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USS Baltimore (CA-68)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Baltimore (CA-68)

USS Baltimore (CA-68) the leader of a new class of post Treaty heavy cruisers was laid down on 26 May 1941 at Quincy, Mass., by the Fore River plant of the Bethlehem Steel Corp.; launched on 28 July 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Howard W. Jackson, wife of the Mayor of Baltimore; and commissioned at the South Boston Annex of the Boston Navy Yard on 15 April 1943, Capt. William C. Calhoun in command.

After fitting out, USS Baltimore (CA-68) sailed for Hampton Roads on 17 June and proceeded up the Chesapeake to Annapolis. USS Baltimore (CA-68) then carried out further gunnery exercises and training off the west coast between 9 and 13 October. After standing out of San Diego Bay on the 16th of that month, she tarried briefly at San Francisco before proceeding independently to Pearl Harbor where she arrived on the 29th.

Reaching Pearl Harbor on 31 October, USS Baltimore (CA-68) exercised off Oahu with Colhoun (DD-801), Bancroft (DD-598), and a group of PT boats, before returning to port on 7 November. Standing out of Hawaiian waters on Armistice Day 1944, the heavy cruiser proceeded via Eniwetok to the Western Carolines and entered Ulithi lagoon soon thereafter. USS Baltimore (CA-68) sortied from Ulithi on 10 December as a unit in the screen of TG 38.1 and protected that group's fast carriers as they hurled strikes against Japanese positions on Luzon between 14 and 16 December.

Departing Bremerton on 9 January 1952, she touched at San Francisco from 9 to 11 January and at San Diego from the 12th to the 17th before sailing for Panama. Operations off the eastern seaboard, between Hampton Roads and Boston, interspersed with a port visit to USS Baltimore (CA-68) and a stint of training in the West Indies occupied her time for the next few months. Baltimore returned to the Mediterranean the following spring, making port at Gibraltar on 6 May 1953. Placed in commission, in reserve, on the day of her arrival, USS Baltimore (CA-68) rejoined the Bremerton group of the Pacific Reserve Fleet and was decommissioned on the last day of May 1956. A third call to duty never came. The cost of activating, repairing, and modernizing the ship was deemed to be disproportionate to her value. She remained in reserve for almost a quarter of a century. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 15 February 1971. 

For a complete history of USS Baltimore (CA-68) please see its DANFS page.