Sunday, 26 February 2017

American heavy cruiser USS Helena (CA-75) 1943-1975

USS Wichita



Oregon City-class

Laid down by Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Fore Shipyard, Quincy Massachusetts, USA on 9 September 1943, launched by Mrs. John T. Haytin on 28 April 1945, commissioned on 4 September 1945, decommissioned on 29 June 1963, stricken on 1 January 1974, sold to the Leven Metals Company, Dan Jose, California, USA to be broken up on 13 November 1974 which was done at Richmond, California, USA in 1975.

Part of the Baltimore-class heavy cruisers consisting of the Baltimore, Boston, Canberra, Quincy, Pittsburgh, Saint Paul, Columbus, Helena, Bremerton, Fall River, Macon, Toledo, Los Angles and Chicago, preceded by the USS Wichita and succeeded by the Oregon City-class. The Baltimore-class was in fact a mix between the heavy cruiser USS Wichita and the Cleveland-class light cruisers.

General technical class specifications.
Approximately building costs of each ship was 40 million US dollars. Totally were 14 ships built. With a displacement of 14.733 (standard)-17.273 (full load) tons and as dimensions 205,26 x 21,59 x 8,18 (height mast) metres or 673’5” x 70’10” x 26’10”x 112’10”. The machinery consisted of geared steam turbines and 4 boilers allowing with the 4 screws and a horsepower of around 120.000 hp a speed of 33 knots. There were two engine rooms. With the fuel oil bunker capacity of 2.250 tons and a cruising speed of 15 knots was a range of around 10.000 nautical miles possible. The crew numbered 1.146 men (included 61 officers). The armour consisted of a 10,2cm/4”-15,cm/6” and 1,6cm/0.625” STS plating, a 5,7cm/2.25” thick deck, 15,2cm/6” thick bulkheads with the turrets, barbettes and conning tower protected by respectively 3,8cm/1.5”-20,3cm/8”, 17,8cm/7” and 15,2cm/6”. The armament consisted of 3x3-20,3cm/8” 55cal Mark 15 guns, 12x4-4cm Bofors guns and 22x1-2cm Oerlikon cannons. Fitted out with 2 catapults for launching the planes, the first 4 ships had 2 cranes, the others just 1 crane on board.