 USS Salem

  • Manufacturer: Bethlehem at Quincy
  • June 4, 1945, July 4, 1945, 1945: Laid down.
  • March 25, 1947, March 27, 1947, 1947: Launched.
  • May 9, 1949, May 14, 1949: Completed.

CA-140 USS Dallas

  • Manufacturer: Bethlehem at Quincy
  • October 15, 1945, 1945: Laid down.
  • June 6, 1946: Cancelled. 7.8% complete.

CA-141

  • Cancelled.

CA-142, CA-143

  • August 12, 1945: Work suspended.
  • Cancelled.

CA-148 USS Newport News

  • Manufacturer: Newport News
  • October 1, 1945, 1945: Laid down.
  • March 6, 1947, 1947: Launched.
  • January 29, 1949: Completed.

CA-149

  • August 12, 1945: Work suspended.

CA-150, CA-151, CA-152, CA-153

  • Manufacturer: New York Shipbuilding
  • March 28, 1945: Cancelled.

Specifications

  Des Moines class
Crew 1,799, 1,800, 1,860
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 17,000 tons, 17,255 tons
Displacement - Loaded 20,934 tons, 21,000 tons, 21,500 tons
Length 716' 6"
218.39 m, 218.4 m
Length - Waterline 700'
213.36 m
Beam 75' 4", 76' 6"
22.96 m, 23.3 m
Draft / Height 22', 26'
6.7 m, 7.92 m
Performance  
Speed 32 knots, 33 knots
Range at 15 knots 10,500 nautical miles
Armament 8" triple turrets, 8" / 20.3 cm triple turrets, 8" L/55 triple turrets, 8" L/55 Mk 16 triple turrets: 3
Anti-Aircraft 5" twin turrets, 5" / 12.7 cm DP twin turrets, 5" L/38 twin turrets: 6
3", 3" / 7.6 cm DP, 3" twin mounts, 3" L/50 twin mounts: 12, 20, 24
40 mm: 60
20 mm, 20 mm twin mounts: 12, 24
Aircraft 4
Armor  
Barbettes 6.3", 6.33"
Belt - Main 4" - 6", 6" - 8"
15.2 cm - 20.3 cm
Bulkheads 4" - 5"
Control Tower 8"
20.3 cm
Deck - main 3", 3" + 2", 3.75"
7.6 cm
Deck - upper 1"
Turrets 6"
15.2 cm
Turrets - Front 8"
Turrets - Rear 1.5"
Turrets - Side 2" - 3.75", 3.75"
Turrets - Top 4"
Engines  
Boilers Babcock & Wilcox: 4
Shafts 4
Turbines Geared, General Electric geared
HP 120,000
Oil 2,600 tons, 3,006 tons

Sources:

  1. US Warships of World War 2, Paul H. Silverstone, 1965
  2. Cruisers of World War Two An International Encyclopedia, M. J. Whitley, 1995
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  4. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site