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United States' Des Moines class cruisers

Design

There were eight / twelve2 planned heavy cruisers in the Des Moines class.1 These were the last of the major heavy cruiser designs of World War II.3 None were finished in time to serve in World War II.5

Aircraft

There were intended to be two catapults for launching the aircraft.2,4 Most of the ships didn't have them installed.3

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 1945.2 They were also very heavy and twin turrets were considered.2,3

  Weight of Shell Rate of Fire Range Elevation
8" L/55 Mk 162 335 lb2 30/minute2 30,050 yards2 41°2

Engines

There was a boiler and a turbine in each of the three forward engine rooms.2 The fourth room had the turbine and boiler separated.2

Ships

CA-134 USS Des Moines

  • Manufacturer: Bethlehem at Quincy1,2,3,4
  • March 3, 19454, May 28, 1945: Laid down.2,3,4
  • September 27, 1946, 19465: Launched.1,2,3,4,5
  • November 16, 1948, November 17, 19483: Completed.2,3

CA-139 USS Salem

  • Manufacturer: Bethlehem at Quincy1,2,3,4
  • June 4, 19453, July 4, 1945, 19454: Laid down.2,3,4
  • March 25, 1947, March 27, 19472, 19475: Launched.1,2,3,4,5
  • May 9, 19493, May 14, 1949: Completed.2,3

CA-140 USS Dallas

  • Manufacturer: Bethlehem at Quincy1,2,3,4
  • October 15, 1945, 19454: Laid down.2,4
  • June 6, 1946: Cancelled.1,2,3,4 7.8% complete.2

CA-141

  • Cancelled.3,4

CA-142, CA-143

  • August 12, 1945: Work suspended.2
  • Cancelled.4

CA-148 USS Newport News

  • Manufacturer: Newport News1,2,3,4
  • October 1, 1945, 19454: Laid down.2,3,4
  • March 6, 1947, 19475: Launched.1,2,3,4,5
  • January 29, 1949: Completed.2,3

CA-149

  • August 12, 1945: Work suspended.2

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

  • Manufacturer: New York Shipbuilding2
  • March 28, 1945: Cancelled.2

Specifications

  Des Moines class
Crew 1,7992,3, 1,8001, 1,8605
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 17,000 tons1,4,5, 17,255 tons2,3
Displacement - Loaded 20,934 tons2,3, 21,000 tons4, 21,500 tons5
Length 716' 6"1,2,3,4,5
218.39 m2,3, 218.4 m5
Length - Waterline 700'1,2,3
213.36 m2,3
Beam 75' 4"2,3,4, 76' 6"1,5
22.96 m2,3, 23.3 m5
Draft / Height 22'1,5, 26'2,3
6.7 m5, 7.92 m2,3
Performance  
Speed 32 knots4, 33 knots1,2,3,5
Range at 15 knots 10,500 nautical miles2,3
Armament 8" triple turrets1, 8" / 20.3 cm triple turrets5, 8" L/55 triple turrets3,4, 8" L/55 Mk 16 triple turrets2: 31,2,3,4,5
Anti-Aircraft 5" twin turrets1, 5" / 12.7 cm DP twin turrets5, 5" L/38 twin turrets2,3,4: 61,2,3,4,5
3"1, 3" / 7.6 cm DP5, 3" twin mounts2, 3" L/50 twin mounts3: 122, 201, 243,5
40 mm4: 604
20 mm2,5, 20 mm twin mounts3: 123,5, 242
Aircraft 41,2,4,5
Armor  
Barbettes 6.3"3, 6.33"2
Belt - Main 4" - 6"2,3, 6" - 8"4,5
15.2 cm - 20.3 cm5
Bulkheads 4" - 5"3
Control Tower 8"5
20.3 cm5
Deck - main 3"5, 3" + 2"4, 3.75"2
7.6 cm5
Deck - upper 1"2
Turrets 6"5
15.2 cm5
Turrets - Front 8"2,3
Turrets - Rear 1.5"3
Turrets - Side 2" - 3.75"3, 3.75"2
Turrets - Top 4"2,3
Engines  
Boilers Babcock & Wilcox2,3,4: 42,3
Shafts 41,2,3,4,5
Turbines Geared1,4, General Electric geared2,3,5
HP 120,0001,2,3,4,5
Oil 2,600 tons4, 3,006 tons2,3

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