Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Northampton (CLC-1, later CC-1), 1953-1970

Originally laid down as an Oregon City-class heavy cruiser, USS Northampton (CA-125) was converted to a command light cruiser and received the hull designation of CLC-1.  Commissioned on March 7, 1953, at Fore River Yard, Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Quincy, Massachusetts, Northampton was assigned flagship duty.  For the next two years, she was the flagship for Commander Amphibious Force and then for the Sixth Fleet.   In the fall of 1955, she became the flagship for Commander Strike Force, Atlantic, and periodically served as such for the next fifteen years.   Following an overall in 1956, she gave the first public demonstration of the Terrier missile.  In April 1961, Northampton was redesignated as CC-1 and remained on duty in the Atlantic where she extensively tested and evaluated new communications equipment while hosting national and international dignitaries.  Decommissioned in February 1970, she was struck from the Naval Register in 1977. 

A model of Northhampton can be found in the America's Wars in Vietnam section at National Museum of the U.S. Navy (Cold War Gallery).   

Image:  80-G-634775:  USS Northampton (CLC-1), off Boston Harbor, Massachusetts, broadside view, March 3, 1954.   Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.