USS Detroit (CL-8)

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For other ships of the same name, see USS Detroit.
USS Detroit (CL-8).jpg
USS Detroit
Career
Namesake: Detroit, Michigan
Builder: Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation
Laid down: 10 November 1920
Launched: 29 June 1922
Commissioned: 31 July 1923
Decommissioned: 11 January 1946
Fate: Sold for scrap 27 February 1946
General characteristics
Class & type: Omaha-class light cruiser
Displacement: 7,050 long tons (7,160 metric tons)
Length: 555 ft 6 in (169.32 m)
Beam: 55 ft 4 in (16.87 m)
Draft: 13 ft 6 in (4.11 m)
Speed: 34 knots (39 mph; 63 km/h)
Complement: 458 officers and enlisted
Armament: 10 × 6 in (150 mm)/53 cal guns, 6 × 3 in (76 mm)/50 cal guns, 6 × 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes (2x3)
Aircraft carried: 2 × floatplanes
Aviation facilities: 2 × catapults

USS Detroit (CL-8) was an Omaha-class light cruiser of the United States Navy. She was the fourth Navy ship named for the city of Detroit, Michigan.

Detroit was launched on 29 June 1922 by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Quincy, Massachusetts; sponsored by Miss M. Couzens, daughter of James J. Couzens, the Mayor of Detroit, Michigan; and commissioned on 31 July 1923, Captain J. Halligan, Jr., in command.

Inter-war period[edit]

After a shakedown cruise to the Mediterranean, Detroit joined the Scouting Fleet for exercises and maneuvers along the east coast and in the Mediterranean. From September–October 1924, she was on lifeguard station for the Army round-the-world flight, then served as flagship for Commander, Light Cruiser Divisions until 23 November. After overhaul at Boston, she sailed on 2 February 1925 for the west coast and fleet maneuvers along the coast and in Hawaiian waters. She returned to Boston on 10 July with the Scouting Fleet.

As flagship for Commander, Light Cruiser Division 3, from July 1925 to March 1926 and July to December 1926, Detroit continued to participate in maneuvers and fleet problems along the east coast and in the Caribbean. From March–April 1927, she patrolled off the coast of Nicaragua to protect American interests during political disturbances there.

Detroit sailed from Boston on 16 June as flagship for Commander, US Naval Forces in Europe. She made goodwill visits to various ports in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, and received official visits from the Kings of Norway, Denmark, and Spain, and the President of the Irish Free State. She also transported Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg between Ireland and France for the talks which led the following year to the signing of the Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact.

The cruiser returned to Norfolk, Virginia on 12 September 1928, for duty with the Scouting Fleet, serving as flagship for Commander, Light Cruiser Divisions, from 6 July 1929 to 29 September 1930. In January 1931, she sailed for a combined fleet problem off Balboa, then became flagship for Commander, Destroyer Squadrons, Battle Force on 19 March 1931, based on San Diego, California. In 1931, Captain Nathan Post was placed in command.[1] Detroit '​s operations included exercises along the west coast and maneuvers in Alaskan and Hawaiian waters. Except for a fleet problem in the Atlantic in 1934, she remained in the Pacific with the Battle Force, operating from her base at San Diego.

In 1941, Detroit '​s home port became Pearl Harbor. She was moored at her base with Raleigh and Utah when the Japanese attacked on 7 December. The other two ships bore the brunt of an attack by six torpedo planes. Despite several strafing passes, Detroit was able to get underway safely and set up an Anti-aircraft fire which accounted for several planes. Only one of the Detroit's crew members were injured during the Japanese attack, Lester Silva, who received a Purple Heart. She was ordered to sail at once to investigate the west coast of Oahu for any indications of a landing by the Japanese, then to join the search for the retiring Japanese force.

World War II[edit]

Returning to Pearl Harbor on 10 December, Detroit took up Convoy escort duty between her home port and the West coast. On one of these voyages, she took 9 short tons (260,000 ozt; 8 metric tons) of gold and 13 short tons (350,000 ozt; 12 metric tons) of silver from Trout (which had evacuated it from Corregidor) and delivered them to the United States Treasury Department at San Francisco. In September 1942, Detroit escorted two convoys to Naval Station Tutuila in Pago Pago, American Samoa, rescuing the crew of a downed PBY Catalina during one passage.

Detroit sailed from San Francisco on 10 November 1942 for Kodiak, Alaska, to become flagship for Commander, Task Group 8.6 (TG 8.6), and patrol between Adak and Attu Islands to prevent further enemy penetration of the Aleutians. On 12 January 1943, she covered the unopposed landings made on Amchitka to gain a base from which to cut the Japanese Supply line, and after repairs at Bremerton from February–March, returned to patrol duty to intercept reinforcements trying to reach the Japanese garrisons on Kiska and Attu. In April, she bombarded Holtz Bay and Chichagof Harbor on Attu, returning the next month to join in the assault and capture of the island. In August, under the command of Captain H. G. Sickel, she took part in the bombardments of Kiska, then covered the landings of 15 August which revealed that the island had been secretly evacuated.

Detroit remained in Alaskan waters until 1944, operating with the covering group for the western Aleutian bases. In June, she saw action with Task Force 94 (TF 94) during the bombardment of shore installations in the Kuriles. She sailed from Adak on 25 June, and after repairs at Bremerton, arrived at Balboa, Panama on 9 August to serve as temporary flagship of the Southeast Pacific Force. She patrolled on the west coast of South America until December.

Clearing San Francisco on 16 January 1945, Detroit arrived at Ulithi on 4 February for duty with the 5th Fleet. She acted as flagship for the replenishment group serving the fast carrier task forces until the end of the war, and entered Tokyo Bay on 1 September. Detroit was one of two ships present at both Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 and at the signing of the Japanese surrender (the other being West Virginia). Detroit continued to direct replenishment operations for the Occupation fleet and in addition, the repatriation of Japanese to the home islands from Pacific bases. She left Tokyo Bay on 15 October for the United States with returning servicemen on board, as part of Operation Magic Carpet.

Detroit was decommissioned at Philadelphia on 11 January 1946, and sold for scrap on 27 February.

Awards[edit]

Legacy[edit]

Detroit Seamount of the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain is named after Detroit.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "13 Captains Assigned to Commands Afloat". The New York Times (New York City). The New York Times Company. 12 February 1931. p. 44. 
  2. ^ Calgue, David A.; Dalrymple, G. Brent; Greene, H. Gary; Wald, Donna; Kono, Masaru; Kroenke, Loren W. (1980). "40. Bathymetry of the Emperor Seamounts". Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project 55. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office. pp. 846–847. LCCN 74-603338. Retrieved 25 April 2012.