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USS Cleveland (CL-55)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Cleveland (CL-55)

USS Cleveland (CL-55) was laid down on 1 July 1940 at Camden, N.J., by the New York Shipbuilding Corp.; launched on 1 November 1941; sponsored by Mrs. Selma Florence Smith Burton, wife of Senator Harold H. Burton (former three-term mayor of Cleveland, Oh.); and commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pa. on 15 June 1942, Capt. Edmund W. Burrough in command.

USS Cleveland (CL-55) fitted out and conducted her shakedown in the Chesapeake Bay through 15 September 1942. Propulsion system difficulties required USS Cleveland (CL-55) to put into Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va., for “urgent and necessary” post-shakedown repairs (28 September–2 October) before joining the fleet. With work completed on 5 December 1942, USS Cleveland (CL-55) stood out in company with a task force under the command of Rear Adm. Robert C. Giffen, bound for the Pacific via the Panama Canal. USS Cleveland (CL-55)’s arrival in the South Pacific coincided with the end of the long, costly campaign to retake Guadalcanal Island, Solomon Islands, from Japanese control.

USS Cleveland (CL-55) and her consorts stood out from Purvis Bay during the afternoon watch on 11 July 1943 to provide bombardment support for an Army ground assault on Munda Point that night. While en route to Espíritu Santo on 13 July 1943 for replenishment, Merrill received orders from Halsey to reverse course and execute a night patrol off the coast of Rendova. For most of August, USS Cleveland (CL-55) spent time drilling at anchor in Segond Channel in Espíritu Santo or in underway exercises at sea. USS Cleveland (CL-55) returned to Espíritu Santo on 3 October 1943 and set course during afternoon watch the next day for Australia with USS Sterrett (DD-407) as escort. 

USS Cleveland (CL-55)’s mission changed abruptly on 17 June 1944. Warned by submarines that units of the Japanese First Mobile Fleet, commanded by Vice Adm. Ozawa Jisaburō, were moving east from the Philippines, Spruance elected to concentrate the available fast battleships in anticipation of a night surface engagement. USS Cleveland (CL-55) rejoined CruDiv 12 in Eniwetok on 12 August 1944. USS Cleveland (CL-55) departed on 5 October 1944, bound for a long-anticipated overhaul in the U.S. Mooring overnight in Pearl Harbor on 14–15 October, she arrived at Terminal Island, San Pedro, California, on 21 October. On 3 January 1945, USS Cleveland (CL-55) departed for her second tour of duty in the Pacific with a handful of new officers and 200 raw draftee crewmembers. Overhaul complete, USS Cleveland (CL-55) stood out from Boston on 27 March 1946 and proceeded to Newport, Rhode Island, where she joined the rest of CruDiv 14 on 28 March.

Placed in commission in reserve on 24 October 1946, USS Cleveland (CL-55) was decommissioned into the Atlantic Reserve Fleet on 7 February 1947. Stricken from the Naval Register on 1 March 1959, the Navy sold her to Boston Metals, Baltimore, Md., for scrapping on 18 February 1960.

For a complete history of USS Cleveland (CL-55) please see its DANFS page.