USS Cleveland (CL-55)
|Operators:||United States Navy|
|Preceded by:||St. Louis class
|Succeeded by:||Fargo class|
|Cancelled:||3 (9 converted to aircraft carriers, 13 reordered)|
|Preserved:||1 (converted to a Galveston-class guided missile cruiser)|
|Displacement:||11,800 tons (standard), 14,131 tons (full)|
|Length:||600 ft (180 m)(Waterline) 600 ft (180 m), 608 ft 4 in (Overall) 608 ft 4 in (185.42 m)|
|Beam:||63 ft (19 m)|
|Height:||113 ft (34 m)|
|Draft:||20 ft (6.1 m)mean (7.5 m)|
Four Babcock & Wilcox, 634 psi boilers
|Speed:||32.5 knots (60.2 km/h; 37.4 mph)|
|Range:||14,500 nmi (26,900 km; 16,700 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)|
|Aviation facilities:||Two catapults for seaplanes|
The U.S. Navy designed the Cleveland class of light cruisers for World War II with the goal of increased cruising range, antiaircraft armament, torpedo protection, etc., compared with earlier American cruisers.
52 light cruisers of this class were originally planned, but nine of them were completed as the light aircraft carriers of the Independence-class, and two of them were completed to a somewhat different design, with more compact superstructures and just a single smokestack. These two were called the Fargo class. Of the 27 Cleveland-class cruisers that were commissioned, one (USS Galveston) was completed as a guided missile cruiser and five were later modified as Galveston- and Providence-class guided missile cruisers. Following the naming convention at the time, all the ships completed as cruisers were named for American cities and towns.
The Cleveland-class cruisers served mainly in the Pacific Fleet during World War II, especially in the Fast Carrier Task Force, but some of them served off the coasts of Europe and Africa in the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. All of these warships, though hardworked in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets; and in some cases heavily damaged in combat, survived the war. Except for the USS Manchester, which remained in service until 1956, and the guided missile cruisers all of these cruisers were decommissioned by 1950. None were recommissioned for the Korean War, as they required almost as large a crew as the Baltimore class ships, and those ships were reactivated instead. All non-converted ships were sold off from the reserve fleet for scrapping beginning in 1959. The six that were completed as or converted into guided missile cruisers were reactivated during the 1950s and then served into the 1970s. The last of these in service, the USS Oklahoma City, was decommissioned in December 1979.
Only one Cleveland-class cruisers remains in existence. She is the guided missile cruiser Little Rock, which is a museum ship along the Niagara River at Buffalo, New York, along with the Fletcher Class Destroyer "USS The Sullivans", and the Gato Class Submarine, the "USS Croaker"
Ships in class
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