Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Tags
Related Content
Topic
Document Type
  • nhhc-document-types:Themed-Collection
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
  • nhhc-file-format:image
Location of Archival Materials
  • nhhc-location-of-archival-materials:nhhc

USS Birmingham (CL-62)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Birmingham (CL-62)

The second USS Birmingham (CL-62) was laid down on 17 February 1941 at Newport News, Va.; by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co.; launched on 20 March 1942; sponsored by Mrs. C. Green, wife of the President of the Birmingham City Commission; and commissioned at the Norfolk Navy Yard on 29 January 1943, Capt. John Wilkes in command.

The light cruiser fitted out at Norfolk until 20 February 1943 when she began shakedown training in the Chesapeake Bay. After a short period at Norfolk for upkeep in late May, Birmingham sailed east for the Mediterranean on 8 June. USS Birmingham (CL-62) put to sea with TG 86.1 on 29 June and, in company with the light cruiser Brooklyn (CL-40) and the destroyers Buck (DD-420) and Ludlow (DD 438), escorted part of the landing force toward the beaches in the morning on 9 July. USS Birmingham (CL-62) moved to the eastern fire support area and launched two spotting planes to search for enemy artillery batteries on the slopes Mount Desusino.

On 21 July 1943, USS Birmingham (CL-62) steamed west to Bizerte, where she refueled before moving on to Algiers and Mers-el-Kebir. Departing the latter port on the 27th, she sailed across the Atlantic and moored at Norfolk on 8 August. On 24 May 1944, the light cruiser covered a practice amphibious landing on Guadalcanal and followed this up with two gunnery shoots in Kula Gulf. On 26 June 1944, USS Birmingham (CL-62) and three destroyers sailed to Tinian Island for a shore bombardment mission. On 21 July 1944 USS Birmingham (CL-62) steamed to Guam and, the following morning, covered American landing craft as they hit the beach.

Late on 17 October 1944, USS Birmingham (CL-62) detached and proceeded southeast to rendezvous with TG 38.3. After refueling from oiler Tappahannock (AO-43), the light cruiser joined the aircraft carriers as they stood by in reserve during the Leyte landings begun on 19 October. USS Birmingham (CL-62) arrived at the Navy Yard, Mare Island, in early November 1944 and commenced battle damage repairs and conversion into a flagship soon thereafter. Although initially ordered north to Kyushu, toward which she headed on 7 September 1945, the light cruiser was assigned duty with Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Australia-New Guinea, and so proceeded south on the 11th. USS Birmingham (CL-62) spent the next five months either in or steaming between the ports of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane before finally returning to San Francisco on 22 March 1946.

USS Birmingham (CL-62) moved to San Diego on 2 April 1946 and reported to Commander, 19th Fleet, for inactivation that same day. On 16 October 1946 she was placed in commission in reserve with the San Diego Reserve Fleet and on 2 January 1947 went out of commission in reserve. Her name stricken from the Navy Register on 1 March 1959.

For a complete history of USS Birmingham (CL-62) please see its DANFS page.