USS Nashville (CL-43) at Mare Island, 1943

USS Nashville (CL-43) at Mare Island, 1943

US Navy Light Cruisers 1941-45, Mark Stille .Covers the five classes of US Navy light cruisers that saw service during the Second World War, with sections on their design, weaponry, radar, combat experience. Nicely organised, with the wartime service records separated out from the main text, so that the design history of the light cruisers flows nicely. Interesting to see how new roles had to be found for them, after other technology replaced them as reconnaissance aircraft [read full review]


  • ►� (31)
    • ► August (1)
    • ► July (5)
    • ► June (4)
    • ► May (4)
    • ► April (5)
    • ► March (4)
    • ► February (4)
    • ► January (4)
    • ►� (53)
      • ► December (5)
      • ► November (4)
      • ► October (5)
      • ► September (4)
      • ► August (4)
      • ► July (5)
      • ► June (4)
      • ► May (4)
      • ► April (5)
      • ► March (4)
      • ► February (4)
      • ► January (5)
      • ▼� (51)
        • ► December (4)
        • ► November (4)
        • ► October (5)
        • ► September (4)
        • ► August (3)
        • ► July (5)
        • ► June (4)
        • ► May (5)
        • ► April (4)
        • ► March (4)
        • ▼ February (4)
        • ► January (5)
        • ►� (52)
          • ► December (4)
          • ► November (5)
          • ► October (4)
          • ► September (4)
          • ► August (5)
          • ► July (4)
          • ► June (4)
          • ► May (5)
          • ► April (4)
          • ► March (5)
          • ► February (4)
          • ► January (4)
          • ►� (52)
            • ► December (4)
            • ► November (5)
            • ► October (4)
            • ► September (5)
            • ► August (4)
            • ► July (4)
            • ► June (5)
            • ► May (4)
            • ► April (4)
            • ► March (5)
            • ► February (4)
            • ► January (4)
            • ►� (52)
              • ► December (5)
              • ► November (4)
              • ► October (4)
              • ► September (5)
              • ► August (4)
              • ► July (4)
              • ► June (5)
              • ► May (4)
              • ► April (4)
              • ► March (5)
              • ► February (4)
              • ► January (4)
              • ►� (52)
                • ► December (5)
                • ► November (4)
                • ► October (4)
                • ► September (5)
                • ► August (4)
                • ► July (5)
                • ► June (4)
                • ► May (4)
                • ► April (5)
                • ► March (4)
                • ► February (4)
                • ► January (4)
                • ►� (38)
                  • ► December (5)
                  • ► November (4)
                  • ► October (5)
                  • ► September (4)
                  • ► August (4)
                  • ► July (5)
                  • ► June (4)
                  • ► May (5)
                  • ► April (2)

                  Laststandonzombieisland

                  Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1859-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all of their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places. – Christopher Eger

                  Warship Wednesday April 22, 2015: The Music City wingman

                  Here we see a famous still taken from a 16mm film of a group U.S. Army Air Force B-25 Mitchell bombers loaded on the deck of the carrier USS Hornet (CV-8), April 18, 1942– roughly about 73 years ago this week. The ship in the background? The unsung but always there wingman that is the Brooklyn-class light cruiser USS Nashville (CL-43), the hero of our story.

                  An answer to the Japanese Mogami-class cruisers of the 1930s that carried an impressive 15 6-inch guns, the seven cruisers of the Brooklyn-class were an excellent design that proved more than capable in service. Although a “light” cruiser, these 606-foot long 12,200-ton vessels were among the largest ever built to be called such and took everything the Germans and Japanese could throw at them in WWII.

                  Overhead of class-leader USS Brooklyn CL-40 in June 1943. Note the turret configuration

                  Carrying an armored belt that ran from 2-inches over the deck to 6.5 on their turrets, they were reasonably well sheathed to take on anything but a heavy cruiser or battleship in a surface action. Eight boilers feeding a quartet of Parsons steam turbines gave these ships an impressive 100,000 shp, which allowed them to touch 33-knots– fast enough to keep up with even the speedy destroyers. Capable of covering 10,000 miles on a single load of fuel oil, they could range the Pacific or escort Atlantic convoys without having to top off every five minutes. Four floatplanes allowed these ships to scout ahead and tell the fleet just what was over the horizon.

                  Finally, an impressive main battery of 15 6″/47DP (15.2 cm) Mark 16 guns in a distinctive five triple turret scheme introduced with the class, gave them teeth. These guns with their 130-pound super heavy shell had almost double the penetration performance when compared against the older 6″/53 (15.2 cm) AP projectiles used for the Omaha class (CL-4) light cruisers. Further, they could fire them fast. One Brooklyn, USS Savannah (CL-42) during gunnery trials in March 1939 fired 138 6-inch rounds in just 60-seconds.

                  USS Nashville (CL–43) was laid down 24 January 1935 by New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, NJ, and commissioned 6 June 1938. A quick shakedown in Europe on the brink of WWII saw her bring some $25 million in gold bars back from the UK, which was deposited in US banks.

                  When the war broke out, she found herself on neutrality patrols in the Northern Atlantic, often popping up in German U-boat periscopes. She escorted Marines to occupy Iceland in 1941 and after Pearl Harbor received orders to link up with the nation’s newest carrier, Hornet, and escort her to the Pacific.

                  A view of her just 18 days before the Doolittle Raid. Click to big up

                  Arriving at Naval Air Station Alameda on 20 March 1942, Nashville stood by while Hornet had part of her Naval airwing offloaded and 16 Army B-25s, 64 modified 500-pound bombs, and 201 USAAF aviators and ground crew transferred aboard.

                  Putting to sea on April 2, the task force commanded by Vice Adm. Halsey consisted of the Hornet with her escort Nashville, the carrier Enterprise with her three companion heavy cruisers Salt Lake City, Northampton, and Vincennes, as well as a group of destroyers and tankers headed West for points unknown and under great secrecy.

                  View looking aft from the island of USS Hornet (CV 8), while en route to the mission’s launching point. USS Gwin (DD-433) is coming alongside, as USS Nashville (CL-43) steams in the distance. Eight of the mission’s sixteen B-25B bombers are parked within view, as are two of the ship’s SBD scout bombers. Note midships elevator, torpedo elevator, arresting gear and flight deck barriers in the lower portion of the photo, and 1.1″ quad anti-aircraft machine gun mount at left. Naval History & Heritage Command photo (# NH 53289).

                  After refueling from the tankers on April 17, the four cruisers and two carriers raced towards Japan. The plan was to launch the first raid on the Home Islands to score a propaganda victory following a string of defeats across the Pacific in the first four months of the war.

                  However, the group was sighted while still far out to sea. The quick-shooting Nashville rapidly engaged the Japanese ship, Gunboat No. 23 Nittō Maru, and sank her with 6-inch shells, but the little 70-ton boat got off a warning via radio on her way down.

                  Nito Maru Sunk by Nashville

                  The 16 bombers lead by Jimmy Doolittle quickly launched into history and the six ships of the task force turned back for safer waters.

                  Nashville however, still had a long war ahead of her.

                  As the flagship of the pitifully outgunned Task Force 8, she defended Alaska during the Japanese feint there during the Battle of Midway, and soaked the frozen invaders on Attu and Kiska with 6-inch shells before sailing back and joining the main fleet.

                  Nashville firing on Kiska, August 8th 1942 the bombardment was run in a racetrack pattern, and Nashville is just turning. Click to big up

                  She visited the same naval gunfire across the South Pacific and socked Japanese bases at Munda, Kolombangara and New Georgia, covered the landings at Bougainville and the Bismarck Archipelago and just generally popped up everywhere the action was thickest. She covered the raids on the Marcus Islands and Wake served as McArthur’s flagship for the Hollandia Operations, covered Toem, Wakde, Sarmi Ares, Biak, Mortai, Leyte, Mindoro, et al.

                  Broadside view of the USS Nashville (CL 43) off Mare Island on 4 August 1943. She was in overhaul at the shipyard from 4 June until 7 August 1943. U.S. Navy Photo #5624-43.

                  Leyte Invasion, October 1944 – General Douglas MacArthur (right, seen in profile) on the bridge of USS Nashville (CL 43), off Leyte during the landings there in late October 1944. Standing in the center (also seen in profile) is Lieutenant General George C. Kenney. Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives – USA C-259

                  On 13 December 1944, she took a kamikaze hit on her portside while in the PI that caused over 300 casualties- a third of her crew– but she remained afloat and operational, a testament to both the ship and her sailors.

                  The ships of her class were known to take a licking and keep on ticking.

                  Sister USS Honolulu (CL-48) was torpedoed at the Battle of Kolombangara on July 12–13, 1943, and again at Leyte in October 1944 but in each case remained afloat and operational. Classmate USS Boise (CL-47) took a number of hard hits at close range during the Battle of Cape Esperance in 1943. Two 7.9-inch shells from the heavy cruiser Kinugasa exploded in Boise‍ ’​s main ammunition magazine between turrets one and two. The resulting explosion killed almost 100 men and threatened to blow the ship apart– but she finished the battle under her own steam and survived the war.

                  Another sister, USS Savannah (CL-42), was clobbered by a massive 3,000-pound German Fritz-X bomb while operating in the Med in 1943. Hitting Savannah amidships, it blew the bottom out of the cruiser but she remained afloat and later returned to operations after a rebuild.

                  USS Savannah (CL-42) is hit by a German radio-controlled glide bomb, while supporting Allied forces ashore during the Salerno operation, 11 September 1943. The bomb hit the top of the ship’s number three 6″/47 gun turret and penetrated deep into her hull before exploding. The photograph shows the explosion venting through the top of the turret and also through Savannah’s hull below the waterline. A motor torpedo boat (PT) is passing by in the foreground. When you think that a pair of Fritz-X’s completely destroyed the 45,000-ton Vittorio Veneto-class battleship Roma, its impressive that a 12,000-ton light cruiser survived such a hit.

                  One lucky young Radioman 3rd Class aboard Nashville that day who survived the kamikaze hit, Jason Robards, went on to an acting career and an Oscar. Robards had earlier in the war just missed Pearl Harbor by two days then had his cruiser, fellow Doolittle raid vet Northampton, sunk from under him at the Battle of Tassafaronga. It was while on Nashville that Robards emceed for a Navy band in Pearl Harbor, got a few laughs and decided he liked being in front of an audience.

                  Following repairs, Nashville was back in the front lines, covering the Balikpapan and Brunei Bay operations in June and July 1945. In the months after the war, she was flag of TF73, made an extensive visit to war torn China, conducted two Magic Carpet rides home (one of which saw her take a foundering troopship with 1200 soldiers aboard under tow in heavy seas) and was decommissioned 24 June 1946, after a very hectic 8-year active duty career.

                  Nashville in Sydney 1944. Note measure 32/21d camo scheme. Click to big up

                  In all she won 10 battlestars for her active 41-month long Pacific War.

                  The Navy, flush with more modern cruisers, soon divested themselves of the seven lucky Brooklyn’s.

                  Two, Honolulu and Savannah, were scrapped, while the other five were part of a large post-war cruiser acquisition by the “ABC Navies” of South America.

                  USS Boise (CL-47) and Phoenix (CL-46) went to Argentina.

                  USS Philadelphia (CL-41) went to Brazil.

                  Class leader Brooklyn along with her wingman Nashville went to Chile in 1951.

                  While in South America, Nashville served as the Capitán Prat (CL-03) and later as the Chacabuco with the same pennant number. She remained on active duty until 1984 and was scrapped the next year at age 46, one of the last unmodified WWII-era big gun ships afloat at the time.

                  The cruisers Almirante Latorre (ex-Swedish Gota Lejon), Prat (formerly USS Nashville), and O’Higgins (formerly USS Brooklyn) underway in Chilean service. Click to big up

                  The 1970s Chilean battle fleet at play. Possibly the best collection of WWII ships then afloat. Prat/Nashville is to the left. The cruisers Almirante Latorre (ex-Swedish Gota Lejon), is center with her distinctive superstructure, and and O’Higgins (formerly USS Brooklyn) to the image’s right. Click to big up

                  In all she was one of the most decorated of her class and outlived most of her classmates. She survived her Argentine sisters Boise/ Nueve de Julio (scrapped 1978) and Phoenix/ General Belgrano (sunk in the Falklands May 1982). She also survived her Brazilian partner Philadelphia/Barroso (scrapped in 1973).

                  Only Brooklyn/O’Higgins, who was finally retired in 1994, outlasted her, although many of Nashville‘s parts were cannibalized to keep that ship afloat for its final decade.

                  In Chile, her ship’s bell is on display as are two of her main guns.

                  Ship’s Bell, Museum in Chile

                  In the states, Nashville is remembered by a veterans group who maintain an excellent website in her honor and relics from her are on display at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville about a mile from Music City Center.

                  A book, Humble Heroes has been written about her that is an excellent read.

                  Displacement: 9,475 tons (8,596 tons)
                  Length: 608 ft. 4 in (185.42 m)
                  Beam: 61 ft. 8 in (18.80 m)
                  Draft: 19 ft. 2 in (5,840 mm)
                  Propulsion:
                  Geared Turbines
                  Four screws
                  100,000 hp (75,000 kW)
                  Speed: 32.5 kn (37.4 mph 60.2 km/h)
                  Complement: 868 officers and enlisted
                  Armament: 15 × 6 in (150 mm)/47 cal guns,
                  8 × 5 in (130 mm)/25 cal guns,
                  20 × Bofors 40 mm guns,
                  10 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannons
                  Armor:
                  Belt:5 in (130 mm)
                  Turrets:6.5 in (170 mm)
                  Deck:2 in (51 mm)
                  Conning Tower:5 in (130 mm)
                  Aircraft carried: 4 × floatplanes
                  Aviation facilities: 2 × catapults

                  If you liked this column, please consider joining the International Naval Research Organization (INRO), Publishers of Warship International

                  They are possibly one of the best sources of naval study, images, and fellowship you can find http://www.warship.org/

                  The International Naval Research Organization is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the encouragement of the study of naval vessels and their histories, principally in the era of iron and steel warships (about 1860 to date). Its purpose is to provide information and a means of contact for those interested in warships.

                  Nearing their 50th Anniversary, Warship International, the written tome of the INRO has published hundreds of articles, most of which are unique in their sweep and subject.


                  USS Nashville (CL-43) at Mare Island, 1943 - History


                  Commissioning Ceremonies Gilbert Islands
                  Shakedown Runs Underway for Pearl Harbor


                  January February March April May June
                  July August September October November December

                  THANKS TO UNITED STATES NAVAL CHRONOLOGY, WORLD WAR II
                  I have edited the above files for the South Pacific area only.The edited text is shown in BLACK.

                  01/06 Wed. United States naval vessel damaged: Light cruiser SAN JUAN (CL-54), by dive bomber, Solomon Islands area, 08 d. 30' S., 166 d. 40' E.

                  01/12 Tue. Army forces occupy Amchitka, Aleutian Islands. United States naval vessels sunk: DestroyerWORDEN (DD-352) , by grounding, Amchitka, Aleutian Islands. PT-28 , by grounding, Dora Harbor, Alaska.

                  01/19 Tue. Japanese land atWewak, New Guinea.

                  01/20 Wed. Destroyer escort BRENNAN (DE-13), is commissioned at Mare Island, Calif. first ship of this type to be placed in commission.

                  01/29 Fri. Battle of Rennell Island (29-30 January) commences as cruiser and destroyer task force (Rear Adm. R. C. Giffen), covering movement of troop transports to Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, is bombed near Rennell Island by Japanese aircraft.

                  01/30 Sat. Land and carrier-based naval aircraft engage Japanese aircraft attacking Rear Admiral Giffen's cruiser and destroyer force (Battle of Rennell Island, 29-30 January). Naval Station, Akutan Harbor, Fox Island, Alaska, is established. United States naval vessel sunk: Heavy Cruiser CHICAGO (CA-29) , by aircraft torpedo, 11 d. 25' S., 160 d. 56' E. United States naval vessel damaged: Destroyer LA VALLETTE (DD-448), by aircraft torpedo, 11 d. 25' S., 160 d. 56' E.

                  02/08 Mon. Evacuation of over 11,000 Japanese troops from Guadalcanal , , Solomon Islands, is completed.

                  02/09 Tue. Organized resistance on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, ends. [The bitter struggle to capture Guadalcanal and other islands in the southern Solomon Islands spanned 6 months and was the initial United States offensive move in the Pacific War. It was extremely costly in men, ships, and material, for both sides.]

                  02/17 Wed. Carrier LEXINGTON (CV-16) is commissioned at Quincy, Mass. this vessel is named for carrier LEXINGTON (CV-2), sunk 8 May 1942 in the Battle of the Coral Sea.

                  02/21 Sun. Marines and Army troops occupy Russell Islands, Solomon Islands.

                  02/22 Mon. Battleship IOWA (BB-61) is commissioned at New York, N. Y.

                  03/15 Mon. Commander in Chief United States Fleet (Adm. E. J. King) establishes numbered fleet system all fleets in the Pacific to have odd numbers and those in the Atlantic even numbers.

                  03/26 Fri. Battle of the Komandorski Islands is fought between a task group comprising 2 cruisers and 4 destroyers (Rear Adm. C. H. McMorris) and a Japanese force of 4 cruisers and 4 destroyers escorting reinforcements to Attu, Aleutian Islands. In this day light action 1 United States cruiser and 1 destroyer are damaged. One enemy cruiser is damaged. Japanese reinforcements fail to reach Attu. United States naval vessel damaged, Battle of Komandorski Islands: Heavy cruiser SALT LAKE CITY (CA-25), by naval gunfire, 52 d. 47 N., 172 d. 45' e. Destroyer BAILEY (DD-492), by naval gunfire, 53 d. 20' N., 168 d. 36' E.

                  04/15 Thu. Carrier YORKTOWN (CV-10) is commissioned at Newport News, Va. this vessel is named for carrier YORKTOWN (CV-5), sunk 7 June, 1942, after the Battle of Midway.

                  04/18 Sun. Admiral Yamamoto, Commander in Chief Japanese Combined Fleet, is killed when his aircraft if shot down by Army P-38 aircraft.

                  05/11 Tue. Army troops land on Attu, Aleutian Islands landing is covered by naval forces under Rear Adm. T. C. Kinkaid and Rear Adm. F. W. Rockwell.

                  05/13 Thu. Cruisers and destroyers (Rear Adm. W. L. Ainsworth) bombard Munda and Vila, Solomon Islands, while minelayers lay mines across northwestern approaches to Kula Gulf. United States naval vessels damaged: Light cruiser NASHVILLE (CL-43), by accidental explosion, Solomon Islands area, 08 d. 28' S., 158 d. 49' E. Destroyer NICHOLAS (DD-449), by accidental explosion, Solomon Islands area, 08 d. 30' S., 158 d. 01' E.

                  05/23 Sun. Battleship NEW JERSEY (BB-62), is commissioned at Philadelphia, Pa.

                  05/25 Tue. Carrier BUNKER HILL (CV-17) is commissioned at Quincy, Mass.

                  05/30 Sun. Organized Japanese resistance ends on Attu, Aleutian Islands.

                  06/21 Mon. Marines and Army troops land at Segi Point, New Georgia, Solomon Islands.

                  Navy. 1,741,750 Marine Corps. 310,994

                  07/05 Mon. Cruisers and destroyers (Rear Adm. W. L. Ainsworth) bombard Vila, Kolombangara, and Bairoko Harbor, New Georgia, Solomon Islands. Marines and Army troops land at Rice Anchorage, New Georgia, Solomon Islands. United States naval vessel sunk: Destroyer STRONG (DD-467) , by submarine torpedo, Solomon Islands area, 08 d. 05' S., 157 d. 15' E.

                  07/06 Tue. Battle of Kula Gulf is fought in the darkness as a task group consisting of 3 cruisers and 4 destroyers (Rear Adm. W. L. Ainsworth) engages 10 Japanese destroyers carrying troops and supplies to Kolombangara, Solomon Islands. One United States light cruiser and two Japanese destroyers are sunk. Cruiser and destroyer task group (Rear Adm. R. C. Giffen) bombards Kiska, Aleutian Islands. United States naval vessel sunk: Light cruiser HELENA (CL-50) , by destroyer torpedoes, Kula Gulf, Solomon Islands, 07 d. 46' S., 157 d. 11' E. Japanese naval vessels sunk: Destroyer NIIZUKI, by naval gunfire, Kula Gulf, Solomon Islands area. Destroyer NAGATSUKI, grounded and abandoned, Kula Gulf, Solomon Islands area.

                  07/13 Tue. Battle of Kolombangara is fought in the darkness off Kolombangara, Solomon Islands, as a task force, consisting of 3 cruisers and 10 destroyers (Rear Adm. W. L. Ainsworth), engages 1 Japanese cruiser and 5 destroyers escorting destroyer transports. One United States destroyer is sunk two United States cruisers, one New Zealand cruiser and two United States destroyers are damaged. One Japanese cruiser is sunk. United States naval vessel sunk: Destroyer GWIN (DD-433) , damaged by destroyer torpedo, Battle of Kolombangara, Solomon Islands, and scuttled by United States forces, 07 d. 41' S., 157 d. 27' E. United States naval vessels damaged, Battle of Kolombangara, Solomon Islands: Light cruiser HONOLULU (CL-48), by destroyer torpedo, 07 d. 31' S., 157 d. 19' E. Light cruiser ST LOUIS (CL-49), by destroyer torpedo, 07 d. 37' S., 157 d. 16' E. Destroyers WOODWORTH (DD-460), and BUCHANAN (DD-484), by collision, 07 d. 40' S., 157, 14' E. Japanese naval vessel sunk: Light cruiser JINTSU, by cruiser gunfire and destroyer torpedo, Battle of Kolombangara, Solomon Islands, 07 d. 38' S., 157 d. 06' E.

                  07/18 Sun. Naval and Army aircraft attack Buin-Kahile area, Bougainville, Solomon Islands. United States naval vessel sunk: LST 342 , by submarine torpedo, Solomon Islands area, 09 d. 03' S., 158 d. 11' E. United States naval vessel damaged: Submarine chaser PC-562, by mine, Sicilian area, 37 d. 10' N., 12 d. 35' E.

                  07/17 Sat. Captain William K. Phillips assumed command of the OAKLAND at Commissioning Ceremonies. The present OAKLAND was the first United States Man-of-War to bear that name.

                  07/17 to 08/11 Fitting out opertions and trial runs were conducted in San Francisco Bay.

                  07/22 Thu. Naval task force consisting of 2 battleships, 5 cruisers, and 9 destroyers (Rear Adm. R. C. Giffen and Read Adm. R. M. Griffin) bombard Kiska area, Aleutian Islands. Japanese naval vessel sunk: Seaplane tender NISSHIN, by naval land-based aircraft, off New Georgia, Solomon Islands, 06 d. 33' S., 156 d. 10' E.

                  07/28 Wed. Japanese complete evacuation of Kiska, Aleutian Islands, without detection by United States forces. (See 15 August 1943.)

                  08/02 Mon. Naval task groups consisting of 2 battleships, 5 cruisers, and 9 destroyers (Rear Adm. H. F. Kingman and Rear Adm. W. D. Baker) bombard Kiska, Aleutian Islands. Kiska is bombarded 10 times between this date and 15 August. United States naval vessel sunk: PT-109 , by collision with enemy ship, Solomon Islands area, 08 d. 03' S., 156 d. 58' E. Japanese naval vessels sunk: Torpedo boats Nos. 112 and 113, by Army aircraft, near Lae, New Guinea.

                  08/05 Thu. Munda, New Georgia, Solomon Islands, falls to Army forces. United States naval vessel sunk: Gunboat PLYMOUTH (PG-57) , by submarine torpedo, 36 d. 17' N., 74 d. 29' W.

                  08/06 Fri. Battle of Vella Gulf is joined shortly before midnight and continues through the opening minutes of 7 August. Four Japanese destroyers attempting to bring troops and supplies to Kolombangara, Solomon Islands, are attacked by six destroyers (Comdr. F. Moosbrugger) in Vella Gulf. Three Japanese destroyers are sunk and one damaged. United States force suffers no damage. Japanese naval vessel sunk: Destroyer KAWAKAZE, by destroyer torpedoes, Battle of Vella Gulf, off Kolombangara, Solomon Islands, 07 d. 50' s., 156 d. 47' E.

                  08/15 Sun. Third Amphibious Force (Rear Adm. T. S. Wilkinson) lands Naval, Marine, and Army personnel at Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands. This landing by-passes enemy position on Kolombangara, Solomon Islands. Naval task force under Commander North Pacific Force (Vice Adm. T. C. Kinkaid) lands United States Army and Canadian troops at Kiska, Aleutian Islands. Kiska is found to have been evacuated by the Japanese. (See 28 July 1943.)

                  08/16 Mon. Carrier INTREPID (CV-11), is commissioned at Newport News, Va. United States naval vessels damaged: Destroyers WALLER (DD-466) and PHILIP (DD-498), by collision, Solomon Islands area, 08 d. 11' S., 156 d. 43' E.

                  08/12 to 09/15 Shakedown Runs were held off the California coast.

                  08/27 Fri. Marines and Seabees occupy Nukufetau, Ellice Islands. Army troops are landed on Arundel Island, Solomon Islands.

                  08/28 Sat. Marines occupy Nanumea, Ellice Islands. 09/04 Sat. United States naval force (Rear Adm. D. E. Barbey) lands Australian troops on Huon Peninsula, near Lae, New Guinea. United States naval vessels damaged: Destroyer CONYNGHAM (DD-371) by dive bomber, eastern New Guinea, 07 d. 28' S., 147 d.44' E. LST 471 and LST 473, by torpedo and dive bombers, eastern New Guinea area, 07 d. 45' s., 148 d. 01' E.

                  09/16 to 10/29 At Mare Island Navy Yard, California, for post shakedown alterations and repairs.

                  09/22 Wed. United States naval force of destroyers and landing craft (Rear Adm. D. E. Barbey) puts Australian troops ashore at Finschhafen, New Guinea.

                  10/03 Sun. Japanese complete evacuation of Kolombangara, Solomon Islands. United States naval vessel sunk: Destroyer HENLEY (DD-391) , by submarine torpedo, eastern New Guinea area, 07 d. 40' S., 148 d. 06' E.

                  10/05 Tue. Task force including 6 carriers, 7 cruisers and 24 destroyers (Rear Adm. A. E. Montgomery) bombs and bombards Wake Island attack is repeated on 6 October. United States naval vessel sunk: LST 448 , from damage received on 1 October, Solomon Islands area, 08 d. 03' S., 156 d. 43' E.

                  10/06 Wed. Battle of Vella Lavella take place at night when 3 destroyers (Capt. F. R. Walker) intercept and attack 9 Japanese destroyers evacuating troops from Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands. Submarine KINGFISH (SS-234) lands personnel and supplies on northeast coast of Borneo. United States naval vessel sunk: Destroyer CHEVALIER (DD-451) , damaged by destroyer torpedo, Battle of Vella Lavella, 07 d. 30' S., 156 d. 14' E. sunk by United States forces. United States naval vessels damaged, Battle of Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands: Destroyer O'BANNON (DD-450), by collision with destroyer CHEVALIER (DD-451), 07 d. 30' S., 156 d. 15' Destroyer SELFRIDGE (DD-357), by destroyer torpedo, 07 d. 27' S., 156 d. 13' E. Japanese naval vessel sunk: Destroyer YUGUMO, by destroyer torpedo, Battle of Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands.

                  10/07 Thu. Japanese complete evacuation of Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands.

                  10/27 Wed. Troops land on Mono and Stirling Islands in the Treasury Island Group, Solomon Islands pre-invasion bombardment and covering for the landings are provided by United States naval vessels and aircraft. United States naval vessels damaged: Destroyer CONY (DD-508), by horizontal bomber, off Treasury Islands, 07 d. 23' S., 155 d. 27 ' E. LST 399 and LST 485, by coastal mortar, Solomon Islands area, 07 d. 25' S., 155 d. 34' E.

                  10/30 Underway for Pearl Harbor.

                  11/01 Mon. Amphibious force (Rear Adm. T. S. Wilkinson) lands First Marine Amphibious Corps (Lt. Gen. A. A. Vandegrift) at Cape Torokina, Bougainville, Solomon Islands assault is covered by aircraft and destroyer gunfire. Cruiser and destroyer force (Rear Adm. A. S. Merrill) and carrier task force (Rear Adm. F. C. Sherman) shell and bomb Japanese airfields and installations in Buka-Bonis area, Solomon Islands. Rear Admiral Merrill's force later bombards enemy airfields on Shortland Island, Solomon Islands. United States naval vessel damaged: Destroyer FULLAM (DD-474), by grounding, Solomon Islands area, 06 d. 25' S., 154 d. 53' E.

                  11/02 Tue. Battle of Empress Augusta Bay is fought during darkness as task force comprising 4 light cruisers and 8 destroyers (rear Adm. A. S. Merrill) intercepts Japanese force of 2 heavy and 2 light cruisers and 6 destroyers steaming to attack transports at Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville, Solomon Islands. Two United States light cruisers and three destroyers are damaged. One Japanese light cruiser and one destroyer are sunk two enemy heavy cruisers and two destroyers are damaged. Japanese force is turned back. Carrier task force (rear Adm. F. C. Sherman) attacks enemy airfields in Buka area, Solomon Islands. United States naval vessels damaged, Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, Solomon Islands: Light cruiser MONTPELIER (CL-57), by dive bomber. Light cruiser DNEVER (CL-58), by naval gunfire. Destroyer FOOTE (DD-511), by torpedo from surface craft. Destroyer SPENCE (DD-512), by naval gunfire and collision with destroyer THATCHER (DD-514). Japanese naval vessels sunk, Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, Solomon Islands: Light cruiser SENDAI, by surface craft. Destroyer HATSUKAZE, by surface craft.

                  11/03 Arrived Pearl Harbor.

                  11/08 Sortied with Cruiser Division 5, and 2 destroyers, en route to Ellice Islands and rendezvous with the fleet.

                  11/13 Crossed the equator and the international date line all pollywogs becoming trusty shellbacks.

                  SHELLBACK INITIATION 1943 LONG. 180 LAT 0 (INTERNATIONAL DATE LINE AND EQUATOR) - Crossing the equator was full of tradition in the Navy. An entry is made in the new shellbacks record notating the event and he then enters the Domain of King Neptune. Each shellback receives a certificate and a wallet sized replica of that certificate for his personal use. but first he had to earn it. FROM LOWLY POLLYWOG TO TRUSTY SHELLBACK BY SHELLBACK INITIATION.

                  11/16 Arrived off Funafuti and joined Task Group 50.3, 2 CV, 1 CVL, 3 CA and 1 CL (AA).

                  11/18 Initial aircraft strikes launched against the Gilbert Islands.

                  11/20 Sat. Naval, Marine, and Army force land on Tarawa and Makin, Gilbert Islands. The operation is under the overall command of Commander Central Pacific Force (Vice Adm. R. A. Spruance). Bitter resistance is encountered on Tarawa. [The Gilbert Islands are in east longitude, but since west longitude dates are used in most of the operational reports, they have likewise been used in these entries concerning the Gilbert Islands.] United States naval vessels damaged, Gilbert Islands: Battleship MISSISSIPPI (BB-41), by accidental explosion, 03 d. 10' N., 172 d. 58' E. Light carrier INDEPENDENCE (CVL-22), by aircraft torpedo, 01 d. 30' N., 172 d. 40' E. Destroyer RINGGOLD (DD-500), by coastal batteries on Tarawa, O1 d. 24' N., 172 d. 58' E. Destroyer DASHIELL (DD-659), by grounding, 01 d. 00' N., 173 d. 00' E .

                  11/20 Our formation was attacked by a large group of "Betties," twin engine torpedo bombers. Oakland shot down two and assisted in the destruction of two others in her first action against the enemy.

                  11/23 Tue. Betio, Tarawa Atoll, and Makin in the Gilbert Islands, are declared secured. Cruiser and destroyer force (Rear Adm. A. S. Merrill) bombards Buka-Bonis area, Bougainville, Solomon Islands. United States naval vessel sunk: PT-322 , by grounding, eastern New Guinea area, 06 d. 09' S., 147 d. 36' E. sunk by United States forces. Japanese naval vessel sunk: Frigate WAKAMIYA, by submarine GUDGEON (SS-211), East China Sea, 28 d. 49' N., 122 d. 11' E.

                  11/24 Wed. Carrier WASP (CV-18) is commissioned at Quincy, Mass. this vessel is named for carrier WASP (CV-7) sunk 15 September 1942 near Espirtu Santo, New Hebrides. United States naval vessel sunk: Escort carrier LISCOMBE BAY (CVE-56) , by submarine torpedo, Gilbert Islands area, 02 d. 58' N., 172 d. 26' E.

                  11/25 Thu. Battle of Cape St. George is fought during the early hours as squadron of 5 destroyers (Capt. A. A. Burke) intercepts 5 Japanese destroyers off Cape St. George, New Ireland. Three enemy destroyers are sunk and one damaged. United States ships suffer no damage. Carrier-based aircraft bomb Kavieng, New Ireland. United States Advanced Amphibious Base, Salcombe, Devonshire, England, is established. Japanese naval vessels sunk: Destroyers ONAMI, MAKINAMI, and YUGIRI, by destroyer torpedoes and gunfire, Battle of Cape St. George, New Ireland. Submarine I-19, by destroyer RADFORD (DD-446), north of Gilbert Islands, 03 d. 10' N., 171 d. 55' E

                  11/29 Mon. Carrier HORNET (CV-12), is commissioned at Newport News, Va. this vessel is named for carrier HORNET (CV-8) sunk 27 October 1942 after Battle of Santa Cruz Islands.

                  11/26 The Oakland transferred to Task Group 50.1, composed of 2 CV, 1 CVL. 4 CA, 1 CL (AA) and 6 DD. This ship assumed duties of Screen Commander and operated with the screen.

                  12/04 Sat. Aircraft from task force which includes six carriers (Rear Adm. C. A. Pownall) bomb Kwajalein and Wotje Atolls, Marshall Islands. United States naval vessels damaged, Marshall Islands: Carrier LEXINGTON (CV-16), by aircraft torpedo, 13 d. 30' N., 171 d. 25' E. Light cruiser MOBILE (CL-63), by accidental explosion, 12 d. 47' N., 170 d. 57' E. Destroyer TAYLOR (DD-468), accidentally by United States naval gunfire, 10 d. 00' N., 170 d. 00' E.

                  12/04 Attack launched against the Marshall Islands after high speed run-in from the northeast. The Oakland was assigned "down moon" picket station, detached temporarily from her group. While driving off raids, the ship possibly shot down one attacker. The Lexington (CV16) was hit by a torpedo and this ship covered her with-drawal.


                  Fond memories of a long career

                  Back in World War II, Jim Lotzgesell was an aviator. He flew the OS2U Kingfisher seaplane off the stern catapult of the light cruiser USS Nashville (CL-23), or if the sea was relatively calm, off the water.

                  He survived plane wrecks, mid-air danger, kamikaze attacks and discovered a world of military might he’d never known, as well as a career and comrades he thoroughly enjoyed for more than 21 years.

                  First however, he had to decide which branch to go in.

                  Lotzgesell, a native of Sequim, was going to the University of Washington when Japan’s attack on Dec. 7, 1941, catapulted the United States into World War II.
                  Like many young men, Lotzgesell wanted in. He thought about the Marine Corps for a while but after talking with an old Navy chief, he decided on the Navy.

                  “There was a war going on and I was afraid I was going to miss it,” Lotzgesell said.
                  Once he was officially in the Navy, it didn’t take long before he was aboard the USS Chester (CA-27), a heavy cruiser. For five months he traveled with Task Force 94 to Adak Island in the Aleutians, bombing Matsuwa and Paramushiru in the Kuril Island chain.

                  Lotzgesell remembers when they bombed Paramushiru in heavy fog.

                  “The fog was so thick that we were in a line of U.S. ships and one almost came up our stern. We bombed their airfields and we could hear the Japanese planes above us but the fog was so thick they couldn’t see to drop their bombs. They never did.”

                  Lotzgesell got sick and went to the hospital in Attu. While he was gone he was replaced on the USS Chester. So he got new orders for the USS Nashville (CL-43).

                  Then he started traveling. From the Aleutian Chain, to Seattle, to San Francisco, staying in the very nice Clift Hotel for two weeks, then on a banana boat where he was bunked five men high.

                  “I spent the whole trip on the hatch playing poker,” he said. “In 11 days at sea, I won over $500. I sent it home to my folks.”

                  Then he was on a PB2Y-3, a large, four-engine sea plane that ambled across the Pacific to Tarawa, to Manus, Admiralty Islands, north of New Guinea and one degree south of the Equator.

                  Manus had a large bay and a sailor told him to go out on the dock and wait for a liberty boat which would take him to the USS Nashville.

                  It did, but only after Lotzgesell has spent the day waiting on the pier and getting the worst sunburn of his life.

                  Once aboard, He was flying the OS2U Kingfisher and in a large lagoon.
                  “Once I was flying at about 1,500 feet and as far as I could see there were ships at anchor — American and Australian,” he said. “I never saw anything like that.”

                  The USS Nashville was in Task Force 67 and carried Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

                  “We were bombing islands on the way to the Philippines, everyone knew that’s where we were headed,” Lotzgesell said.

                  The USS Nashville provided fire support at Hollandia, Tanahmerah Bay and Aitape and Biak, Schouten Islands. They were getting ready for the Philippines.
                  Lotzgesell said Douglas MacArthur was the smartest military mind he has ever met.

                  “He could look at a chart of an island and pick out the areas he was gonna hit, where the troops would come in and he was right,” Lotzgesell said.

                  So they kept mopping up islands on the way to the Philippines, he kept flying reconnaissance and firing missions, telling the military where to aim their guns and the USS Nashville kept steaming.

                  There were Australians on the ship and Australian ships in the harbor.

                  They also had Australian flight control on USS Nashville’s bridge.

                  One day, Lotzgesell was up in his seaplane and saw two planes up above him, coming in from the right.

                  “I banked it and dove down to 50 feet off the deck, trying to shake them and they followed me down,” Lotzgesell said.

                  “I then realized they were Australians. I called the ship and told them to get those guys off of me. When I got back to the ship I was pissed off and I was headed to CIC when the Executive Officer caught me by the arm and spun me around and said we don’t want to start another war with the Australians.”

                  Lotzgesell remembers another day, Dec. 13, 1944, as a hot day.

                  They were on their way to Mindoro, south of Luzon, and Lotzgesell was resting on the stern in the shade when he looked up and saw the red of a rising sun on a Japanese plane.

                  It came straight down and hit the USS Nashville between the two stacks. It’s two bombs blew up about 10 feet in the air.

                  The kamikaze killed 133 men and wounded 190 more.

                  “It killed every marine on the ship except for two and most of the chiefs,” Lotzgesell said.

                  “The Marine master sergeant had to match the body parts with the bodies and I offered to help him. I picked up an arm and put it next to a Marine Corps body but it had a wristwatch on and the master sergeant knew the guy didn’t wear a watch,” Lotzgesell said.

                  The ship went back to the West Coast for repairs.

                  While 50 miles off Hawaii, Lotzgesell saved his own life by doing everything right, though he didn’t know it at the time.

                  The Navy had just introduced the Curtiss SC-1 Seahawk, a single-seat reconnaissance seaplane that could be launched from cruisers or battleships.

                  The OS2U Kingfisher, with the back seat, had proven very useful in carrier operations.

                  They could land in the water, pick up downed pilots and get them back to the carriers.

                  Someone had decided to put a stretcher in the fuselage behind the pilot in the SC-1 Seahawk.

                  Lotzgesell was to be the pilot.

                  Traditionally, the paymaster arrived in port first to get the men’s pay ready so he was chosen to go into Hawaii with Lotzgesell.

                  They strapped the paymaster in first, then Lotzgesell, and lowered the plane into the water, which was a little rough.

                  Perhaps because the extra weight of the paymaster, or the rough water, the plane started to bounce. And continued to bounce.

                  “I put the nose up and the plane started to come up but turned over on its side and crashed into the ocean,” Lotzgesell said. “Then it started to sink.”

                  Lotzgesell got out of his seat, pulled it forward and down and got the paymaster out of the stretcher, out of the plane and headed for the surface.

                  Then he started to head up.

                  “But my parachute got hung up on the windshield of the plane and we’re sinking.
                  “I put a foot on the dashboard and pulled and pulled and finally I got free, but then as I got out of the plane and headed up I got hooked up on the antennae which is 20 to 25 feet,” he continued.

                  “I couldn’t stay under water any longer, so I pulled and pulled and finally I was free. As I went up and up I felt I was at the end of my rope but I broke the surface and got air,” he said.

                  Though he had trouble, he managed to inflate his raft, found the paymaster, who was clinging to the big float that had broken off the plane, and relaxed while waiting for the ship’s boat.

                  When the boat showed up, Lotzgesell directed them to the paymaster, who was behind the float and then went back to the ship.

                  “A pilot on board, Bill Haynesworth, later told me when I was bouncing up and down on takeoff my tail horizon stabilizer broke off,” Lotzgesell said.

                  Still, when they compared notes on board, he had done everything right.

                  “Training,” he said.

                  Lotzgesell spent more than 21 years in the Navy. He was sent to Whidbey Island after World War II.

                  Also after the war on March 5, 1946, he married his sweetheart, Shirley, who he’s still married to today.

                  And he’s continued to do right.

                  Every Monday morning, he gets together with other veterans at Artie’s restaurant. They talk about what they went through and how it was worth it.


                  World War II

                  From August–December 1941, Nashville was based at Bermuda for the Neutrality Patrol in the Central Atlantic. With the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Nashville steamed to Casco Bay, Maine, where she joined with a troop and cargo convoy to escort them to Iceland. She continued escort duty to Bermuda and Iceland until February 1942.

                  Doolittle Raid

                  On 4 March 1942, she rendezvoused with Hornet off the Virginia Capes, and then escorted the aircraft carrier to the West Coast via the Panama Canal, arriving on 20 March at San Diego. Hornet and Nashville steamed from San Francisco on 2 April, with the carrier laden with 16 Army B-25 Mitchell medium bombers on her flight deck, bombers under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, USAAF, for the Doolittle Raid on Japan. On 13 April, they rendezvoused with other US Navy warships, under Vice Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., north of Midway Atoll, and then they set course for Japan. When about 1,000 mi (1,600 km) away from Japan on 17 April, the destroyers of the task force were detached due to lack of fuel, and then Nashville, the other escorting cruisers, and Hornet and Enterprise made a high-speed dash to the air raid launching point 500 mi (800 km) from Japan. The next day, the task force was sighted by a Japanese picket boat, which reported the presence of the carrier task force before being sunk by scout planes from Enterprise. A second picket boat was then sunk by gunfire from Nashville, but the advantage of surprise was lost. The B–25s were launched 150 mi (240 km) short of the intended launching point in heavy seas. Immediately after the launch, the strike force reversed course and steamed eastwards for Honolulu. The "Shangri-La" task force returned to Pearl Harbor on 25 April.

                  Flagship

                  Nashville left Hawaii on 14 May 1942 to become the flagship of Task Force 8 (TF 8) defending Alaska and the Aleutians, and arrived at Dutch Harbor, Alaska on 26 May. She steamed for Kodiak, Alaska two days later to join with other units of the task force. On 3–4 June, Japanese carrier planes struck Dutch Harbor. Nashville and her accompanying warships were unable to make contact with the enemy due to heavy fogs. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto withdrew his diversionary force from the Aleutians after his defeat at the Battle of Midway. As the Japanese departed, they left occupying forces behind on Attu and Kiska Islands in the Aleutians. From June–November, Nashville patrolled the North Pacific Ocean, and participated in the attack on Kiska on 7 August, in which heavy damage was inflicted on Japanese shore installations.

                  Nashville arrived at Pearl Harbor on 22 November and proceeded south to the Fiji Islands on 24 December. At Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, she became flagship of TF 67. After escorting troopships to Guadalcanal, Nashville, Helena, and St. Louis inflicted heavy damage on the Japanese air base at Munda on the night of 4 January 1943. Subsequent attacks were made on Kolombangara and New Georgia in the next several months. While shelling Vila airfield on Kolombangara on the night of 12 May, she suffered a powder charge explosion in one of her forward turrets, killing 18 and injuring 17.

                  Leaving Espiritu Santo on 22 May, Nashville arrived at Mare Island Naval Shipyard for repairs and modernization. Departing from San Francisco on 6 August, she arrived at Pearl Harbor on 12 August to join carrier task forces for strikes on Marcus Island and Wake Island during the next two months.

                  Nashville returned to Espiritu Santo on 25 October and for the next seven months, she shelled targets on New Guinea and the Admiralty Islands. Against the Japanese, Nashville provided fire support for the landings on Bougainville Island and Cape Gloucester, New Britain. After bombarding Wake Island on 21–22 April 1944, Nashville provided fire support and carried General of the Army Douglas MacArthur to the amphibious operations at Hollandia (currently known as Jayapura), Tanahmerah Bay, and Aitape, on 22–23 April. On 27 May, the light cruiser was a member of the assault force shelling Biak, Schouten Islands, where on 4 June, she sustained moderate damage from a near miss while repelling a Japanese air attack.

                  After repairs at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, Nashville twice more carried General MacArthur and his staff to the invasion of Morotai, Dutch East Indies in mid-September. She carried General MacArthur on his return to the Philippines, for which she sailed from Manus on 16 October. She provided fire support for the Leyte Island landings on 20 October, and she remained on station at the mouth of Leyte Gulf until 25 October, guarding the troops on the beachhead and the nearby transports. Returning to Manus Island for brief repairs, Nashville left the Admiralties on 28 November as the flagship for the Commander, Visayan Attack Force, en route to the invasion of Mindoro.


                  USS Nashville (CL-43)


                  Figure 1: USS Nashville (CL-43) in the Hudson River, New York City, in 1939. The Palisade Amusement Park is in the right distance. Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1969. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


                  Figure 2: USS Nashville (CL-43) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, on 1 April 1942. She is wearing Measure 12 (Modified) camouflage. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the US National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.


                  Figure 3: USS Nashville (CL-43) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, on 4 August 1943. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the US National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.


                  Figure 4: Doolittle Raid on Japan, April 1942. USS Nashville (CL-43) firing her 6-inch main battery guns at a Japanese picket boat encountered by the raid task force, 18 April 1942. Photographed from USS Salt Lake City (CA-25). Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


                  Figure 5: USS Nashville (CL-43) bombarding Kiska Island, Aleutians, on 8 August 1942. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


                  Figure 6: Leyte invasion, October 1944. General Douglas MacArthur's flagship, USS Nashville (CL-43), anchored off Leyte during the landings, circa 21 October 1944. Nashville wears camouflage Measure 33, Design 21d. Official US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.


                  Figure 7: Leyte invasion, October 1944. General Douglas MacArthur (right, seen in profile) on the bridge of USS Nashville (CL-43), off Leyte during the landings there in late October 1944. Standing in the center (also seen in profile) is Lieutenant General George C. Kenney. Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the US National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.


                  Figure 8: USS Nashville (CL-43) crewmen cleaning up the port side 5-inch gun battery, after the ship was hit in that area by a Kamikaze on 13 December 1944, while en route to the Mindoro invasion. Note fire damage to the guns and nearby structure. Official US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.


                  Figure 9: USS Nashville (CL-43) underway in Puget Sound, Washington, on 25 March 1945. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the US National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.

                  Named after the capital of the state of Tennessee, the 9,475-ton USS Nashville (CL-43) was a Brooklyn class light cruiser that was built by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation at Camden, New Jersey, and was commissioned on 6 June 1938. The ship was approximately 608 feet long and 61 feet wide, had a top speed of 32 knots, and had a crew of 868 officers and men. As built, Nashville was armed with fifteen 6-inch guns, eight 5-inch guns, and eight .50-caliber machine guns.

                  After being commissioned, Nashville went on a shakedown cruise in the Caribbean. In early August, the ship steamed to northern Europe for a goodwill visit, arriving at Cherbourg, France, on 24 August 1938. Nashville continued her trip to Portland, England, where 25 million dollars in British gold bullion was placed on board the ship. The cruiser left Portland on 21 September and arrived at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York, nine days later. Once there, she unloaded the gold and on 5 October went to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for an overhaul.

                  In the spring of 1939, Nashville brought American representatives for the Pan American Defense Conference to Rio de Janiero, Brazil, and then carried them back to Annapolis, Maryland, on 20 June 1939. On 23 June, the cruiser left Norfolk, Virginia, for the Pacific via the Panama Canal, arriving at San Pedro, California, on 16 July. Nashville remained based there for two years. In February 1941, Nashville and three other cruisers brought US Marines to garrison Wake Island. Then on 20 May, she left Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, for the east coast, arriving at Boston, Massachusetts, on 19 June to escort a convoy carrying Marines to Iceland.

                  From August to December 1941, Nashville was based at Bermuda and escorted “neutrality patrols” in the central Atlantic. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, Nashville steamed to Casco Bay, Maine, where she escorted a troop and cargo convoy to Iceland. She then continued escorting convoys between Bermuda and Iceland until February 1942.

                  On 4 March 1942, Nashville rendezvoused with the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) off the coast of Virginia and escorted the carrier to California via the Panama Canal. The ships arrived at San Diego, California, on 20 March. Hornet and Nashville then left San Diego on 2 April under the command of Admiral William Halsey. What made this trip different was that Hornet was carrying a full load of 16 US Army Air Corps B-25 bombers, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle. On 13 April 1942, Hornet and Nashville rendezvoused with Task Force 16 just north of Midway Island in the Pacific. The big task force set course for Japan.

                  On 17 April 1942, when the American warships were 1,000 miles from Japan, the small destroyers were detached from the group and told to return to Pearl Harbor. Nashville, along with the other cruisers in the task force, accompanied the carriers Hornet and USS Enterprise (CV-6) on a high-speed run to the launching point for the B-25 bombers. On 18 April, the task force was sighted by a Japanese picket boat, which reported the position of the task force before being sunk by scout planes from Enterprise. A second scout boat then was spotted and sunk by Nashville’s guns. But now the planes had to be launched since the element of surprise was lost. Doolittle’s planes were launched that day 150 miles short of their intended destination and in heavy seas. As soon as all of the bombers were launched, all of the ships in the task force reversed course and headed back to Pearl Harbor. They all returned unharmed to Pearl Harbor on 25 April 1942. The famous “Doolittle Raid” also turned out to be a major success (perhaps not militarily in terms of the number of targets destroyed, but it certainly was a huge morale boost for the American people at a time when all the war news looked pretty grim).

                  Nashville left Pearl Harbor on 14 May 1942 and became the flagship of Task Force 8, which was given the job of defending Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. Nashville arrived at Dutch Harbor, Alaska, on 26 May and then sailed to Kodiak two days later to join other units of the task force. On 3 and 4 June, Japanese carrier planes struck Dutch Harbor, but Nashville and her task force were unable to make contact with the enemy due to a heavy fog. Major Japanese naval forces were withdrawn from the area after Japan’s huge defeat at Midway, but as the Japanese departed the area they left occupying forces behind on the Aleutian islands of Attu and Kiska. From June to November 1942, Nashville patrolled the north Pacific and participated in the attack on Kiska on 7 August in which heavy damage was inflicted on Japanese shore installations.

                  On 22 November 1942, Nashville left the Aleutians and returned to Pearl Harbor. The ship was transferred to the south Pacific, where she took part in raids against Japanese bases in the central Solomon Islands. While shelling New Georgia and Kolombangara on the night of 12-13 May 1943, an explosion in one of her gun turrets killed eighteen of her crewmen. Nashville left the Solomon Islands and returned to the United States, going to the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, California, for repairs.

                  Nashville left Mare Island on 6 August 1943 and returned to Pearl Harbor on 12 August to join a carrier task force for strikes on Marcus and Wake Islands. After those raids were completed, Nashville returned to the south Pacific in October 1943. During the next year, Nashville participated in amphibious landings at Bougainville, New Britain, northern New Guinea, Morotai, and Leyte, providing gunfire support and frequently serving as General Douglas MacArthur’s combat flagship. While en route to the invasion of Mindoro, the Philippines, on 13 December 1944, Nashville was hit by a Japanese kamikaze. The aircraft crashed into her port 5-inch gun mount, with both of the plane’s bombs exploding about ten feet off the deck. Gasoline fires and exploding ammunition made her midships area an inferno, but although 133 men were killed and 190 wounded, her remaining 5-inch guns continued to provide antiaircraft fire. The damaged cruiser limped back to Pearl Harbor and from there went to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Washington, for extensive repairs. Nashville remained in the shipyard from January to March 1945.

                  Nashville returned to active duty in May 1945 and participated in operations in the East Indies and the South China Sea during the last months of World War II. In mid-September 1945, soon after Japan surrendered, Nashville arrived at Shanghai to support the removal of Japanese forces from China. After leaving the Far East in November 1945, Nashville made two voyages to America’s west coast as part of “Operation Magic Carpet,” helping to bring home US service personnel from the Pacific.

                  Nashville was ordered to steam to the Atlantic in January 1946, where she was inactivated at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The ship was decommissioned on 24 June 1946, but remained in reserve until 1950. After being overhauled at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, USS Nashville was sold to Chile on 9 January 1951 and renamed Capitan Prat. The ship was an active unit of the Chilean Navy until 1982. In 1983 the cruiser was renamed once again and became Chacabuco, but was sold for scrapping shortly after that.


                  Kamikaze Images

                  On December 13, 1944, a kamikaze aircraft carrying a bomb under each wing crashed into the deck of light cruiser USS Nashville (CL43) with both bombs exploding. The kamikaze attack and resulting fires killed 133 and wounded 190, and the serious damage required the ship to return to the States for repairs and forced the ship out of the war in the western Pacific until May 1945. Steven George Bustin, whose father served as gunner's mate for three and a half years on the ship, has written a fine history that skillfully weaves the high points of Nashville's history from official naval documents and the personal stories of men who served aboard her during her US Navy service from her commissioning (June 1938) to her designation for disposal as surplus (March 1946).

                  This ship history displays the thoroughness of Bustin's research, who mentions at the beginning of the book that it was "an endeavor of 98% research and 2% writing." The book has a ten-page bibliography and listing of other sources, but unfortunately it lacks an index to quickly locate the numerous men and places mentioned. Historical photos of the ship and crew totaling 35 pages are displayed throughout the book. The book's ten chapters cover Nashville's history in chronological order, but the author does not try to cover every single event in the ship's history but rather selects the most significant ones. The numerous crewmember eyewitness accounts make the history come alive and provide humor.

                  Nashville had a distinguished history in WWII. Highlights include participating in the Doolittle B-25 bomber air raid on Tokyo in April 1942, cruising the north Pacific to defend Alaska and the Aleutian Islands from May to November 1942, shelling various Japanese-held Pacific islands in 1943 and 1944, serving frequently as flagship for General Douglas MacArthur including during his return to the Philippines, and fighting off 90 air attacks over 40 days in the Philippines between late October and early December 1944. Before the devastating kamikaze attack, Nashville had a couple of close calls. On June 4, 1944, a bomb dropped by a Japanese aircraft exploded next to the ship resulting in no casualties but causing moderate damage that took about one month to repair before she returned to battle. On October 26, 1944, a Japanese torpedo bomber released a torpedo that missed less than 15 yards off Nashville's stern.

                  Even before the kamikaze crash on December 13, 1944, Nashville's crewmen had witnessed suicide attacks on other ships and knew well the danger of a kamikaze crash. On November 1, 1944, a kamikaze plane hit the destroyer Abner Read (DD-526), and Nashville had to maneuver hard to avoid being struck when she released her torpedoes just before sinking. On December 11, 1945, three kamikaze aircraft hit and quickly sank the destroyer Reid (DD-369), and Nashville picked up 150 survivors. The book includes personal accounts from about 30 survivors regarding the kamikaze attack on Nashville off the southern end of Negros Island in the Philippines, but most of these are quite short and some like the following example (p. 135) are not direct quotations from survivors:

                  GM3c Alfonso Garcia Vejar had just left his station as he was relieved and went below deck to eat. The man that took his place was killed instantly. Alfonso was alive by sheer chance and fate.

                  The Japanese reported several times that Nashville had been sunk, but the light cruiser survived through the end of the war. After Puget Sound Navy Yard workers repaired Nashville's kamikaze damage, the ship returned to the western Pacific in May 1945 and spent the final months of the war primarily supporting operations in Borneo. In 1951, the US Navy transferred the ship to the Chilean Navy, who used her until finally sold for scrap in 1983.

                  The book contains just a few typos and misspellings, such as McArthur instead of MacArthur and Yamato instead of Yamamoto. The description of the end of the war has an incorrect statement that all of the eight kamikaze planes led by Vice Admiral Ugaki were shot down (p. 166), but actually it is not known what happened to them, and it is likely that most or all of them crashed into the sea without finding any American ships during their nighttime flight.

                  The title Humble Heroes describes the crewmen's sincere humbleness regarding their service during WWII. The Preface ends with the following words:

                  All of them were in danger at various times and all of them saw the grotesqueness of death during war. Many displayed stunning acts of heroism in defense of their ship and the care of their shipmates. Yet never once during hundreds of conversations did I hear a boastful remark from a crew member in regards to his role and actions. They were proud and boastful about the ship and their crewmates, never about themselves. They truly were, and are, humble heroes.


                  Kamikaze damage amidships
                  USS Nashville CL43


                  USS Nashville (CL-43), 1938-1951

                  USS Nashville, a 9475-ton Brooklyn class light cruiser built at Camden, New Jersey, was commissioned in June 1938. During mid-1938 she cruised to the Caribbean and to Europe, completing the voyage by transporting a shipment of gold from Great Britain to the United States. The next year, Nashville carried diplomatic representatives to Brazil and, in July 1939, steamed through the Panama Canal to take up duties in the Pacific. She returned to the Atlantic in June 1940 to serve on the Neutrality Patrol and in "short of war" operations and remained in the north Atlantic area through the first months of World War II.

                  In March 1942, Nashville escorted the new aircraft carrier Hornet to the Pacific and in April accompanied her on the Doolittle Raid on Japan, during which she first fired her guns "in anger" when the task force encountered Japanese picket boats. From May until November 1942, the cruiser served in the north Pacific. In August she took part in a bombardment of enemy-held Kiska Island, in the Aleutians. Late in the year, Nashville shifted her operations to the south Pacific, where she took part in raids against Japanese bases in the central Solomons. While shelling New Georgia and Kolombangara on the night of 12-13 May 1943, an explosion in one of her gun turrets killed eighteen of her crewmen.

                  After shipyard repairs, Nashville took part in raids on Marcus and Wake Islands before returning to the south Pacific in October 1943. During the next year, she participated in amphibious landings at Bougainville, New Britain, northern New Guinea, Morotai and Leyte, providing gunfire support and frequently serving as General Douglas MacArthur's combat flagship. While en route to the invasion of Mindoro on 13 December 1944 Nashville was hit by a suicide plane, losing more than 130 of her crew and suffering serious fire damage amidships. Repairs at the Puget Sound Navy Yard were made during January-March 1945.

                  Nashville returned to the war zone in May 1945 and took part in operations in the East Indies and South China Sea during the remaining months of World War II. In mid-September, soon after the surrender of Japan, she arrived at Shanghai to support the removal of Japanese forces from China. After leaving the Far East in November 1945, the cruiser made two voyages to the U.S. west coast as part of Operation "Magic Carpet", helping to bring home service personnel from the Pacific. Nashville went to the Atlantic in January 1946 and was inactivated at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, where she decommissioned in June. Sold to Chile in January 1951 and renamed Capitan Prat, she was an active unit of the Chilean Navy until 1982. The ship was again renamed in 1983, becoming Chacabuco, but was sold for scrapping shortly afterwards.

                  On a day like today. 1807: British officers of the H.M.S. Leopard boarded the U.S.S. Chesapeake after she had set sail for the Mediterranean, and demanded the right to search the ship for deserters.

                  1813: A British force attempted to take Craney Island, the fort there was one of the key defenses to Norfolk's inner harbor and was home to the frigate "Constellation".

                  1864: Union forces attempt to capture a railroad that had been supplying Petersburg from the south and extend their lines to the Appomattox River.

                  1864: U.S.S. Lexington, Acting Ensign Henry Booby, withstood a surprise Confederate strike on White River Station, Arkansas, and forced the attacking Confederate troops to withdraw.


                  1865: The Confederate raider Shenandoah fires the last shot of the Civil War in the Bering Strait.

                  1898: Admiral Sampson begins amphibious landing near Santiago, Cuba. Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt and Col. Leonard Wood led the Rough Riders, a volunteer cavalry regiment, onto the beach at Daiquiri in the Spanish American War.


                  1941: During Operation Barbarossa over 3 million German troops invade Russia in three parallel offensives, in what is the most powerful invasion force in history. Nineteen panzer divisions, 3,000 tanks, 2,500 aircraft, and 7,000 artillery pieces pour across a thousand-mile front as Hitler goes to war on a second front.

                  1942: A Japanese submarine shelled Fort Stevens, Oregon, at the mouth of the Columbia River.

                  1944: President Roosevelt signed the GI Bill of Rights, authorizing a broad package of benefits for World War II veterans.

                  1944: After a preparatory air raid on Cherbourg, in which over 1000 tons of bombs are dropped, the divisions of the US 7th Corps (part of US 1st Army) begin assaulting the city of Cherbourg. There is heavy German resistance.


                  Nashville departed Philadelphia on 19 July 1938 for shakedown in the Caribbean. In early August, she sailed for Northern Europe on a good will visit, arriving at Cherbourg , France on 24 August. Getting underway on 21 September from Portland, England, with $25,000,000 in British gold bullion aboard, Nashville arrived at Brooklyn Navy Yard on 30 September, off-loaded the gold, and returned to Philadelphia on 5 October.

                  In the spring of 1939, Nashville carried American representatives to the Pan American Defense Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, returning them to Annapolis , Maryland on 20 June 1939. On 23 June, she steamed westwards from Norfolk, Virginia for the Pacific via the Panama Canal, arriving at San Pedro , California, on 16 July for two years of operations. In February 1941, she and three other cruisers carried US Marines to Wake Island. On 20 May, she departed Pearl Harbor for the east coast, arriving Boston on 19 June to escort a convoy carrying Marines to Iceland.

                  World War II

                  From August–December 1941, Nashville was based at Bermuda for the Neutrality Patrol in the Central Atlantic. With the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Nashville steamed to Casco Bay, Maine, where she joined with a troop and cargo convoy to escort them to Iceland. She continued escort duty to Bermuda and Iceland until February 1942.

                  Doolittle Raid

                  On 4 March 1942, she rendezvoused with Hornet off the Virginia Capes, and then escorted the aircraft carrier to the West Coast via the Panama Canal, arriving on 20 March at San Diego. Hornet and Nashville steamed from San Francisco on 2 April, with the carrier laden with 16 Army B-25 Mitchell medium bombers on her flight deck, bombers under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, USAAF , for the Doolittle Raid on Japan. On 13 April, they rendezvoused with other US Navy warships, under Vice Admiral William F. Halsey Jr. , north of Midway Atoll, and then they set course for Japan. When about 1,000 mi (1,600 km) away from Japan on 17 April, the destroyers of the task force were detached due to lack of fuel, and then Nashville, the other escorting cruisers, and Hornet and Enterprise made a high-speed dash to the air raid launching point 500 mi (800 km) from Japan. The next day, the task force was sighted by a Japanese picket boat, which reported the presence of the carrier task force before being sunk by scout planes from Enterprise. A second picket boat was then sunk by gunfire from Nashville, but the advantage of surprise was lost. The B󈞅s were launched 150 mi (240 km) short of the intended launching point in heavy seas. Immediately after the launch, the strike force reversed course and steamed eastwards for Honolulu. The "Shangri-La" task force returned to Pearl Harbor on 25 April.

                  Flagship

                  Nashville left Hawaii on 14 May 1942 to become the flagship of Task Force 8 (TF 8) defending Alaska and the Aleutians , and arrived at Dutch Harbor, Alaska on 26 May. She steamed for Kodiak, Alaska two days later to join with other units of the task force, including her sisters USS Phoenix and USS Honolulu as well as two heavy cruisers and 6 destroyers . On 3𔃂 June, Japanese carrier planes struck Dutch Harbor. Nashville and her accompanying warships were unable to make contact with the enemy due to heavy fogs. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto withdrew his diversionary force from the Aleutians after his defeat at the Battle of Midway. As the Japanese departed, they left occupying forces behind on Attu and Kiska Islands in the Aleutians. From June–November, Nashville patrolled the North Pacific Ocean, and participated in the attack on Kiska on 7 August, in which heavy damage was inflicted on Japanese shore installations.

                  Nashville arrived at Pearl Harbor on 22 November and proceeded south to the Fiji Islands on 24 December. At Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, she became flagship of TF 67. After escorting troopships to Guadalcanal, Nashville, Helena, and St. Louis inflicted heavy damage on the Japanese air base at Munda on the night of 4 January 1943. Subsequent attacks were made on Kolombangara and New Georgia in the next several months. While shelling Vila airfield on Kolombangara on the night of 12 May, she suffered a powder charge explosion in one of her forward turrets, killing 18 and injuring 17.

                  Leaving Espiritu Santo on 22 May, Nashville arrived at Mare Island Naval Shipyard for repairs and modernization. Departing from San Francisco on 6 August, she arrived at Pearl Harbor on 12 August to join carrier task forces for strikes on Marcus Island and Wake Island during the next two months.

                  Nashville returned to Espiritu Santo on 25 October and for the next seven months, she shelled targets on New Guinea and the Admiralty Islands. Against the Japanese, Nashville provided fire support for the landings on Bougainville Island and Cape Gloucester, New Britain. After bombarding Wake Island on 21󈞂 April 1944, Nashville provided fire support and carried General of the Army Douglas MacArthur to the amphibious operations at Hollandia (currently known as Jayapura), Tanahmerah Bay, and Aitape, on 22󈞃 April. On 27 May, the light cruiser was a member of the assault force shelling Biak, Schouten Islands, where on 4 June, she sustained moderate damage from a near miss while repelling a Japanese air attack.

                  After repairs at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, Nashville twice more carried General MacArthur and his staff to the invasion of Morotai, Dutch East Indies in mid-September. She carried General MacArthur on his return to the Philippines, for which she sailed from Manus on 16 October. She provided fire support for the Leyte Island landings on 20 October, and she remained on station at the mouth of Leyte Gulf until 25 October, guarding the troops on the beachhead and the nearby transports. Returning to Manus Island for brief repairs, Nashville left the Admiralties on 28 November as the flagship for the Commander, Visayan Attack Force, en route to the invasion of Mindoro.

                  Kamikaze attack

                  On 13 December, she was struck by a kamikaze off Negros Island. The aircraft crashed into her port 5 in/127mm gun mount, with both bombs exploding about 10 ft (3 m) off her deck. [5] Gasoline fires and exploding ammunition made her midships area an inferno, but although 133 sailors were killed and 190 wounded, her remaining 5 in (127 mm) guns continued to provide anti-aircraft fire.

                  The Attack Group Commander, Rear Admiral Arthur Dewey Struble, shifted his flag to Dashiell, and Nashville steamed via San Pedro Bay in the Philippines and Pearl Harbor, Oahu, to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, arriving on 12 January 1945, for heavy repairs. Underway on 12 March, Nashville departed westward from San Diego, California on 15 April after training exercises.


                  Watch the video: The USS Nashville and the Return to the Philippines