USS Milwaukee (CL-5), Tacoma, Washington, 1923

US Navy Light Cruisers 1941-45, Mark Stille .Covers the five classes of US Navy light cruisers that saw service during the Second World War, with sections on their design, weaponry, radar, combat experience. Nicely organised, with the wartime service records separated out from the main text, so that the design history of the light cruisers flows nicely. Interesting to see how new roles had to be found for them, after other technology replaced them as reconnaissance aircraft [read full review]

CL-5 Milwaukee

USS Milwaukee, a 7050-ton Omaha class light cruiser built at Tacoma, Washington, was commissioned in June 1923. Shortly afterwards she made a shakedown cruise across the Pacific to Australia, and on the way gathered oceanographic data using new sonic depth-sounding equipment. For nearly two decades afterwards, Milwaukee served in both the Atlantic and Pacific areas. Among her activities during this time were participation in hurricane relief activities in Cuba in October 1926, cruises in Asiatic waters in the late 1920s and in 1938, locating the Atlantic Ocean's greatest depth in February 1939, and taking part in Neutrality Patrol work during the early 1940s.

In mid-1941, as the United States moved closer to hostilities with Germany, Milwaukee became part of a newly-formed patrol force in the South Atlantic. Operating out of Brazil, she remained in this assignment for nearly three years, with a brief break early in 1942 when she escorted a convoy to the South Pacific. In May 1942, Milwaukee helped to salvage the torpedoed Brazilian merchant ship Comandante Lyra. She was also closely involved with the interception and destruction of the German blockade runner Annaliese Essberger on 21 November 1942.

Milwaukee left the South Atlantic in February 1944 and escorted a convoy from New York to the United Kingdom. In March and April she was part of a British convoy that sailed to Murmansk, on the north coast of Russia. Soon after her arrival there, Milwaukee was transferred under lend-lease to the Soviet Navy, which renamed her Murmansk and operated her through the rest of World War II, and beyond. Finally, in mid-March 1949, the now-obsolete cruiser was returned to the United States. Immediately laid up at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, USS Milwaukee was sold for scrapping in late 1949.

USS Milwaukee (CL 5)

Transferred on loan to Soviet Union on 20 April 1944 renamed Murmansk.
Returned back to the U.S.N. on 16 March 1949.
Decommissioned and stricken 18 March 1949.
Sold for scrap 10 December 1949 to American Shipbreakers, Inc., Wilmington, Delaware.

Commands listed for USS Milwaukee (CL 5)

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1Capt. Forrest Betton Royal, USNOct 194128 Nov 1942 ( 1 )
2Capt. Jacob Harry Jacobson, USN28 Nov 19421 Jul 1943 ( 1 )
3T/Capt. Charles Frederick Fielding, USN1 Jul 194320 Apr 1944

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Maneuvers conducted in January 1915, made it clear that the US Atlantic Fleet lacked the fast cruisers necessary to provide information on the enemy's position, deny the enemy information of the fleet's own position, and screen friendly forces. Built to scout for a fleet of battleships, the Omaha class featured high speed (35 kn (65 km/h 40 mph)) for cooperation with destroyers, and 6-inch (152 mm) guns to fend off any destroyers the enemy might send against them. Displacing 7,050 long tons (7,160 t), they were just over 555 ft (169 m) long. [1]

The Omaha class was designed specifically in response to the British Centaur subclass of the C-class cruiser. Although from a modern viewpoint, a conflict between the US and Great Britain seems implausible, US Navy planners during this time, and up to the mid-1930s, considered Britain to be a formidable rival for power in the Atlantic, and the possibility of armed conflict between the two countries plausible enough to merit appropriate planning measures.

The Omaha class mounted four smokestacks, a look remarkably similar to the Clemson-class destroyers (a camouflage scheme was devised to enhance the resemblance). Their armament showed the slow change from casemate-mounted weapons to turret-mounted guns. They carried twelve 6 in (150 mm)/53 caliber guns, of which four were mounted in two twin turrets, one fore and one aft, and the remaining eight in casemates four on each side. Launched in 1920, Omaha (designated C-4 and later CL-4) had a displacement of 7,050 long tons. The cruisers emerged with a distinctly old-fashioned appearance owing to their World War I-type stacked twin casemate-mount cannons and were among the last broadside cruisers designed anywhere. [2]

Additional torpedo tubes and hydrophone installation was ordered. As a result of the design changes placed on the ship mid-construction, the vessel that entered the water in 1920, was a badly overloaded design that, even at the beginning, had been rather tight. The ships were insufficiently insulated, too hot in the tropics and too cold in the north. Sacrifices in weight savings in the name of increased speed led to severe compromise in the habitability of the ship. While described as a good ship in a seaway, the low freeboard led to frequent water ingestion over the bow and in the torpedo compartments and lower aft casemates. The lightly built hulls leaked, so that sustained high-speed steaming contaminated the oil tanks with sea water. [3]

These drawbacks notwithstanding, the US Navy took some pride in the Omaha class. They featured improved compartmentalization propulsion machinery was laid out on the unit system, with alternating groups of boiler rooms and engine rooms, to prevent immobilization by a single torpedo hit. Magazines were the first to be placed on centerline, below the waterline. A serious flaw in these ships' subdivision was the complete lack of watertight bulkheads anywhere above the main deck or aft on the main deck. [4]

Originally designed to serve as scouts, they served throughout the interwar period as leaders of fleet flotillas, helping them resist enemy destroyer attack. Tactical scouting became the province of cruiser aircraft, and the distant scouting role was taken over by the new heavy cruisers spawned by the Washington Naval Treaty. Thus, the Omaha class never performed their designed function. They were relegated to the fleet-screening role, where their high speed and great volume of fire were most appreciated. [5]

Armament changes Edit

During their careers the Omahas went through several armament changes. Some of these changes were to save weight, while others were to increase their AA armament. On 8 September 1926, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Edward W. Eberle, along with the Commanders in Chief of the United States Fleet and Battle Fleet, and their subordinate commanding officers, the Secretary of the Navy, Curtis D. Wilbur, ordered that all mines and the tracks for laying the mines be removed from all of the Omaha-class cruisers, as the working conditions had been found to be very "wet". In 1933–1934, their 3-inch AA guns were increased from two to eight, all mounted in the ship's waist. [6] The lower torpedo tube mounts, which had also proved to be very wet, were removed and the openings plated over before the start of World War II. After 1939, the lower aft 6-inch guns were removed from most of the Omahas and the casemates plated over for the same reason as the lower torpedo mounts. The ships' AA armament was first augmented by three quadruple 1.1-inch (28 mm)/75 gun mounts by early 1942, however, these did not prove reliable and were replaced by twin 40-millimeter (1.57 in) Bofors guns later in the war. At about the same time they also received 20-millimeter (0.79 in) Oerlikon cannons. [7]

Both Detroit and Raleigh were at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese surprise attack, with Raleigh being torpedoed. Detroit, along with St. Louis and Phoenix, were the only large ships to get out of the harbor during the attack.

The ships of the Omaha class spent most of the war deployed to secondary theaters and in less vital tasks than those assigned to more recently built cruisers. The Omaha class were sent to places where their significant armament might be useful if called upon, but where their age and limited abilities were less likely to be tested. These secondary destinations included patrols off the east and west coasts of South America, convoy escort in the South Pacific far from the front lines of battle, patrols and shore bombardment along the distant and frigid Aleutians and Kuril Islands chains, and bombardment duty in the invasion of Southern France when naval resistance was expected to be minimal. The most significant action that any of the ships of the class saw during the war was Marblehead ' s participation in early war actions around the Dutch East Indies (most notably, the Battle of Makassar Strait), and Richmond ' s engagement in the Battle of the Komandorski Islands.

None of the ships were wartime losses. Raleigh ' s torpedo damage at Pearl Harbor and Marblehead ' s damage at Makassar Strait were the only significant wartime combat damage suffered by the class.

The ships of the class were considered obsolete as the war ended, and were decommissioned and scrapped within seven months of the surrender of Japan (with the exception of Milwaukee, which had been loaned to the Soviet Navy, and was scrapped when returned to US Navy control in 1949).

The following ships of the class were constructed. [8]

Ship Name Hull No. Builder Laid Down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Fate
Omaha CL-4 Todd Dry Dock & Construction Co., Tacoma, Washington 6 December 1918 14 December 1920 24 February 1923 1 November 1945 Struck 28 November 1945 Scrapped February 1946
Milwaukee CL-5 13 December 1918 24 March 1922 20 June 1923 16 March 1949 Struck 18 March 1949 Sold for scrap, 10 December 1949
Cincinnati CL-6 15 May 1920 23 May 1921 1 January 1924 1 November 1945 Scrapped February 1946
Raleigh CL-7 Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts 16 August 1920 25 October 1922 6 February 1924 2 November 1945 Struck 28 November 1945 Scrapped, February 1946
Detroit CL-8 10 November 1920 29 June 1922 31 July 1923 11 January 1946 Struck 21 January 1946 Scrapped, February 1946
Richmond CL-9 William Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia 16 February 1920 29 September 1921 2 July 1923 21 December 1945 Struck 21 January 1946 Sold for scrap, 18 December 1946
Concord CL-10 29 March 1920 15 December 1921 3 November 1923 12 December 1945 Struck 8 January 1946 Sold for scrap, 21 January 1947
Trenton CL-11 18 August 1920 16 April 1923 19 April 1924 20 December 1945 Struck 21 January 1946 Sold for scrap, 29 December 1946
Marblehead CL-12 4 August 1920 9 October 1923 8 September 1924 1 November 1945 Struck 28 November 1945 Sold for scrap 27 February 1946
Memphis CL-13 14 October 1920 17 April 1924 4 February 1925 17 December 1945 Struck 8 January 1946 Sold for scrap, 18 December 1947

Two other Omaha versions were also designed. The first, intended to function as a monitor, had two 14-inch guns in 2 single turrets, while the other design had four 8-inch guns in two twin turrets. The second design eventually evolved into the Pensacola-class cruiser.


Inter-war period

Shakedown took the new cruiser to Australia via Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji Islands, and New Caledonia, for the Pan-Pacific Scientific Congress which opened in Sydney on 23 August. Fitted with the finest sonic depth–finding equipment, Milwaukee gathered knowledge of the Pacific on route. The Milwaukee Seamounts in the Northern Pacific are named after a set of soundings taken by Milwaukee in 1929.

Although she served primarily in the Pacific during the decades between the world wars, the highlights of her peacetime service came in the Caribbean. On 24 October 1926, Milwaukee and Goff arrived at the Isle of Pines from Guantanamo Bay to assist victims of a fierce hurricane which had devastated the island four days before. The American ships established a medical center at the city hall in Nueva Gerone, furnished the stricken area over 50 short tons (45 t) of food, replaced telephone lines which had been swept away, and maintained wireless communication with the outside world. The efficient and tireless labors of the crews won the respect and gratitude of everyone in the area.

Over 10 years later, while steaming north of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico on 14 February 1939, Milwaukee recorded the greatest depth yet discovered in the Atlantic. The spot—which has a depth of 30,246 ft (9,219 m)—is now known as the "Milwaukee Deep".

U.S. presence in the Orient had, at this time, been being challenged. Japanese aircraft had bombed the gunboat Panay in the Yangtze River near Hankow, China on 12 December 1937, testing American determination to remain in the Orient. Milwaukee—as part of the U.S. Navy's response to the challenge—got underway from San Diego on 3 January 1938 on a cruise to the Far East, which took her to Hawaii, Samoa, Australia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Guam. As tension abated she returned home on 27 April.

World War II

South Atlantic

Milwaukee, Captain Forrest B. Royal commanding, was in New York Navy Yard for overhaul when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Departing New York on 31 December 1941, Milwaukee escorted a convoy to the Caribbean and arrived at Balboa, Panama on 31 January 1942, transited the Panama Canal, and escorted eight troop transports to the Society Islands. Returning to the Atlantic through the canal on 7 March, she stopped at Trinidad en route to Recife, Brazil, where she joined the South Atlantic Patrol Force.

For the next two years, Milwaukee made repeated patrols from ports of Brazil, steaming from the border of French Guiana down to Rio do Janeiro, and across the Atlantic Narrows almost to the African coast. On 19 May, while steaming from Ascension Island to Brazil, she received an SOS from the Brazilian cargo ship SS Commandante Lyra, which had been torpedoed by the Italian submarine Barbarigo off the coast of Brazil. When she reached the scene that morning, Milwaukee found Commandante Lyra abandoned, burning forward and aft, and listing to port.

The destroyer Moffett picked up 16 survivors and Milwaukee rescued 25 others, including the ship's master. The cruiser's sister ship Omaha and the destroyer McDougal were soon on the rescue scene. While Milwaukee refueled at Recife, Omaha ' s salvage party jettisoned deck cargo and ready ammunition for deck guns from the burning Brazilian merchantman. Milwaukee immediately returned to the scene. Her salvage party also jettisoned cargo to lighten the cargo ship. The fires were brought under control, and Commandante Lyra was towed to Fortaleza, Brazil, arriving on 24 May.

Milwaukee put out of Recife on 8 November in company with her sister Cincinnati and the destroyer Somers, seeking German blockade runners. On 21 November, the task force encountered a strange ship which turned out to be the German blockade runner Annaliese Essenberger. Milwaukee challenged the unidentified ship, who replied with the call letters "L-J-P-Y", the international call of Norwegian freighter Sjhflbred. The Allied secret identification signal brought no reply. The two American cruisers maneuvered to cover Somers, chasing the enemy into a small rain squall. At 06:51, when Somers had closed to 4 mi (3.5 nmi 6.4 km), smoke and flames poured from the enemy, who lowered boats. Minutes later, the first of three tremendous explosions hurled wreckage hundreds of feet in the air and the freighter settled by the stern. Then, the Norwegian flag was hauled down and the German merchant swastika flag was raised at the main. The German motorship heeled over to port and sank by the stern. Milwaukee took aboard 62 prisoners from four liferafts.

On the morning of 2 May 1943, while Milwaukee was under repairs at Recife, her crew showed great initiative and skill fighting a fire on tanker SS Livingston Roe which threatened the harbor.

Milwaukee continued her South Atlantic patrols until 8 February 1944, when she departed Bahia, Brazil, for the New York Navy Yard. She stood out from New York on 27 February as a unit of the ocean escort for a convoy which reached Belfast, Northern Ireland on 8 March.

Arctic convoy

On 29 March, Milwaukee put to sea from Belfast, en route to Murmansk, northwest Russia, with Allied convoy JW58. A German submarine was sunk during the night. The following day enemy planes shadowing the convoy were shot down by fighter planes launched from the British escort carrier HMS Activity. A wolfpack of German submarines tried to penetrate the convoy screen during the night of 31 March but was driven off. The following night, seven German submarines shadowed the convoy, but they were also driven off with the possible loss of one enemy submarine. That morning, carrier-based planes reported sinking a German submarine 10 mi (8.7 nmi 16 km) astern.


Omaha ' s keel was laid down by the Todd Dry Dock & Construction Company of Tacoma, Washington, on 6 December 1918. She was launched on 14 December 1920. Omaha was sponsored by Louise Bushnell White, a descendant of David Bushnell, the inventor of the first documented submarine to be used in combat, Turtle. [5] She was commissioned on 24 February 1923, with Captain David C. Hanrahan in command. [2]

Omaha was 550 feet (170 meters) long at the waterline with an overall length of 555 ft 6 in (169.32 m), her beam was 55 ft 4 in (16.87 m) and a mean draft of 14 ft 3 in (4.34 m). Her standard displacement was 7,050 long tons (7,163 t) and 9,508 long tons (9,661 t) at full load. [3] Her crew during peacetime consisted of 29 officers and 429 enlisted men. [4] [6]

Omaha was powered by four Westinghouse geared steam turbines, each driving one screw, using steam generated by 12 Yarrow boilers. The engines were designed to produce 90,000 ihp (67,000 kW) and reach a top speed of 35 kn (65 km/h 40 mph). [3] Though the ship's design was intended to provide a range of 10,000 nmi (19,000 km 12,000 mi) at a speed of 10 kn (19 km/h 12 mph), she only delivered 8,460 nmi (15,670 km 9,740 mi) at that speed. [4] [6]

Omaha ' s main armament went through many changes while she was being designed. Originally she was to mount ten 6-inch (150 mm)/53 caliber guns two on either side at the waist, with the remaining eight mounted in tiered casemates on either side of the fore and aft superstructures. After the United States entry into World War I the US Navy worked alongside the Royal Navy and it was decided to mount four 6-inch/53 caliber guns in two twin gun turrets fore and aft and keep the eight guns in the tiered casemates so that she would have an eight gun broadside and, due to limited arcs of fire from the casemate guns, four to six guns firing fore or aft. Her secondary armament consisted of two 3-inch (76 mm)/50 caliber anti-aircraft (AA) guns in single mounts. She carried two triple and two twin, above-water, torpedo tube mounts for 21-inch (533 mm) torpedoes. The triple mounts were fitted on either side of the upper deck, aft of the midships catapults, and the twin mounts were one deck lower on either side, covered by hatches in the side of the hull. [4] Omaha was also built with the capacity to carry 224 mines. [7]

The ship lacked a full-length waterline armor belt. The sides of her boiler and engine rooms and steering gear were protected by three inches (76 mm) of armor. The transverse bulkheads at the end of her machinery rooms were one and a half inches (38 mm) thick forward and three inches thick aft. The conning tower and the deck over the machinery spaces and steering gear had one and a half inches of armor. The gun turrets were not armored and only provided protection against muzzle blast and splinter damage. [4]

Omaha carried two floatplanes aboard that were stored on the two catapults. Initially these were Vought VE-9s, then Vought UO-1s, the ship then operated Curtiss SOC Seagulls from 1935, and Vought OS2U Kingfishers after 1940. [4]

Armament changes Edit

During her career Omaha went through several armament changes. Some of these changes were to save weight, while others were to increase her AA armament. On 8 September 1926, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Edward W. Eberle, along with the Commanders in Chief of the United States Fleet and Battle Fleet, and their subordinate commanding officers, the Secretary of the Navy, Curtis D. Wilbur, ordered that all mines and the tracks for laying the mines be removed from all of the Omaha-class cruisers, the working conditions had been found to be very "wet". In December 1933, while she was undergoing overhaul at Bremerton, her 3-inch AA guns were increased from two to eight, all mounted in the ship's waist. [5] The lower torpedo tube mounts, which had also proved to be very wet, were removed and the openings plated over before the start of World War II. After 1940, the lower aft 6-inch guns were removed and the casemates plated over for the same reason as the lower torpedo mounts. The ship's AA armament was first augmented by three quadruple 1.1-inch (28 mm)/75 gun mounts by early 1942, however, these didn't prove reliable and were replaced by twin 40-millimeter (1.57 in) Bofors guns later in the war. At about the same time, she also received 14 20-millimeter (0.79 in) Oerlikon cannons. [4]

Inter-war period Edit

Omaha spent most of August 1923, near Puget Sound where she conducted her sea trials. On 6 October, she proceeded to Puget Sound Navy Yard to have her aircraft catapults installed. She then sailed for Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, on 17 October, where she loaded ammunition for target practice. At the end of November and into early December 1923, Omaha conducted "Short Range Battle Practice" with the battleship Mississippi before joining the Battle Fleet on 8 December. [5]

Not satisfied with Melville ' s suitability as a flagship, Rear Admiral Sumner E. W. Kittelle, Commander Destroyer Squadrons, sought a replacement. Omaha was chosen by RADM Kittelle and reported at San Diego, California, 27 December 1923. She only held the post until 14 March 1924. [5]

Omaha fell into a routine of operations along the Pacific coast, Central America, and exercises in the Caribbean, with occasional trips to Pearl Harbor. In 1925, she visited Australia and New Zealand, and in 1930, she embarked member of the American Samoa Commission for their Congressional investigation of conditions at Pago Pago. In 1931, she sailed for the Caribbean where she joined in exercises from the end of March until early May. She then transferred to the Atlantic, where she participated in joint maneuvers with the US Army in Hampton Roads, at the end of May. From there she continued in maneuvers at Newport, Hampton Roads, and the Southern Drill Ground. Omaha sailed into the Boston Navy Yard at the end of October, where she remained until January when she set sail for her return to the Pacific. [5]

Once again Omaha fell into her routine of steaming along the western coast until July 1937. In addition she returned to Panama several times for exercises and fleet problems, operated in Hawaiian waters and around the Aleutian Islands. [5]

Grounding in the Bahamas Edit

In July 1937, Omaha was serving as flagship of the Special Service Squadron when she was relieved by the year old gunboat Erie. On 19 July, Omaha became grounded on a reef at Castle Island, Bahamas, near 22°07′35.1″N 74°19′42.0″W  /  22.126417°N 74.328333°W  / 22.126417 -74.328333 . During the investigation it was stated that,

"she quickly and evenly decelerated as the bottom engaged the smooth reef."

The grounding had occurred during high tide, which made dislodging the cruiser more difficult. After removing as much as possible in an attempt to lighten the ship the salvagers employed tugs to pull on Omaha while destroyers circled around them to create waves. After ten days of attempts, on 29 July, Omaha was finally floated free. She got underway the following day for the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia, where she underwent repairs. A general court martial, held on 11 October 1937, found that Captain Howard B. Mecleary, Omaha ' s commanding officer at the time of the grounding, was guilty of negligence "resulting in the stranding of the vessel", he was sentenced to the loss of 25 numbers on the captain's list. On 14 February 1938, Omaha got underway after having the damage to her hull repaired, with Captain Wallace L. Lind, as her new commanding officer. She conducted sea trials while en route to Guantánamo. [5]

Germany invades Poland Edit

Omaha set sail for Gibraltar on 30 March 1938, for service in the Mediterranean Sea. Arriving in Marseille, France, 27 April 1938, she would remain in the Mediterranean for over a year, until 2 May 1939. She visited Villefranche-sur-Mer, and Menton, France, during her time before departing from Malta, for her return to the US and an extensive overhaul from 17 June until October 1939. It was during this time that, on 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland, starting what would become World War II. [5]

Omaha operated in the Caribbean after her overhaul conducting gunnery and tactical exercise from the end of October until 6 December 1939, when she arrived at Havana. She had been tasked with the duty of transporting the body of J. Butler Wright, the US Ambassador to Cuba, who had died 4 December, to Washington, DC. Upon completion, Omaha reported to Naval Operating Base (NOB), staying there until 1 April 1940. [5]

On 1 April 1940, set sail for the Philadelphia Navy Yard before getting underway for the Caribbean. She entered San Juan, Puerto Rico, then proceeded to Guantánamo and Havana, before returning again to Philadelphia, 5 May. On 28 May, Omaha would return to Norfolk, before leaving on 22 June, for Lisbon, Portugal, and her new assignment as flagship of the temporary Squadron 40-T, which had been formed to protect US civilians and interests in Spain, during the Spanish Civil War. [5]

Omaha was to relieve her sister ship Trenton in Lisbon. As Tenton, returning to the US, and Omaha passed each other upon her arrival the two crews cheered and waved. Omaha ' s band played "Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight" while Trenton ' s musicians responded with "Empty Saddles (in the Old Corral)". Omaha remained near Lisbon, during her service as flagship, until early October 1940, when the squadron was disbanded. On 3 October, she set sail for her return to the US. Omaha visited Monrovia, Liberia, on 10 October. During her stay the necessary conditions for modern military training and equipment for the Liberian Frontier Force were set aboard Omaha at a meeting of the US admiral David McDougal LeBreton with the Liberian Secretary Clarence Simpson. [8] Her final stop was Pernambuco, Brazil, on 14 October, before making way for NOB the next day, where she arrived 23 October, and remained through 7 November. [5]

From November 1940 until February 1941, Omaha was again in the Caribbean for more tactical and gunnery exercises. In February 1941, she entered the New York Navy Yard for overhaul and the installation of a radar system, her first. [5]

Omaha got underway 28 April 1941, but engine trouble soon developed and she was forced to return to Brooklyn, for repairs to her No. 4 turbine until 25 June. [5]

Task Force (TF) 3, which was at the time commanded by RADM Jonas H. Ingram, had initiated patrol operations out of the ports of Recife and Bahia, Brazil, on 15 June 1941. Omaha, along with three of her sisters, were among the resources that were available for Ingram's Southern Atlantic operations, along with five destroyers. On 30 June, with the propulsion and engineering issues having been resolved, Omaha steamed out of Brooklyn, to begin her Neutrality Patrols between Brazil and Ascension Island, which was part of the British Overseas Territories at the time. Omaha was tasked with enforcing a blockade against Germany by intercepting, boarding, and inspecting vessels that may have been German merchants or agents conducting trade in the region. In addition, she also tasked with escorting and protecting the convoys using the shipping lanes between South American port and the ports in Western Africa, from Axis U-boats and merchant raiders. She visited Montevideo, Uruguay, in addition to Bahia and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and although not at war during this time she still operated under war conditions. [5]

Search for blockade runners Edit

Dorsetshire and Canton separated, with Dorsetshire steaming southeast and Canton setting an opposite course. Omaha and the destroyer Somers, TG 3.6, which were positioned far northwest of the stated siting at that time, were tasked with supporting the Royal Navy ships. Memphis and the destroyers Davis and Jouett, who were near to the area reported by Olwen, were able to search the area, but were unable to locate the "German raider", while Omaha and Somers ' s search for survivors was also unsuccessful. The search continued the next day. [5]

Capture of Odenwald Edit

Even though the hunt for the "raider" had been unsuccessful it ultimately proved to not be entirely fruitless. On 6 November, as Omaha and Somers were en route back to Recife, returning from a 3,023 mi (4,865 km) patrol in the equatorial waters of the Atlantic, smoke was spotted, at 05:06, on the horizon. Captain Theodore E. Chandler, Omaha ' s commander, put her on an intercept course with the sighting. As Omaha approached the ship, which was flying US colors with the name Willmoto, out of Philadelphia, identifying her on her stern, she began taking evasive action. While multiple attempts were made to signal the merchant ship, they either went unanswered or they were given suspicious responses. Omaha ' s lookouts also reported that many of the crew visible on the deck of the ship were "uniquely un-American in appearance." [5]

The ship, which identified herself as Willmoto, did not satisfactorily identify herself to the American warships. After ordering "Willmoto" to heave to, Omaha ' s captain dispatched an armed boarding party. At 05:37 Lieutenant George K. Carmichael, along with the boarding party, began to make way for the vessel. Around this time, the merchant hoisted the signal flags "Fox Mike", indicating that the ship was sinking and that they required assistance. Two distinct explosions could be heard within the ship when the boarding party began to climbing the ship's ladder. In an attempt to leave the sinking ship, several of the crew had lowered lifeboats, but Lt. Carmichael ordered them to return to the ship. At 05:58, Carmichael signaled to Omaha that the ship was indeed a German ship and that the crew had attempted to scuttle her. She was identified as Odenwald, a German blockade runner and that her holds were filled with 3,857 t (3,796 long tons 4,252 short tons) of rubber, along with 103 B. F. Goodrich truck tires and sundry other cargo that totaled 6,223 t (6,125 long tons 6,860 short tons) total. [5]

A diesel engine specialist was brought over from Somers ' s crew to assist with the repairs and prevent Odenwald ' s sinking. Omaha ' s SOC floatplanes and Somers guarded the area while the boarding party made Odenwald sea worthy. With repairs finished the three ships set course for Port of Spain, Trinidad, to avoid possible difficulties with the government of Brazil. [5]

Omaha arrived at Port of Spain, on 17 November 1941, with Odenwald flying the German flag on the mast with the US flag flying over it. It was not until 30 April 1947, that a case was brought by Odenwald ' s owners in the District Court for Puerto Rico, against the US. Their claim stated that because a state of war between the United States and Germany did not exist at the time of capture the vessel could not be taken as a prize or bounty. The court however, given the fact that Odenwald was rescued from sinking by the US crew, declared that the seizing of the ship was defined as a legal salvage operation. The US was awarded the profits that were made from Odenwald and her cargo. All the men of the original boarding party received $3,000 each, while the rest of the crewmen in Omaha and Somers, at the time, were entitled to two months' pay and allowances. The laws have since been revised, making this the last time that US Navy members received such an award. [5] [9]

World War II Edit

On 7 December 1941, Omaha was steaming with Somers from San Juan to Recife, when she received a communication that informed her captain that the Japanese had attacked the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. She was ordered to "execute WPL (war plan) 46 (Rainbow 5) [10] against Japan." Captain Chandler mustered the crew to read them the message. On 8 December, the US Congress would officially declare war on Japan with Germany declaring war on the US three days later, on 11 December 1941. [5]

Merchant sinkings Edit

While Omaha was on patrol with Jouett on 8 May 1942, she came across the Swedish ship Astri. Omaha ' s boarding party found Ensign John F. Kelly, USNR, from the US freighter Lammot Du Pont, along with six members of her armed guard detachment and eight crewmen. She had been sunk on 23 April, by U-125 (Kapitänleutnnt Ulrich Folkers) 500 mi (800 km) southeast of Bermuda. The men had drifted for two days before being picked up. The Office of Naval Operations (OpNav) had informed Omaha that they suspected the Swedish ship of being a tender for German U-boats. Jouett was left to investigate Astri while Omaha set a course to Recife, with the survivors of Lammot Du Pont. Having been pointed to the area by a patrolling aircraft, the destroyer Tarbell was able to rescue another 23 survivors from Lammot Du Pont on 16 May. [5]

Omaha spotted a light on the horizon at 01:30, on 1 June 1942. The light was from a small lifeboat with eight surviving crewmen aboard from the sunken British merchant Charlbury. She had been heading to Buenos Aires, Argentina, when she had been attacked on 28 May, by the Italian submarine Barbarigo. [11] The first torpedo fired by Barbarigo had missed Charlbury, at which point the submarine surfaced to attack with her 10 cm (3.9 in) deck guns before submerging again. With her second torpedo attack Barbarigo struck Charlbury which caused the merchant to sink by the stern. Omaha went on to pull another 32 survivors of the sinking from the water and transported all of them to Recife. [5] [12]

On 8 June 1942, only a week later, eight British seamen, from the British merchant Harpagon, where found aboard the Argentinian merchantman Rio Diamante by Omaha. They were the only survivors, 41 had died in the 20 April, attack by U-109 (Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Bleichrodt) near the island of Bermuda. The survivors, being adrift for 35 days, stayed in Rio Diamante, which transported them to Buenos Aires, Argentina. [5]

In a two-day period, 16–17 August 1942, five Brazilian merchantmen were sunk by U-507 (Korvettenkapitän Harro Schact). More than 500 men had been killed in these attacks on Brazilian shipping which were outside of the territorial waters of Brazil. U-507 then destroyed a sixth vessel on 19 August, that was flying Brazilian colors. On 22 August 1942, while Omaha was waiting for her harbor pilot to take her in at Montevideo, Uruguay, her crew were able to observe the rusting hulk of the German cruiser Admiral Graf Spee that had been scuttled almost three years earlier on 18 December 1939, after the Battle of the River Plate. When Omaha had moored, a Brazilian naval officer visited Captain Chandler and informed him Brazil was preparing for a formal declaration of war against both Germany and Italy. The declaration was promulgated that day. [5]

Hazards of life at sea Edit

Even as the threat from Germany and Italy had diminished by August 1942, there were still many ways for the men of Omaha to be harmed. One day, as she was at anchor in Carenage Bay, Trinidad, one of her sailors had returned from an especially "hard liberty" and found a spot on Omaha ' s direction finder deck to sleep off the effects. When the ship rolled unexpectedly the inebriated sailor rolled from the deck, down an awning, across the quarterdeck and then over the side and into the water. According to Captain Chandler, "probably due to his perfectly relaxed condition", the sailor was uninjured. Other such occurrences did not always end as well. [5]

On 30 October 1942, while in Trinidad, six of Omaha ' s baseball team were injured when one of the sides of the truck carrying them fell off. Just six days later, while Omaha and Marblehead were on escort duty, one of her newly arrived Vought OS2U Kingfishers flipped upon landing, while the aviator was able to make it out safely, the plane sustained serious damage which required it to need overhauling when Omaha put back into port. [5]

Tragedy did strike Marblehead though in November 1942. As her whaleboat was being hoisted back aboard, a sailor from her landing party fell overboard and failed to ever resurface. The sailor had a newly issued style of life vest on that required being inflated by mouth. This incident brought Captain Chandler to order that Omaha ' s boarding party's return to wearing the older style life jackets that had proven themselves effective even though they were more cumbersome and bulky. [5]

Collision with Milwaukee Edit

The year 1943, proved to be a quiet year for Omaha. Escorting the stores ship Pollux regularly out of Recife, and patrolling the southern Atlantic with her sister ships Milwaukee, Memphis, Cincinnati, and the destroyer Moffett, she did not come in contact with any enemy ships or submarines or the aftermath of their attacks. [5]

The only damage she took that year occurred 30 April 1943, while she was changing stations on formation, Milwaukee struck Omaha ' s starboard bow. The collision destroyed one of her paravanes and rupturing some plating, which caused some flooding. Omaha ' s damage control party shored up one hole with two mattresses and were able to stop the leak. One compartment was completely flooded with another compartment requiring pumping out every two hours. On Milwaukee, the 6-inch guns and torpedo tubes on her port side were unserviceable. Several holes had opened up along her port side that were above the main deck, along with some leaks under the waterline from damage to plates and rivets. Milwaukee also lost her No.3 main circulation pump. The damage was determined not to be serious enough to halt their mission and the two cruisers, after completing their patrol, put into Rio de Janeiro for the needed repairs at the Brazilian Navy Yard. [5]

Sinking of Rio Grande and Burgenland Edit

Omaha ' s time of relatively ordinary operations came to an end very early in 1944. While patrolling out of Recife, with Jouett on 4 January, one of Omaha ' s aircraft spotted a ship about 55 mi (89 km) northeast of the Brazilian coast. Omaha challenged the vessel at 10:20, with one of her searchlights, that produced no response from the unknown contact. Lookouts were able to spot two guns mounted on the ship's bow though, and soon after a large cloud of heavy smoke was observed coming from the stern of the ship, indicating that her crew were probably in the process of scuttling the ship to avoid capture. As Omaha pulled along the unknown ship's port side she began to fire with her starboard battery as Jouett also began firing. The ship's crew were then observed attempting to escape off her stern in lifeboats. Omaha 's crew tried to force the sailors back aboard with machine gun fire, but it became clear that the vessel was not salvageable. Omaha began firing on the vessel again, which soon sank by her stern. With fears that this surface action may have alerted enemy U-boats in the area, Omaha and Jouett withdrew without picking up any of the survivors. The ship was later identified as a German blockade runner named Rio Grande. Marblehead was able to rescue 72 survivors later on 8 January. [5] [13]

Omaha returned the following day to the vicinity that Rio Grande had been sunk and again encountered an unknown merchant steamer. She once again challenged the unknown contact with her searchlight, and again received no response to her signals. This time Omaha fired two warning shots over the unknown ship's bow, due to the fact that it appeared that she was dead in the water. An explosion was observed, followed by smoke billowing from her. Captain Elwood M. Tillson ordered Omaha ' s 6-inch battery to train on the unknown contact and open fire. Captain Tillson then allowed members of the crew to rotate topside to observe the gunfire since many of the men were unable to view the action against Rio Grande the previous day. The ship, later identified as another German blockade runner, Burgenland, sank by her stern thirty minutes later. Two days later 21 of her survivors were rescued by Davis with Winslow able to retrieve an additional 35 crewmen on 8 January. [5] [13]

Recovery of U-177 survivors Edit

Omaha was out patrolling with Memphis and Jouett on 6 February 1944, when the ships were given orders to be on the lookout for the survivors of a U-boat that had been sunk earlier in the day near their location. A yellow life raft was later spotted by Omaha ' s lookouts. The occupants were German sailors that had survived the sinking of their boat, U-177, that had been sunk by a Consolidated PB4Y-1 Liberator from Bombing Squadron (VB) 107 that was operating out of Ascension Island. U-177 had been sitting on the surface while some of the crew were sunning and swimming. [5]

According to Leutnant zur See Hans-Otto Brodt, their commanding officer Korvettenkapitän Heinz Bucholz and another 50 men of the crew of 64, went down with the ship. The prisoners were sent to the sick bay for treatment of shock and exposure and supplied with fresh clothing that had been provided by the Red Cross. Until Omaha put in at Bahia, on 15 February, where they debarked and were transported to Recife, the Germans were placed under armed guard. [5]

Transfer to the European Theater Edit

On 4 July 1944, Omaha got underway to the European Theater with destroyer escorts Marts, Reybold, and troop transport General W. A. Mann. On 13 July, the convoy arrived at Gibraltar, with the addition of Marsh, Hollis, and the destroyer Kearny. Omaha set sail for Palermo, Sicily, on 18 July, in company with the battleships Nevada and Arkansas. [5]

Operation Dragoon Edit

On 7 August 1944, Omaha was guarding the flank of a formation consisting of the US heavy cruisers Quincy and Augusta, the battleship Nevada and the French battleship Lorraine, bombarding Toulon, France. Omaha assisted in the bombardment firing 24 rounds. An enemy shore battery began firing on Omaha at 17:17, Quincy was able to lay a smoke screen out for her while she fired 3.5-inch (89 mm) rockets in an attempt to jam their radar. Again on 20 August, while she was supporting Nevada, she once again drew fire from the enemy as she was departing from the area with the shells splashing 1,000 yd (910 m) off her stern and 3,000 yd (2,700 m) off of her port quarter. [5]

Shortly after, while she was at Porquerolles, France, Omaha responded to the net tender Hackberry, that had come under fire from a German shore battery, by firing 73 6-inch rounds into the enemy position. [5]

Omaha departed the assault area on 27 August 1944, and returned to Palermo, before getting underway to Oran, Algeria, with Cincinnati, Marblehead, Quincy, and the destroyer McLanahan. This group then sailed from Oran, on 1 September, after being joined by MacKenzie, for the Atlantic. When the formation exited the Mediterranean, Marblehead detached from the group and proceeded west independently. [5]

After Omaha returned to Bahia, 9 September, she once again resumed her previous duties of patrolling the southern Atlantic and providing escort services. A break in this routine occurred when she returned to the North Atlantic while escorting the transport General M. C. Meigs in company with the Brazilian Marcílio Dias-class destroyers Mariz e Barros and Marcilio Dias to Gibraltar. They reached their destination on 4 December, where Omaha handed her escort duty off to Edison. She then proceeded by herself to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, where she arrived on 14 December, and put in the next day to the New York Navy Yard. Omaha ended 1944 in New York, while undergoing repairs and alterations that would improve the living spaces for her crew. [5]

Search for the Brazilian cruiser Bahia Edit

When the Brazilian cruiser Bahia (C.12) was reported sunk by a submarine, Omaha set out from Recife, on 8 July 1945, on a search and rescue operation. A report came in from the British steamer Balfe that they had picked up 33 survivors from Bahia. Omaha set course to intercept Balfe so she could transfer her medical staff and aid in treatment of the remaining survivors. In all, only 44 sailors were rescued, with seven dying from their injuries, and eight bodies recovered, out of a crew of 346. An investigation into the sinking of Bahia later determined that on 4 July 1945, while conducting anti-aircraft training, a gunner that had shot down a trailing target kite continued to fire as he was trailing the target's descent. Because the proper safety stops had not been installed on the gun he was able to inadvertently fire into a rack of live depth charges that were positioned on the fantail of the ship. [5]

Following the sinking of Bahia, Omaha continue to serve in the South Atlantic, until 12 August, two days after the Japanese announced their intention of surrendering under the terms of the Potsdam Declaration, when she departed Recife, for the last time. She made ports of call at San Juan and Norfolk, before getting underway for the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Soon after arriving in Philadelphia, a Board of Inspection and Survey recommended that Omaha be taken out of commission. [5]

Omaha was decommissioned on 1 November 1945, and was struck from the Navy Register on 28 November 1945. She was scrapped at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard by February 1946. [5]

Historic Ships - The Red American Cruiser

The second of ten scout cruisers of the Omaha class, the USS Milwaukee (CL-5) had, with one exception, a pedestrian service life. All ships of the class were built soon after World War I to answer a need for fleet scouts. Battle fleets needed “eyes” to find the enemy, with speed, range, and armament to counter peer combatants.

Long and slim, with ten 6-inch guns and overly large boiler rooms to provide steam for their 35-knot top speed, the Omahas were also anachronistic. The fire rooms required four tall, thin funnels to provide needed draft, which in many respects made them appear to be simply larger versions of the “four-piper” Clemson-class destroyers. Six guns of their main armament were carried in obsolete casemate mountings at the four quarters. During the interwar years the Omahas served admirably, but barely a decade after their commissioning, shipboard aircraft and radar had nullified their usefulness in their designed role.


Daddy was transferred from the USS Sunnadin to the USS Milwaukee at Pearl Harbor on 1 August 1923. He was in Honolulu for the Christmas of 1923. He sang Mele Kalikimaka for us every Christmas. According to Google,. “Mele Kalikimaka” is Hawaiian for “Merry Christmas”. Or, more precisely, it’s the English phrase “Merry Christmas” as pronounced in Hawaiian. Bing Crosby could sing it better than Daddy could, but he was not nearly as enthusiastic about it as Daddy was. Here’s Bing’s version:

Daddy was a gun pointer, sitting on the left side, next to the barrel of a gun firing 6 inch shells. We always wondered why he was so hard of hearing — now we know — having his ear drums blasted every time the gun was fired. A gun pointer uses hand cranks to adjust the direction of fire horizontally, left and right. The gun trainer, the man on the other side of the gun, uses similar hand cranks to point the gun barrel up and down. Our father served on the USS Milwaukee until his honorable discharge 21 June 1924.


CREW OF THE USS HOUSTON (His ship from June 1919 to December 1921 ?- Daddy is the tallest sailor in the middle of the back row)


You may have heard about “gunboat diplomacy” and “banana republic”. Here is a little historical background on what was happening in the United States foreign policy in the early 1900s. I am indebted to Dario Euraque for providing information about the history of the civil war that was raging in Honduras when the USS Milwaukee sent troops on an expedition to help put down an uprising against the government.

Some of those sources include:

[Excerpt from Tim Merrill] From 1920 through 1923, seventeen uprisings or attempted coups in Honduras contributed to growing United States concern over political instability in Central America. In August 1922, the presidents of Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador met on the U.S.S. Tacoma in the Golfo de Fonseca. Under the watchful eye of the United States ambassadors to their nations, the presidents pledged to prevent their territories from being used to promote revolutions against their neighbors and issued a call for a general meeting of Central American states in Washington at the end of the year.

The Washington conference concluded in February with the adoption of the General Treaty of Peace and Amity of 1923, which had eleven supplemental conventions. The treaty in many ways followed the provisions of the 1907 treaty. The Central American court was reorganized, reducing the influence of the various governments over its membership. The clause providing for withholding recognition of revolutionary governments was expanded to preclude recognition of any revolutionary leader, his relatives, or anyone who had been in power six months before or after such an uprising unless the individual’s claim to power had been ratified by free elections. The governments renewed their pledges to refrain from aiding revolutionary movements against their neighbors and to seek peaceful resolutions for all outstanding disputes.

The supplemental conventions covered everything from the promotion of agriculture to the limitation of armaments. One, which remained unratified, provided for free trade among all of the states except Costa Rica. The arms limitation agreement set a ceiling on the size of each nation’s military forces (2,500 men for Honduras) and included a United States-sponsored pledge to seek foreign assistance in establishing more professional armed forces.

The October 1923 Honduran presidential elections and the subsequent political and military conflicts provided the first real tests of these new treaty arrangements. Under heavy pressure from Washington, López Gutiérrez allowed an unusually open campaign and election. The long-fragmented conservatives had reunited in the form of the National Party of Honduras (Partido Nacional de Honduras–PNH), which ran as its candidate General Tiburcio Carías Andino, the governor of the department of Cortés. However, the liberal PLH was unable to unite around a single candidate and split into two dissident groups, one supporting former president Policarpo Bonilla, the other advancing the candidacy of Juan Angel Arias. As a result, each candidate failed to secure a majority. Carías received the greatest number of votes, with Bonilla second, and Arias a distant third. By the terms of the Honduran constitution, this stalemate left the final choice of president up to the legislature, but that body was unable to obtain a quorum and reach a decision.

In January 1924, López Gutiérrez announced his intention to remain in office until new elections could be held, but he repeatedly refused to specify a date for the elections. Carías, reportedly with the support of United Fruit, declared himself president, and an armed conflict broke out. In February the United States, warning that recognition would be withheld from anyone coming to power by revolutionary means, suspended relations with the López Gutiérrez government for its failure to hold elections.

Conditions rapidly deteriorated in the early months of 1924. On February 28, a pitched battle took place in La Ceiba between government troops and rebels. Even the presence of the U.S.S. Denver and the landing of a force of United States Marines were unable to prevent widespread looting and arson resulting in over US$2 million in property damage. Fifty people, including a United States citizen, were killed in the fighting. In the weeks that followed, additional vessels from the United States Navy Special Service Squadron were concentrated in Honduran waters, and landing parties were put ashore at various points to protect United States interests. One force of marines and sailors was even dispatched inland to Tegucigalpa to provide additional protection for the United States legation. [This would have been Daddy’s landing party – he told me he was with a group of marines and sailors that went into Tegucigalpa]. Shortly before the arrival of the force, López Gutiérrez died, and what authority remained with the central government was being exercised by his cabinet. General Carías and a variety of other rebel leaders controlled most of the countryside but failed to coordinate their activities effectively enough to seize the capital.

In an effort to end the fighting, the United States government dispatched Sumner Welles to the port of Amapala he had instructions to try to produce a settlement that would bring to power a government eligible for recognition under the terms of the 1923 treaty. Negotiations, which were once again held on board a United States cruiser, lasted from April 23 to April 28. An agreement was worked out that provided for an interim presidency headed by General Vicente Tosta, who agreed to appoint a cabinet representing all political factions and to convene a Constituent Assembly within ninety days to restore constitutional order. Presidential elections were to be held as soon as possible, and Tosta promised to refrain from being a candidate. Once in office, the new president showed signs of reneging on some of his pledges, especially those related to the appointment of a bipartisan cabinet. Under heavy pressure from the United States delegation, however, he ultimately complied with the provisions of the peace agreement.

We don’t know much about the maneuvers the USS Milwaukee did while Daddy was onboard. We do know what happened when the ship sailed from Hawaii to Honduras to help put down an uprising near Tegucigalpa.

Here is Daddy’s abbreviated account of the Tegucigalpa expedition:

Some details I remember from the story include the landing party members stripped to the waist and darkened their skin with some blackening compound. Armed with machetes they attacked the leaders of the uprising who were camped outside Tegucigalpa. It was dark, no moonlight. Anybody without a shirt was a member of the U.S. landing party. Anybody with a shirt lost his head. Daddy never actually told me he was a member of that group. Nor did he tell me that he was not. It was left to the listener to his story to decide what the 18 notches represented. As Daddy said in his letter, I played with that machete as a teenager. It was a constant companion on my belt as I explored the woods near our home. in Wildwood, Florida.

Daddy’s Letter to Brian Charles Harrison specifies the machete will pass to Brian after William Burton Harrison, Jr. dies.

Pictures of the landing party leaving and returning to the USS Milwaukee off the shore of Honduras

USS Milwaukee (CL-5), Tacoma, Washington, 1923 - History

Posted on 07/12/2013 7:42:25 AM PDT by Jeff Head


(Click map for a high resolution image)

Currently (July 2013) there are five US Navy Aircraft Carrier museums. Four are of Essex class carriers commissioned during World War II which underwent the SBC-125 refit in the 1950s to modernize them. All were commissioned in 1943 & served into modern times. The last, the USS Lexington, was decommissioned in 1991 after 48 years service. The other is the USS Midway, namesake of a larger class carrier built at the end of the war. She underwent two major refits, in the 1950s & in 1970 greatly enlarging her flight deck for modern aircraft. She was commissioned in 1945 & decommissioned in 1992 after 47 years service.


Name: USS Yorktown
Designation: CV-10
Class: Essex
Displacement: 41,200 tons (after modernization)
Commissoned: 1943
Decommissioned: 1970
Mueum Web Site:
Location: Charleston, SC (Click HERE for a map)


Name: USS Intrepid
Designation: CV-11
Class: Essex
Displacement: 41,200 tons (after modernization)
Commissoned: 1943
Decommissioned: 1974
Mueum Web Site:
Location: New York, NY (Click HERE for a map)


Name: USS Hornet
Designation: CV-12
Class: Essex
Displacement: 41,200 tons (after modernization)
Commissoned: 1943
Decommissioned: 1970
Mueum Web Site:
Location: Alameda, CA (Click HERE for a map)


Name: USS Lexington
Designation: CV-16
Class: Essex
Displacement: 48,300 tons (after modernization)
Commissoned: 1943
Decommissioned: 1991
Mueum Web Site:
Location: Corpus Christi, TX (Click HERE for a map)


Name: USS Midway
Designation: CV-41
Class: Midway
Displacement: 74,000 tons (after modernization)
Commissoned: 1945
Decommissioned: 1992
Mueum Web Site:
Location: San Diego, CA (Click HERE for a map)


Currently, none of the more modern "super carriers," meaning none of the Forrestal Class, Kitty Hawk Class, or later aircraft carriers, have been saved and set aside as museums. However, there is an active effort underway to get the John F. Kennedy, CV-67, set up as an aicraft carrier museum in the New England area, She was a "super carrier," built to a modified Kitty Hawk standard, and was the last conventionally powered (meaning non-nulcear) aircraft carrier the United States built.

USS JOHN F. KENNEDY, CV-67, (Proposed - Rhode Island)

Update for November 2016 at Sherman Tank, US Destroyers, Boulton Paul Aircraft, Greek Social War, Napoleonic Dukes of Brunswick

In November we look at the successful attempts to fit a 76mm gun to the Sherman tank, from the first experiments to the main production versions. At sea we start a look at the US Sampson class destroyers. In the air our series on Boulton Paul aircraft reaches the Overstrand, the first RAF aircraft to have an enclosed powered gun turret.

In Ancient Greece we look at the Social War, a conflict that saw the collapse of the Second Athenian League, as well as two battles of the Third Social War. In the Napoleonic period we look at the two Dukes of Brunswicks, father and son, both of whom fought against Napoleonic France, and both of whom died as a result.

As always we also include a selection of book reviews, and a series of new pictures, this time a mix of US Destroyers and Cruisers and German ships of the First World War.

The Medium Tank M4A1 (76M1) was the first attempt to fit a more powerful gun in the Sherman tank, but was abandoned after objections by the Armored Force.

The Medium Tank M4E6 was the second attempt to install a 76mm gun on a Sherman tank, and saw the introduction of a number of features that made their way into production tanks.

The Medium Tank M4(76)W was the designation given to a version of the M4 that would have been armed with a 76mm gun, but that was cancelled before any production vehicles were built.

The Medium Tank M4A1(76)W/ Sherman IIA was the first 76mm armed version of the Sherman to enter production, and had a cast hull, wet shell storage and a Continental R975 engine.

The Medium Tank M4A2(76)W combined the welded hull and General Motors engine of the earlier M4A2 with the new 76mm gun and wet shell storage introduced across the Sherman range in 1944.

The Medium Tank M4A3(76)W/ Sherman IVA was the US Army's preferred version of the tank, and combined the welded hull and Ford engine of the standard M4A3 with the new 76mm gun and wet shell storage system introduced during 1944.

The battle of Phaedriades (355 BC) was a Phocian victory early in the Third Sacred War, fought on the slopes of Mount Parnassus.

The battle of Argolas (Spring 354 BC) was a Phocian victory over a Thessalian army early in the Third Sacred War, fought at an otherwise unknown hill somewhere in Locris

The Social War (357-355 BC) was a conflict between Athens and a number of key members of the Athenian League. The war significantly weakened Athens, and also meant that she was unable to intervene as Philip II of Macedon expanded his kingdom.

The Third Sacred War (355-346 BC) began as a dispute between Thebes and their neighbours in Phocis over the cultivation of sacred land, but expanded to include most of the Greek powers and was ended by the intervention of Philip II of Macedon, helping to confirm his status as a major power in Greece.

The battle of Chios (357 or 356 BC) was the first fighting during the Social War, and saw the rebels defeat an Athenian land and sea attack on the island.

The siege of Samos (356 BC) saw the rebels against Athens besiege one of the loyal members of the Athenian League (Social War).

USS Wainwright (DD-62) was a Tucker class destroyer that served from Queenstown in 1917-18 and from Brest in 1918, and had a series of possible encounters with U-boats, but without any successes.

The Sampson Class Destroyers were the final batch of Ƈ,000 tonner' destroyers produced for the US Navy, and were the first to be built with anti-aircraft guns.

USS Sampson (DD-63) was the name ship of the Sampson class of destroyers, and operated from Queenstown during the First World War, before helping support the first successful transatlantic flight after the war.

USS Rowan (DD-64) was a Sampson class destroyer that served in European waters in 1917-18, and took part in at least one attack on a suspected U-boat, but without success.

USS Davis (DD-65) was a Sampson class destroyer that served from Queenstown in 1917-18, taking part in a significant number of attacks on U-boats as well as rescuing the survivors from U-103, sunk after she was rammed by the Titanic's sister ship Olympic

USS Allen (DD-66) was a Sampson class destroyer that served from Queenstown during the First World War, carrying out ten attacks on possible U-boats. She then survived to be the only one of the 1,000 tonner destroyers to see service during the Second World War.

Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, duke of Brunswick (1735-1806), was an experienced military leader who proved to be unable to cope with the armies of both Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, suffering key defeats at Valmy in 1792 and Auerstädt in 1806

Frederick William, duke of Brunswick (1771-1815), was one of the most implacable enemies of Napoleonic France, and became known as the 'Black Duke'.

Boulton Paul Aircraft

The Boulton Paul P.75 Overstrand was the first RAF aircraft to have an enclosed powered gun turret, and was developed from the earlier Boulton & Paul Sidestrand. It was also the last biplane bomber to enter service with the RAF.

The Boulton Paul P.79 was a design for a bomber that was produced to the same specification that resulted in the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley.

The Boulton Paul P.80 Superstrand was a design for an improved version of the P.75 Overstrand, but it was already obsolete by the time it was suggested, and didn't enter production.

The Boulton Paul P.85 was a design for a naval version of the P.82 Defiant turret fighter, but was rejected in favour of the Blackburn Roc.

The Sailing Frigate - A History in Ship Models, Robert Gardiner.

A splendid visual history of the British frigate, based around the collection of scale ship models in the National Maritime Museum. Each change in design is illustrated by a high quality colour photograph of a model, with some key pictures included detailed annotations picking out key features. Also includes a number of special subject spreads, looking at the evolution of features such as bow or stern design. A splendid book, and a very good way of illustrating the development of the sailing frigate

Triumph & Disasters - Eyewitness Accounts of the Netherlands Campaign 1813-1814, Andrew Bamford.

Six eyewitness accounts of the British campaign in the Netherlands in 1813-1814, best known for the disastrous attack on Bergen-op-Zoom. The fairly vacuous diary of a young Guards officer will probably stick longest in the mind, but all six sources are of value for gaining an understanding of this campaign, and of the British military experience during the Napoleonic Wars, covering a wide range of topics from the pleasures of the hunt to the humiliation of being a prisoner

Roman Military Disasters - Dark Days and Lost Legions, Paul Chrystal.

Looks at Rome's military defeats, from the earliest wars within the Italian peninsula, through the great wars of expansion and the defence of the Empire, to the disasters of the fifth century and the first two sacks of Rome since the Celts almost at the start of Roman history. A useful book, although it does sometimes lose its focus a little, and in sections is more of a general military history of Rome

The Grand Old Duke of York - A Life of Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, 1763-1827, Derek Winterbottom .

The first biography of the British Commander-in-Chief during the Napoleonic Wars for sixty years, this paints a generally positive picture of the Duke, who emerges as a capable Commander-in-Chief who introduced a series of useful reforms in the British Army, and probably helped keep the army loyal during the long Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Good coverage of his period as a field commander in the Low Countries, and his fairly colourful private life

Military History of Late Rome 284-361, Ilkka Syvänne.

Focuses on the successful Imperial recovery under Diocletian, Constantine the Great, Constantius II and their various co-rulers and rivals. Starts with a series of lengthy chapters looking at the Empire, its army and its neighbours, before moving onto the narrative account of a period in which the Roman Empire held its own against enemies that threatened from all sides, despite an apparently constant stream of civil wars

The Nisibis War - The Defence of the Roman East AD 337-363, John S. Harrel .

Looks at the lengthy conflict between the Romans and the Persian Emperor Shapur II, for possession of provinces lost to the Romans in 298. Covers the successful defensive strategy of Constantius II and the disastrous invasion of Persia led by the Emperor Julian, as well as the frequent civil wars that plagued the Roman Empire. A valuable look at one of the last major external wars fought before the fall of the Western Empire.

Medieval Warfare Vol VI, Issue 4: The Norman Invasion of Ireland - Contesting the Emerald Isle

Focuses on the 12th century Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland, a fateful step that began with the English invited into Ireland by a defeated king of Leinster but that led to a direct royal intervention by Henry II. Includes interesting material on the Irish military system of the period, as well as the invasion itself, one of our main sources, and the fortifications built by the Normans. Also looks at the much earlier Irish ringworks and other fortifications, the Book of Kells and the value and pitfalls of battlefield archaeology..

Ancient Warfare Vol X, Issue 2: Wars in Hellenistic Egypt, kingdom of the Ptolemies

Focuses on Ptolemaic Egypt, the most successful and long-lived of the successor kingdoms to the empire of Alexander the Great. Includes interesting articles on Julius Caesar's period of urban warfare in Alexandria, the massive warships of the Ptolemaic navy, and away from the theme on the value of 'Barbarian' troops to the Late Roman Empire. Nice to have a focus on Ptolemaic Egypt in its own right, rather than as part of someone else's story..

Medieval Warfare Vol V, Issue 6: A Scourge from the Steppes - The Mongol invasion of Europe

Focuses on the destructive impact of the Mongols, looking at their invasions of Poland and Russia, their weapons and armour, the family of Genghis Khan, and the first Christian mission to reach the Mongol court at Karakorum. Away from the main theme covers Scandinavian honour systems, the Merovingian armies and the practical impact of Vegetius in the Middle Ages.

Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army from Kursk to Berlin: Vol 1: January 1943-June 1944, Igor Nebolsin.

Excellent reference work covering the first eighteen months of the combat career of the 2nd Tank Army, one of the elite formations within the Red Army. Follows the army from its difficult combat debut in the winter offensive of 1942-43, through the Battle of Kursk and onto the victorious Soviet offensives that eventually saw the Army push west across the Soviet border. The first book of this type that I've seen for a Soviet combat unit, and of great value for that, as well as for the massive amount of information that is packed into the text.

Daring Raids of World War Two - Heroic Land, Sea & Air Attacks, Peter Jacobs.

Covers an unexpectedly wide range of topics, including the sort of Special Forces raid that I was expected, but also including air raids and specific parts of larger operations, such as the disaster at Dieppe or the sinking of the Bismarck. Covers thirty raids, including a good mix of the familiar and the almost unknown, and provides a good cross section of the smaller scale British operations of the Second World War.

Paris ཨ - The City of Light Redeemed, William Mortimer-Moore.

Covers both the Resistance uprising within Paris and the military campaign to liberate the city, focusing on the role of the French 2e DB (armoured division), the Free French unit that liberated the centre of Paris. A moving account of the various strands that led to the comparatively painless liberation of Paris, a city that avoided the devastation ordered by Hitler. An excellent study of one of the more remarkable incidents of the liberation of France


Evictions, broken leases, slow pays, misdemeanor or felony Second Chance Apartments can find 2nd chance rentals near you. You do not need to worry about your past circumstances. We can help.

Broken Leases

Broken leases occur when renters move out early without giving proper written notice. Lease agreements in general require 30 or 60 day notices to vacate. Renters may often believe there is something inadequate with their apartments which causes them to break their lease. It’s always best to communicate with your apartments to see if there are any remedies. Apartments often have options they can offer to keep residents from breaking their leases. Breaking a lease can significantly damage your credit score and rental history. The full amount of the lease agreement and any additional fees are often sent to collection agencies. They will report the rental balances to the credit bureaus in order to leverage debtors into paying them off. Broken lease balances are always entered into local apartment databases making it even more difficult being approved for apartment near you.


Evictions are when apartments or landlords file legal documents with the local courts requesting tenants be forced to vacate their property. Evictions are filed when renters violate lease agreements. The single most common reason is not paying rent or frequent slow pays. Lease contracts will explain in detail the options apartments and landlords may resort to if tenants are not in good standing. An eviction must be processed in a court of law by either a local judge or justice of the peace. Apartments and landlords cannot forcibly evict tenants on their own by replacing the locks on the property. A court judge must grant a writ of eviction in order for the tenant to be forcibly removed by the sheriff’s constable if necessary. An eviction will show up on your credit report as a judgement debt and on public records. People served eviction notices should always try to resolve any issues with the apartments or landlords prior to the eviction hearing. Just the fact an eviction was filed can be detrimental in your ability to rent any apartments near you in the future.

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Watch the video: LCS 5 USS Milwaukee Commissioning (January 2022).