Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Atlanta (CL-51)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Atlanta (CL-51)

USS Atlanta (CL-51), the first of a new class of ships originally conceived as destroyer flotilla leaders but which came to be employed as particularly effective antiaircraft cruisers, she was laid down on 22 April 1940 at Kearny, N.J., by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co.; launched on 6 September 1941; sponsored by Mrs. John R. Marsh (better known by her pen name, Margaret Mitchell, the author of the novel Gone With the Wind; and commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on the day before Christmas [24 December] 1941, Capt. Samuel P. Jenkins in command.

After fitting out, USS Atlanta (CL-51) conducted shakedown training until 13 March 1942, first in Chesapeake Bay and then in Maine's Casco Bay, after which she returned to the New York Navy Yard for post-shakedown repairs and alterations. Reaching Pearl on 13 June 1942, USS Atlanta (CL-51), outside of a brief period of antiaircraft practice on 21, 25 and 26 June, remained in port, taking on stores and provisions and standing on 24-hour and then 48-hour alert into July 1942.

Throughout the day on 24 August 1942, USS Atlanta (CL-51) received enemy contact reports and screened USS Enterprise as she launched a strike group to seek out the Japanese carriers. Underway on 13 September 1942, the light cruiser assumed duty as escort for the Noumea-bound ammunition ship USS Lassen (AE-3) and the aircraft transport  USS Hammondsport (APV-2) on the 15th. Ultimately, at 2015 on 13 November 1942, USS Atlanta (CL-51) sank three miles west of Lunga Point in 30 fathoms. Her name was stricken from the Navy list on 13 January 1943.

For a complete history of USS Atlanta (CL-51) please see its DANFS page.