Information

USS Augusta (CA-31)


USS Augusta (CA-31)

USS Augusta (CA-31) was a Northampton class heavy cruiser that took part in Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa, served with the British Home Fleet, took part in the D-Day invasion and the invasion of the South of France. She was awarded three battle stars for her service during the Second World War.

The Augusta was laid down on 2 July 1928, launched on 1 February 1930 and commissioned on 30 January 1931. Her first shakedown cruise was ended by a turbine failure, but a second cruise took her to Panama. She then joined the Scouting Force, where she was flagship for Vice Admiral Arthur L. Willard. She was based on the US east coast until the spring of 1932 when the cruisers were retained on the West Coast. The Augusta remained on the west coast until October 1933 when she was sent to China to become Flagship of the Asiatic Station, replacing the Houston at Shanghai. She reached Shanghai on 9 November and became the flagship of Admiral Frank B. Upham.

During her time in the Far East the Augusta visited Japan, Australia and the Philippines, but spent most of her time off the Chinese coast. This was a largely peaceful posting until fighting broke out between the Japanese and Chinese at the Marco Polo Bridge near Peking in July 1937. By August the Augusta was at Shanghai, where fighting had also broken out. She remained in a prominent mooring at Shanghai until January 1938. She then went to the Philippines for her yearly overhaul, returning to Shanghai on 9 April 1938. This was a brief stay and she soon cruised north along the coast. During the rest of 1938 and most of 1939 she operated along the Chinese coast. In 1940 she ranged further afield, and on 22 November 1940 she left Manila on her way back to the United States.

After her return to the United States the Augusta underwent a major overhaul. She received four extra 5in antiaircraft guns, carried on top of the aircraft hanger. A temporary battery of 3in anti-aircraft guns was installed to make up for a shortage of 1.1in guns, and new Mark XIX directors were installed. Many of these changes had been installed on the rest of the class in previous years, but the Augusta had been on the Asiatic station for several years and had fallen behind.

In April 1941 the modernised Augusta set sail for the Atlantic, joining the Atlantic Fleet on 17 April. She served as the flagship of Admiral Ernest J. King, then Commander-in-Chief of the Atlantic Fleet (he became C-in-C of the United States Fleet in December 1941. King was at Washington for much of the time, but the Augusta served as his administrative flagship.

In June 1941 the Augusta was chosen to take President Roosevelt to the Argentia Bay meeting with Winston Churchill in August. She underwent significant modifications to create the Presidential accommodation, work that would make her the obvious choice for several other high profile journeys, including carrying President Truman to Europe at the end of the war.

The Prime Minister visited the President on the Augusta and many of the key meetings that led to the creation of the Atlantic Charter were held onboard. After this meeting the Augusta remained the flagship of the Atlantic Fleet.

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the German declaration of war the Augusta operated off the US east coast and in the Caribbean. She became the flagship of TF 22 (Rear Admiral Alexander Sharp).

On 23 October she became the flagship of Rear Admiral H. Kent Hewitt, Commander, Task Force 34, part of the fleet allocated to Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. She also carried General George S. Patton and Rear Admiral John L. Hall, Jr, across the Atlantic. She set sail on 23 October, and reached the coast of French Morocco on 7 November.

The landings on 8 November met with serious French resistance. The Augusta launched her spotter planes at 6.30 and opened fire with her 8in guns at 7.10 am. She soon had to leave to intercept a French naval force of two cruisers and four destroyers, forcing it to withdraw. During the day French ships based at Casablanca made several attempts to attack the American fleet. During the day the Augusta sank the destroyer Le Boulonnais and damaged the Le Brestois. Later in the day the cruiser Primauguet attempted to leave port, but Augusta hit one of her turrets and she withdrew. French attempts to leave the port failed. On 10 November she forced off another French destroyer then came under fire from the main guns of the damaged battleship Jean Bart. American aircraft had to silence the French battleship. On 11 November a cease-fire came into force in Morocco and on 20 November the Augusta departed for the US.

Between 9 December 1942 and February 1943 the Augusta underwent a refit in which her anti-aircraft firepower was upgraded. After that she spent some time in training. In July she escorted Convoy AT 54A across the Atlantic to Greenock, Scotland

In August 1943 the Augusta joined TF 22, which was to replace the battleships South Dakota and Alabama with the British Home Fleet, watching the German battleship Tirpitz. She moored at Scapa Flow on 19 August, and the task force came under British operational control as TG 112.1. She spent most of her time with the Home Fleet operating between Scotland and Iceland, before returning to the US for a refit in November-December 1943.

In April she returned to British water, this time as the flagship of Rear Admiral Alan G. Kirk, commander of Task Force 122. On 25 May she had another distinguished visitor when King George VI came on board for lunch.

Her new role was as the flagship of the Western Task Force during the D-Day landings. She sailed from Plymouth on 5 June with General Omar Bradley and his staff onboard. On D-Day she fired 51 8in shells at German targets on Omaha Beach. Bradley left on 10 June to move ashore. On 3.57 on 11 June a rare German bombing raid got over the fleet, but the nearest bomb to Augusta was 800 yards off her port beam. On 12 June she fired her 5in guns at a German aircraft and on 13 June she shot down a German aircraft. On 15 June she carried out another shore bombardment, and on 18 June provided anti-aircraft cover. On 1 July Admiral Kirk moved his flag to the destroyer Thompson (DD-637) and the Augusta returned to Plymouth.

The Augusta's next task was to support Operation Dragoon, the invasion of the south of France. With TG 120.6 she sailed to Algeria in early July, then moved on to Italy for training. In August she became the flagship of TF 86 and then joined the 'Sitka' Assault group. On 15 August 1944 she fired at targets on Port Cros Island at the start of the Operation Dragoon. A fort on the island was her main target on 16-17 August (alongside the cruiser Omaha (CL-4). On the 17th the fort surrendered. On 19 August she took part in a reconnaissance in force of St. Mandrier Island, off Toulon.

By the end of August Toulon and Marsailles had surrendered. The marines from Augusta and Philadelphia took the surrender of German forces on the islands of Ratonneau and Chateau d'If in Marseille Harbour. On 30 August she moved to San Tropez, where Admiral Davidson shifted his flag to the Philadelphia (CL-41). On 1 September the Augusta left the task force and returned to Italy. She then sailed back to the United States where she began a major overhaul.

In the first part of 1945 the Augusta operated off the US east coast. In February she formed part of the escort for President Roosevelt as he returned from the Yalta Conference. Two months later the President died, and the Augusta flew her colours at half mast for a month.

After the end of the war in Europe the Augusta transported President Truman to Europe for the Potsdam Conference. In November and December 1945 she was used to ferry US troops back across the Atlantic. She was placed out of commission on 16 July 1946 and entered the reserve. She was struck off the naval list on 1 March 1949 and sold for scrap on 9 November 1959.

Displacement (standard)

9,006t

Displacement (loaded)

11,420t

Top Speed

32.5kts

Range

10,000nm at 15kts

Armour – belt

3in over machinery
1in deck

- magazines

3.75in side
2in deck

- barbettes

1.5in

- gunhouses

2.5in face
2in roof
0.75in side and rear

Length

600ft 3in oa

Armaments

Nine 8in guns (three 3-gun turrets)
Four 5in guns (four single positions)
Six 21in torpedo tubes
Four aircraft

Crew complement

617? (734-48 for USS Chicago and USS Houston)

Laid down

2 July 1928

Launched

1 February 1930

Completed

30 January 1931

Stricken

1959


USS Augusta (CA-31) - History

A website (hhtp//:www.internet-esq.com/ussaugusta) has been created for the
USS Augusta (CA-31), the flagship of the North African, Southern France,
and Normandy invasions. She was awarded 3 battle stars. We invite vistors
to our site and comments and additional infromation from all.

Named after the city in Georgia, the Augusta (CA-31) was
laid down July 2, 1928, and launched February 1, 1930 by
Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport
News, <*filter*>ia. She was sponsored at her launch by Miss
Evelyn McDaniel, daughter of the mayor of Augusta and
commissioned January 30, 1931. Augusta's first skipper was
Captain J.O. Richardson (who would later go on to command
the Pacific Fleet).

The Augusta was one of the Northampton-class cruisers
which were intended to serve as flagships - additional
accomodations were built into Chicago, Houston (CA-30),
and Augusta - and Augusta had a notable history in this role
winning three battle stars.

Augusta operated with the Atlantic Fleet until March 1932
when she transferred to the Pacific Fleet. On November 1933
she joined the Asiatic Fleet as flagship and remained in the
Orient until returning to the United States for overhaul in
November 1940. In July 1937 Augusta was the first
American warship to visit Vladivostok, U.S.S.R. While with
the Asiatic Fleet the cruiser answered the call to trouble in
August 1937 when the Sino-Japanese War renewed with
vigor. On "<*filter*>y Sunday," 14 Agust 1937, the ship arrived
in Shanghai and was promptly bombed by "friendly" Chinese
planes. The bombs barely missed. Less than a week later, on
20 August, a shell believed fired from a Japanese gun killed
one sailor and wounded several others. In December 1937
Augusta received on board survivors of the sunken American
gunboat Panary.

In April 1941 she reported to the Atlantic Fleet as flagship.
Augusta carried President Franklin Roosevelt to Placentia
Bay, Newfoundland, in August 1941 for the "Atlantic
Conference." With the advent of war, Commander-in-Chief,
transferred his flag to (IX-20) freeing Ausuat to join carrier
task force operating from Bermuda. Augusta took part in the
North African landings (November 8-11, 1942) as flagship of
Rear Admiral H.K. Hewitt, Commander, Western Naval Task
Force. On November 1942, she helped turn back the French
units sortieing from Casblanca, French Morocco, to break up
the landing at Fedhala.

Following a refit at New York Navy Yard
(December 1942-January 1943) and the completion
of two escort missions (one as escort to SS Queen
Mary, carrying Prime Minister Winston Churchill to
New York), Augusta joined the British Fleet at
Scapa Flow (August 1943) to help protect the
Murmansk convoys. She remained on that duty until
returning to the United States for modernization in
November 1943.

In April 1944 she sailed for England to take part in the
Normandy landings. She sortied from Plymouth, England on
the night of June 5, 1944, carrying Rear Admiral Alan G.
Kirk, Commander Western Task Force, General Omar
Bradley, Commander General, First Army, and Captain E.H.
Jones. Augusta joined in the pre-invasion bombardment and
remained off the invasion beaches until June 25. In July she
shifted her operations to the Mediterranean. Flying the flag of
Rear Admiral L.A. Davidson, Commander, Bombardment
Support Group, she participated in the invasion of Southern
France "Operation Dragoon" (August 15-25, 1944).
Following the southern France landings, she returned to
Philadelphia Navy Yard for a four and one-half month
modernization overhaul.

On July 7, 1945 Augusta embarked President Truman,
carrying him to Antwerp, Belgium. Following the Potsdam
Conference, President Truman boarded Augusta for the
return voyage which terminated at Newport News, <*filter*>ia,
August 7. A week later she moored in Casco Bay, Maine.
After carrying out training at Baltimore, Maryland, she
arrived at Norfolk on September 11, and conducted exercises
off the <*filter*>ia capes until steaming to Casco Bay again on
October 5 for temporary duty under the direction of
Commander, Operational Training Command, Atlantic
Commander TF 69. She then proceeded to New York, and
particpated in Navy Day observances on October 27 at New
York City, where President Truman reviewed the fleet. Open
to the public from October 25 to 30, Augusta hosted 23,362
visitors. On October 31, Augusta moored at the New York
Naval Shipyard, to be modified for "Magic Carpet"
operations, bringing American servicemen from Europe. She
performed this duty through the end of the year 1945.
Ultimately placed out of commission, in reserve, in a deferred
disposal status at Philidelphia, on July 16, 1946, Augusta
remained in the Philidelphia group of the Reserve Fleet until
she was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on March 1,
1959. While moored for the last time on the Hackensack
River at Kearney, N.J. the Augusta was sold for s<*filter*>on
November 9, 1959 to Robert Benjamin of Panama City,
Florida, and her hulk removed from naval custody on March
2, 1960.

Augusta was awarded three battle stars for her World
War II service.


World War II Database


ww2dbase Immediately after USS Augusta's shakedown and training cruiser, she was assigned as Vice Admiral Arthur Willard's flagship for the Scouting Force. She was re-classified a heavy cruiser in Aug 1931. She performed exercises and fleet problems at various locations in US waters until 20 Oct 1933 when she sailed for China. Arriving at Shanghai, China on 9 Nov 1933, she became the flagship of the Asiatic Fleet. In this role, she made extensive visits to such places as Manila, Yokohama, Kobe, Tsingtao, Hong Kong, Batavia, Bali, Guam, Canberra, Melbourne, and Perth, among others, for the next several years.

ww2dbase During the Second Battle of Shanghai in Aug 1937, Augusta was moored in Shanghai to observe Japanese maneuvers while her Marine detachment disembarked to guard Shanghai's neutral international zone. While there, she was mistakenly bombed (though the bombs missed) by Chinese aircraft large American flags were painted atop the three main batteries to prevent similar mistakes. Nevertheless, she still received casualties when Chinese anti-aircraft shells came down on her on 20 Aug, though she remained in Shanghai to provide intelligence on Japanese troops. She finally left on 6 Jan 1938 after the Dec 1937 incident of the Japanese air attack on American gunboat Panay near Nanjing (Nanking). She did, however, made several more trips along the Chinese coast, and made several port calls at Shanghai.

ww2dbase After refitting at Mare Island Navy Yard in California, United States spanning from Dec 1940 to Apr 1941, Augusta was transferred to the Atlantic Fleet as Admiral Ernest King's flagship. In Jun 1941, she was chosen as President Franklin Roosevelt's flagship for the Aug 1941 meeting with Winston Churchill in Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada Roosevelt and Churchill discussed and finalized the Atlantic Charter aboard Augusta. Roosevelt left the ship on 14 Aug after transferring his flag aboard another ship for his return trip.

ww2dbase After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Rear Admiral Royal Ingersoll took over the command of the Atlantic Fleet and had his flag aboard Augusta until 12 Jan 1942. She patrolled the waters off of the east coast of the United States, in the Caribbean Sea, and off western Africa. On 23 Oct 1942, Rear Admiral H. Kent Hewitt broke his flag aboard her, making her the flagship of Task Force 34 at this time, General George Patton was among the high ranking officers aboard the heavy cruiser in preparation for the Operation Torch landings in North Africa in the following month. During the landing operations, Augusta escorted the landing transports while at the same time provided the firepower needed to counter French naval and coastal batteries off Casablanca. During an engagement with stationary French battleship Jean Bart, she was straddled by shells, but was not damaged. After the successful landings of Operation Torch, she returned to the Atlantic on convoy duties, including spending some time under British Royal Navy control.

ww2dbase On 25 Apr 1944, King George VI of Britain had lunch with Rear Admiral Alan Kirk aboard Augusta.

ww2dbase In Jun 1944, Augusta participated in the Normandy campaign as Lieutenant General Omar Bradley's transport. On 6 Jun, she fired 51 rounds from her main battery upon shore targets starting at 0618. On 10 Jun, Bradley disembarked to establish his command on land. On 1 Jul, she sailed for the Mediterranean Sea with Task Group 120.6, making port calls at Mers el Kebir, Palermo, Naples, and Corsica. In Aug 1944, she participated in Operation Dragoon on the coast of Southern France. On 15 Aug, she fired 15 rounds at Port Cros Island, 63 more on the next day, and 138 the day after the German-French fort on the island surrendered on the last day of Allied naval bombardment. She remained in the area for naval gunfire support for the remainder of the Dragoon operation by the time Dragoon was drew to a close, she had fired over 700 rounds of 203mm shells.

ww2dbase In Sep 1944, Augusta returned to the United States to undergo overhaul and repairs in Philadelphia. In Nov 1944, she suffered a mysterious explosion that killed three shipyard workers and four navy men. She sailed from the shipyard on 26 Jan 1945 for Puerto Rico, and on 21 Feb made a return trip as one of the escorting ships of cruiser Quincy which carried President Roosevelt back from the Yalta Conference. She remained at various locations on the east coast of the United States until the end of the European War. On 7 Jul 1945, she transported President Harry Truman, Secretary of State James Byrnes, and Admiral William Leahy to Antwerp, Belgium for the Potsdam Conference. After the end of the Pacific War, she was modified for Operation Magic Carpet to bring troops home from Europe. She was decommissioned in mid-1946 and sold for scrap on 9 Nov 1959 to Robert Benjamin of Panama City, Florida, United States.

ww2dbase Source: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Aug 2006

Heavy Cruiser Augusta (CA-31) Interactive Map

Augusta Operational Timeline

30 Jan 1931 Augusta was commissioned into service.
25 Jul 1937 Destroyer Squadron 29 of US Asiatic Fleet departed Yantai, Shandong Province, China and made rendezvous with USS Augusta at sea.
28 Jul 1937 USS Augusta and Destroyer Squadron 29 of US Asiatic Fleet arrived at Vladivostok, Russia.
1 Aug 1937 Destroyer Squadron 29 of US Asiatic Fleet departed Vladivostok, Russia for Yantai, Shandong Province, China while USS Augusta departed the same port for Qingdao, Shandong Province, China.
12 Aug 1937 USS Augusta delivered 50 Marines and 57 Navy personnel to reinforce the US 4th Marine Regiment stationed at Shanghai, China.
13 Aug 1937 USS Augusta departed Qingdao, Shandong Province, China with Admiral Harry Yarnell of US Asiatic Fleet aboard.
20 Aug 1937 While moored in the Huangpu River in Shanghai, China in the evening, the crew of USS Augusta gathered on the well deck for movies. A Chinese anti-aircraft shell intended for a Japanese reconnaissance aircraft flying nearby landed on the American cruiser, killing Seaman 1st Class Freddie J. Falgout and wounding 18 others.
21 Aug 1937 Photographer Harrison Forman boarded USS Augusta in Shanghai, China to document the event in which an errant Chinese anti-aircraft shell killed one American sailor and wounded 18 others.
16 Jul 1946 Augusta was decommissioned from service.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Phonse Griffiths says:
3 Oct 2015 01:22:58 PM

I am seeking photo of inside of USS Augusta,I am looking for photo of the conference table the atlantic charter was drafted on,would appreciate any help you can assist.We have the conference table in our museum and am looking for photo of it on the USS Augusta.Would also would like to give you permission to pass this along to all navy associations,thankyou.

2. Nicole Walsh says:
19 Oct 2015 02:30:18 PM

Wonderful idea Phonse for you to reach out and help behind the scenes. I would also like to be copied on any photos you have available as we would be interested in displaying them at our museum as well as on our website promoting the Atlantic Charter meeting.

3. peter chadwick says:
1 Apr 2016 03:19:56 PM

Came across a book called 'Atlantic Meeting' written by H.V. Morton [1943]. There are two deck images of President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill aboard the Agusta. Some interesting images of Capt. Elliott Roosevelt aboard the Agusta as well. I don't know how well these images have been distributed in the US over the past years?

4. Anonymous says:
1 Jul 2016 06:43:11 PM

I have just recently discovered a library book from aboard the USS Augusta. The last date I can find in it puts it on the ship in 1944. I searched the ship and came to this page first. Any suggestions as to what I should do with this book would be much appreciated! Thank you

5. Russ Gordon says:
11 Nov 2016 08:27:33 PM

My father, Joseph Goldstein was a Chief Petty Officer on that ship during WW2

6. Russ says:
11 Nov 2016 08:37:09 PM

If you come across photos that need retouching, I would be most happy to help out. I can take care of that and hopefully restore to the best quality possible

7. Anthony Stover says:
20 Jan 2017 05:37:51 PM

Hello, I am trying to find a crew manifest. I was told my grandfather served on this ship.. where doI start?

8. David Stubblebine says:
21 Jan 2017 12:16:22 PM

To Anthony Stover (above):
To find out more about your grandfather’s Navy service, the best starting point is to see his service record. You can request a copy from the National Archives. See: https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records.
Additionally, Fold3.com has very complete Muster Rolls for WWII ships but this is a subscription site that will cost you money to access. I know of no free source to see these records except to visit the National Archives in person (St Louis, MO for Navy service records and College Park, MD for most other Navy records).

9. Kenneth Robert Harrison says:
28 Sep 2017 03:39:39 PM

My grandfather serve on this ship his name was Robert dishman bock is there any info on him?

10. Richard Evans says:
6 Oct 2017 11:06:55 AM

I am writing a history of FDR's meeting with Churchill off Newfoundland in 1941. It's a long shot but I wonder if any crew members aboard the USS Augusta are still alive? If anyone knows of anyone please reply. Thank you

11. helen says:
9 Dec 2017 02:59:41 PM

My dad, John Leimbach, was on this ship all during WWII, he was only 16 when he signed up. The only thing he ever mentioned was the events when the Presidents were on board. He never even mentioned to us his ship was the flagship during the Normandy Invasionl He started having nightmares and flashbacks on his deathbed, that is the first time we ever heard of the horror he witnessed. Unfortunately, we lost him on December 14, 2000 at the age of 77. I have original his John Wanamaker Department Store Photo displayed in my home along with his discharge pin. My brother has his full uniform as well.

12. Anonymous says:
31 Jan 2018 01:10:11 PM

I had a friend now deceased who served on the U.S.S. Augusta before, and after Pearl Harbor. He was a storekeeper, and spoke very well of his ship, and shipmates.

13. James Ritchie says:
2 Mar 2018 03:48:14 AM

My father James Ritchie USMC was on the Augusta operation torch. I am trying to find the crew list for that 1942 invasion. I once found it but cannot now.
Thank you

14. Michael Weil says:
20 Apr 2018 02:51:18 PM

My grandfather Jonas Bolanz Weil served on the Augusta.

15. Anonymous says:
9 Jul 2018 08:44:29 AM

My father, Jesse Wallace, was the CO of the USS Augusta (or the Augi-maru) as he referred to it.

16. Russ Gordon says:
12 Sep 2018 09:23:49 AM

My fathers name at the time he was on the ship was Joseph Goldstein. He was Chief Petty Officer. He would get aspirin for President Roosevelt when he was meeting with Churchill and Stalin. Is there an official list for the crew?

17. Brisnt G. Dunnican II says:
18 May 2019 08:54:17 AM

My father was Walter Harry Dunnican. He served on the Augusta right out of USNA Class of 45.
He is the Ensign in the picture of Truman and King George
https://ww2db.com/image.php?image_id=17123
He Passed away in 1961.

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.


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History

The Augusta entered service in Norfolk, Virginia on January 30, 1931. At first she was the flagship of the Asian fleet .

She first served in the Atlantic during World War II . In November 1942, she ran with the Allied task force during Operation Torch to the Moroccan coast to attack forces of the Axis powers during the Allied invasion of North Africa. In July 1943, she took part with the Alabama and South Dakota and ships of the Royal Navy in a fake action against the German armed forces in Norway in order to distract the Germans from the planned invasion of Sicily ( Operation Husky ). From June 1944 she was the flagship of Admiral Kirk, commander of the Western Task Force, during the Normandy landings . In August 1944 she supported the 1st Special Force on the island of Levante, on the Mediterranean coast of southern France. The Augusta remained in service after the war and was scrapped in April 1960.


Welcome to the Augusta Museum of History

The Augusta Museum of History is dedicated to creating a safe environment for our staff and guests. We have implemented procedures that help us reduce contact, maintain social distancing, and keep our facilities clean.


We are:
Disinfecting public areas regularly
Wearing masks
Placing plastic barriers at close contact areas
Limiting our capacity to allow adequate space to social distancing
Posting helpful social distancing markers and signs

We require that adults and children children over the age of 2 wear face masks or face coverings while inside the Museum. Medical exceptions are allowed with a note from a doctor. There are no other exceptions.
Stay home if you do not feel well or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
Practice social distancing by maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between you and others.
Wash your hands frequently and practice good hygiene when coughing or sneezing.

The Augusta Museum of History collects, preserves, and interprets history in relation to the past of Augusta and the Central Savannah River region for the education and enrichment of present and future generations.

Founded in 1937, the Augusta Museum of History is Augusta's oldest historical agency devoted to the preservation and presentation of local and regional history. The not-for-profit agency functions as the steward of the community's rich, diverse, and invaluable material past. The museum curates the largest and most significant historical collection in the CSRA and functions as a historical research and resource center for professional and amateur historians, media, organizations, and individuals, and is home to permanent exhibition Augusta's Story, a 12,000 year journey through the region's past.


The Way We Were: Important passengers sailed the seas aboard USS Augusta

Eighty years ago the USS Augusta carried our leaders into history.

Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Harry Truman all had something in common.

They were resolute, they were reliable and they sailed into history, just like the ship on which all three once traveled – the USS Augusta.

Yes, our town had a boat named in its honor. Four of them, actually. But the latest was the most active – the USS Augusta (CA-31), a cruiser that not only saw battle action but also often served as a headquarters and presidential flagship.

Built in Virginia and launched in 1930, it sailed for most of the next 30 years. The Augusta would serve as the Navy's flagship for both the Asiatic and Atlantic fleets, seeing action in seas off China, North Africa and France and earning three Battle Stars during World War II.

It was in the Pacific. It was in the Atlantic. It was at D-Day, and just about anyone who was anybody stood on its decks: Roosevelt, Churchill, Omar Bradley, Chester Nimitz, George S. Patton.

The Augusta even took part in the naval battle of Casablanca, so maybe it fired its guns at Humphrey Bogart at his fictional movie saloon.

In Asian waters, the ship was called the "Augie Maru" – "Augie" for Augusta, and "maru" being a Japanese word for boat.

In 1934, the Augusta sailed under its most illustrious captain, Nimitz, who would later become the five-starred commander-in-chief of the Pacific Fleet.

The Augusta took over the Atlantic flag in April and rendezvoused in August 1941 with the presidential yacht Mayflower, taking on Roosevelt for his historic Atlantic conference with Churchill off the Newfoundland coast.

For most of the Augusta's crew, it was the first time seeing the president in person. Many were surprised by the sight of Roosevelt's physical impairments. The president, crippled in the 1920s after battling polio, was moved into the admiral's quarters. An elevator was installed and bulkhead doors were modified to accommodate for Roosevelt's disability.

They even assigned a serviceman to follow around the president's dog to clean up after … well, you know.

Churchill came aboard off Newfoundland to discuss the Atlantic Charter. After the Atlantic summit, the Augusta returned to its home port at Newport, R.I., where she remained until after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor drew the United States into World War II.

In June 1944, she had one of her more memorable missions. On June 5, with Army Gen. Bradley commanding D-Day landing forces from the bridge, the Augusta turned her 8-inch guns on the shores of Normandy. For the next 26 days, the warship would patrol the English Channel, hurling shells at German military forces.

The Augusta saw its share of action during World War II. And at the end of the war, she had the important mission of carrying Truman to the historic Potsdam conference in Germany.

It was from his office aboard the Augusta that Truman announced the nuclear bombing of Japan.

In November and December 1945, the Augusta had one of her most rewarding missions – she brought troops home from Europe.

In 1946, she was placed in reserve. And in November 1959, she was sold for scrap. Her mission done, her legacy remains and her memory endures.

Most of what’s left is at the Augusta Museum of History, including a silver service. Maybe we should drink a toast.


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The third light cruiser, originally classified as a scout cruiser, built for the United States Navy. The third Navy ship named after the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, the first being, an ironclad commissioned in 1862, during the Civil War, and the second being , a protected cruiser, that was decommissioned in 1919. Wikipedia

Light cruiser, originally classified as a scout cruiser, of the United States Navy. The fourth Navy ship named for the town of Concord, Massachusetts, the site of the first battle of the American Revolution. Wikipedia

Cruiser of the United States Navy that was in service from 1929 to 1945. The lead ship of the Pensacola class, which the navy classified from 1931 as heavy cruisers. Wikipedia

Of the United States Navy that served in the Pacific Theater in the early years of World War II. The second US Navy ship to be named after the city of Chicago. Wikipedia

Light cruiser, originally classified as a scout cruiser, of the United States Navy. The third Navy ship named for the town of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Wikipedia

The fourth light cruiser, originally classified as a scout cruiser, built for the United States Navy. The third Navy ship named for the city of Raleigh, North Carolina. Wikipedia

Light cruiser, originally classified as a scout cruiser, of the United States Navy. The fourth Navy ship named for the city of Detroit, Michigan. Wikipedia

Light cruiser, originally classified as a scout cruiser, of the United States Navy. The fourth Navy ship named for the city of Memphis, Tennessee. Wikipedia

A, later reclassified as a heavy cruiser, sometimes known as "Swayback Maru" or "Old Swayback". She had the (unofficial) distinction of having taken part in more combat engagements than any other ship in the World War II Pacific Fleet. Wikipedia

Dreadnought battleship, the second member of the, built by the United States Navy. The third ship of the US Navy named in honor of the 25th state, and was built by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation. Wikipedia

Light cruiser of the that served in World War II in the Atlantic and Mediterranean theatres of operation. Savannah conducted Neutrality Patrols (1941) and wartime patrols in the Atlantic and Caribbean (1942), and supported the invasion of French North Africa in Operation Torch (November 1942). Wikipedia

The lead ship of the Portland class of cruiser and the first ship of the United States Navy named after the city of Portland, Maine. Launched in 1932, she completed a number of training and goodwill cruises in the interwar period before seeing extensive service during World War II, beginning with the Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942, where she escorted the aircraft carrier and picked up survivors from the sunken carrier. Wikipedia

United States Navy battleship, the lead ship of her class. Designed as the first ship to carry the 14 in/45-caliber gun. Wikipedia


Normandy Command Ship - USS Augusta(CL/CA-31). .

Normandy Command Ship - USS Augusta(CL/CA-31). USS Augusta (CL/CA-31) was a Northampton-class cruiser commissioned in 1931 and was named for the city of Augusta, Georgia. She was a flagship or headquarters ship for most of her career. As a presidential flagship she hosted both Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman. She was the command ship for Operation Torch, Operation Overlord, and Operation Dragoon.

The ensign of the USS Augusta is a 132" X 161" bunting, 48-star, double applique, sewn stripe flag, finished a roped header with loops top and bottom, to which have been added eight, evenly spaced, leather tabs with snaps along the hoist edge. The flag is marked on the upper reverse hoist, "USS AUGUSTA (CA-31)."

The day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, the Augusta was the flag ship of the US Atlantic Fleet. She sortied into the Caribbean before going into the New York Navy Yard for a refit. She spent most of 1942 along the Atlantic Seaboard until October when he sailed for North Africa as the flagship for the Western Task Force to be the flag and command ship for Operation Torch. Also, aboard was General Patton who directed the assault from Augusta.

On station off Casablanca, Augusta continued with various Moroccan and Atlantic duties until returning to the States in February 1943 to resume trainings, patrols, and trans-Atlantic convoy duty, during which she escorted the RMS Queen Mary until she put into Boston for a refit before returning to Europe. She became the flagship of Rear Admiral Alan Kirk and was inspected by King George VI while preparing for Operation Neptune, the naval component of Operation Overlord, the Normandy Invasion.

At Normandy Augusta served as both Admiral Kirk's Flagship for Western Task Force and the command ship for General Omar Bradley's First Army, from where he directed the assault landings. She stood off the Normandy coast the morning of June 6th and fired her first salvos in support of the landings against enemy shore batteries. Gen. Omar Bradley directed the landings at Omaha and Utah beaches from Augusta until he disembarked on June 10th when he moved his headquarters ashore.

Augusta remained in station until July when she sailed for the Mediterranean to prepare for Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France. After again serving as the flagship and supporting the landings with shore bombardment, she detached and convoyed back to the States for a major overhaul, and duties along the Atlantic seaboard. She half-masted her colors for one month on the death of FDR. Later she would serve as a presidential flagship for Harry Truman to carry him on the first leg to the Potsdam Conference. President Truman was on the Augusta when he received the reports regarding the bombing of Hiroshima.

After the war Augusta participated in Operation Magic Carpet, the return of US serviceman to the States.

This Augusta ensign represents perhaps a unique opportunity for a D-Day, WWII, Naval War in the Atlantic collector to acquire an ensign from a unique ship.

For service during WWII, and before, the USS Augusta was awarded: the Navy Combat Action Ribbon, Navy China Service Medal, American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle East Campaign Medal with 3 campaign stars, World War II Victory Medal, and the Navy World War II Occupation Medal w/EUROPE Clasp.

Condition: This ensign is in fair to poor condition. It is used, worn, soiled, and torn it is frayed all along the fly edger with loss, the 3rd and 4th stripes are split, the bottom white stripe is tore, and there are numerous holes throughout.

This flag was formerly in the collection of Dr. Clarence Rungee, and is accompanied by his original museum inventory sheet with identifying information.


USS Augusta (CA-31) - History

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Watch the video: USS Augusta CA-31 Trumans Trip To Postdam Conference, 071945 - 081945 full (January 2022).