USS Memphis (CL-13)
USS Memphis (CL-13) while visiting Kiel, Germany, in September 1926.
|Career (United States)|
|Builder:||William Cramp and Sons|
|Laid down:||14 October 1920|
|Launched:||17 April 1924|
|Commissioned:||4 February 1925|
|Decommissioned:||17 December 1945|
|Struck:||8 January 1946|
|Fate:||Scrapped in 1947|
|Class & type:||Omaha|
|Displacement:||7,050 tons (6,400 tonnes)|
|Length:||555 ft 6 in (169.32 m)|
|Beam:||55 ft 6 in (16.92 m)|
|Draft:||20 ft (6.1 m)|
|Speed:||35 kn (40 mph; 65 km/h)|
|Complement:||790 officers and enlisted|
|Armament:||12 × 6 in (150 mm)/53 cal guns (2x2, 8x1), 6 × 3 in (76 mm)/50 cal guns (6x1), 6 × 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes|
Memphis was laid down by William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 14 October 1920; launched on 17 April 1924, sponsored by Miss Elizabeth R. Paine, daughter of Mayor Rowlett Paine of Memphis; and commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 4 February 1925, Captain Henry E. Lackey in command.
Late in February, Memphis got underway for a shakedown cruise in the Caribbean. On 13 April, the cruiser participated in the dedication of an American memorial gateway to Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry at Port of Spain, Trinidad. Six years after the indomitable Perry had defeated the British on Lake Erie on 10 September 1813, he died on board frigate John Adams at Port–of–Spain and was interred there until his remains were removed to Newport, R.I. seven years later. In June, Memphis joined ships of a scouting fleet off Honolulu, Hawaii, for a cruise to theSouth Pacific through September, with visits to Australia and New Zealand. From October 1925 to April 1926, she again operated in the West Indies before returning to her home port, New York City.
Memphis next sailed for Europe, arriving off St. Nazaire, France on 26 June 1926 and relieved Pittsburgh as the flagship of Commander, US Naval Forces in Europe on 4 July. The new Commander, US Naval Forces in Europe was Vice-Admiral Guy Burrage. Vice-Admiral Burrage served as Commander, US Naval Forces in Europe from 1926 to 1928. The Memphis operated in European waters into 1927. During a stay at Santander, Spain from 31 July to 31 August 1926, the ship was visited by King Alfonso XIII.
On 3 June 1927, Memphis embarked Captain Charles A. Lindbergh and his plane at Southampton, England, following his nonstop flight from New York to Paris. The next day the cruiser departed Cherbourg, France, arriving Washington, D.C. on 11 June to debark her famous passenger at the Washington Navy Yard. For the rest of the year she performed surveillance duty along the Atlantic coast.
In January 1928, Memphis acted as part of an escort group for President Calvin Coolidge on a cruise to the West Indies. After four months of Caribbean operations, she served in the eastern Pacific.
On 5 June, the cruiser arrived at Balboa, Canal Zone for duty off Central America to May 1933. Memphis operated in a peacekeeping capacity at Corinto, Nicaragua, during the inauguration of President Juan Bautista Sacasa in 1932. In the next five years she alternated duty along the west coast with patrols to the troubled area of the West Indies.
After a good will cruise to Australia in January 1938, Memphis reached Honolulu on 1 April to rejoin the fleet for operations until she participated in the presidential review off San Francisco on 12 July 1939. In August, she sailed to Alaska, operating there until early 1941.
World War II
As the time of US involvement in World War II approached, Memphis sailed to the east coast. She departed Newport on 24 April 1941 to take part in the neutrality patrol of the ocean triangle Trinidad–Cape San Roque–Cape Verde Islands, arriving Recife, Brazil on 10 May. She continued operations in the South Atlantic for most of the war. In March 1942, the ship escorted two Army transports in convoy to Ascension Island, where the Army's 38th Engineer General Service Regiment debarked to construct an airport as staging point for planes flying from the United States to Africa. By May, she was on patrol near the entrance to Fort-de-France, Martinique.
In January 1943, the cruiser flew President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's flag off Bathurst, Gambia, during the Casablanca Conference from 14–24 January. The President and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill outlined plans at that time for the invasion of Sicily and Italy. From February–September, Memphis was once more on patrol duty against blockade runners, mostly off Bahia and Recife, Brazil.
President Amenzoga of Uruguay, and President Getúlio Vargas of Brazil toured the ship in January 1944 while their countries continued to give valuable aid in blockading the "Atlantic Narrows". The following year Memphis sailed for Europe, arriving Naples, Italy on 16 January 1945. On the 27th, as flagship for Admiral Harold R. Stark, Commander, US Naval Forces in Europe, she got underway for Valletta, Malta, scene of preliminary Allied conferences prior to the Yalta Conference in February. Before the end of January the cruiser had two important visitors: Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King and General of the Army George C. Marshall.
On 18 February, Memphis arrived at Algiers for President Roosevelt's last Allied conference before his return to the United States. For the next eight months, she continued to receive distinguished leaders. She participated in the first anniversary ceremonies of the Allied landings at St. Raphael and St. Tropez, southern France on 15 August and the Navy Day festivities at Naples, Italy on 27 October. Late in November, Memphis departed Tangier for Philadelphia, Pa., where she decommissioned on 17 December. She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 8 January 1946 and sold to Patapsco Scrap Co., Bethlehem, Pa. on 18 December for scrapping following delivery on 10 January 1947.
- U.S.S. Memphis
- "Papers of Rear Admiral Henry E. Lackey (1899–1940)". Washington, D.C: Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- "USS Memphis". historycentral.com. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- "Myers, Burrage, Graham Papers". Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.