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USS Guam
USS Guam in 1944
Career (US)
Laid down: 2 February 1942
Launched: 12 November 1943
Commissioned: 17 September 1944
Decommissioned: 17 February 1947
Struck: 1 June 1960
Fate: Scrapped in May 1961
General characteristics
Displacement:

29,779 tons

34,253 tons (full load)
Length: 808 ft 6 in (246.43 m)
Beam: 91 ft 1 in (27.76 m)
Draft: 32 ft 4 in (9.86 m)
Propulsion: General Electric steam turbines
8 Babcock & Wilcox boilers
4 shafts
153,000 shp (114,000 kW)
Speed: 31.4 knots (58.2 km/h)
Complement: 1,517[1][2]–1,799[3]–2,251[4][5][A 1]
Armament: 9 x 12"/50 caliber (305 mm),
12 × 5 in (130 mm) guns
56 × 40 mm (1.6 in) guns
34 × 20 mm (0.79 in) guns
Aircraft carried: 4

USS Guam (CB-2) was an Alaska class large cruiser which served with the United States Navy during the end of World War II. She was the second and last ship of her class to be completed.

Guam was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named after the island of Guam, an American territory in the Pacific.

Guam was launched 12 November 1943 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey. She was sponsored by Mrs. George John McMillian, the former wife of Captain George John McMillian, former governor of Guam, and commissioned 17 September 1944 with Captain Leland P. Lovette in command.

Contents

Service History

After shakedown off Trinidad, Guam departed Philadelphia 17 January 1945, and joined the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor 8 February via the Panama Canal. Shortly thereafter, Guam was visited by Secretary of the Navy Forrestal. Clearing Pearl Harbor 3 March, Guam sailed into Ulithi 13 March where she joined forces with her sister ship Alaska and other fleet units in Admiral Marc Mitscher's famed Task Force 58 (TF 58).

Sortie was made from Ulithi next day, and Rear Admiral Arthur W. Radford's Task Group 58.4 (TG 58.4), one of the most powerful task forces in naval history, proceeded to vicinity of Kyūshū and Shikoku, arriving the morning of 18 March. In her group sailed some of the boldest ships ever to go in harm's way: Yorktown, Intrepid, Independence, and Langley; battleships Missouri and Wisconsin; cruisers Alaska, St. Louis, San Diego, Flint; and 15 destroyers in the screen. Guam's battle debut soon came. The battle began with five kamikaze attacks on the carriers. Guam's guns were directed at the raiders. During this first battle, carriers Enterprise and Intrepid, both in Guam's force, were damaged but continued to operate. Enterprise took a bomb hit near her island structure; a suicide plane crashed onto Intrepid's flight deck aft and glanced off and plunged into the sea. Continued air attacks during the afternoon resulted in the destruction of four enemy planes by Guam's group, one of which she splashed. The next afternoon Guam was dispatched to escort Franklin from the combat area. This lasted until 22 March.

After replenishing, Guam rejoined Task Group 58.4 and departed for combat area in vicinity of Okinawa Gunto, Japan. On the night of 27 March to 28 March 1945, Admiral P. S. Low's Cruiser Division 16 in Guam conducted bombardment of the airfield on Minami Daito. Then, until 11 May, Guam supported carrier operations off the Nansei Shoto.

After repairs and replenishment at Ulithi, Guam again departed for the waters east of Okinawa, as a unit of Admiral William F. Halsey's 3rd Fleet, so renamed Task Group 38.4. Here she continued to support the carriers launching fighter sweeps over the Kyūshū airfields. On 9 June, Guam, Alaska, and five destroyers conducted a 90-minute bombardment of Okino Daito. Course was then set for Leyte Gulf, arriving San Pedro Bay 13 June after almost 3 months of continuous operations in support of the Okinawa campaign.

Guam now got a new assignment as flagship of Cruiser Task Force 95, composed of large cruisers Guam and Alaska, four light cruisers, and nine destroyers. This force steamed into the East China and Yellow Seas between 16 July and 7 August 1945 on a shipping raid. Direct results were few, but the fact that a surface sweep of Japan's home waters could be made without harm proved the overwhelming dominance and mobility of American sea power. Guam's group retired to Okinawa 7 August.

A few days later, Guam became the flagship of Rear Admiral Low's North China Force and circled the Yellow Sea parading American naval might before the major ports of Tsingtao, Port Arthur, and Dairen. She then steamed into Jinsen, Korea, 8 September 1945 to guarantee occupation of that liberated country. Guam departed Jinsen 14 November and reached San Francisco 3 December landing a contingent of Army troops for discharge. Clearing San Francisco 5 December 1945, Guam arrived Bayonne, NJ, 17 December. She remained there and decommissioned 17 February 1947; Guam berthed with the New York Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet until 1 June 1960 when her name was struck from the Navy List. She was sold for scrapping 24 May 1961 to the Boston Metals Co., Baltimore, MD.

Awards

Guam received two battle stars for her service during World War II. [6]

See also

References

  1. ^ The sources vary greatly on just how many people composed the "complement" of the ship.
  1. ^ Gardiner and Chesneau, 122.
  2. ^ Miller, 200.
  3. ^ Osbourne, 245.
  4. ^ "Alaska". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command. http://hazegray.org/danfs/cruisers/cb1.txt. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  5. ^ "Guam". DANFS. http://hazegray.org/danfs/cruisers/cb2.txt. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  6. ^ From: DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL FIGHTING SHIPS, James L. Mooney, ed., Naval Historical Center, Department of the Navy, Washington, DC., 1991

This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

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