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United States' Wichita Class Cruisers

Photos

CA-45 USS Wichita in the North Atlantic in September 1941:
CA-45 USS Wichita in the North Atlantic in September 1941
US Navy Photo, NH-94652
CA-45 USS Wichita being inspected by Navy brass in April 1942:
CA-45 USS Wichita being inspected by Navy brass in April 1942
US Navy Photo, NH-93309
CA-45 USS Wichita in the North Atlantic in 1942:
CA-45 USS Wichita in the North Atlantic in 1942
US Navy Photo, 80-G-405279
CA-45 USS Wichita with the USS Wasp:
CA-45 USS Wichita with the USS Wasp
US Navy Photo, NH-97884

Design

The Wichita was based on the Brooklyn class of cruisers but had the guns in the turrets were spaced further apart and was heavier.

Aircraft

There were two catapults to launch aircraft. The hanger was located below the catapults with a large sliding hatch.

Ships

CA-45 USS Wichita

  • August 22, 1934: Order placed
  • Manufacturer: New York Ship Building, Philadelphia Navy Yard
  • October 28, 1935: Laid down.
  • November 16, 1937: Launching.
  • February 16, 1939, March 1939: Completed.
  • 1939: Member of Cruiser Division 7, Atlantic Squadron.
  • Summer 1939: Two 0.5" machine guns added.
  • 1939: Neutrality Patrol in Caribbean.
  • June - September 1940: Cruise to South America.
  • June 1941: Two 1.1" quad mounts added.
  • Autumn 1941: Escorted troops to Iceland.
  • March 1942: Member of British Home Fleet at Scapa Flow. Escorted convoys to Russia.
  • November 1942: North Africa. Damaged by shore batteries.
  • December 1942: Northern Pacific.
  • Attu.
  • January 1943: Rennell Island.
  • April 1943: Flagship of Task Group 52.10 (TG52.10) and later Task Group 16.4 (TG16.4).
  • July 1943: Kiska.
  • July - December 1943: Refit at Puget Sound.
  • November 1943: Four 40 mm quad mounts added. Two 1.1" quad mounts removed. Eighteen 20 mm guns total.
  • Kwajalein.
  • Marshall Islands.
  • Truk raid.
  • Hollandia.
  • 1944 - 1945: Pacific raids.
  • June 1944: Battle of Philippine Seas. Marianas.
  • October 1944: Member of Task Force 38 (TF38). Okinawa. Formosa. Luzon.
  • October 13, 1944: Towed damaged HMAS Canberra after Battle of Cape Engano.
  • October 25, 1944: Sank IJN Chiyoda and IJN Hatsutsuki.
  • November 1944 - February 1945: Refit in United States.
  • Saipan.
  • Palau.
  • Leyte Gulf.
  • Okinawa.
  • September 1945: Occupation of Japan.

Specifications

  Wichita class
Crew 882 - 1,200, 929, 1,100
Displacement 9,324 tons, 10,000 tons, 10,589 tons
Displacement - Loaded 13,015 tons, 13,400 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 608' 3", 608' 4", 614'
185.42 m
Length - Waterline 600'
182.88 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Beam 61' 9"
18.82 m
Draft / Height 19' 6", 19' 10", 23' 9"
7.24 m
Performance  
Speed 32.5 knots, 33 knots, 34 knots
Range at 15 knots 10,000 nautical miles
Armament 8" triple turrets, 8" L/55 triple turrets, 8" L/55 Mk 12 triple turrets: 3
Anti-Aircraft 5" L/38, 5" L/38 DP, 5" L/38 Mk 12, 5" DP: 8
40 mm: 16
20 mm: 14
0.5" machine guns: 8
Aircraft 4
Armor  
Barbettes 7"
Belt - Main 4" - 6", 4.5" - 6.5", 5"
Control Tower 6", 8"
Deck 2.25", 3" + 2"
Turrets - Front 5" - 6", 8"
Turrets - Rear 1.5", 3"
Turrets - Side 3", 3.25", 3.75"
Turrets - Top 2.75"
Engines  
Boilers Babcock & Wilcox: 8
Shafts 4
Turbines Geared, Parsons geared, Westinghouse geared
HP 100,000
Oil 1,323 tons - 1,984 tons, 1,650 tons, 1,984 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
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site