~ museum quality, handcrafted, custom-built wooden model ships ~
Pensacola Class Heavy Cruisers: CL/CA-24 &
Model featured: CL-24 USS Pensacola
- circa 1943 (before last refit) -
USS Pensacola, name ship of a class of two 9,100-ton light cruisers (CL), was commissioned in February 1930. In 1931 the classification was changed to heavy cruiser (CA). Pensacola and her sister ship USS Salt Lake City (CA-25) were the US Navy's first Washington Naval Treaty cruisers and the first modern cruisers to mount the 8-inch gun designed to match the firepower of Japanese cruisers.
The treaty defined cruisers as ships of up to 15,000 tons, and being either "light" with guns no larger than 6 inches, or "heavy" with guns no larger than 8 inches. The gun arrangement was much like that in the Nevada class though with heavier triple turrets in the super firing position fore and aft. This would lead to top-weight problems later in their service life when anti-aircraft armament was added during World War Two.
These cruisers were very lightly armored by cruiser standards - barely capable of withstanding 5-inch gunfire, and were commonly referred to as "tinclads".
In 1935 USS Pensacola shifted homeport from Norfolk, Virginia, to San Diego, California and thereafter served in the Pacific. In 1941 - when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor - Pensacola was escorting a convoy to the Philippines that was subsequently diverted to Australia. In late 1942, during the Battle of Tassafaronga off Guadalcanal, Pensacola was badly damaged by a torpedo. She was under repair at Pearl Harbor until well into 1943.
In January 1944 Pensacola joined in strikes on the Marshall Islands. Then followed attacks on the Carolines, the Kuriles, Wake Island and the liberation of the Philippines. By April she was shelling Iwo Jima and then Okinawa - the last stepping stone to Japan. In May she retired to Pearl Harbor where she got her last major refit and was painted in camouflage. By August she was back in service near Alaska when hostilities ended. Pensacola received 13 battle stars for her service in WWII. After the war's end Pensacola participated in Operation Magic Carpet which brought home US service personnel. For those trips the ship was stripped of catapults, all 5" guns, four quads and two twin 20mm.
In 1946 USS Pensacola was one of many ships utilized as targets in the Bikini Atoll atomic tests. Badly damaged by the two explosions on July 1st and July 25th, she was formally decommissioned in August. More than two years later - on November 10th, 1948 - USS Pensacola was sunk as a target in fleet exercises off the coast of Washington State.
Pensacola Class Heavy Cruiser specifications
|Armament||Two triple & two twin 8"; eight
Six 21" torpedo tubes (removed 1940)
Sixteen single 1.1" AA (added 1941)
Six quad 40mm AA (added early 1943)
Fourteen twin 20mm (added late1943)
|Length||585 ft 6 in|
|Beam||65 ft 3 in|
|Displacement||9,100 tons; 11,512 fully loaded|
|Power Plant||8 boilers, geared turbines|
|Aircraft||Four Curtiss SOC Seagull float planes||Propulsion||4 screws, 107,000 SHP total|
© 2002-2017 All Wood Ships - All Rights Reserved