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USS Atlanta CL-51 - History

USS Atlanta CL-51 - History



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USS Atlanta CL-51

Atlanta (CL-51: dp. 6,000; 1. 541’0"; b. 52’10"- dr 20’6"- s. 33.6 k. ; cpl.
673; a. 16 5", 9 1.1", 8 21" ~t. ; C*I. Atl~nt,)

The third Atlanta (CL-51) the first of a new class of ships originally conceived as flotilla leaders but which became known as particularly effective antiaircraft cruisers-was laid down on 22 A ‘1 1940 at Kearny, N.J., by the Federal Shipbuilding and
Dry Dock Co. ; launched on 6 September 1941; sponsored by Mrs. John R. Marsh (better known by her pen name, Margaret Mitchell, the author of the novel Gone With the Wind) ; and commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 24 December 1941; Capt. Samuel P. Jenkins in command.
After fltting out, Atlanta conducted shakedown training until 13 March, first in Chesapeake Bay and then in Maine’s Casco Bay, after which she returned to the New York Navy Yard for post-shakedown repairs and alterations. Adjudged to be "ready for distant service" on 31 March, the new light cruiser departed New York for the Panama Canal Zone on 5 April. She reached Cristobal on the 8th. After transiting the istfimian waterway, Atlanta then cleared Balboa on 12 April with orders to reconnoiter Ch erton Island-a tiny, barren, uninhabited atoll about 670 inifEeps southwest of Acapulco, Mexico-in the course of her voyage to the Hawaiian islands, for any signs of enemy activity. Finding none, she ultimately reached Pearl Harbor on 23 April.
Punctuating her brief stay in Hawaiian waters with an antiaircraft practice off Oahu on 3 May, Atlanta, in company with McCall (DD-400) sailed on 10 May as escort for the ammunition ship Rainier (AE-5) and the oiler Kaskaskia (AO-27), bound for Noumea, New Caledonia. On 16 May, having seen the auxiliaries to their destination, she joined Vice Admiral William F. Halsey’s Task Force (TF) 16, formed around the carriers Enterprise (CV-6) and Hornet (CV-8), as it steamed back to Pearl Harbor, having been summoned back to Hawaiian waters in response to an imminent Japanese thrust in the direction of Midway atoll. TF 16 arrived at Pearl on 26 May.
Atlanta sailed with TF 16 again on the morning of the 28th. Over the days that followed, she screened the carriers as they operated northwest of Midway in anticipation of the enemy’s arrival. At the report of Japanese ships to the southwest, on the morning of 4 June, Atlanta cleared for action as she screened Hornet. Squadrons from the three American carriers sought out the Japanese, and during that day, planes from Yorktown and Enterprise inflicted mortal damage on four irreplaceable enemy flattops. Japanese planes twice hit TF 17, formed around Yorktown (CV-5) and operating independently from TF 16, and it took the brunt of the enemy attacks. Over the days that followed the Battle of Midway, Atlanta remained in the screen of TF 16 until 11 June, when the task force received orders to return to Pearl Harbor.
Reaching her destination on 13 June, Atlanta, outside of a brief period of antiaircraft practice on 21, 25 and 26 June, remained in port, taking on stores and provisions and standing on 24-hour and then 48-hour alert into July 1942. Drydocked on I and 2 July so that her bottom could be scraped, cleaned and painted, the cruiser completed her availability on the 6th, and then resumed a busy schedule of gunnery practice with drone targets, high-speed sleds, and in shore bombardment in the Hawaiian operating area.
On 15 July 1942, Atlanta, again in TF 16, sailed for Tongatabu. Anchoring at Nukualofa, Tonga, on 24 July, where she fueled Maury (DD-401) and then took on fuel from the tanker Mobilube, the light cruiser pushed on later the same day and overtook TF 16. On 29 July, as all preparations proceeded apace for the invasion of Guadalcanal, in the British Solomon Islands, Atlanta was assigned to TF 61.
Screening the carriers as they launched air strikes to support the initial landings on Guadalcanal on 7 and 8 August, Atlanta remained in the vicinity of that isle until the withdrawal of the carrier task forces on the 9th. For the next several days, she
remained at sea, replenishing when necessary while the task force operated near the Solomons.
As the Americans consolidated their gains on Guadalcanal, the Japanese’ critical need for reinforcements prompted Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto to send the Combined Fleet south to cover a large troop convoy. American reconnaissance aircraft spotted the Japanese forces on the morning of 23 August. With the enemy convoy reported to the northwest, Enterprise and Saratoga launched search and attack planes, but the aircraft failed to make contact because of deteriorating weather and the fact that the Japanese, knowing that they had been spotted, reversed course.
Throughout the day on 24 August, Atlanta received enemy contact reports and screened Enterprise as she launched a strike group to seek out the Japanese earners. The sighting of an enemy "snooper" at 1328 sent Atlanta’s sailors to general quarters, where they remained for the next five and half hours. At 1530, the cruiser worked up to 20 knots as TF 16 stood roughly north-northwestward "to close [the] reported enemy carrier group." At 1637, with unidentified planes approaching, Atlanta went to 25 knots. Enterprise then launched a strike group shortly thereafter, completing the evolution at 1706.
In the meantime, the incoming enemy strike-bomber and fighter aircraft from Shokaku and Zuikaku-prompted the task force to increase speed to 27 knots; shortly after Enterprise completed launching her own aircraft, the Japanese raid-estimated by Capt. Jenkins to consist of at least 18 Aichi D3A1 Type 99 carrier bombers ("Vals") _came in from the north northwest at 1710. Over the next 11 minutes, Atlanta’s 5-inch, 1. 1-inch and
20-millimeter batteries contributed to the barrage over Enterprise, as the light cruiser conformed to Enterprise’s every move as she maneuvered violently to avoid the dive bombers.
Despite the heavy antiaircraft fire, though, Enterprise took one hit and suffered some shrapnel damage from an estimated five near misses. Capt. Jenkins later reported that his ship may have shot down five of the attackers.
Atlanta emerged from her baptism in fire unscathed and confident; as her executive officer, Comdr. Campbell D. Emery, wrote after the battle: "Although the Atlanta had been through the Midway campaign... this was the first opportunity the crew has had to actively join the enemy in battle. All hands welcomed the occasion with enthusiasm . .." Capt. Jenkins concluded: "The ship functioned as designed in all respects and can be considered an efficient unit . ."
Reporting to TF 11 for duty the following day, Atlanta operated with that force-redesignated TF 61 on 30 August-over the next few days. When the Japanese submarine 1-26 torpedoed Saratoga on 31 August, the light cruiser screened the stricken flagship as Minneapolis (CA-36) rigged a towline and began taking her out of danger. The force ultimately put into Tongatabu on 6 September, where Atlanta provisioned ship, fueled from New Orleans (CA-32), and enjoyed a period of upkeep.
Underway on 13 September, the light cruiser assumed duty as escort for the Noumea-bound ammunition ship Lassen (AE-3) and the aircraft transport Hammondsport (APV-2) on the 15th. After seeing her charges safely to their destination at Dumbea Bay, Noumea, on the 19th, Atlanta fueled, took on stores and

ammunition, and sailed on the 21st as part of Task Group (TG) 66.4. Becoming part of TF 17 on 23 September, the light cruiser was detached the following day to proceed in company with Washington (BB-56) and the destroyers Walke (DD-416) and Benham (DD-397) to Tongatabu, which she reached on the 26th.
Underway with those same ships on 7 October, Atlanta briefly escorted Guadalcanal-bound transports between 11 and 14 October before putting into Espiritu Santo for fuel on the afternoon of the 15th. Assigned then to Rear Admiral Willis A. Lee’s TF 64, the ship sailed after dark that same day to resume operations covering the ongoing efforts to secure Guadalcanal. Returning briefly to Espiritu Santo for fuel, stores and provisions, the warship stood out from Segond Channel on the afternoon of 23 October.
Two days later, with a Japanese Army offensive having failed to eject the Americans from Guadalcanal, Admiral Yamamoto sent the Combined Fleet south in an attempt to annihilate the American naval forces doggedly supporting the marines. Atlanta operated in TF 64, along with Washington, San Francisco (CA-38), Helena (CL-50) and two destroyers, as the opposing forces engaged in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands on 26 October. That day, Atlanta patrolled astern of the fueling group supporting the two American carrier task forces. On the 27th, when the Japanese submarine 1-15 attacked TF 64-her torpedo missed Washington, exploding some 400 yards beyond her quarry-the force maneuvered at high speed to clear the area.
On the morning of the 28th, Atlanta brought on board Rear Admiral Norman Scott from San Francisco, and became the flagship of the newly designated TG 64.2. After fueling from Washington, Atlanta, screened by four destroyers, headed northwest by north to shell Japanese positions on Guadalcanal. Reaching the waters off Lunga Point on the morning of the 30th, Atlanta embarked marine liaison officers at 0550, and then steamed west, commencing her bombardment of Point Cruz at 0629 while the destroyers formed a column astern. Provoking no return fire, TG 64.2 accomplished its mission and returned to Lunga Point, where Atlanta disembarked the liaison officers. She then proceeded, in company with her screen, to Espiritu Santo, where she arrived on the afternoon of 31 October.
Subsequently, Atlanta served as Admiral Scott’s flagship as the light cruiser, accompanied by four destroyers, escorted the transport Zeilin (AP-9) and cargo ships Libra (AK-53) and Betelgeuse (AK-28) to Guadalcanal. The cruiser and her consorts continued to screen those ships-designated TG 62.4-as they lay off Lunga Point unloading supplies and disembarking troops.
At 0905, the task group received a report that nine carrier bombers and 12 fighters were approaching from the northwest and would reach their vicinity at about 0930. At about 0920, Atlanta led the three auxiliaries to the north, in column, with the destroyers spaced in a circle around them. Fifteen minutes later, nine "Vals from the carrier Hiyo emerged from the clouds over Henderson Field; the American ships opened fire soon thereafter, putting up a barrage that downed "several" planes. Fortunately, none of the primary targets of the attack-Zeilin, Libra and Betelgeuse-suffered more than minor damage from several near misses, though Zeilin sustained some flooding. The three auxiliaries returned to the waters off Lunga Point as soon as the attack ended and resumed working cargo and disembarking troops.
A little over an hour later, at 1050, Atlanta received word of another incoming Japanese air raid. Fifteen minutes later, Atlanta led the three auxiliaries north with the destroyers in a circle around the disposition. The "bogeys"-27 Mitsubishi G4M1 Type 1 land attack planes ("Betty") from Rabaul-closed, sighted bearing west by north, approaching from over Cape Esperance in a very loose "V" formation. Although the destroyers opened fire, the planes proved to be out of range and the ships checked fire. The "Betties", for their part, ignored the ships and continued on to bomb Henderson Field. Upon the disappearance of the planes, TG 62.4 resumed unloading off Lunga Point.
The action on 11 November, however, gave only a foretaste of that ordeal that followed. The next day, Atlanta was still off Lunga Point, screening the unloading, as part of TF 67 under Rear Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan in San Francisco. At about 1310, Atlanta received a warning that 25 enemy planes were headed for Guadalcanal, slated to arrive within 50 minutes. The light cruiser went to general quarters at 1318 and received the signal "prepare to repel air attack . ."
Within six minutes, Atlanta and the other combatants of the
support group formed a screen around the transport group (TG 67.1), and the two groups steamed north together at 15 knots. At about 1410, the Americans sighted the incoming raid, consisting of what appeared to be 25 twin-engined bombers ("Betties") which broke up into two groups after clearing Florida Island, came in at altitudes that ranged from 25 to 50 feet. Juneau (CL-52) opened fire at 1412. Atlanta did so a minute later, training her guns at planes headed for the gap in the screen between San Francisco and the destroyer Buchanan (DD-484). Atlanta claimed to have shot down two "Betties" just after they dropped their torpedoes, at about 1415, only three minutes before the attack ended. Once the last Japanese plane had been splashed, the work of unloading the transports and cargo ships resumed. One "Betty," crippled by antiaircraft fire, had crashed the after superstructure of San Francisco, inflicting the only damage on the force.
The abrupt end of the air attack gave Atlanta and her colleagues only a brief respite, however, for trouble approached from yet another quarter. A Japanese surface force, comprising two battleships, one cruiser and six destroyers, was detected steaming south toward Guadalcanal to shell Henderson Fieldthe airstrip on the island. Admiral Callaghan’s support group was to "cover [the retiring transports and cargo vessels] against enemy attack." Accordingly, TG 67.4 departed Lunga Point at about 1800 and steamed eastward through Sealark Channel, covering the withdrawal of TG 67. 1. An hour before midnight, Callaghan’s ships reversed course and headed westward.
Helena’s radar picked up the first contact on the Japanese ships at a range of 26,000 yards. As the range closed, Atlanta’s surface search radar, followed by her gunnery radars, picked up a contact on the enemy ships.
Admiral Callaghan’s order for a course change to the left caused problems immediately, as Atlanta had to turn left immediately to avoid a collision with one of the four destroyers in the vanthe latter having apparently executed a "ships left" rather than a "column left" movement. As Atlanta began moving to resume her station ahead of San Francisco, the Japanese destroyer Akatsuki illuminated the light cruiser and fired torpedoes. Atlanta shifted her battery to fire at the enemy destroyer, opening fire at a range of about 1,600 yards.
As two other Japanese destroyers crossed her line of fire, Atlanta engaged both with her forward 5-inch mounts, while her after mounts continued to blast away at the illuminating ship. An additional, unidentified, assailant also opened up on the light cruiser from the northeast. At about that time, at least one of Akatsuki’s torpedoes plowed into Atlanta’s forward engine room from the port side. She lost all but auxiliary diesel power, suffered the interruption of her gunfire, and had to shift steeling control to the steering en * ine room aft. As if in retribution, Atlanta shot out Akatsukirs searchlight, and the enemy ship, battered by San Francisco’s gunfire as well, sank with all hands,
Tragedy, thou h struck shortly thereafter. Soon after her duel with Akatsuki ended, Atlanta reeled under the impact of a flurry of what was estimated as 19 8-inch hits when San Francisco, "in the urgency of battle, darkness, and confused intermin
gli n of friend or foe," fired into her. Though almost all of those
u
shells passed through the thin skin of the ship without detonating and scattered green dye throughout to mark their passage, fragments from their impact killed many men-including Admi. ral Scott and members of his staff. Atlanta prepared to return fire on her new assailant, but San Francisco’s own gun flashes disclosed a distinctly "non-Japanese hull profile" that resulted in a suspension of those efforts.
After the 8-inch fire ceased, Atlanta’s Capt. Jenkins took stock of the situation, and, miraculously having suffered only a minor (but painful) wound in his foot in the carnage forward, made his way aft to Battle 11. Badly battered, largely powerless, down by the head and listin% slightly to port, his ship had been badly hurt, and a third of is crew was dead or missing. As the battle continued in its waning stages, the light cruiser’s men set to work clearing debris, jettisoning topside weight to correct the list, reducing the volume of sea water in the ship, and succoring the many wounded.
Daylight revealed the presence nearby of three burning American destroyers, the disabled Portland, and the crippled Japanese destroyer Yudachi which Portland summarily dispatched with three salvoes. Atlanta, drifting toward the enemy-held shore east of Cape Esperance, dropped her starboard anc or; her captain sent a message to Portland explaining the light cruiser’s
desperate straits. In the meantime, boats from Guadalcanal came out to the ship and took off the more seriously wounded of her men. By midmorning, all of those had been taken off.
Bobolink (AT-131) arrived on the scene at 0930 on 13 November and took Atlanta under tow-an o eration made more difficult by the fact that the cruiser was dragging her anchor-and headed toward Lunga Point. During the voyage, a "Betty" neared the disposition, and one of the two surviving 5-inch mounts-the one powered by a diesel generator-fired and drove it off; the other mount, on manual control, could not be trained around in time.
Atlanta reached Kukuni about 1400, at which point Capt. Jenkins conferred with his remaining officers. As Jenkins, who was later awarded a Navy Cross for his heroism during the battle, later wrote, "It was by now apparent that efforts to save the ship were useless, and that the water was gaining steadily." Even had sufficient salvage facilities been available, he allowed, the severe damage the ship had suffered in battle would have rendered it doubtful whether or not the ship could have been saved. Authorized by Commander, South Pacific Forces, to act at his own discretion regarding the destruction of the ship, Capt. Jenkins ordered that Atlanta be abandoned and sunk with a demolition charge.
Accordingly, all remaining men except the captain and a demolition party boarded Higgins boats sent out from Guadalcanal for the purpose. After the charge had been set and exploded, the last men left the battered ship. Ultimately, at 2015 on 13 November 1942, Atlanta sank three miles west of Lunga Point in 30 fathoms. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 13 January 1943.
Atlanta (CL-51) was awarded five battle stars for her World War I I service and the Presidential Unit Citation for her "heroic example of invincible fighting spirit" in the battle off Guadalcanal on 13 November 1942.


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

The third Atlanta (CL-51)--the first of a new class of ships originally conceived as flotilla leaders but which became known as particularly effective antiaircraft cruisers--was laid down on 22 April 1940 at Kearny, N.J., by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. launched on 6 September 1941 sponsored by Mrs. John R. Marsh (better known by her pen name, Margaret Mitchell, the author of the novel Gone With the Wind) and commissioned at the New York navy Yard on 24 December 1941 Capt. Samuel P. Jenkins in command.

After fitting out, Atlanta conducted shakedown training until 13 March, first in Chesapeake Bay and then in Maine's Casco Bay, after which she returned to the New York navy Yard for post-shakedown repairs and alterations. Adjudged to be "ready for distant service" on 31 March, the new light cruiser departed New York for the Panama Canal Zone on 5 April. she reached Cristobal on the 8th. After transiting the isthmian waterway, Atlanta then cleared Balboa on 12 April with orders to reconnoiter Clipperton Island--a tiny, barren, uninhabited atoll about 670 miles southwest of Acapulco, Mexico--in the course of her voyage to the Hawaiian Islands, for any signs of enemy activity. Finding none, she ultimately reached Pearl Harbor on 23 April.

Punctuating her brief stay in Hawaiian waters with an antiaircraft practice off Oahu on 3 May, Atlanta, in company with McCall (DD-400) sailed on 10 May as escort for the ammunition ship Rainier (AE-5) and the oiler Kaskaskia (AO-27), bound for Noumea, New Caledonia. On 16 May, having seen the auxiliaries to their destination, she joined Vice Admiral William F. Halsey's Task Force (TF) 16, formed around the carriers Enterprise (CV-6) and Hornet (CV-8), as it steamed back to Pearl Harbor, having been summoned back to Hawaiian waters in response to an imminent Japanese thrust in the direction of Midway atoll. TF 16 arrived at Pearl on 26 May.

Atlanta sailed with TF 16 again on the morning of the 28th. Over the days that followed, she screened the carriers as they operated northwest of Midway in anticipation of the enemy's arrival. At the report of Japanese ships to the southwest, on the morning of 4 June, Atlanta cleared for action as she screened Hornet. Squadrons from the three American carriers sought out the Japanese, and during that day, planes from Yorktown and Enterprise inflicted mortal damage on four irreplaceable enemy flattops. Japanese planes twice hit TG 17, formed around Yorktown (CV-5) and operating independently from TG 16, and it took the brunt of enemy attacks. Over the days that followed the Battle of Midway, Atlanta remained in the screen of TF 16 until 11 June, when the task force received orders to return to Pearl Harbor.

Reaching her destination on 13 June, Atlanta, outside of a brief period of antiaircraft practice on 21, 25 and 26 June, remained in port, taking on stores and provisions and standing on 24-hour and then 48-hour alert into July 1942. Drydocked on 1 and 2 July so that her bottom could be scraped, cleaned and painted, the cruiser completed her availability on the 6th, and then resumed a busy schedule of gunnery practice with drone targets, high-speed sleds, and in shore bombardment in the Hawaiian operating area.

On 15 July 1942, Atlanta, again in TF 16, sailed for Tongatabu. Anchoring at Nukualofa, Tonga, on 24 July, where she fueled Maury (DD-401) and then took on fuel from the tanker Mobilube, the light cruiser pushed on later the same day and overtook TF 16. On 29 July, as all preparations proceeded apace for the invasion of Guadalcanal, in the British Solomon Islands, Atlanta was assigned to TF 61.

Screening the carriers as they launched air strikes to support the initial landings on Guadalcanal on 7 and 8 August, Atlanta remained in the vicinity of that isle until the withdrawal of the carrier task forces on the 9th. For the next several days, she remained at sea, replenishing when necessary while the task force operated near the Solomons.

As the Americans consolidated their gains on Guadalcanal, the Japanese' critical need for reinforcements prompted Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto to send the Combined Fleet south to cover a large troop convoy. American reconnaissance aircraft spotted the Japanese forces on the morning of 23 August. With the enemy convoy reported to the northwest, Enterprise and Saratoga launched search and attack planes, but the aircraft failed to make contact because of deteriorating weather and the fact that the Japanese, knowing that they had been spotted, reversed course.

Throughout the day on 24 August, Atlanta received enemy contact reports and screened Enterprise as she launched a strike group to seek out the Japanese carriers. The sighting of an enemy "snooper" at 1328 sent Atlanta's sailors to general quarters, where they remained for the next give and a half hours. At 130, the cruiser worked up to 20 knots as TF 16 stood roughly north-northwestward "to close [the] reported enemy carrier group." At 1637, with unidentified planes approaching, Atlanta went to 25 knots. Enterprise then launched a strike group shortly thereafter, completing the evolution at 1706.

In the meantime, the incoming enemy strike--bomber and fighter aircraft from Shokaku and Zuikaku--prompted the task force to increase speed to 27 knots shortly after Enterprise completed launching her own aircraft, the Japanese raid--estimated by Capt. Jenkins to consist of at least 18 Aichi D3A1 Type 99 carrier bombers ("Vals")--came in from the north northwest at 1710. Over the next q11 minutes, Atlanta's 5-inch, 1.1-inch and 20-millimeter batteries contributed to the barrage over Enterprise, as the light cruiser conformed to Enterprise's every move as she maneuvered violently to avoid the dive bombers.

Atlanta emerged from her baptism in fire unscathed and confident as her executive officer, Comdr. Campbell D. Emery, wrote after the battle: "Although the Atlanta had been through the Midway campaign . this was the first opportunity the crew has had to actively join the enemy in battle. All hands welcomed the occasion with enthusiasm. . " Capt. Jenkins concluded: "The ship functioned as designed in all respects and can be considered an efficient unit. . "

Reporting to TF 11 for duty the following day, Atlanta operated with that force--redesignated TF 61 on 30 August--over the next few days. When the Japanese submarine I-26 torpedoed Saratoga,/i> on 31 August, the light cruiser screened the stricken flagship as Minneapolis (C-36) rigged a towline and began taking her out of danger. The force ultimately put into Tongatabu on 6 September, where Atlanta provisioned ship, fueled from New Orleans (CA-32), and enjoyed a period of upkeep.

Underway on 13 September, the light cruiser assumed duty as escort for the Noumea-bound ammunition ship Lassen (AE-3) and the aircraft transport Hammondsport (APV-2) on the 15th. After seeing her charges safely to their destination at Dumbea Bay, Noumea, on the 19th, Atlanta,/i> fueled, took on stores and ammunition, and sailed on the 21st as part of Task Group (TG) 66.4. Becoming part of TF 17 on 23 September, the light cruiser was detached the following day to proceed in company with Washington (BB-56) and the destroyers Walke (DD-416) and Benham (DD-397) to Tongatabu, which she reached on the 26th.

Underway with those same ships on 7 October, Atlanta briefly escorted Guadalcanal-bound transports between 11 and 14 October before putting into Espiritu Santo for fuel on the afternoon of the 15th. Assigned then to Rear Admiral Willis A. Lee's TF 64, the ship sailed after dark that same day to resume operations covering the ongoing efforts to secure Guadalcanal. Returning briefly to Espiritu Santo for fuel, stores and provisions, the warship stood out from Segond Channel on the afternoon of 23 October.

Two days later, with a Japanese Army offensive having failed to eject the Americans from Guadalcanal, Admiral Yamamoto sent the Combined Fleet south in an attempt to annihilate the American naval forces doggedly supporting the marines. Atlanta operated in TF 64, along with Washington, San Francisco (CA-38), Helena (CL-50) and two destroyers, as the opposing forces engaged in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands on 26 October. That day, Atlanta patrolled astern of the fueling group supporting the two American carrier task forces. On the 27th when the Japanese submarine I-15 attacked TF 64--her torpedo missed Washington, exploding some 400 yards beyond her quarry--the force maneuvered at high speed to clear the area.

On the morning of the 28th, Atlanta brought on board Rear Admiral Norman Scott from San Francisco, and became the flagship of the newly designated TG 64.2. After fueling from Washington, Atlanta screened by four destroyers, headed northwest by north to shell Japanese positions on Guadalcanal. Reaching the waters off Lunga Point on the morning of the 30th, Atlanta embarked marine liaison officers at 0550, and then steamed west, commencing her bombardment of Point Cruz at 0629 while the destroyers formed a column astern. Provoking no return fire, TG 64.2 accomplished its mission and returned to Lunga Point, where Atlanta disembarked the liaison officers. She then proceeded, in company with her screen, to Espiritu Santo, where she arrived on the afternoon of 31 October.

Subsequently, Atlanta served as Admiral Scott's flagship as the light cruiser, accompanied by four destroyers, escorted the transport Zeilin (AP-9) and cargo ships Libra (AK-53) and Betelgeuse (AK-28) to Guadalcanal. The cruiser and her consorts continued to screen those ships--designated TG 62.4--as they lay off Lunga Point unloading supplies and disembarking troops.

At 0905, the task group received a report that nine carrier bombers and 12 fighters were approaching from the northwest and would reach their vicinity at about 0930. At about 0920, Atlanta led the three auxiliaries to the north, in column, with the destroyers spaced in a circle around them. Fifteen minutes later, nine "Vals" from the carrier Hiyo emerged from the clouds over Henderson Field the American ships opened fire soon thereafter putting up a barrage that downed "several" planes. Fortunately, none of the primary targets of the attack--Zeilin, Libra and Betelgeuse--suffered more than minor damage from several near misses, though Zeilin sustained some flooding. The three auxiliaries returned to the waters off Lunga Point as soon as the attack ended and resumed working cargo and disembarking troops.

A little over an hour later, at 1050, Atlanta received word of another incoming Japanese air raid. Fifteen minutes later, Atlanta led the three auxiliaries north with the destroyers in a circle around the disposition. The "bogeys"--27 Mitsubishi G4M1 Type 1 land attack planes ("Betty") from Rabaul--closed, sighted bearing west by north, approaching from over Cape Esperance in a very loose "V" formation. Although the destroyers opened fire, the planes proved to be out of range and the ships checked fire. The "Betties", for their part, ignored the ships and continued on to bomb Henderson Field. Upon the disappearance of the planes, TG 62.4 resumed unloading off Lunga Point.

The action on 11 November, however, gave only a foretaste of that ordeal that followed. The next day, Atlanta was still off Lunga Point, screening the unloading, as part of TF 67 under Rear Admiral Daniel J: Callaghan in San Francisco. At about 1310, Atlanta received a warning that 25 enemy planes were headed for Guadalcanal, slated to arrive within 50 minutes. The light cruiser went to general quarters at 1318 and received the signal "prepare to repel air attack . "

Within six minutes, Atlanta and the other combatants of the support group formed a screen around the transport group (TG 67.1), and the two groups steamed north together at 15 knots. At about 1410, the Americans sighted the incoming raid, consisting of what appeared to be 25 twin-engined bombers ("Betties") which broke up into two groups after clearing Florida Island, came in at altitudes that ranged from 25 to 50 feet. Juneau (CL-52) opened fire at 1412. Atlanta did so a minute later, training her guns at planes headed for the gap in the screen between San Francisco and the destroyer Buchanan (DD-484). Atlanta claimed to have shot down two "Betties" just after they dropped their torpedoes, at about 1415, only three minutes before the attack ended. Once the last Japanese plane had been splashed, the work of unloading the transports and cargo ships resumed. One "Betty," crippled by antiaircraft fire, had crashed the after superstructure of San Francisco, inflicting the only damage on the force.

The abrupt end of the air attack gave Atlanta and her colleagues only a brief respite, however, for trouble approached from yet another quarter. A Japanese surface force, comprising two battleships, one cruiser and six destroyers, was detected steaming south toward Guadalcanal to shell Henderson Field--the airstrip on the island. Admiral Callaghan's support group was to "cover [the retiring transports and cargo vessels] again enemy attack." Accordingly, TG 67.4 departed Lunga Point about 1800 and steamed eastward through Sealark Channel, covering the withdrawal of TG 67.1. An hour before midnight, Callaghan's ships reversed course and headed westward.

Helena's radar picked up the first contact on the Japanese ships at a range of 26,000 yards. As the range closed, Atlanta's surface search radar, followed by her gunnery radars, picked up a contact on the enemy ships.

Admiral Callaghan's order for a course change to the left caused problems immediately, as Atlanta had to turn left immediately to avoid a collision with one of the four destroyers in the van--the latter having apparently executed a "ships left" rather than "column left" movement. As Atlanta began moving to resume her station ahead of San Francisco, the Japanese destroyer Akatsuki illuminated the light cruiser and fired torpedoes. Atlanta shifted her battery to fire at the enemy destroyer, opening fire at a range of about 1,600 yards.

As two other Japanese destroyers crossed her line of Atlanta engaged both with her forward 5-inch mounts, while her after mounts continued to blast away at the illuminated ship. An additional, unidentified, assailant also opened up on the light cruiser from the northeast. At about that time, at least one of Akatsuki's torpedoes plowed into Atlanta's forward engine room from the port side. She lost all but auxiliary diesel power, suffered the interruption of her gunfire, and had to shift steering control to the steering engine room aft. As if in retribution, Atlanta shot out Akatsuki's searchlight, and the enemy ship battered by San Francisco's gunfire as well, sank with all hands.

Tragedy though, struck shortly thereafter. Soon alter her duel with Akatsuki ended, Atlanta reeled under the impact of a flurry of what was estimated as 19 8-inch hits when San Francisco, "in the urgency of battle, darkness, and confused intermingling of friend or foe" fired into her. Though almost all of the shells passed through the thin skin of the ship without detonating and scattered green dye throughout to mark their passage, fragments from their impact killed many men--including Admiral Scott and members of his staff. Atlanta prepared to return fire on her new assailant, but San Francisco's own gun flashes disclosed a distinctly "non-Japanese hull profile" that resulted in a suspension of those efforts.

After the 8-inch fire ceased, Atlanta's Capt. took stock of the situation, and, miraculously having suffered only a minor (but painful) wound in his foot in the carnage forward, made his way aft to Battle II. Badly battered, largely powerless, down by the head and listing slightly to port, his ship had been badly hurt, and a third of his crew was dead or missing. As the battle continued in its waning stages, the light cruiser's men set to work clearing debris, jettisoning topside weight to correct the list, reducing the volume of sea water in the ship, and succoring the many wounded.

Daylight revealed the presence nearby of three burning American destroyers, the disabled Portland, and the crippled Japanese destroyer Yudachi which Portland summarily dispatched with three salvoes. Atlanta, drifting toward the enemy-held shore east of Cape Esperance, dropped her starboard anchor her captain sent a message to Portland explaining the light cruiser's [453] desperate straits. In the meantime, boats from Guadalcanal came out to the ship and took off the more seriously wounded of her men. By midmorning, all of those had been taken off.

Bobolink (AT-131) arrived on the scene at 0930 on 13 November and took Atlanta under tow--an operation made more difficult by the fact that the cruiser was dragging her anchor--and headed toward Lunga Point. During the voyage, a "Betty" neared the disposition, and one of the two surviving 5-inch mounts--the one powered by a diesel generator--fired and drove it off the other mount, on manual control, could not be trained around in time.

Atlanta reached Kukum about 1400, at which point Capt. conferred with his remaining officers. As, who was later awarded a Navy Cross for his heroism during the battle, later wrote, "It was by now apparent that efforts to save the ship were useless, and that the water was gaining steadily." Even had sufficient salvage facilities been available, he allowed, the severe damage the ship had suffered in battle would have rendered it doubtful whether or not the ship could have been saved. Authorized by Commander, South Pacific Forces, to act his own discretion regarding the destruction of the ship, Capt. ordered that Atlanta be abandoned and sunk with a demolition charge.

Accordingly, all remaining men except the captain and a demolition party boarded Higgins boats sent out from Guadalcanal for the purpose. After the charge had been set and exploded, the last men left the battered ship. Ultimately, at 2015 on 13 November 1942, Atlanta sank three miles west of Lunga Point in 30 fathoms. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 13 January 1943.


ATLANTA CL 51

This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.


    Atlanta Class Light Cruiser
    Keel Laid 22 April 1940 - Launched 6 September 1941

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USS Atlanta (CL 104)

USS ATLANTA was one of the CLEVELAND - class light cruisers and the fourth ship in the Navy named after the city in Georgia.USS ATLANTA was decommissioned in July 1949 and, after over thirteen years in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, was stricken from the Navy list at the beginning of 1962. However, she was reinstated in May 1964, redesignated IX 304, and converted to a weapons effects test ship. Laid up once more late in 1965, ATLANTA was stricken from the Navy list for the second time in April 1970, and was sunk as a target off San Clemente Island, Calif., on 1 October 1970.

General Characteristics: Awarded: 1942
Keel laid: January 25, 1943
Launched: February 6, 1944
Commissioned: December 3, 1944
Decommissioned: July 1, 1949
Builder: New York Shipbuilding, Camden, NJ.
Propulsion system: geared turbines, 100,000 shp
Propellers: four
Length: 610.2 feet (186 meters)
Beam: 66.3 feet (20.2 meters)
Draft: 24.6 feet (7.5 meters)
Displacement: approx. 14,130 tons fully loaded
Speed: 32.5 knots
Aircraft: four
Armament: twelve 15.2cm 6-inch/47 caliber guns in four triple mounts, twelve 12.7cm 5-inch/38 caliber guns in six twin mounts, 28 40mm guns, 10 20mm guns
Crew: 70 officers and 1285 enlisted

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS ATLANTA. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

USS ATLANTA was laid down on 25 January 1943 at Camden, N.J., by the New York Shipbuilding Corp. launched on 6 February 1944 sponsored by Mrs. John R. Marsh (better known by her pen name, Margaret Mitchell, the author of the novel Gone With The Wind) who also sponsored the cruiser ATLANTA (CL 51) and commissioned on 3 December 1944, Capt. B. H. Colyear in command.

After commissioning, the light cruiser got underway on 5 January 1945 for shakedown training in the Chesapeake Bay and the Caribbean. Upon the completion of those exercises, ATLANTA arrived at Norfolk on 14 February and then moved up the coast to Philadelphia. After a period in the navy yard there, she sailed on 27 March for the Pacific. She stopped at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and transited the Panama Canal before reaching Pearl Harbor on 18 April. From 19 April to 1 May, the ship conducted training exercises in Hawaiian waters. She then sailed to Ulithi and reported to Task Force (TF) 58 on 12 May.

From 22 to 27 May, ATLANTA served with the Fast Carrier Task Force operating south of Japan near Okinawa while its aircraft struck targets in the Ryukyus and on Kyushu to support forces fighting for Okinawa. Her task group broke up on 13 June, and ATLANTA entered San Pedro Bay, Philippines, on 14 June. Following two weeks of upkeep, she sailed on 1 July with Task Group (TG) 38.1 and once again protected the fast carriers launching strikes against targets in the Japanese home islands. During these operations, the cruiser took part in several shore bombardment missions against Honshu and Hokkaido.

ATLANTA was operating off the coast of Honshu when the Japanese surrendered on 15 August 1945. On 16 September, she entered Tokyo Bay and remained there through 29 September.

With over 500 passengers on board, the cruiser sailed on 30 September for the United States. She paused en route at Guam before arriving in Seattle, Wash., on 24 October. The vessel then proceeded to the shipyard at Terminal Island, Calif., for an extensive overhaul. She was ready to return to sea on 3 January 1946 and got underway for Sasebo, Japan.

From January through June, ATLANTA operated among several Far Eastern ports which included Manila, Philippines Tsingtao and Shanghai, China Okinawa Saipan Nagasaki, Kagoshima, and Yokosuka, Japan. In June, she returned via Guam to the United States and arrived at San Pedro, Calif., on the 27th. Two days later, the cruiser entered the San Francisco Naval Shipyard for overhaul. On 8 October, she headed toward San Diego for sea trials.

The cruiser remained in southern California waters until 23 February 1947, when she left for maneuvers off Hawaii. On 1 May, she departed Pearl Harbor with TF 38 for a visit to Australia. The ships stayed in Sydney through 27 May, then sailed for San Pedro, Calif., via the Coral Sea, Guadalcanal, Tulagi, and Guam. She dropped anchor at San Pedro on 28 July. A series of maneuvers off the California coast ensued, the ATLANTA returned to Pearl Harbor on 28 September. She continued on to Yokosuka, Japan. After two days at anchor there, she sailed to Tsingtao, China. Other ports of call during the deployment were Hong Kong Singapore and Keelung, China. On 27 April 1948, the cruiser got underway and proceeded via Kwajalein and Pearl Harbor to San Diego.

Following her arrival back in the United States on 19 May, ATLANTA conducted exercises off San Diego. She paid a visit to Juneau, Alaska, from 29 June to 6 July. She then arrived at Seattle on 12 July to begin a major overhaul. The cruiser returned to San Diego for local maneuvers on 20 November.

In early February 1949, the ship embarked naval reservists for a training cruise and operated between San Diego and San Francisco until 1 March when she entered the Mare Island Naval Shipyard to commence deactivation. Atlanta was decommissioned on 1 July 1949 and placed in the Pacific Reserve Fleet. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 October 1962, and she was earmarked for disposal.

ATLANTA's career, however, had not yet ended. Instead, she underwent an extensive modification at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard. Reinstated on the Navy list as IX 304 on 15 May 1964, the vessel was converted to a target ship for studies of the effects of high energy air explosions on naval ships. The changes included cutting her hull down to the main deck level and erecting various experimental superstructures - designed for guided missile frigates and guided missile destroyers - on her deck. In these configurations she was subjected to explosions to determine whether or not the experimental structures could satisfactorily combine essential lightness with equally essential strength and blast resistance. These three tests were conducted off the coast of Kahoolawe, Hawaii, in early 1965. ATLANTA was damaged, but not sunk, by the experiments. She was laid up at Stockton, Calif., sometime late in 1965. Her name was again struck from the Navy list on 1 April 1970, and the former light cruiser was sunk during an explosive test off San Clemente Island, Calif., on 1 October 1970.


History

After its commissioning on December 24, 1941, it made its maiden voyage along the American Atlantic coast . At the beginning of April 1942 she set course for the Pacific .

Your first mission during the Pacific War was escorting a convoy in the South Pacific. Then she was assigned to the task force with the aircraft carriers Enterprise and Hornet , with which she took part in the Battle of Midway in June 1942 .

In mid-July 1942, the ship left Pearl Harbor to take part in operations in the South Pacific. At the beginning of the Battle of Guadalcanal in early August, she escorted the aircraft carriers that supported the landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi .

Later in the month accompanied Atlanta the Enterprise in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons and protected the Saratoga after this by a Japanese torpedo had been hit.

For the next several months their main task was to protect smaller units during the ongoing battle for Guadalcanal. After the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands , in which she was only remotely involved, they moved their operations closer and closer to the main island. On October 30, Atlanta bombed Japanese positions on Guadalcanal with their guns, and about two weeks later their anti-aircraft guns fired Japanese planes that attacked American transport and supply ships.

On the night of November 12th to 13th, 1942, the Atlanta flagship of a task force under Rear Admiral Norman Scott , which consisted of cruisers and destroyers and had the order to intercept Japanese ships that wanted to bomb Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. The following naval battle of Guadalcanal was a chaotic battle that was fought in bad weather and with only limited visibility. It is considered to be one of the most brutal naval battles of the Second World War and both sides suffered high material and personnel losses. The Atlanta suffered severe damage from a Japanese torpedo hit and further artillery fire from enemy and own ships. Rear Admiral Scott was killed in the attacks. Although the crew tried to save the ship all day of November 13, it was abandoned and sunk in the afternoon on the orders of their commanding officer.

The Atlanta lies on her port side off Lunga Point in Savo Sound known as Ironbottom Sound. The wreck was investigated using ROVs in 1991 and 1992 . Divers later visited the shipwreck. In 2011, Atlanta , which is 130 m deep, was dived and filmed again. The documentary Return to the USS Atlanta was created from the footage .


USS Atlanta (i) (CL 51)


USS Atlanta in the south-west Pacific, late1942.

USS Atlanta (Capt. Samuel Power Jenkins, USN) was wrecked by gunfire and torpedoes from Japanese warships on 12 November 1942.

After an attempted salvage failed the ship was scuttled off Guadalcanal the following day.The Commanding officer survived the sinking however he was wounded and Rear Admiral Norman Scott was killed.

Commands listed for USS Atlanta (i) (CL 51)

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1Capt. Samuel Power Jenkins, USN24 Dec 194113 Nov 1942

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Contents

The original main gun battery of the Atlanta-class was composed of eight dual 5 inch/38 caliber (127 mm) gun mounts (8x2 5-inch guns). This battery could fire over 17,600 pounds (10,560 kg) of shells per minute, including the radar-fuzed "VT" antiaircraft shells. Four of the ships, beginning with Oakland, had their two "wing" mounts of dual 5 inch guns replaced with eight of the highly effective Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft guns. The Atlanta-class cruisers were the only class of U.S. Navy cruisers commissioned during World War II to be armed with torpedoes tubes, with eight 21" torpedo tubes in two quad launchers. Ώ]

The class was designed with a substantial secondary anti-aircraft armament of sixteen 1.1 in guns in quad mounts, later replaced by 40 mm anti-aircraft guns, and 6 20 mm rapid-fire anti-aircraft cannons. More of these weapons were added as the war progressed to counter the danger of Japanese air attacks (especially kamikazes). Oakland was launched with eight Bofors 40 mm guns and sixteen 20 mm anti-aircraft cannons. Although ships of the class were planned as destroyer flotilla leaders, the original design did not include anti-submarine armament such as sonar or depth charge tracks these were added later. When the vessels were determined to be more valuable as protection against aircraft, the tracks were removed. ΐ]

The class was powered by four 665 psi boilers, connected to 2 geared steam turbines producing 75,000 hp (56 MW), and the ships could maintain a top speed of 33.6 knots (62 km/h). On trial the Atlanta made 33.67 knots (62 km/h) and 78,985 shp (58,899 kW). The ships of the Atlanta-class had thin armor: a maximum of 3.5 in (88.9 mm) on their sides, with the captain's bridge and the 5-inch gun mounts being protected by only 1.25 in (31.75 mm). ΐ]

The ships were originally designed for 26 officers and 523 men, but this increased to 35 officers and 638 men with the first four ships, and 45 officers and 766 men with the second group of four ships beginning with Oakland. The ships were also designed as flagships with additional space for a flag officer and his staff but the additional space was used for additional crew necessary to man anti-aircraft weapons and electronics. Α]


Wreck of USS Atlanta (CL-51)

USS Atlanta was the lead ship in her Class of Light Anti-Aircraft Cruisers built for the US Navy, laid down at the Federal Shipbuilding Yard in Kearny, NJ in April 1940 and commissioned into service in December 1941. Dispatched immediately to the US Pacific Fleet to combat the formidable threat posed by Japanese aviators, the Atlanta arrived at Pearl Harbor in April 1942 where she found her substantial anti-aircraft capabilities in high demand.

Briefly calling at Pearl before joining Task Force 16 at Noumea, New Caledonia, the Atlanta was attached to the USS Enterprise (CV-6) and joined her in returning to Hawaiian waters to meet the Imperial Japanese Navy’s powerful Combined Fleet in the Battle of Midway. Seeing her charge safely through the decisive American victory, Atlanta spent much of the next two months engaged in exercises in Hawaiian waters before shaping a course for Solomon Islands, where she and her crew were once again paired with the Enterprise in heavy fighting as Japanese Carrier forces counterattacked their American counterparts in the August 1942 Battle of the Eastern Solomons. Remaining in theatre supporting American forces fighting in and around Guadalcanal for the next two months, Atlanta assumed the role of Flagship for the newly-designated Task Group 64.2 as she brought aboard Rear Admiral Norman Scott in late October and in company with her sistership USS Juneau (CL-51) departed Espiritu Santo Island as part of an escort force for a resupply convoy bound for Guadalcanal.

Screening the transports as they unloaded off Lunga Point on the morning November 12th, Atlanta and her crew came under no fewer than three separate waves of Japanese air attack throughout the day, but through heavy fire and adroit maneuvering both Atlanta and her assigned transports emerged unscathed and with no fewer than four enemy aircraft downed to her credit. As darkness approached and the potential of further airstrikes lessened, Atlanta’s crew were pulled from their General Quarters stations for the first time in over seven hours and allowed a chance for a meal, however the reprieve from action proved to be short-lived. Word soon reached the assembled American naval force that recon aircraft had spotted a large Japanese Naval Force had been spotted heading South through the body of water known as 'the Slot' towards Guadalcanal, with obviously malicious intent. Immediately ordered to escort the vulnerable transports into the open ocean, Atlanta saw her charges to the mouth of the Sealark Channel before rejoining her Task Group and assuming battle formation off Lunga Point shortly before midnight.

Screened ahead by a column of four Destroyers, Atlanta led a line of four other Cruisers and a further four Destroyers on a slow Northward heading as radarmen aboard ship and aboard the USS Helena (CL-50) scanned the dark and squall-dotted seas for any signs of the inbound enemy force. Making their first intermittent contact at roughly 0030hrs on the morning of the 13th, communication issues between the few radar-equipped American vessels and their non-equipped Flagship USS San Francisco (CA-38) about the size, distance and bearings of the enemy force led to nearly an hour of crippling inaction as the Japanese Force, consisting of two Battleships, one Cruiser and eleven Destroyers, continued to close in at high speed. With numerous rain squalls further complicating efforts to get visual contact with the enemy, the sudden emergence of the entire Japanese formation on both sides of the American column from a squall line at only 3,000 yards distance at 0130hrs caused all preconceived battle tactics to be cast aside.

Aboard Atlanta, gun and torpedo battery crews began to target their mounts on a formation of enemy ships now appearing to their Northwest as they waited for what must have seemed like an eternity for the order from the Flagship to open fire. Instead, an order for a full column turn to the left served to scatter the American formation and almost caused the Atlanta to collide with the Destroyer USS O’Bannon (DD-450) which was steaming ahead of her. With both sides still holding fire as Japanese ships steadily enveloped the US battle line, Atlanta found herself racing to resume her position at the lead of the US Cruiser formation when a single searchlight from the Japanese Destroyer HIJMS Akatsuki pierced the night and lit Atlanta’s superstructure at 0148hrs.

Needing no further orders, Atlanta’s main battery immediately opened fire onto the enemy ship from the nearly point-blank distance of 1,600 yards, opening the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal with a nearly-full salvo hit. Joined seconds later by all ships on both sides the battle quickly descended into total chaos as Japanese ships began to attack the American formation from both sides, causing the American ships to break formation and attack independently. With ships from both sides now cutting through each other’s formations in the total darkness, the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal became a series of violent evasive maneuvers to avoid collisions with both enemy and friendly ships, all the while firing and taking fire from point blank range in what would later be termed as “a bar room brawl with the lights shot out”. Despite the hectic conditions, Atlanta’s gun batteries split their attention between different targets lying to each side of the ship, her Bow trio raking a pair of Japanese Destroyers passing ahead with accurate fire as her rear turrets continued to pound the now hapless Akatsuki into a flaming wreck. Shifting her fire to a large enemy vessel attacking from the Northeast, Atlanta was beginning a turn to engage when a single “Long Lance” torpedo slammed into her Portside midship, easily punching through her lightly-armored hull and causing catastrophic damage to her forward engine and fire rooms and knocking her rear engine and fire rooms offline, leaving the ship suddenly dead and dark in the water and with no power to her gun mounts. Drifting to a halt as her engineers raced to bring her auxiliary generators online, Atlanta’s silhouette was sighted by gun directors aboard the Flagship, who took the ships unfamiliar outline and silent guns to be those of a Japanese vessel and promptly ordered the San Francisco’s formidable main battery of nine 8-inch guns to engage.

Regaining power, headway and the ability to fight, Atlanta was moving to rejoin the still-furious battle raging around her when the first salvo of shells from the San Francisco slammed into her, the first of nineteen direct hits of friendly fire to strike the ship over the next few minutes. Due in part to her lightly armored superstructure and hull not detonating the San Francisco’s armor-penetrating shells, Atlanta was spared nearly total destruction as the accurate fire passed cleanly through the ship. Heavy shrapnel spray and concussive effects from the impacts however killed or injured dozens of Atlanta’s crew, including Rear Admiral Scott, killed with most of his staff and crew when Atlanta’s bridge took a direct hit. Frantic radio and signal lamp messages to the San Francisco caused the Flagship to realize her mistake and cease fire, but for Atlanta the respite came too late. Riddled with shellfire, once again left without power and cloaked in several large onboard fires, Atlanta took a heavy list to fore and Port as her remaining crew, reduced by death and injury by almost a third, set about massive damage control efforts as the battle left her behind and eventually broke at 0226hrs.

Sunrise on November 13th found Atlanta adrift North of Guadalcanal, still listing and largely powerless but still afloat and no longer afire thanks to the efforts of her crew. Towed to the protected waters off Kukum Point with great difficulty due to her heavily damaged and waterlogged condition, Atlanta was abandoned by all but a skeleton crew who remained aboard to oversee continued salvage efforts. Not surprisingly found to have suffered severe damage and to still be taking aboard considerable amounts of water through uncontrolled flooding, Atlanta’s Captain conferred with the Commander of US South Pacific Forces and was authorized to scuttle his ship if onsite repairs could not make her sound enough to be towed out of the battle area. Despite a daylong effort by salvage parties to save Atlanta, by nightfall on the 13th the battered Cruiser was still taking on water and settling more and more by the Bow, prompting Captain Samuel Jenkins to issue the order to scuttle Atlanta. With only a small boarding party and her Captain aboard, the Atlanta was towed to this location roughly 3 miles north of Lunga Point where her colors were struck and explosives set off in her hull. Rapidly flooding after the final blast, USS Atlanta sank bow first at this location at 2015hrs on November 13th 1942.


USS Atlanta received her fifth and final World War Two Battle Star and the Presidential Unit Citation for her "heroic example of invincible fighting spirit" for her actions on the date of her loss.


Contents

The first of the new class of ships was laid down on 22 April 1940 at Kearny, New Jersey, by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., launched on 6 September 1941, sponsored by Margaret Mitchell (author of Gone with the Wind), and commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 24 December 1941, Captain Samuel P. Jenkins in command.

Armament

Atlanta was fitted with eight twin 5-inch gun turrets, placed in a unique configuration. She had three forward turrets and three aft turrets, mounted inline and increasing in height toward the midships, giving her a symmetrical appearance, with a "gap" in the middle superstructure. In addition, the aft battery also had one "wing-mounted" turret on each side, for a total of 16 5-inch guns. The firing arcs of the forward and aft batteries intersected at a very limited angle, giving her an arc of 60° in which she could fire all of her guns broadside (excluding the wing turrets). Because Atlanta was able to bring all her guns to bear only within that narrow arc, her ability to engage surface targets was limited. Her firing arcs were ideally suited to bringing her guns to bear on an aircraft, however, with a minimum of six guns available from any angle.


Poveste

După punerea în funcțiune, pe 24 decembrie 1941, și-a făcut călătoria inițială de -a lungul coastei atlantice americane . La începutul lunii aprilie 1942 a stabilit cursul pentru Pacific .

Prima ta misiune din timpul războiului din Pacific a fost însoțirea unui convoi din Pacificul de Sud. Apoi a fost repartizată în grupul de lucru cu portavioanele Enterprise și Hornet , cu care a participat la bătălia de la Midway din iunie 1942 .

La mijlocul lunii iulie 1942, nava a părăsit Pearl Harbor pentru a participa la operațiuni în Pacificul de Sud. La începutul bătăliei de la Guadalcanal, la începutul lunii august, ea a escortat portavioanele care susțineau debarcările pe Guadalcanal și Tulagi .

Mai târziu , în luna însoțite Atlanta Enterprise în Bătălia de Insulele Solomon de Est și a protejat Saratoga dupa aceasta de un japonez torpilă a fost lovit.

În următoarele câteva luni, sarcina lor principală a fost protejarea unităților mai mici în timpul bătăliei în curs pentru Guadalcanal. După bătălia din Insulele Santa Cruz , în care a fost implicată doar de la distanță, și-au mutat operațiunile din ce în ce mai aproape de insula principală. La 30 octombrie, Atlanta a bombardat pozițiile japoneze pe Guadalcanal cu armele lor și, aproximativ două săptămâni mai târziu , armele antiaeriene au tras avioane japoneze care au atacat navele de transport și aprovizionare americane.

În noaptea de 12 spre 13 noiembrie 1942, pilotul Atlanta al unei forțe de lucru sub controlul amiralului Norman Scott , care consta din crucișătoare și distrugătoare și avea ordinul de a intercepta navele japoneze care doreau să bombardeze Henderson Field pe Guadalcanal. Următoarea bătălie navală de la Guadalcanal a fost o bătălie haotică care a fost purtată pe vreme rea și cu vizibilitate limitată. Este considerat a fi una dintre cele mai brutale bătălii pe mare din cel de-al doilea război mondial și ambele părți au suferit pierderi materiale și de personal ridicate. Atlanta a suferit leziuni grave de la un hit torpilă japoneză și artilerie mai departe de foc de la inamic și nave deținute. Contraamiralul Scott a fost ucis în atacuri. Deși echipajul a încercat să salveze nava toată ziua de 13 noiembrie, aceasta a fost abandonată și scufundată după-amiaza la ordinul comandantului lor.

În Atlanta se află pe ei babord off Lunga Point , în Savo Sound cunoscut ca Ironbottom sunet. Epava a fost investigată folosind ROV-uri în 1991 și 1992 . Scafandrii au vizitat ulterior naufragiul. În 2011, Atlanta , care are o adâncime de 130 m, a fost scufundată și filmată din nou. Documentarul Return to the USS Atlanta a fost creat din filmări .


Watch the video: Atlanta class (August 2022).