USS Atlanta, Juneau, San Diego, San Juan, Oakland, Reno, Flint, Tucson.
The USN first AA cruisers (1941)
At the end of the 1930s, the concept of “super destroyer” became fashionable. The Admiralty also sought to define a new type of light cruiser to replace the old Omaha from the 1920s. The concept had resulted in a lightweight generic building exclusively armed with standard 127mm guns in these new double turrets. semi-automated, with anti-aircraft capabilities as well as anti-ships.
To survive in front of heavier units, they had to rely on their speed. The tonnage limited to 6,000 tons was born of a bond of the second treaty of London in 1936 for the replacements. Initially there were only 4 ships, followed by 4 others much later, but the war had broken out in the meantime, and they were redefined in the 1940 rearmament program in a series of 11 units.
From Oakland, they differed by an open deck and additional DCA instead of their side turrets. Poys the increase of DCA during the war brought many modifications including the addition of ballasts, the removal of TLT, new superstructures more concentrated, for the last launched in 1944-46, Juneau (2), Spokane and Fresno. They did not participate in the conflict unlike the other 8 ended in 1942-45, USS Atlanta, Juneau, San Diego, San Juan, Oakland, Reno, Flint, and Tucson. (They were all named after major Texan cities).
The first four, accepted in emergency in January-February 1942 were immediately precipitated in the hell of the Salomon Islands: two did not return, Atlanta and Juneau, poured together on November 13 near Guadalcanal. These were the only losses of the war.
The others then served as AA protection for the large Task Forces of the Pacific. Their characteristics made them relatively unhelpful vessels, as their machines proved to be disappointing, their speed and maneuverability very inadequate. As pilots of destroyers squadrons and shepherds, they proved a little more useful. They remained in service between 20 and 25 years, (disarmed 1962-66, even 1973 for Spokane).
USS Juneau in 1942, showing her particular camouflage
Characteristics (in 1941):
Displacement: 6,718 t. standard -8,340 t. Full Load
Dimensions: 165 m long, 16.21 m wide, 6.25 m draft
Machinery: 2 shaft Westinghouses turbines, 4 B & W boilers, 75,000 hp.
Top speed: 32.5 knots
Shielding: Max: 90 mm
Armament: 16 guns of 127 (8 × 2), 16 of 40 mm AA (4 × 4), 8 of 20 mm, 8 TLT 533 mm (2 × 4), 80 grenades ASM