Skip to main content
Related Content
Document Type
  • Themed Collection
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
  • Image (gif, jpg, tiff)
Location of Archival Materials
  • NHHC

USS Helena (CA-75)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Helena (CA-75)

USS Helena (CA-75) received her name while building after the cancellation of CL-113; was launched at Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass., on 28 April 1945, sponsored by Mrs. John T. Haytin, wife of the mayor of Helena; and commissioned on 4 September 1945, Capt. A. H. McCollum in command.

USS Helena (CA-75) completed her outfitting in the Boston area and sailed on 24 October 1945, arriving New York City the next day to take part in the celebration of the Navy's role in World War II victory that marked Navy Day, 27 October 1945. After two shakedown/training periods at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, USS Helena (CA-75) returned to Boston in February 1945 to prepare for her first deployment, a round-the-world cruise. During the next three months, USS Helena (CA-75) conducted training exercises in Northern European waters and paid good-will visits to major ports in England and Scotland.

USS Helena (CA-75) spent much of the spring of 1949 in training a new crew and in May cruised to train Naval Reservists, returning to Long Beach for a conversion necessary to equip her to carry a helicopter. During July and August 1949, USS Helena (CA-75) took part in a six-week at sea training cruise for men of the Naval Reserve Officers' Training Corps to the Galapagos Islands and Panama. USS Helena (CA-75) then proceeded via Yokosuka and Hong Kong to the Philippines where she conducted training exercises. She returned to Japan in January 1950, and soon after experienced the highlights of her service as flagship of the Seventh Fleet when the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then touring the Far East, embarked on 2 February 1951. During the remainder of her Far Eastern tour she carried out a schedule of large scale fleet exercises off Okinawa, and visits to Japanese ports. She departed for the United States 21 May 1950.

USS Helena (CA-75) arrived once again at Yokosuka 8 June 1952 and the next day was underway to rendezvous with Task Force 77 off the coast of Korea. On 24 November 1952, USS Helena (CA-75) was relieved of her normal duties at Yokosuka and 5 days later sailed on a special mission. She called first at Iwo Jima where on 1 December Adm. Arthur W. Radford, Commander in Chief U.S. Pacific Fleet, boarded the ship by helicopter to visit briefly. After six months' training in home waters, USS Helena (CA-75) again sailed for Yokosuka, arriving 25 January 1956. During the six months of this tour of duty, she once more operated primarily in the Taiwan area and briefly in Philippine waters on exercises. She returned to Long Beach 8 July.

During 1961 and 1962, USS Helena (CA-75), operated in West Coast and western Pacific waters, taking part in several amphibious operations with ships of the 1st Fleet and elements of the First Marine Division and Third Marine Air Wing. As the year ended, USS Helena (CA-75) was scheduled for inactivation at Long Beach Naval Shipyard. On 18 March 1963, Commander First Fleet shifted his flag to USS Saint Paul. USS Helena (CA-75) was placed out of commission in Reserve 29 June 1963. USS Helena (CA-75) was transferred in June 1963 to San Diego, Calif., where she remained until stricken from the Navy list on 1 January 1974 and she was sold for scrap on 1 October 1974.

For a complete history of USS Helena (CA-75) please see its DANFS page.