Saturday, 25 February 2017

American heavy cruiser USS Wichita (CA-45) 1935-1959

New Orleans-class

USS Wichita


Built under the London Naval Treaty restrictions was she originally planned to be part of the New Orleans-class. Instead of this was a hull used of a modified Brooklyn-class light cruisers design. The Wichita-design was used for developing the American heavy cruiser designs like the Baltimore-class.

Building approved under the 1929 Cruiser Act, laid down at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on 28 October 1935, launched on 16 November 1937, commissioned on 16 February 1939m decommissioned on 3 February 1947, stricken on 1 March 1959 and sold to the Union Minerals and Alloys Corporation to be broken up on 14 August 1959.

With a displacement of 10.759 (standard)-13.224 (full load) tons and as dimensions 180 (waterline)-185,42 x 18,82 (over all) x 7,24 metres or 600-608’4” x 61’9’x 23’9”. The machinery consisted of 4 Parsons steam turbines and 8 Babcock&Wilcox oil fuelled water tube boilers supplying 100.000 shp and allowing via the 4 screws a speed of 33 knots. With a speed of 15 knots was the range 10.000 nautical miles. Her crew numbered 929 men. For the 4 scout planes she could carry were 2 catapults available. The armament consisted of 3x3-20,32cm/8” /55 Mark 12 guns, 8x1-12,7cm/5” /38 Mark 12 dual purpose guns guns, 4x4&8x2-4cm Bofors guns and 18x1-2cm Oerlikon cannon. The armour consisted of a 16cm/6.4” thick belt, a 5,7cm/2.25” thick deck with the gun turrets and conning tower protected by respectively 20cm/8” and 15cm/6”.