capital of Hawaii.
9,650; length 608'4": beam 61'9"; draft 19'5"; speed 34 knots; complement 868; armament 15 6", 8
5", 8 .50 caliber machine guns;
The second Honolulu (CL-48) was laid down on
10 September 1935 by the New York Navy Yard;
launched on 26 August 1937; sponsored by Miss Helen Poindexter, daughter
of the Governor of Hawaii; and commissioned
on 15 June 1938, Captain Oscar Smith in command.
After a shakedown cruise to England
Honolulu engaged in fleet problems and exercises in the Caribbean. She sailed
from New York on 24 May 1939 to join the
Pacific fleet, arriving San Pedro, Calif.,
on 14 June.
Honolulu stands in to Honolulu harbor, July 1939, her crew at quarters; note Aloha Tower
in background. (National Archives photograph 80-G-451205)
For the remainder of the year 1939 she engaged in exercises
along the West Coast. During the first
half of 1940, Honolulu continued operations out of Long
Beach and after overhaul
at Puget Sound, sailed 5 November for duty out of Pearl Harbor. She operated there through 1941 and was moored
at the Naval Station when the Japanese launched their surprise attack on
7 December 1941. Honolulu
suffered only minor hull damage from a near miss. Following repairs she
sailed 12 January 1942 to escort a convoy to San Francisco, arriving
21 January. The cruiser continued
convoy escort duty to Australia,
Samoa, and the United
States until late May.
With the Japanese pushing
north toward the Alaskan peninsula, Honolulu departed 29 May to strengthen America's position in that area. After 2 months of
continuous operations out of
Kodiak, she proceeded to Kiska Island in the Aleutians 7 August, to begin
bombardment of the island. On 21
August, she screened the first American landings in the Aleutians at Adak
Island (a jumping-off place for future landings in the island chain).
After a yard period at Mare Island,
Honolulu departed San
Francisco 3 November escorting a convoy to Noumea. Later that month Honolulu
sailed from Espiritu Santo to intercept an enemy convoy attempting
to reinforce positions on Guadalcanal.
The Battle of Tassafaronga began shortly before midnight 30 November, continuing
through the night Although Admiral
Wright's Task Force 67 suffered
damage to cruisers Minneapolis, New Orleans, and Pensacola
and lost Northampton in this battle, the enemy was denied the
planned reinforcement of Guadalcanal.
out of Espiritu Santo in early 1943 with
Task Force 67 in an attempt to engage the "Tokyo Express." During May she engaged in heavy bombardment on New Georgia in the Solomon Islands.
Honolulu departed Espiritu Santo
28 June for more bombardment of the Solomons. After supporting the landings on New Georgia on
the 4th of July, she opened fire on enemy ships in the vicinity of Kula
Gulf, knocking out one
destroyer and assisting in the
destruction of others.
The battle-proved cruiser
had another opportunity to damage the Japanese fleet 13 July in the
Battle of Kolombangara. Shortly after midnight contact was made with an enemy cruiser-destroyer force in the
"Slot." At 0110, Honolulu
opened fire on a Sendai
class cruiser; after three salvos the
target burst into flame and was soon dead in the water. Honolulu
then shifted fire on an enemy destroyer,
which was immediately hit and disappeared. At 0211, a torpedo very near the
surface struck the starboard side of Honolulu, causing
hull damage. The task force then retired
to Tulagi for temporary repairs, and on 16 August Honolulu
arrived Pearl Harbor
After additional repairs
at Mare Island,
Honolulu departed San Francisco
17 November to continue her effective
role in the struggle against Japan.
She arrived Espiritu Santo 11 December, resuming operations in the Solomons later that month. On 27 December she engaged in the bombardment of an enemy barge, troop, and
supply concentration on Bougainville
Island. In the early
months of 1944 the cruiser continued bombardment and patrol of the Solomon Islands. She screened the
landings off Green Island 13 February before retiring to begin preparations for
the Saipan and Guam operations.
part in bombardment of the southeastern part
of Saipan in early June as the American Navy
drove steadily across the Pacific. While bombarding Guam in mid-June, Honolulu was
deployed north to intercept the Japanese
fleet. She returned to Eniwetok 28 June for replenishment before providing support for the invasion of Guam. She
remained on station for 3 weeks performing
great service with her accurate gunfire before returning to Purvis Bay, Florida
Island, 18 August. Honolulu sailed
6 September to provide fire support for the landings on Palau Island,
remaining in this area during
September uncontested by the Japanese fleet. America now had decisive command of
the sea and therefore full freedom of operations.
the staging area at Manus
Island 12 October
and sailed for the Philippine Islands invasion. She began bombardment 19 October at Leyte Gulf
and the next day began screening the
landings. At 1600, 20 October an
enemy torpedo plane was sighted as it aimed its torpedo at Honolulu.
Despite the skillful maneuvering of Captain Thurber to evade, the torpedo found its mark on the port
Honolulu off Dulag, Leyte, 20 October 1944, after being torpedoed; fleet
tug Potawatomi (ATF-109) lies alongside Honoluluís port
bow, Menominee (ATF-73) is alongside to starboard. (National Archives
the next day, arrived Manus 29 October for temporary repairs, sailed for Norfolk 19 November, arriving
20 December via Pearl Harbor and San
Diego. Honolulu remained
at Norfolk for the duration of the war undergoing repairs and after a shakedown cruise
in October 1945, sailed to Newport for duty as a
training ship. Honolulu
arrived at Philadelphia on 8 January 1946
and decommissioned there on 3 February
1947 and joined the Reserve Fleet at Philadelphia.
On 1 March 1959, Honolulu was
stricken from the Naval Vessel Register; on 17 November 1959, she was sold to
Bethlehem Steel Co. for scrap.
Honolulu (CL-48) received eight battle stars for
World War II service.