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USS Quincy (CA-71) bombarding Toulon, 16 August 1944

USS Quincy (CA-71) bombarding Toulon, 16 August 1944


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USS Quincy (CA-71) bombarding Toulon, 16 August 1944

Here we see the Baltimore class heavy cruiser USS Quincy (CA-71) bombarding Toulon on 16 August 1944, during the invasion of the South of France.


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

The third Quincy (CA-71), a heavy cruiser, was authorized 17 June 1940, laid down by Bethlehem Steel Co., Shipbuilding Div., Quincy, Mass. as St. Paul 9 October 1941 renamed Quincy 16 October 1942 to perpetuate that name after destruction of the second Quincy at the Battle of Savo Island 9 August 1942, launched 23 June 1943, sponsored by Mrs. Henry S. Morgan, a daughter of Charles Francis Adams and commissioned at the U.S. Naval Drydock, South Boston Mass. 23 June 1943, Capt. Elliot M. Senn in command.

After shakedown cruise in the Gulf of Paria, between Trinidad and Venezuela, the new cruiser was assigned 27 March 1944 to Task Force 22 and trained in Casco Bay Maine until she steamed to Belfast, Northern Ireland with TG 27.10, arriving 14 May and reporting to Commander 12th Fleet for duty. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, accompanied by Rear Admiral Alan G. Kirk, inspected the ship's company in Belfast Lough 15 May 1944.

Quincy stood out of Belfast Lough 20 May for the Clyde and anchored off Greenock, Scotland to begin special training in shore bombardment. She then returned to Belfast Lough and began final preparations for the invasion of Europe. At 0537, 6 June 1944, she engaged shore batteries from her station on the right flank of Utah Beach, Baie de la Seine.

During the period 6 through 17 June, in conjunction with shore fire control parties and aircraft spotters, Quincy conducted highly accurate pinpoint firing against enemy mobile batteries and concentrations of tanks, trucks, and troops She also neutralized and destroyed heavy, long range enemy batteries, supported minesweepers operating under enemy fire, engaged enemy batteries that were firing on the crews of Corry (DD-463) and Glennon (DD-620) during their efforts to abandon their ships after they had struck mines and participated in the reduction of the town of Quineville 12 June 1944.

Quincy steamed to Portland, England 21 June and joined TF 129. She departed Portland 24 June for Cherbourg France. The bombardment of the batteries surrounding the city commenced in conjunction with the Army's assault at 1207. Nineteen of the twenty-one primary targets assigned the task force were successfully neutralized or destroyed, thus enabling Army troops to occupy the city that day.

The heavy cruiser sailed for Mers-el Kebir, North Africa 4 July, arriving there the 10th. She proceeded to Palermo Sicily 16 July, arriving two days later. Quincy, based at Palermo through 26 July, conducted shore bombardment practice at Camarota in the Gulf of Polieastro. She then steamed to Malta via the Straits of Messina. Between 27 July and 13 August the cruiser participated in training exercises at Malta and Camarota, Italy.

On the afternoon of 13 August, in company with four British cruisers, one French cruiser, and four American destroyers, Quincy departed Malta for the landings on the southern coast of France, arriving Baie de Cavalaire 15 August. For three days the group provided fire support on the left flank of the 3rd U.S. Army. Quincy transferred 19 August to TG 86.4, and until the 24th engaged the heavy batteries at Toulon, St. Mandrier, and Cape Sicie. She steamed westward the afternoon of 24 August to support minesweepers clearing the channel to Port de Bouc in the Marseilles area

Quincy was detached from European duty 1 September and steamed for Boston, arriving one week later. She remained at Boston for the installation of new equipment through 31 October, when she got underway for training in Casco Bay After fitting out at Boston for a Presidential cruise, Quincy steamed for Hampton Roads, Va., 16 November.

President Roosevelt and his party embarked in Quincy 23 January 1945 at Newport News, Va. for passage to Malta, arriving 2 February. After receiving calls by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and other dignitaries, President Roosevelt departed Quincy and continued on to the Crimea by air.

Quincy departed Malta 6 February and arrived Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal two days later, after calling at Ismalia, Egypt. The President and his party returned 12 February and the next day received Farouk I, King of Egypt, and Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia. President Roosevelt received Ibn Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, 14 February. After a call at Alexandria and a final meeting between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, Quincy steamed for Algiers, arriving 18 February. Following a presidential conference with the American ambassadors to Great Britain France, and Italy, the cruiser steamed for the United States arriving Newport News, Va. 27 February.

Quincy stood out of Hampton Roads 5 March 1945, arriving Pearl Harbor the 20th. After training in the Pearl Harbor area, she steamed for Ulithi via Eniwetok, joining the 5th Fleet there 11 April. Two days later she departed Ulithi and joined Rear Admiral Wiltse's Cruiser Division 10, in Vice Admiral Mitscher's Fast Carrier Task Force. From 16 April Quincy supported the carriers in their strikes on Okinawa Amami Gunto, and Minami Daito Shima. She returned to Ulithi with units of the task force 30 April.

In company with units of TF 58, Quincy departed Ulithi 9 May for the area east of Kyushu, arriving 12 May for carrier strikes against Amami Gunto and Kyushu. Before dawn on 14 May the cruiser splashed a Japanese plane. Her own aircraft strafed targets in Omonawa on Tokune Shima 19 May. Quincy continued to support carrier aircraft strikes against Okinawa, Tokuno Shima, Kikai Jima, Amami Gunto, and Asumi Gunto until the force returned to base 13 June Enroute, Quincy safely rode out the severe typhoon of 5 June.

During the period of replenishment and upkeep at Leyte, Rear Admiral Wiltse, ComCruDiv 10, transferred to Quincy. The cruiser departed Leyte 1 July with Task Force 38 to begin a period of strikes at Japan's home islands which lasted until the termination of hostilities. She supported carriers in strikes in the Tokyo Plains area, Honshu, Hokkaido, and Shikoku.

Quincy joined the Support Force, 23 August, and four days later, helped occupy Sagami Wan, Japan, and entered Tokyo Bay 1 September.

Rear Admiral Wiltse transferred his flag 17 September to Vicksburg (CL-86), and 20 September Quincy joined the 5th Fleet as a unit of the Eastern Japan Force, TF 53, basing in Tokyo Bay.

Quincy decommissioned 19 October 1946 in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash. She was assigned to the Bremerton Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet until 31 January 1952, when she recommissioned to serve in the 7th Fleet in support of United Nations Forces in Korea. Following fitting out and readiness training, she served in the screen of the Fast Carrier Task groups ranging off the coastline of Korea 25 July 1953 through 1 December 1953. She again decommissioned 2 July 1954 and is berthed at Bremerton, Wash., in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, into 1970. [Quincy was struck from the Navy list on 1 October 1973 and sold on 20 August 1974.]

Quincy received four battle stars for World War II service. Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation


USS Quincy (CA-71) bombarding Toulon, 16 August 1944 - History

USS Quincy , a 13,600-ton Baltimore class heavy cruiser, was built at Quincy, Massachusetts, and commissioned in December 1943. Following a Caribbean shakedown cruise and training in the North Atlantic, in May 1944 she reported to the 12th Fleet for service in European waters. During June 1944, Quincy provided gunfire support for the Normandy Invasion and bombarded German positions around Cherbourg, France. After steaming to the Mediterranean, the cruiser participated in the invasion of Southern France in August. She returned to the U.S. shortly thereafter.

In January and February 1945, Quincy transported President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his party most of the way to and from the Yalta Conference. When the conference was completed, she was the site of meetings between the President, King Farouk of Egypt, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethopia and King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia. Upon her arrival back in the United States, Quincy was transferred to the Pacific, where she escorted the fast carriers as they conducted air strikes on targets in the Ryukyus and the Japanese Home Islands during the last five months of World War II. In mid-July, she used her own eight-inch guns to bombard an iron plant at Kamaishi, Japan. After Japan's capitulation in August, Quincy supported occupation efforts.

Quincy was decommissioned at Bremerton, Washington, in October 1946. However, the coming of the Korean War brought a need for more active gun ships and Quincy was recommissioned in January 1952. She made one Western Pacific deployment, arriving in July 1953, just as the conflict was negotiated to an end, and remained in Asiatic waters until December. She was again decommissioned in July 1954 and spent nearly two decades in "mothballs" at Bremerton. USS Quincy was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in October 1973 and sold for scrapping in August 1974.

This page features selected views of USS Quincy (CA-71).

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

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In San Francisco Bay, California, 1945-46.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

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Underway in the Pacific during 1952-54.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

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Underway in the Pacific during 1952-54.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 138KB 740 x 610 pixels

General Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. Army

Inspects USS Quincy (CA-71) at Belfast Lough, Northern Ireland, 18 May 1944, shortly the Normandy Invasion. Rear Admiral Alan G. Kirk is following immediately behind.
Note Fleet Marine Force "seahorse" shoulder patch worn by the Marine at right.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

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Bombardment of Cherbourg, France, 25 June 1944

German shells spash off the bow of USS Quincy (CA-71) during the bombardment, as seen from her bridge.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 87KB 740 x 610 pixels

Two Vought OS2U "Kingfisher" floatplanes warming up on the cruiser's fantail prior to catapult launching, probably at the time of the Invasion of Southern France, August 1944. Note barrels of Quincy 's after eight-inch guns in the foreground, hangar hatch cover and twin aircraft cranes at the ship's stern.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

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Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Vought OS2U "Kingfisher" floatplane is catapulted from the cruiser's stern, probably at the time of the Invasion of Southern France, August 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

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Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

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Invasion of Southern France, August 1944

USS Quincy (CA-71) fires her forward 8"/55 guns off Toulon, France, while supporting the invasion, 16 August 1944.
Note smoke screen laid by the ship next ahead to prevent accurate counter-fire by German coastal artillery.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

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Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt (right)

Meets with Eqyptian King Farouk, on board USS Quincy (CA-71) in the Great Bitter Lake, Egypt, on 13 February 1945, following the Yalta Conference.
View looks aft along the cruiser's port side from atop her second eight-inch gun turret. Note 5"/38 twin gun mounts, 20mm guns and details of the ship's open bridge.

Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

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Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt (right)

Meets with King Ibn Saud, of Saudi Arabia, on board USS Quincy (CA-71) in the Great Bitter Lake, Egypt, on 14 February 1945. The King is speaking to the interpreter, Colonel William A. Eddy, USMC.
Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, USN, the President's Aide and Chief of Staff, is at left.
Note ornate carpet on the ship's deck, and life raft mounted on the side of the 5"/38 twin gun mount in the background.


The Forgotten Invasion of France

The important invasion of southern France in World War II that liberated a huge portion of the country in only four weeks with comparatively light casualties almost didn’t happen because of politics and post-war worldview.

Operation Dragoon took place on August 15, 1944 just two months after the Allied invasion of Normandy. However, it was originally planned to coincide with Operation Overlord in Normandy in order to create a “hammer and anvil” campaign against the Axis forces in France.

The operation created quite a debate amongst the top military strategists and even the political leaders of the Allies. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin wanted a second front opened against Germany immediately. He was not pleased with the invasion of Italy and favored a more Western front in France and the Low Countries.

Soldiers of the 10th Infantry Regiment, US 1st Infantry Division attacking the beaches of Normandy on D-Day – June 6, 1944

The U.S. planners including Generals Marshall and Eisenhower believed that France should be the priority because it was close to Allied bases in the Mediterranean and Great Britain itself, had large ports to land troops and supplies, and provided more favorable terrain than northern Italy and the Balkans.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, General Montgomery, and U.S. Army General Clark disagreed and believed that an invasion of the Balkans and a push towards Austria should be the priority in order to clear the Mediterranean and prevent the Soviets from gobbling up Eastern Europe.

Winston Churchill, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Bernard Montgomery.

Ultimately, a small compromise was made that slightly favored the Eisenhower plan. Normandy would indeed be the site of the invasion of Western Europe by the Allies, but the “hammer” would not get an “anvil” in the south of France. Instead, a renewed effort was to be made to take Rome and advance through Italy using resources originally planned for the secondary landings in the French Riviera.

These forces would then be deployed for a later invasion of France and became known as Operation Dragoon. Churchill, who had adamantly opposed it, stated that he “was dragooned into the operation.”

A map showing the Allied amphibious landings and advance in Southern France, as well as German defensive positions.

The Scenario at the Time of the Dragoon Landings

The Allies would launch Dragoon with a mammoth advantage over the Axis forces tasked with the defense of the southern French coast. In terms of men and materials, the German leadership surely felt they were facing impossible odds.

The Allied naval contingent consisted of over 800 Allied ships and nearly 1,400 landing craft. Five battleships (3 U.S., 1 British, and 1 French), nine escort carriers (7 British, 2 U.S.), and three heavy cruisers headlined the offshore support.

The combined air forces allocated to the operation included over 1,300 heavy bombers and almost four thousand aircraft in total giving the Allies complete air superiority over the defenders who could field no more than 200 planes.

The first regular troops that would go ashore were the battle-tested U.S. 3rd, 45th, and 36th Divisions supported by special forces units on their flanks and over 5,000 British and American paratroopers landing in the rear of the German defenses.

Operation Dragoon invasion fleet 1944.

French Resistance fighters throughout the target area as well as French Armee B that would land after the first U.S. divisions would support these troops.

General Blaskowitz of Army Group G and General Wiese in command of the German 19th Army had between 250,000 and 300,000 men in the south of France, virtually no air force, no capital ships and only one Panzer Division at about half its strength with under 100 tanks, mostly Panzer IV and V’s.

Johannes Albrecht Blaskowitz. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-2004-004-05 / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Furthermore, many of the static infantry defending the coastline were suspect at best as they were Soviet and Polish conscript “volunteers” collected from POW camps on the Eastern Front. They were unlikely to perform well against a determined invader.

The French coast did have significant fortifications including thousands of bunkers, beach obstacles, mined beach and port approaches, and several hundred artillery batteries including over 100 large coastal guns.

German 88-mm gun on the coast in southern France. By Bundesarchiv – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

Planning the Operation

With air superiority, the Allies were able to utilize aerial reconnaissance at will. Their intelligence gathering was aided by the French resistance, which provided detailed troop strengths, schedules, and maps of fortifications.

Additionally, the Allies used photographs from U.S. tourists of the French Riviera taken before the U.S. entered the war.

The landings would take place between Toulon and Cannes along a roughly 40-mile stretch of beaches. There would be three division-sized infantry landings supported by commando landings on their flanks including the Black Devil Brigade made up of Americans and Canadians.

Operation Dragoon, August-September 1944. Map of France showing Mediterranean area.

Over five thousand airborne troops would land several miles inland and take the town of Le Muy and Draguignan while sowing confusion in the German ranks to slow or eliminate German counterattacks.

The key targets of the operation were to secure the ports of Marseilles and Toulon within a month and to isolate and destroy the German 19th Army.

Setting the Table for the Main Invasion

Beginning on August 14, the Allies engaged in several preliminary attacks and some subterfuge, but also carried out heavy bombing of the landing areas, roads, railways, and infrastructure.

Additionally, two diversionary naval bombardments took place east and west of the landing zones that successfully tied down troops in those areas and kept them from responding quickly to the actual landings.

Operation Dragoon, August 1944. Finance Officer of Seventh Army exchanges new invasion francs for the gold-seal overseas dollar of officers who are to go ashore in the assault on Southern France the next day.

The commando raids, code named Sitka and Romeo, were successful in taking the Hyeres Islands and the approach roads to landing sites from Toulon. The 1st Special Service Force known as the Black Devil Brigade engaged the German garrison on the islands until their surrender on the 16th, while French commandos in Romeo destroyed German batteries on the coast.

Meanwhile, life-size dummy paratroopers were dropped behind the German coastal units, with noise-making devices and explosives that successfully confused and frustrated the German units. This distracted them from the real British and American paratroopers.

Disembarkation of Provence on the Dramont Beach in August 1944.

Landing and Breaking Out

Unlike the Normandy invasion, the U.S. divisions landing in Dragoon faced little opposition initially largely due to the successful preliminary operations and the demoralization of the static Axis units tasked with opposing them.

The landings and breakout occurred with a good amount of efficiency and without many setbacks. The troops on the beaches were able to link up with paratroopers and advance in nearly every sector with the exception of the town of Saint-Raphael, which put up stubborn resistance.

U.S. paratroopers of the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team prepare for the landings.

Within 24 hours of the initial wave the entire beachhead was secured and total casualties of the amphibious assault were less than 500 with 95 KIAs. The airborne element suffered just over 100 KIAs and roughly 25% of those were in parachute or glider accidents.

Operation Dragoon, August 1944. USS Quincy (CA 71) firing 6” guns off Toulon, France, August 16 1944.

The Axis forces attempted some limited counterattacks, but the early assembly of combined infantry, armor, and artillery units that landed with well-planned efficiency quickly overwhelmed them.

Takeaways From Operation Dragoon

The majority of southern France was liberated in only four weeks of fighting. Toulon and Marseilles fell to French forces, opening their ports before the end of August.

This allowed for vast numbers of American troops to be brought to the European continent from the U.S. mainland and enter the fight against Germany, which the Normandy invasion had failed to do.

A view from HMS PURSUER of other assault carriers in the naval task force which took part in the landings in the south of France, 7 August 1944

Millions of tons of equipment and over 900,000 soldiers would pass through the two harbors in the coming months before working their way towards the remnants of the German Army.

Of the 300,000 Axis soldiers in German Army Group G, over half were taken out of the fight with over 7,000 killed, 20,000 wounded, and 130,000 captured. Furthermore, over 1,000 German artillery pieces would be destroyed or captured.

One failure of the operation was not isolating the best German forces and eliminating them. Despite their failings, the German generals Blaskowitz and Wiese were able to organize a retreat in good order with their best units at the German border.

A German shell explodes near the U.S. Navy heavy cruiser USS Quincy (CA-71) during the invasion of Southern France, in August 1944.

One reason for this success on the Germans’ part was the Allies’ limited fuel and supplies at the beginning of the operation. It had not been considered that the landings would proceed so quickly as to burn through their fuel reserves before cutting off a German retreat.

Another reason was that the German leadership had created a withdrawal contingency in advance due to the success of Operation Overlord in the north. Continued fighting in France was considered untenable by July of 1944 in advance of Dragoon.

Jean de Lattre de Tassigny walking through the liberated city of Marseille

Critics of Operation Dragoon continued to point out later that the amount of resources dedicated to the invasion could have been used to prevent the Soviets from gaining so much ground in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

They contended, and some continue to say, that the Cold War would have been painted much differently if the Allies had instead invaded Trieste. However, the distance from Gibraltar to Trieste is more than 1,000 miles greater and would have been much harder to support.

In the end, Eisenhower and Marshall were more than pleased with the operation and Marshall was quoted as saying that Operation Dragoon was “one of the most successful things we did.”


Contents

World War II [ edit | edit source ]

The third Quincy (CA-71), a heavy cruiser, was authorized 17 June 1940 laid down by Bethlehem Steel Co., Shipbuilding Div., Quincy, Mass., as ST. PAUL 9 October 1941 renamed Quincy 16 October 1942 to perpetuate that name after destruction of the second Quincy at the Battle of Savo Island on 9 August 1942 launched 23 June 1943 sponsored by Mrs. Henry S. Morgan, a daughter of Charles Francis Adams and commissioned at the U.S. Naval Drydock, South Boston, Mass., 15 December 1943, Capt. Elliot M. Senn in command. After shakedown cruise in the Gulf of Paria, between Trinidad and Venezuela, the new cruiser was assigned, 27 March 1944, to Task Force 22 and trained in Casco Bay, Maine until she steamed to Belfast, Northern Ireland with TG 27.10, arriving 14 May and reporting to Commander, 12th Fleet for duty. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, accompanied by Rear Admiral Alan G. Kirk, inspected the ship's company in Belfast Lough 15 May 1944. Quincy sailed out of Belfast Lough 20 May for the Clyde and anchored off Greenock, Scotland to begin special training in shore bombardment. She then returned to Belfast Lough and began final preparations for the invasion of Europe. At 0537, 6 June 1944, she engaged shore batteries from her station on the right flank of Utah Beach, Baie de la Seine. During the period 6 through 17 June, in conjunction with shore fire control parties and aircraft spotters, Quincy conducted highly accurate pinpoint firing against enemy mobile batteries and concentrations of tanks, trucks, and troops. She also neutralized and destroyed heavy, long range enemy batteries, supported minesweepers operating under enemy fire, engaged enemy batteries that were firing on the crews of the ships USS Corry (DD-463) and Glennon (DD-620) during their efforts to abandon their ships after they had struck mines and participated in the reduction of the town of Quineville on 12 June. Quincy steamed to Portland, England 21 June and joined TF 129. She departed Portland 24 June for Cherbourg, France. The bombardment of the batteries surrounding the city commenced in conjunction with the Army's assault at 1207. Nineteen of the twenty-one primary targets assigned the task force were successfully neutralized or destroyed thus enabling Army troops to occupy the city on 26 June. The heavy cruiser sailed for Mers-el Kebir, North Africa on 4 July, arriving there the 10th. She proceeded to Palermo, Sicily, 16 July, arriving two days later. Quincy, based at Palermo through 26 July, conducted shore bombardment practice at Camarota in the Gulf of Policastro. She then steamed to Malta via the Straits of Messina. Between 27 July and 13 August, the cruiser participated in training exercises at Malta and Camarota, Italy. On the afternoon of 13 August, in company with four British cruisers, one French cruiser, and four American destroyers, Quincy departed Malta for the landings on the southern coast of France, arriving Baie de Cavalaire 15 August. For three days the group provided fire support on the left flank of the U.S. 7th Army. Quincy transferred 19 August to TG 86.4, and until the 24th, engaged the heavy batteries at Toulon, St. Mandrier, and Cape Sicie. She steamed westward the afternoon of 24 August to support minesweepers clearing the channel to Port de Bouc in the Marseilles area. Quincy was detached from European duty on 1 September and steamed for Boston, arriving one week later. She remained at Boston for the installation of new equipment through 31 October, when she got underway for training in Casco Bay. After fitting out at Boston for a Presidential cruise, Quincy steamed for Hampton Roads, Va. 16 November. President Roosevelt and his party embarked on Quincy on 23 January 1945 at Newport News, Va. for passage to Malta, arriving 2 February. After receiving calls by prime minister Winston Churchill and other dignitaries, President Roosevelt departed Quincy and continued on to the Crimea by air to attend the Yalta Conference.

The Quincy Agreement [ edit | edit source ]

President Roosevelt with Abdel Aziz Ibn Saud and William Leahy aboard the Quincy

Quincy departed Malta 6 February and arrived at the Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal two days later, after calling at Ismalia, Egypt. The president and his party returned 12 February, following the Yalta Conference with Stalin and Churchill, and the next day received Farouk of Egypt and Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia. From 14 February, President Roosevelt and King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia met aboard the Quincy. During the meeting, President Roosevelt tried to persuade Saud to give support for Jewish immigration to Palestine and hoped that Ibn Saud might be able to offer constructive advice on the Palestine issue. There, Roosevelt and Saud concluded a secret agreement in which the U.S. would provide Saudi Arabia military security – military assistance, training and a military base at Dhahran in Saudi Arabia – in exchange for secure access to supplies of oil. Ώ]

After a call at Alexandria and a final meeting between president Roosevelt and prime minister Churchill, Quincy steamed for Algiers, arriving on 18 February. Following a presidential conference with the American ambassadors to Great Britain, France, and Italy, the cruiser steamed for the United States arriving Newport News, Va. 27 February. Quincy sailed out of Hampton Roads 5 March 1945, arriving Pearl Harbor the 20th. After training in the Pearl Harbor area, she steamed for Ulithi via Eniwetok, joining the 5th Fleet there 11 April. Two days later, she departed Ulithi and joined Rear Admiral Wiltse's Cruiser Division 10, in Vice Admiral Mitscher's Fast Carrier Task Force. From 16 April, Quincy supported the carriers in their strikes on Okinawa, Amami Gunto, and Minami Daito Shima. She returned to Ulithi with units of the task force 30 April. In company with units of TF 58, Quincy departed Ulithi 9 May for the area east of Kyushu, arriving 12 May for carrier strikes against Amami Gunto and Kyushu. Before dawn on 14 May, the cruiser splashed a Japanese plane. Her own aircraft strafed targets in Omonawa on Tokune Shima 19 May. Quincy continued to support carrier aircraft strikes against Okinawa, Tokuno Shima, Kikai Jima, Amami Gunto, and Asumi Gunto until the force returned to base 13 June. En route, Quincy safely rode out the severe typhoon of 5 June. During the period of replenishment and upkeep at Leyte Rear Admiral Wiltse, ComCruDiv 10 transferred to Quincy. The cruiser departed Leyte 1 July with Task Force 38 to begin a period of strikes at Japan's home islands which lasted until the termination of hostilities. She supported carriers in strikes in the Tokyo Plains area, Honshu, Hokkaido, and Shikoku. Quincy joined the Support Force, 23 August, and four days later, helped occupy Sagami Wan, Japan, and entered Tokyo Bay 1 September. Rear Admiral Wiltse transferred his flag 17 September to Vicksburg (CL-86), and 20 September Quincy joined the 5th Fleet as a unit of the Eastern Japan Force, TF 53, basing in Tokyo Bay. Quincy was de-commissioned 19 October 1946 in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash. She was assigned to the Bremerton Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet until 31 January 1952, when she re-commissioned to serve in the 7th Fleet in support of United Nations Forces in Korea. Following fitting out and readiness training, she served in the screen of the Fast Carrier Task groups ranging off the coastline of Korea 25 July through 1 December 1953. She again decommissioned 2 July 1954 and is berthed at Bremerton, Wash., in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, into 1970. Quincy received four battle stars for World War II service. Stricken on 1 October 1973, Quincy was sold on 20 August 1974.

Korean War [ edit | edit source ]

Quincy was decommissioned on 19 October 1946 in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington. She was assigned to the Bremerton Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet until 31 January 1952, when she recommissioned to serve in the 7th Fleet in support of United Nations Forces in Korea. Following fitting out and readiness training, she served in the screen of the Fast Carrier Task groups ranging off the coastline of Korea from 25 July 1953 to 1 December 1953. She again decommissioned 2 July 1954, at Bremerton.

Fate [ edit | edit source ]

Quincy sat in the reserve fleet at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard until she was stricken on 1 October 1973. She was the only one of her class to retain her 40 mm mounts instead of receiving the newer 3/50 mounts. Of the Baltimore class she had the second shortest active career (Fall River was in service just 2 1/2 years), and only was in active service for 5 1/2 years. She was sold to American Ship Dismantling Co., Portland Oregon on 1 September 1974 for $1,156,667.66.


Contents

World War II

The third Quincy (CA-71), a heavy cruiser, was authorized 17 June 1940 laid down at Fore River Shipyard as ST. PAUL 9 October 1941 renamed Quincy 16 October 1942 to perpetuate that name after destruction of the second Quincy at the Battle of Savo Island on 9 August 1942 launched 23 June 1943 sponsored by Mrs. Henry S. Morgan, a daughter of Charles Francis Adams and commissioned at the U.S. Naval Drydock, South Boston, Mass., 15 December 1943, Capt. Elliot M. Senn in command.

After shakedown cruise in the Gulf of Paria, between Trinidad and Venezuela, the new cruiser was assigned, 27 March 1944, to Task Force 22 and trained in Casco Bay, Maine until she steamed to Belfast, Northern Ireland with TG 27.10, arriving 14 May and reporting to Commander, 12th Fleet for duty. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, accompanied by Rear Admiral Alan G. Kirk, inspected the ship's company in Belfast Lough 15 May 1944.

Quincy sailed out of Belfast Lough 20 May for the Clyde and anchored off Greenock, Scotland to begin special training in shore bombardment. She then returned to Belfast Lough and began final preparations for the invasion of Europe. At 0537, 6 June 1944, she engaged shore batteries from her station on the right flank of Utah Beach, Baie de la Seine.

During the period 6 through 17 June, in conjunction with shore fire control parties and aircraft spotters, Quincy conducted highly accurate pinpoint firing against enemy mobile batteries and concentrations of tanks, trucks, and troops. She also neutralized and destroyed heavy, long range enemy batteries, supported minesweepers operating under enemy fire, engaged enemy batteries that were firing on the crews of the ships USS Corry (DD-463) and Glennon (DD-620) during their efforts to abandon their ships after they had struck mines and participated in the reduction of the town of Quineville on 12 June.

Quincy steamed to Portland, England 21 June and joined TF 129. She departed Portland 24 June for Cherbourg, France. The bombardment of the batteries surrounding the city commenced in conjunction with the Army's assault at 1207. Nineteen of the twenty-one primary targets assigned the task force were successfully neutralized or destroyed thus enabling Army troops to occupy the city on 26 June.

The heavy cruiser sailed for Mers-el Kebir, North Africa on 4 July, arriving there the 10th. She proceeded to Palermo, Sicily, 16 July, arriving two days later. Quincy, based at Palermo through 26 July, conducted shore bombardment practice at Camarota in the Gulf of Policastro. She then steamed to Malta via the Straits of Messina. Between 27 July and 13 August, the cruiser participated in training exercises at Malta and Camarota, Italy.

On the afternoon of 13 August, in company with four British cruisers, one French cruiser, and four American destroyers, Quincy departed Malta for the landings on the southern coast of France, arriving Baie de Cavalaire 15 August. For three days the group provided fire support on the left flank of the U.S. 7th Army. Quincy transferred 19 August to TG 86.4, and until the 24th, engaged the heavy batteries at Toulon, St. Mandrier, and Cape Sicie. She steamed westward the afternoon of 24 August to support minesweepers clearing the channel to Port de Bouc in the Marseilles area.

Quincy was detached from European duty on 1 September and steamed for Boston, arriving one week later. She remained at Boston for the installation of new equipment through 31 October, when she got underway for training in Casco Bay. After fitting out at Boston for a Presidential cruise, Quincy steamed for Hampton Roads, Va. 16 November.

President Roosevelt and his party embarked on Quincy on 23 January 1945 at Newport News, Va. for passage to Malta, arriving 2 February. After receiving calls by prime minister Winston Churchill and other dignitaries, President Roosevelt departed Quincy and continued on to the Crimea by air to attend the Yalta Conference.

The Quincy Agreement

Quincy departed Malta 6 February and arrived at the Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal two days later, after calling at Ismalia, Egypt. The president and his party returned 12 February, following the Yalta Conference with Stalin and Churchill, and the next day received Farouk of Egypt and Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia.

From 14 February, President Roosevelt and King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia met aboard the Quincy. During the meeting, President Roosevelt tried to persuade Saud to give support for Jewish immigration to Palestine and hoped that Ibn Saud might be able to offer constructive advice on the Palestine issue. There, Roosevelt and Saud concluded a secret agreement in which the U.S. would provide Saudi Arabia military security – military assistance, training and a military base at Dhahran in Saudi Arabia – in exchange for secure access to supplies of oil. [1]

After a call at Alexandria and a final meeting between president Roosevelt and prime minister Churchill, Quincy steamed for Algiers, arriving on 18 February. Following a presidential conference with the American ambassadors to Great Britain, France, and Italy, the cruiser steamed for the United States arriving Newport News, Va. 27 February.

Quincy sailed out of Hampton Roads 5 March 1945, arriving Pearl Harbor the 20th. After training in the Pearl Harbor area, she steamed for Ulithi via Eniwetok, joining the 5th Fleet there 11 April. Two days later, she departed Ulithi and joined Rear Admiral Wiltse's Cruiser Division 10, in Vice Admiral Mitscher's Fast Carrier Task Force. From 16 April, Quincy supported the carriers in their strikes on Okinawa, Amami Gunto, and Minami Daito Shima. She returned to Ulithi with units of the task force 30 April.

In company with units of TF 58, Quincy departed Ulithi 9 May for the area east of Kyushu, arriving 12 May for carrier strikes against Amami Gunto and Kyushu. Before dawn on 14 May, the cruiser splashed a Japanese plane. Her own aircraft strafed targets in Omonawa on Tokune Shima 19 May. Quincy continued to support carrier aircraft strikes against Okinawa, Tokuno Shima, Kikai Jima, Amami Gunto, and Asumi Gunto until the force returned to base 13 June. En route, Quincy safely rode out the severe typhoon of 5 June.

During the period of replenishment and upkeep at Leyte Rear Admiral Wiltse, ComCruDiv 10 transferred to Quincy. The cruiser departed Leyte 1 July with Task Force 38 to begin a period of strikes at Japan's home islands which lasted until the termination of hostilities. She supported carriers in strikes in the Tokyo Plains area, Honshu, Hokkaido, and Shikoku.

Quincy joined the Support Force, 23 August, and four days later, helped occupy Sagami Wan, Japan, and entered Tokyo Bay 1 September.

Rear Admiral Wiltse transferred his flag 17 September to Vicksburg (CL-86), and 20 September Quincy joined the 5th Fleet as a unit of the Eastern Japan Force, TF 53, basing in Tokyo Bay.

Quincy was de-commissioned 19 October 1946 in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash. She was assigned to the Bremerton Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet until 31 January 1952, when she re-commissioned to serve in the 7th Fleet in support of United Nations Forces in Korea. Following fitting out and readiness training, she served in the screen of the Fast Carrier Task groups ranging off the coastline of Korea 25 July through 1 December 1953. She again decommissioned 2 July 1954 and is berthed at Bremerton, Wash., in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, into 1970.

Quincy received four battle stars for World War II service.

Stricken on 1 October 1973, Quincy was sold on 20 August 1974.

Korean War

Quincy was decommissioned on 19 October 1946 in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington. She was assigned to the Bremerton Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet until 31 January 1952, when she recommissioned to serve in the 7th Fleet in support of United Nations Forces in Korea. Following fitting out and readiness training, she served in the screen of the Fast Carrier Task groups ranging off the coastline of Korea from 25 July 1953 to 1 December 1953. She again decommissioned 2 July 1954, at Bremerton.

Quincy sat in the reserve fleet at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard until she was stricken on 1 October 1973. She was the only one of her class to retain her 40 mm mounts instead of receiving the newer 3/50 mounts. Of the Baltimore class she had the second shortest active career (Fall River was in service just 2 1/2 years), and only was in active service for 5 1/2 years. She was sold to American Ship Dismantling Co., Portland Oregon on 1 September 1974 for $1,156,667.66.


Service in the Mediterranean, 1943–44 [ edit | edit source ]

During the invasion of Sicily she performed escort duties and screened the minelaying operation near Gela. She escorted troop ships into Syracuse harbor the day after British troops captured the city. During this operation German torpedo boats attacked Niblack and PC-556 under cover of a dense smoke screen. The American ships drove off the E-boats by gunfire after the enemy craft had fired three torpedoes which missed and exploded near the harbor breakwater.

The destroyer supported the advance of the Allied ground forces across Sicily and entered Palermo Harbor following its capture. Shortly after the rout of the Germans across the Strait of Messina, Niblack, with USS Boise (CL-47), USS Philadelphia (CL-41), USS Gleaves (DD-423), USS Plunkett (DD-431), and USS Benson (DD-421) sortied from Palermo on the night of 17/18 August 1943, and proceeded at high speed to the Italian coast for the first bombardment of the Italian mainland by U.S. Naval Forces.

The ship took part in the landings at Salerno on 9 September 1943. She served at first in the screen, but when the situation ashore became desperate, she joined the fire-support destroyers. On 16–17 September she conducted eleven call-fire support missions. American forces advancing after the bombardment sent back reports of the complete destruction of enemy men and material in Niblack’s target areas.

Later in the Salerno campaign the ship screened cruiser Philadelphia during the radio-controlled bomb attacks which damaged Philadelphia and USS Savannah (CL-42). On 27 October the Niblack and USS Brooklyn (CL-40) bombarded enemy coastal guns far behind the front lines in the Gulf of Gaeta, Italy, to pave the way for Allied ground forces.

On 11 December 1943, Niblack joined the HMS Holcombe in a search for a German U-boat whose torpedoes had sunk several freighters off Bizerte the day before. U-593 struck first however, and blew up Holcombe with an acoustic torpedo. Niblack rescued 90 survivors and transferred them to an Army hospital ship that night. During the transfer, she spotted antiaircraft fire from the submarine against a British patrol plane and directed USS Wainwright (DD-419) and HMS Calpe to the scene, where they sank U-593.

Four days later, when a Liberty ship was torpedoed near the harbor entrance at Oran, Niblack and USS Mayo (DD-422) searched for the submarine. They had narrowed down the search to a small area when they were relieved by the USS Woolsey (DD-437), USS Edison (DD-439), and USS Trippe (DD-403), who subsequently sank U-73.

After a month in Task Force 86, the ship was ordered to support the landings at Anzio. During this invasion the ship commanded the beachhead screen, and fought off simultaneous attacks by dive and torpedo bombers, E-boats, and human torpedoes. From 22 to 29 January 1944, the ship repulsed repeated attacks by enemy aircraft and received credit for destroying one plane and probably splashing two others. During one attack, two ships of her division, DesDiv 13 were put out of action, Plunkett by a 550-pound bomb and Mayo by a mine.

In February, Niblack returned to New York for a brief overhaul, but was back on duty in the Mediterranean in May. The enemy driven from Sicily, North Africa, and Southern Italy intensified his submarine and air attacks on Allied shipping along the African Coast.

One of the audacious U-boats made the mistake of firing at a hunter-killer group which had just finished off another enemy U-boat. These American ships had begun the work of rooting the sub out, but were soon relieved by Woolsey, USS Madison (DD-425), Benson, USS Ludlow (DD-438), and Niblack. Niblack and Ludlow worked together in the hunt, which began 18 May 1944.

British planes picked up the sub by radar at 02:40 the next morning and Niblack and Ludlow raced to investigate. Establishing sonar contact, the two destroyers dropped eleven depth charges, forcing the sub to the surface. As she started down again both ships opened fire, while the planes dropped bombs close aboard. When the target had gone under again, Niblack rushed in to hit her again with ten more ash cans. Coming up once more, U-960 turned nose down and made her final dive, leaving 20 survivors who were promptly captured.

The summer months of 1944 were spent in fighter-director training. Gleaves and Niblack qualified as the only two fighter director destroyers in the 8th Fleet, and directed French and British planes in repelling the intense German torpedo plane attacks against Allied convoys during the invasion of Southern France.

The initial landings on 15 August 1944 met little resistance, and for several days the ship controlled the routing and dispatching of all outbound convoys, taking her place in the outer screen at night. On 20 August she joined the inshore screen for USS Quincy (CA-71), USS Nevada (BB-36) and USS Omaha (CL-4) during the siege of Toulon. She was frequently taken under fire by the large coast defense batteries of St. Mandrier and St. Elmo and escaped damage from several near misses.

Following the capture of Marseille and Toulon, she was assigned to Task Force 86 and later to "Flank Force," the Allied Naval forces which provided fire support for the 1st Airborne Task Force on the Franco–Italian frontier. During the periods 4 to 17 October and 11 to 25 December 1944, the ship completed numerous fire support missions, operating under the constant threat of explosive boats, human torpedoes, and floating mines. The ship also sank 43 mines, destroyed one German MAS boat, and damaged four others in the harbor of San Remo, Italy.


Service in the Pacific, 1945 [ edit | edit source ]

Niblack next returned to Oran to serve as flagship for Commander, Destroyer Squadron 7, (Commander Destroyer 8th Fleet), returning to the Boston Navy Yard in February 1945. After serving in various antisubmarine groups and as an escort for one convoy from England in April. She transited the Panama Canal on 3 July 1945 and proceeded to Pearl Harbor via San Diego. Following a training program, during which hostilities with Japan ended, the ship escorted the occupation group which landed at Sasebo, Japan, 22 September 1945. She then escorted landing forces to Matsuyama, remaining in the Western Pacific for further duties during the occupation period.

By a directive of June 1946, the ship was decommissioned and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Charleston, South Carolina. She was subsequently transferred to Philadelphia where she remained until struck 31 July 1968.

Niblack earned five battle stars for service in the European, African–Middle Eastern Areas.


USS Quincy (CA-71) bombarding Toulon, 16 August 1944 - History

U.S. Navy battleship construction began with the keel laying of the Maine in 1888 and ended with the suspension of the incomplete Kentucky (BB-66) in 1947. During this almost six-decade-long era, 59 battleships of 23 different basic designs (or "classes") were completed for the Navy. Another twenty battleships and battle cruisers (three more "classes") were begun or planned, but not completed.

Though the building rate averaged almost exactly one per year, it was not a steady process, but was concentrated in two phases. The first, corresponding to the rise of the United States to first-class naval rank, began in 1888 and came to an abrupt halt with the signing of the Naval Limitations Treaty in 1922. The second building phase began in 1937 and was effectively finished in 1944 with the commissioning of USS Missouri (BB-63), the last of ten battleships completed during this period.

Except for the fast Lexington Class battle cruisers and Iowa Class battleships, these were all relatively slow vessels, as heavily armored as they were armed, intended primarily to steam in formation with their "sisters" and slug it out with similar opponents, using their powerful guns to settle the matter. In their day, they were the "Queens of the Sea", the foundation of national strategic offense and defense. That "day" ended only with the arrival, effectively just before the start of World War II, of aircraft that could not only out-range the big guns, but also deliver blows of equal or greater power. Thereafter, at least in the daylight when the planes could fly, battleships performed as auxiliaries to aircraft carriers.

The Second World War brought another mission, shore-bombardment, in which the fire of heavy guns was precisely directed against enemy facilities ashore, to pave the way for invasion or to simply destroy war-making potential. This justified the retention of the big-gun ships in the post-war era and brought them back to active duty on three different occasions. Until 2006, six decades after the last U.S. Navy battleship was completed, two were kept on the Naval Vessel Register for possible future employment in that role.

This page features selected photographs of U.S. Navy battleships, and provides links to more extensive pictorial coverage of the individual battleship classes.

For images related to specific classes of U.S. Navy battleships, see:

  • Two experimental second-class battleships, of about 6000 tons, begun under the Fiscal Year 1887 program:
    • Texas (Originally classified as a battleship. Reclassified as a second-class battleship about 1894.) and
    • Maine (Originally Armored Cruiser #1. Reclassified as a second-class battleship about 1894.)
    • Indiana Class (Battleships #s 1 through 3) -- Fiscal Year 1891
    • Iowa (Battleship # 4) -- Fiscal Year 1893
    • Kearsarge Class (Battleships #s 5 & 6) -- Fiscal Year 1896
    • Illinois Class (Battleships #s 7 through 9) -- Fiscal Year 1897
    • Maine Class (Battleships #s 10 through 12) -- Fiscal Year 1899
    • Virginia Class (Battleships #s 13 through 17) -- Fiscal Years 1900 & 1901
    • Connecticut Class (Battleships #s 18 through 22 & 25) -- Fiscal Years 1903, 1904 & 1905
    • Mississippi Class (Battleships #s 23 through 24) -- Fiscal Year 1904
    • South Carolina Class (Battleship #s 26 & 27) -- Fiscal Year 1906
    • Delaware Class (Battleship #s 28 & 29) -- Fiscal Years 1907 and 1908
    • Florida Class (Battleship #s 30 & 31) -- Fiscal Year 1909
    • Wyoming Class (Battleship #s 32 & 33) -- Fiscal Year 1910
    • New York Class (Battleship #s 34 & 35) -- Fiscal Year 1911
    • Nevada Class (Battleship #s 36 & 37) -- Fiscal Year 1912
    • Pennsylvania Class (Battleship #s 38 & 39) -- Fiscal Years 1913-14
    • New Mexico Class (Battleship #s 40 through 42) -- Fiscal Year 1915
    • Tennessee Class (BB-43 & BB-44) -- Fiscal Year 1916
    • Colorado Class (BB-45 through BB-48) -- Fiscal Year 1917
    • South Dakota Class (BB-49 through BB-54) -- Fiscal Years 1918-19
    • Lexington Class (CC-1 through CC-6) -- Fiscal Years 1917-19.
    • North Carolina Class (BB-55 & BB-56) -- Fiscal Year 1937
    • South Dakota Class (BB-57 through BB-60) -- Fiscal Year 1939
    • Iowa Class (BB-61 through BB-66) -- Fiscal Year 1940-41
    • Montana Class (BB-67 through BB-72) -- Fiscal Year 1941.

    Though the Alaska class large cruisers (CB-1 through CB-6) of 1941 are actually part of the cruiser design lineage, some sources persist in (mistakenly) referring to them as "battle cruisers". Accordingly, a link is provided here to their class page.

    If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

    Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

    Running speed trials off the Maine coast, 1906.
    Photographed by Enrique Muller. Note sailors crowding the rails, watching the photographer's boat, which is about to be swamped by the battleship's bow wave.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 117KB 740 x 620 pixels

    Fully dressed with flags and with her crew manning the rails, during the naval review off New York City, 3 October 1911.

    Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

    Online Image: 84KB 740 x 610 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

    Firing her 14"/45 main battery guns, during long range battle practice, February 1928.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 118KB 740 x 580 pixels

    The United States Battle Fleet

    Steaming in column off the California coast during the middle or later 1920s.
    The three leading ships are (in no particular order) Colorado (BB-45), Maryland (BB-46), and West Virginia (BB-48), followed by Tennessee (BB-43) and three older battleships.
    Photograph taken from USS California (BB-44).

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 106KB 590 x 765 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

    Pitching in heavy seas during the 1930s.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 86KB 740 x 610 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

    Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941

    Battleships West Virginia (BB-48) (sunken at left) and Tennessee (BB-43) shrouded in smoke following the Japanese air raid.

    Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute Photograph Collection.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 87KB 740 x 610 pixels

    In a stiff storm in the western Pacific, 8 November 1944.
    Photographed from USS Intrepid (CV-11).
    USS Hancock (CV-19) is in the background.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 110KB 740 x 610 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

    Bombardment of Kamaishi, Japan, 14 July 1945

    USS Indiana (BB-58) fires a salvo from her forward 16"/45 guns at the Kamaishi plant of the Japan Iron Company, 250 miles north of Tokyo. A second before, USS South Dakota (BB-57), from which this photograph was taken, fired the initial salvo of the first naval gunfire bombardment of the Japanese Home Islands.
    The superstructure of USS Massachusetts (BB-59) is visible directly behind Indiana . The heavy cruiser in the left center distance is either USS Quincy (CA-71) or USS Chicago (CA-136) .

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 101KB 740 x 505 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

    Anchored in Sagami Wan or Tokyo Bay, Japan, with other units of the U.S. Third Fleet, 30 August 1945. Mount Fujiyama is faintly visible in the distance.
    Missouri is flying Admiral William F. Halsey's four-star flag.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 69KB 740 x 615 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

    Fires a salvo of 16-inch shells from turret # 2 while bombarding Chongjin, North Korea, in an effort to cut enemy communications, October 1950.
    Chongjin is only 39 miles from North Korea's northern border.

    This is a color-tinted version of a black & white original. The original photograph is Photo #: 80-G-421049.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

    Online Image: 84KB 740 x 605 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

    Fires a full broadside of nine 16"/50 and six 5"/38 guns during a target exercise near Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, 1 July 1984.
    Photographed by PHAN J. Alan Elliott.
    Note concussion effects on the water surface, and 16-inch gun barrels in varying degrees of recoil.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the the Department of Defense Still Media Collection.

    Online Image: 183KB 740 x 605 pixels

    For images related to specific classes of U.S. Navy battleships, see:

    • Two experimental second-class battleships, of about 6000 tons, begun under the Fiscal Year 1887 program:
      • Texas (Originally classified as a battleship. Reclassified as a second-class battleship about 1894.) and
      • Maine (Originally Armored Cruiser #1. Reclassified as a second-class battleship about 1894.)
      • Indiana Class (Battleships #s 1 through 3) -- Fiscal Year 1891
      • Iowa (Battleship # 4) -- Fiscal Year 1893
      • Kearsarge Class (Battleships #s 5 & 6) -- Fiscal Year 1896
      • Illinois Class (Battleships #s 7 through 9) -- Fiscal Year 1897
      • Maine Class (Battleships #s 10 through 12) -- Fiscal Year 1899
      • Virginia Class (Battleships #s 13 through 17) -- Fiscal Years 1900 & 1901
      • Connecticut Class (Battleships #s 18 through 22 & 25) -- Fiscal Years 1903, 1904 & 1905
      • Mississippi Class (Battleships #s 23 through 24) -- Fiscal Year 1904
      • South Carolina Class (Battleship #s 26 & 27) -- Fiscal Year 1906
      • Delaware Class (Battleship #s 28 & 29) -- Fiscal Years 1907 and 1908
      • Florida Class (Battleship #s 30 & 31) -- Fiscal Year 1909
      • Wyoming Class (Battleship #s 32 & 33) -- Fiscal Year 1910
      • New York Class (Battleship #s 34 & 35) -- Fiscal Year 1911
      • Nevada Class (Battleship #s 36 & 37) -- Fiscal Year 1912
      • Pennsylvania Class (Battleship #s 38 & 39) -- Fiscal Years 1913-14
      • New Mexico Class (Battleship #s 40 through 42) -- Fiscal Year 1915
      • Tennessee Class (BB-43 & BB-44) -- Fiscal Year 1916
      • Colorado Class (BB-45 through BB-48) -- Fiscal Year 1917
      • South Dakota Class (BB-49 through BB-54) -- Fiscal Years 1918-19
      • Lexington Class (CC-1 through CC-6) -- Fiscal Years 1917-19.
      • North Carolina Class (BB-55 & BB-56) -- Fiscal Year 1937
      • South Dakota Class (BB-57 through BB-60) -- Fiscal Year 1939
      • Iowa Class (BB-61 through BB-66) -- Fiscal Year 1940-41
      • Montana Class (BB-67 through BB-72) -- Fiscal Year 1941.

      Though the Alaska class large cruisers (CB-1 through CB-6) of 1941 are actually part of the cruiser design lineage, some sources persist in (mistakenly) referring to them as "battle cruisers". Accordingly, a link is provided here to their class page.

      If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

      Page made 10 May 2000
      Coding and introductory text updated 11 May 2009


      USS Quincy (CA-71) bombarding Toulon, 16 August 1944 - History

      (DD-424: dp. 2,060 1. 347'5" b. 36'1" s. 33 k., cpl. 208 a. 5 5", 2 20mm, 2 dct., 1 quint 21" tt., cl. Gleaves)

      Niblack was laid down 8 August 1938 by the Bath Iron Works Corp. Bath, Maine launched 18 May 1940 sponsored by Mrs. Albert P. Niblack, widow of Vice Admiral Niblack and commissioned 1 August 1940, Lt. Comdr. E. R. Durgin in command.

      After shakedown and training in the Caribbean, Niblack made her first convoy trip to Argentia, Newfoundland. In July 1941 she escorted the task force which landed the American occupation troops in Iceland. However, before the actual landings, Niblack made preliminary reconnaissance. On 10 April 1941, as she was nearing the coast, the ship picked up three boatloads of survivors from a torpedoed merchantman. When a submarine was detected preparing to attack, the division commander ordered a depth charge attack which drove off the U-boat. This bloodless battle apparently was the first action between American and German forces in World War II. On 1 July 1941, Niblack sailed from Argentia with the occupation force, arriving on 7 July.

      The destroyer continued escort duty and, with four other destroyers, was escorting a fast convoy across the Atlantic when, on 31 October 1941, a German U-boat's torpedo struck Reuben James (DD-245) blowing her in half the first United States naval vessel to be lost in World War II. Only 45 survivors were picked up.

      After Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor pushed America officially into the war 7 December 1941, the Niblack continued to escort North Atlantic convoys to Reykjavik, Iceland, Londonderry, Ireland, and Greenock, Scotland. In July 1942 she was transferred to the Caribbean for temporary duty at the height of the U boat campaign there, resuming northern duty in August. In November 1942, she escorted the first support convoy to Casablanca after the Allied landings on the Moroccan Coast. The ship then performed coastal convoy escort duty until departing early in May 1943 for Mers-elKebir, Algeria.

      During the invasion of Sicily she performed escort duties and screened the minelaying operation near Gela. She escorted troop ships into Syracuse harbor the day after British troops captured the city. During this operation German torpedo boats attacked Niblack and PC-556 under cover of a dense smoke screen. The American ships drove off the E-boats by gunfire after the enemy craft had fired three torpedoes which missed and exploded near the harbor breakwater.

      The destroyer supported the advance of the Allied ground forces across Sicily and entered Palermo Harbor following its capture. Shortly after the rout of the Germans across the Strait of Messina, Niblack, with Boise (CL-47), Philadelphia (CL-41) Gleaves (DD-423), Plunkett (DD-431) and Benson, (DD-421) sortied from Palermo on the night of 17-18 August 1943, and proceeded at high speed to the Italian coast for the first bombardment of the Italian mainland by U.S. Naval Forces.

      The ship took part in the landings at Salerno 9 September 1943. She served at first in the screen, but when the situation ashore became desperate, she joined the fire-support destroyers. On 16-17 September she conducted eleven call-fire support missions. American forces advancing after the bombardment sent back reports of the complete destruction of enemy men and material in Niblack's target areas.

      Later in the Salerno campaign the ship screened cruiser Philadelphia during the radio-controlled bomb attacks which damaged Philadelphia and Savannah (CL-47). On 27 October the Niblack and Brooklyn (CL-40) bombarded enemy coastal guns far behind the front lines in the Gulf of Gaeta, Italy, to pave the way for Allied ground forces.

      On 11 December 1943, Niblack joined the HMS Holcombe in a search for a German U-boat whose torpedoes had sunk several freighters off Bizerte the day before. U-593 struck first however, and blew up Holcombe with an acoustic torpedo. Niblack rescued 90 survivors and transferred them to an Army hospital ship that night. During the transfer, she spotted antiaircraft fire from the submarine against a British patrol plane and directed Wainwright (DD-419) and HMS Calpe to the scene, where they sank U-593.

      Four days later, when a liberty ship was torpedoed near the harbor entrance at Oran, Niblack and Mayo (DD-422) searched for the submarine. They had narrowed down the search to a small area when they were relieved by the Woolsey (DD-437), Edison (DD-439), and Trippe (DD-403), who subsequently sank U-73.

      After a month in Task Force 86, the ship was ordered to support the landings at Anzio. During this invasion the ship commanded the beachhead screen, and fought off simultaneous attacks by dive and torpedo bombers, E-boats, and human torpedoes. From 22 to 29 January 1944, the ship repulsed repeated attacks by enemy aircraft and received credit for destroying one plane and probably splashing two others. During one attack, two ships of her division, DesDiv 13 were put out of action, Plunkett by a 550-pound bomb and Mayo by a mine.

      In February, Niblack returned to New York for a brief overhaul, but was back on duty in the Mediterranean in May. The enemy driven from Sicily, North Africa, and Southern Italy intensified his submarine and air attacks on Allied shipping along the African Coast.

      One of the audacious U-boats made the mistake of firing at a hunter-killer group which had just finished off another enemy U-boat. These American ships had begun the work of rooting the sub out, but were soon relieved by Woolsey, Madison (DD-425), Benson, Ludlow (DD 438) and Niblack. Niblack and Ludlow worked together in the hunt, which began 18 May 1944.

      British planes picked up the sub by radar at 0240 the next morning and Niblack and Ludlow raced to investigate. Establishing sonar contact, the two destroyers dropped eleven depth charges, forcing the sub to the surface. As she started down again both ships opened fire, while the planes dropped bombs close aboard. When the target had gone under again, Niblack rushed in to hit her again with ten more ash cans. Coming up once more, U-960 turned nose down and made her final dive, leaving 20 survivors who were promptly captured.

      The summer months of 1944 were spent in fighter-director training. Gleaves and Niblack qualified as the only two fighter director destroyers in the 8th Fleet, and directed French and British planes in repelling the intense German torpedo plane attacks against Allied convoys during the invasion of Southern France.

      The initial landings on 15 August 1944 met little resistance, and for several days the ship controlled the routing and dispatching of all outbound convoys, taking her place in the outer screen at night. On 20 August she joined the inshore screen for Quincy (CA-71), Nevada (BB-36) and Omaha (CL-4) during the siege of Toulon. She was frequently taken under fire by the large coast defense batteries of St. Mandrier and St. Elmo and escaped damage from several near misses.

      Following the capture of Marseille and Toulon, she was assigned to Task Force 86 and later to "Flank Force," the Allied Naval forces which provided fire support for the 1st Airborne Division on the Franco-Italian frontier. During the periods 4 to 17 October and 11 to 25 December 1944, the ship completed numerous fire support missions, operating under the constant threat of explosive boats, human torpedoes, and floating mines. The ship also sank 43 mines, destroyed one German MAS boat, and damaged four others in the harbor of San Remo, Italy.

      Niblack next returned to Oran to serve as flagship for Commander, Destroyer Squadron 7, (Commander Destroyer 8th Fleet), returning to the Boston Navy Yard in February of 1945. After serving in various antisubmarine groups and as an escort for one convoy from England in April. She transited the Panama Canal 3 July 1945 and proceeded to Pearl Harbor via San Diego. Following a training program, during which hostilities with Japan ended, the ship escorted the occupation group which landed at Sasebo, Japan, 22 September 1945. She then escorted landing forces to Matsuyama, remaining in the Western Pacific for further duties during the occupation period.

      By a directive of June 1947, the ship decommissioned and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Charleston, S.C. She was subsequently transferred to Philadelphia where she remained until struck 31 July 1968.

      Niblack earned five battle stars for service in the European, African - Middle Eastern Areas.



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