Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size
Login

Military Photos



USS Wilkes-Barre (CL-103), 1944-1972

(290 total words in this text)
(645 Reads)  Printer-friendly page
USS Wilkes-Barre, a 10,000-ton Cleveland class light cruiser, was built at Camden, New Jersey. Commissioned at the beginning of July 1944, she shook down in Chesapeake Bay and the West Indies before steaming through the Panama Canal to the Pacific in late October 1944. She arrived in the western Pacific war zone by the end of the year and was thereafter primarily employed as an escort to the fast carriers of the Fifth and Third Fleets. In that role Wilkes-Barre took part in strikes against the Philippines, China and Indo-China, the Ryukyu islands, the Bonin and Volcano islands and Japan. During the Iwo Jima campaign, in February 1945, she also used her guns to shell enemy positions ashore, a mission repeated in the Ryukyus in late March and against the Japanese home islands in July. When suicide planes badly damaged USS Bunker Hill off Okinawa on 11 April, Wilkes-Barre came alongside the stricken carrier to help fight her fires and evacuate some of her crew.

As the Pacific War ended, Wilkes-Barre supported the occupation of Japan, remaining in the Far East for the rest of 1945. She crossed the Pacific to the U.S. West Coast in January 1946 and in March went on to the Atlantic. For the next year and a half the cruiser operated in that ocean and the Caribbean area, making one cruise to the British Isles and Norway in the winter and spring of 1947. Decommissioned in October 1947, she was laid up at Philadelphia for more than two decades. USS Wilkes-Barre was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in January 1971 and subsequently used in explosive ordnance experiments. Badly damaged in these tests, she sank off the Florida Keys in May 1972.

Military History
Forum Posts

Military Polls

Has the U.S. military taken adequate precautions to prevent a recurrence of the Gulf War illnesses?

[ Results | Polls ]

Votes: 119

This Day in History
1818: President James Monroe proclaims naval disarmament on the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain.

1916: British declare martial law throughout Ireland.

1919: Les Irvin makes the first jump with an Army Air Corps parachute.

1945: Benito Mussolini, and his mistress, Clara Petacci, are shot by Italian partisans who had captured the couple as they attempted to flee to Switzerland.

1953: French troops evacuate northern Laos.

1965: U.S. troops land in the Dominican Republic.

1970: President Richard Nixon gives his formal authorization to commit U.S. combat troops, in cooperation with South Vietnamese units, against communist troop sanctuaries in Cambodia.

1972: The North Vietnamese offensive continues as Fire Base Bastogne, 20 miles west of Hue, falls to the communists. Fire Base Birmingham, 4 miles to the east, was also under heavy attack.