USS Cincinnati (CL-6)

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For other ships with the same name, see USS Cincinnati.
USS Cincinnati
USS Cincinnati (CL-6), at anchor in New York Harbor, 22 March 1944.
United States
Name: Cincinnati
Namesake: City of Cincinnati, Ohio
Ordered: 29 August 1916
  • 27 August 1917
  • 21 February 1919 (supplementary contract)
Builder: Todd Dry Dock & Construction Co., Tacoma, Washington
Cost: $1,238,833 (cost of hull & machinery)[1]
Laid down: 15 May 1920
Launched: 23 May 1921
Sponsored by: Mrs. C. E. Tudor
Completed: 1 July 1922
Commissioned: 1 January 1924
Decommissioned: 1 November 1945
Honors and
Bronze-service-star-3d.png 1 × battle star
Fate: scrapped for salvage by 27 February 1946
General characteristics (as built)
Class and type: Omaha-class light cruiser
Displacement: 7,500 long tons (7,620 t) (standard)
  • 555 ft 6 in (169.32 m) oa
  • 550 ft (170 m) pp
Beam: 55 ft (17 m)
Draft: 14 ft 3 in (4.34 m) (mean)
Installed power:
Speed: 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph) (designed speed)
Crew: 29 officers 429 enlisted (peace time)
Aircraft carried: 2 × floatplanes
Aviation facilities:
General characteristics (1945)

USS Cincinnati (CL-6), was the third Omaha-class light cruiser, originally classified as a scout cruiser, built for the United States Navy. She was also the third Navy ship named for the city of Cincinnati, Ohio. She split her pre-war career between the Atlantic and the Pacific Fleets. She served in the Scouting Fleet, based in the Atlantic, in 1924–1927, serving in the Pacific for a brief time in 1925 for fleet maneuvers. Cincinnati joined the Asiatic Fleet in 1927 and returned to the Atlantic from 1928–1932. She continued to go back and forth between oceans until March 1941 when she was assigned to Neutrality Patrol in the western Atlantic. When the United States entered World War II she was assigned to TF41, based at Recife, and used on convoy escort duties and patrols in the South Atlantic. She eventually helped in Operation Dragoon before resuming patrol duty in the South Atlantic.

Built in Tacoma, Washington[edit]

Cincinnati was ordered on 29 August 1916[2] and contracted to be built by Todd Dry Dock & Construction Co., Tacoma, Washington,[3] 27 August 1917. Her keel was laid on 15 May 1920 and launched on 23 May 1921,[2] the cruiser was christened by Mrs. Charles E. Tudor, wife of the Director of Safety of Cincinnati, Ohio, having been designated by the Honorable John Galvin, Mayor of Cincinnati; and commissioned 1 January 1924, Captain Charles P. Nelson in command.[4]

Cincinnati was 550 feet (170 metres) long at the waterline with an overall length of 555 feet 6 inches (169.32 metres), her beam was 55 feet 4 inches (16.87 metres) and a mean draft of 13 feet 6 inches (4.11 metres). Her standard displacement was 7,050 long tons (7,160 t) and 9,508 long tons (9,661 t) at full load.[2][5] Her crew, during peace time, consisted of 29 officers and 429 enlisted men.[6]

Cincinnati was powered by four Westinghouse geared steam turbines, each driving one screw, using steam generated by 12 Yarrow boilers. The engines were designed to produce 90,000 indicated horsepower (67,000 kW) and reach a top speed of 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph).[2] She was designed to provide a range of 10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km; 12,000 mi) at a speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph), but was only capable of 8,460 nautical miles (15,670 km; 9,740 mi) at a speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)[5]

Cincinnati's main armament went through many changes while she was being designed. Originally she was to mount ten 6 in (150 mm)/53 caliber guns; two on either side at the waist, with the remaining eight mounted in tiered casemates on either side of the fore and aft superstructures. After America's entry into World War I the US Navy worked alongside the Royal Navy and it was decided to mount four 6-in/53 caliber guns in two twin gun turrets fore and aft and keep the eight guns in the tiered casemates so that she would have an eight gun broadside and, due to limited arcs of fire from the casemate guns, four to six guns firing fore or aft. Her secondary armament consisted of two 3 in (76 mm)/50 caliber anti-aircraft guns in single mounts. Cincinnati was initially built with the capacity to carry 224 mines, but these were removed early in her career to make way for more crew accommodations. She also carried two triple and two twin, above-water, torpedo tube mounts for 21 inches (530 mm) torpedoes. The triple mounts were fitted on either side of the upper deck, aft of the aircraft catapults, and the twin mounts were one deck lower on either side, covered by hatches in the side of the hull.[2][7][8]

The ship lacked a full-length waterline armor belt. The sides of her boiler and engine rooms and steering gear were protected by 3 inches (76 mm) of armor. The transverse bulkheads at the end of her machinery rooms were 1.5 inches (38 mm) thick forward and three inches thick aft. The deck over the machinery spaces and steering gear had a thickness of 1.5 inches. The gun turrets were not armored and only provided protection against muzzle blast and the conning tower had 1.5 inches of armor.[8] Cincinnati carried two floatplanes aboard that were stored on the two catapults. Initially these were probably Vought VE-9s until the early 1930s when the ship may have operated OJ-2 until 1935 and Curtiss SOC Seagulls until 1940 when Vought OS2U Kingfishers where used on ships without hangars.[6]

Armament changes[edit]

During her career Cincinnati went through several armament changes, some of these changes were save weight, but others were to increase her AA armament. The lower torpedo tube mounts proved to be very wet and were removed, and the openings plated over, before the start of World War II. Another change made before the war was to increase the 3 in (76 mm) guns to eight, all mounted in the ship's waist. After 1940 the lower aft 6 in (150 mm) guns were removed and the casemates plated over for the same reason as the lower torpedo mounts.[7] The ship's anti-aircraft armament were originally augmented by three quadruple 1.1 in (28 mm)/75 gun mounts by early 1942, however, these didn't prove reliable and were replaced by twin 40 mm (1.6 in) Bofors guns along with 14 20 mm (0.79 in) Oerlikon cannons by the end of the war.[6] Its also reported that Cincinnati mounted a pair of Army 40mm Bofors guns too.[8]

Inter-war period[edit]

After a shakedown cruise off South America, Cincinnati joined the Scouting Fleet in June 1924, for operations along the Atlantic coast and in the Caribbean. With this force, she joined in fleet maneuvers in the Pacific and off the Panama Canal Zone in spring 1925, then resumed Atlantic and Caribbean operations until early in 1927.[4]

On 17 February 1927, Cincinnati sailed from Balboa, C.Z., for duty in the Far East, based at Shanghai until October, then at Manila, and again at Shanghai from February–April 1928. On the long cruise home to the east coast, she joined in exercises off Oahu and, carried men from Honolulu to Corinto, Nicaragua, returning to Newport, R.I. on 25 July, for operations on the east coast until 1932.[4]

Early in 1932, she joined the Battle Force in the Pacific, taking part in the Fleet's cruise to the east coast from April–July 1934 for the Presidential Review of 31 May at New York. Returning to the west coast, she operated on summer training cruises for naval reservists from 1935 to 1938, then was reassigned to Atlantic duty during 1939.[4]

World War II[edit]

Cincinnati was based at Pearl Harbor from April 1940, voyaging to Guam and the Philippines on transport duty at the close of that year. In March 1941, she returned to the Atlantic, and joined in the ever-expanding patrol operations in the western Atlantic. Upon the outbreak of war, she continued patrols and convoy escort assignments in the western Atlantic and Caribbean, blockading French men-of-war at Martinique, and searching for German blockade runners. With Milwaukee and Somers, Cincinnati discovered one of these, Anneliese Essberger, on 21 November 1942. The German crew scuttled their ship, but a boarding party reached the ship in time to discover its identity and take all 62 crew members prisoners before the blockade runner sank.[4]

Overhauled at New York early in 1944, Cincinnati served as escort flagship for the crossing of three convoys from New York to Belfast from March–July, guarding the passage of men and equipment essential to the invasion of Europe. On 28 July, she sailed from Norfolk to patrol the Western Mediterranean during the time of the assault on Southern France, and returned to New York on 9 September. After overhaul, she joined the 4th Fleet at Recife, Brazil on 17 November, and patrolled South Atlantic shipping lanes until the close of the European phase of the war.[4]

In the summer of 1945, Cincinnati carried midshipmen on two training cruises, and on 29 September arrived at Philadelphia, where she was decommissioned 1 November 1945 and scrapped on 27 February 1946.[4]

The ship's bell is in the lobby of the main branch of the Cincinnati Public Library



  1. ^ "Table 21 - Ships on Navy List June 30, 1919". Congressional Serial Set. U.S. Government Printing Office: 771. 1921. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Ships' Data, U. S. Naval Vessels". US Naval Department. 1 July 1935. pp. 24–31. Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  3. ^ "Todd Pacific Shipyards, Inc., Tacoma WA". 4 August 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Cincinnati III (CL-6)". Naval History and Heritage Command. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Rickard, J (2 January 2013). "USS Cincinnati CL-6". Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c Terzibashitsch, Stefan (1988). Cruisers of the US Navy 1922-1962. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-974-X. 
  7. ^ a b Rickard, J (1 January 2014). "Omaha Class Cruisers". Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c Toppan, Andrew (22 January 2000). "US Cruisers List: Light/Heavy/Antiaircraft Cruisers, Part 1". Retrieved 31 October 2015. 

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here. For film of the USS Cincinnati, see the 1937 film, Submarine D-1.

External links[edit]