Boston-class cruiser

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USS Canberra (CAG-2) underway at sea on 9 January 1961 (KN-1526).jpg
USS Canberra (CAG-2)
Class overview
Operators:  United States Navy
Preceded by: None
Succeeded by: Galveston class
Completed: 2
Retired: 2
General characteristics
Type: Guided missile cruiser
Displacement: 13,600 tons
Length: 673 ft 3 in (205.2 m)
Beam: 71 ft 10 in (21.9 m)
Draft: 26 ft 10 in (8.2 m)
Propulsion: 4 615 psi boilers, steam turbines, 4 shafts
Speed: 33 knots (61 km/h; 38 mph)
Complement: 1,142 officers and enlisted

The United States Navy's Boston class were the first guided missile cruisers in the world. Both ships in this experimental class were originally Baltimore-class heavy cruisers that had been decommissioned after World War II, but were redesignated as guided missile heavy cruisers (CAGs) and entered refit in 1952. The lengthy conversion and modernization project involved removing the aft triple 8-inch gun turret and its supporting structure and installation of two twin launchers for Terrier anti-aircraft guided missiles. The forward two 8-inch gun turrets remained unchanged. The forward superstructure was modified to include the Terrier's associated radars and electronics, the aft superstructure was completely replaced, and the Baltimore class's two funnels were trunked to one.

Owing to the Boston class's experimental nature, the ships were only partially converted, with a full conversion to be carried out if the new weapon systems were successful. Had the ships been fully converted, the forward 8-inch turrets would have been replaced with additional Terrier launchers.

In 1968 both Boston-class guided missile heavy cruisers were reclassified back to heavy cruisers (CAs), in part due to the extensive use of their 8-inch guns for shore bombardment during the Vietnam War. While they had retained their Terrier missiles, the swift advance of technology had made these pioneering weapons obsolete after little more than a dozen years' service, and the ships' main battery were once again their six remaining 8-inch guns in the forward turrets.

Various proposals for limited modernization or complete reconstruction were considered but ultimately rejected. In 1970 both Boston class ships were decommissioned for the final time, eventually struck from the Naval Vessel Register, and sold for scrap.

Ships in class[edit]

Ship Name Hull No. Converted at Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Fate
Boston CAG-1 New York Shipbuilding Corporation 30 June 1941 26 August 1942 1 November 1955 5 May 1970 Sold for scrap, 28 March 1975
Canberra CAG-2 3 September 1941 19 April 1943 15 June 1956 2 February 1970 Sold for scrap, 31 July 1980

External links[edit]