Wednesday, 15 March 2017

American light cruiser USS Fargo (CL-85) 1942, light aircraft carrier Langley (CVL-27) 1942-1951, French aircraft carrier La Fayette 1951-1963 and broken up 1964




Laid down by New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey, USA as the Cleveland light cruiser USS Fargo (CL-85) on 11 April 1942, launched on 22 May 1943, commissioned on 31 August 1943, decommissioned on 11 February 1947, laid up in reserve, handed over to France under the MDAP on 8 January 1951, commissioned as La Fayette (R96) on 2 June 1951, returned to the USA on 20 March 1963 and sold to be broken up in 1964.

Cleveland-class consisting of the Cleveland (CL-55), Columbia (CL-56), Montpelier (CL-57), Denver (CL-58), Amsterdam (CL-59), Santa Fe (CL-60), Tallahassee (CL-61), Birmingham (CL-62), Vincennes (CL-64), Pasadena (CL-65), Springfield (CL-66), Topeka (CL-67), New Haven (CL-76), Huntington (CL-77), Dayton (CL-78), Wilmington (CL-79), Biloxi (CL80), Houston (CL-81), Providence (CL-82), Providence (CL-82), Manchester (CL-83), Buffalo (CL-84), Fargo (CL-85), Vicksburg (CL-86), Duluth (CL-87), Anonymous (CL-88), Miami (CL-89), Astoria (CL-90), Oklahoma City (CL-91), Little Rock (CL-92), Galveston (CL-93), Youngstown (CL-94). Buffalo (CL-99), Newark (CL-100), Amsterdam (CL-101), Portsmouth (CL-102), Wilkes-Barre (CL-103), Atlanta (CL-104), Dayton (CL-105), Fargo (CL-106) and Huntington (CL-107). The Newark (CL-108), New Haven (CL-109), Buffalo (CL11), Wilmington (CL111), Vallejo (CL112), Helena (CL113), Anonymous (CL-115), Roanoke (CL-114), Tallahassee (CL 116), Cheyenne (CL117) and Chattanooga (CL118), are usually described as part of the Fargo-class. preceded by the St. Louis and Atlanta-classes and succeeded by the Fargo-class (a modified Cleveland-design. Of the originally 52 planned ships were 9 converted and completed as the Independence-class light aircraft carriers and 2 with an altered design were part of the Fargo-class. There were totally 29 commissioned of which the Galveston was completed as a guided missile cruiser and 5 others later converted into the Galveston and Providence-class guided missile cruisers.

Technical class specifications of the Cleveland-class. With a displacement of 11.932 (standard)-14.358 (maximum) tons and as dimensions 180 (waterline)-185,42 (over all) x 20,22 x 7,6 (maximum) x 34 (height) metres or 600-608.4 x 66.4 x 25 x 113 feet. The machinery consisted of 4 General Electric geared steam turbines and 4 boilers supplying 1000.000 shop allowing with the 4 screws a speed of 32,5 knots. With a speed of 15 knots was the range 8.640 nautical miles. Crew numbered 1.255 men (including 70 officers). The armour consisted of a 8,3cm/3.25”012,7cm/5” thick belt, a 5,1cm/2” thick deck, 12,7cm/5” bulkheads with the gun turrets, barbettes and conning tower protected by respectively 3,8cm/1.5” (rear)-7,6cm/3” (roof and sides)-17cm/6.5 (face), 15cm/6” and 5,7cm/2.25”-12,7cm/5”. For the 4 floatplanes they could take with them were 2 catapults situated on the stern available. Main armament consisted of 4x3-15cm/6” guns /47cal Mark 16 guns and the secondary armament of 6x2-13cm/5” /38 cal anti aircraft guns, to which a large number of 4cm/1.6” and 2cm/0.79” anti aircraft guns were added.

Independence-class consisting of the Independence (CVL-22), Princeton (CLVL-23), Belleau Wood (CVL-24), Cowpens (CVL-25), Monterey (CVL-26), Langley (CVL-27), Cabot (CVL-28), Bataan (CVL-29) and San Jacinto (CVL-30).

General technical specifications of the Independence-class. Displacement of 11.000 (standard) tons and as dimensions 190 x 21,8 (hull)- 33,3 (over flight deck and projections) x 7,9 metres or 622’6” x 71’6” x 109’2” x 26. Steam turbines supplying 100.000 shp allowing a maximum speed of 31,5 knots. The armament consisted of 26-4cm Bofors guns. Carried in October 1944 24 F6F Hellcat fighters and 9 TBM Avenger torpedo bombers. Crew numbered 1.569 men.