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Northampton Class Heavy Cruisers: CL/CA-26
Model featured: CA-26 USS Northampton
- circa, entering Pearl Harbour December 8th, 1941 -
The six ships were an improved version of the earlier Pensacola Class cruisers with new aircraft storage, and were built to add firepower to the US Navy battle fleet which could not build more battleships due to the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty.
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 first three ships were equipped as flagships. In this capacity the crew was increased from the usual 566 enlisted men and 55 officers to a total complement of about 750.
Armed with three triple 8" main guns, four 5" guns, eight .50 calibur machine guns and six torpedo tubes, the Northampton Class cruisers possessed good firepower and speed at the expense of adequate armor protection and anti-torpedo defense.
These cruisers had the distinction of being the first ships of the so-called "Treaty Navy" in which the hull plates were welded instead of riveted to eliminate excess weight and keep the ships within the tonnage limits prescribed by the Washington Naval Treaty. Their armor belt was 3.75" thick - which proved inadequate. Equipped with two catapults amidships they carried four Curtiss SOC Seagull floatplanes.
Chicago, Houston and Northampton were sunk during action with the Japanese in the Pacific during World War II. The remaining three were scheduled for disposal but were decommissioned in 1946 and retained in reserve. Modernizations were considered in 1952 but instead the three ships were stricken in 1959 and sold for scrap.
The model is depicted as to how the ship looked when she entered Pearl Harbor the day after the infamous attack. She is painted in Measure One (dark) camouflage with a Measure Five false bow wave.
Northampton Class Heavy Cruiser specifications
|Armament||Three triple 8" guns, four 5", eight 50 caliber machine guns and six torpedo tubes||Length||600 ft 3 in|
|Beam||66 ft 1 in|
|Power Plant||4-shaft Parsons turbines, 8 White-Forster boilers|
|Aircraft||Four Curtiss SOC Seagull float planes||Propulsion||4 screws, 107,000 SHP total|
|Complement||621 (750 if serving as flagship)||Speed||32.5 knots|
|Listing of Northampton Class Heavy Cruisers|
|Hull #||Ship's Name||Commissioned||Fate|
|CL/CA-26||Northampton||May 17, 1930||Sunk at the Battle of Tassafaronga, Nov 30, 1942|
|CL/CA-27||Chester||Jun 24, 1930||Sold for scrap Aug 1959|
|CL/CA-28||Louisville||Jan 15, 1931||Sold for scrap Nov 1959|
|CL/CA-29||Chicago||Mar 09, 1931||Sunk by Japanese aerial torpedoes Jan 30, 1943|
|CL/CA-30||Houston||Jun 17, 1930||Sunk in surface action with Japanese Mar 1, 1942|
|CL/CA-31||Augusta||Jan 30, 1931||Sold for scrap Nov 1959|
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