USS Juneau (CL-119)
|Operators:||United States Navy|
|Preceded by:||Fargo class|
|Succeeded by:||Worcester class|
|Class and type:||Light cruiser|
|Displacement:||6,500 tons (standard); 8,450 tons (loaded)|
|Length:||541 ft 0 in (164.90 m)|
|Beam:||52 ft 10 in (16.10 m)|
|Draft:||20 ft 6 in (6.25 m)|
|Speed:||32.7 knots (61 km/h) (37.9 mph)|
|Range:||6,440 nautical miles (11,930 km) at 20 knots (37 km/h)|
The Juneau-class cruisers were United States Navy light cruisers which were modified version of the Atlanta-class cruiser design. The ships had the same dual-purpose main armament as USS Oakland (CL-95) with a much heavier secondary antiaircraft battery, while the anti-submarine depth charge tracks and torpedo tubes were removed along with a redesigned superstructure to reduce weight and increase stability. Three ships were ordered and built, all completed shortly after World War II, but only Juneau (CL-119) remained active long enough to see action during the Korean War.
The Atlanta-class cruisers increased wartime complement and armament and loss of Atlanta and Juneau revealed weaknesses in their stability and hull integrity of the ships which was addressed in a 1942 redesign at the same time as the modified Cleveland-class cruiser, the Fargo-class cruiser. The ships had the same main armament as USS Oakland (CL-95), but the bridge and superstructure were redesigned to remove weight and increase visibility, and the reduction in weight allowed increased antiaircraft guns to be added with increased stability. Watertight integrity was improved by removing doors on the lowest decks of the ship between bulkheads. In addition, all the anti-submarine armament was removed, along with the torpedo battery.
The main gun battery of the Juneau-class was composed of six dual 5 inch/38 caliber (127 mm) gun mounts (12 5-inch guns). The class was designed with a secondary anti-aircraft armament of thirty-two Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft guns, and sixteen 20 mm rapid-fire anti-aircraft cannons with high-explosive shells. After the war, the ships were planned to convert to a 3 inch/50 caliber (76 mm) secondary armament to replace the 40mm guns, but only the Juneau was converted.
The class was powered by the same equipment as the Atlanta-class: four 665 psi boilers, connected to 2 geared steam turbines producing 75,000 hp (56 MW), and the ships could maintain a top speed of 33.6 knots (62 km/h). On trial the Juneau made 32.48 knots (60 km/h) at 78,985 SHP. The ships of the Juneau-class had the same armor as the Atlanta-class: a maximum of 3.5 in (88.9 mm) on their sides, with the captain's bridge and the 5-inch gun mounts being protected by a mere 1.25 in (31.75 mm). The ships were originally designed for 47 officers and 695 men.
Three ships were built and none of the ships served during World War II; the lead ship of this class, Juneau (CL-119) which was named after the war loss Juneau (CL-52), was launched on 15 July 1945 and commissioned on 15 February 1946. Spokane (CL-120) was launched on 22 September 1945, and commissioned on 17 May 1946. Fresno (CL-121) was launched on 5 March 1946 and commissioned on 27 November 1946.
Spokane and Fresno were decommissioned in 1949 and 1950 prior to the start of the Korean War, but Juneau, at this point redesignated as an anti-aircraft cruiser CLAA-119, participated in the conflict. On 2 July 1950, Juneau, along with HMS Jamaica, and HMS Black Swan were attacked by 4 torpedo boats and 2 motor gunboats of the North Korean navy, and the combined firepower of the Anglo-American ships sank three enemy torpedo boats and both gunboats near Chumonchin Chan. She was decommissioned in 1955, shortly after the war ended. All three ships were considered for refitting as guided missile cruisers or ASW ships but ultimately were sold for scrap in the 1960s.
Ships in class
|Ship Name||Hull No.||Builder||Laid down||Launched||Commissioned||Decommissioned||Fate|
|Juneau||CL-119||Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearny, New Jersey||15 September 1944||15 July 1945||15 February 1946||23 July 1955||Struck 1 November 1959; Sold for scrap on 29 April 1960 to Union Metals & Alloys Corp., New York, NY|
|Spokane||CL-120||15 November 1944||22 September 1945||17 May 1946||27 February 1950||Struck 15 April 1972; Sold for scrap on 17 May 1973|
|Fresno||CL-121||12 February 1945||5 March 1946||27 November 1946||17 May 1949||Struck April 1965; Sold for scrap on 17 June 1966|
- Friedman, Norman (1984), U.S. Cruisers: an illustrated design history, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, ISBN 0-87021-718-6, OCLC 10949320
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
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