Worcester-class cruiser

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USS Roanoke (CL-145) underway at slow speed, circa the early 1950s (NH 106501).jpg
USS Roanoke in 1950s
Class overview
BuildersNew York Shipbuilding Corporation
Operators United States Navy
Preceded by Fargo class
Succeeded byNone
Built1945 - 1947
In commission1948–58
General characteristics
TypeLight cruiser
  • 664 ft (202 m) wl
  • 679 ft 6 in (207.11 m) oa
Beam70 ft .5 in (21.3 m)
Draft25 ft (7.6 m)
Speed33 knots
Boats & landing
craft carried
2-4 × lifeboats
Complement1,560 officers and enlisted
Sensors and
processing systems
Aviation facilities2 × aircraft catapults

The Worcester class was a class of light cruisers used by the United States Navy, laid down in 1945 and commissioned in 1948–49. They and their contemporaries, the Des Moines-class heavy cruisers, were the last all-gun cruisers built for the U.S. Navy. Ten ships were planned for this class, but only two (USS Worcester (CL-144) and USS Roanoke (CL-145)) were completed.

The main battery layout was distinctive, with twin rather than triple turrets, unlike the previous Cleveland-class, St. Louis-class, and Brooklyn-class light cruisers. Aside from the Worcesters main battery consisting of 6 in (152 mm) rather than 5 in (127 mm) guns, the layout was identical to the much smaller Juneau-class light cruisers, carrying 12 guns in six turrets, three forward and three aft, with only turrets 3 and 4 superfiring. The 6"/47 Mk 16 gun was an autoloading, high-angle dual purpose gun with a high rate of fire, and the Worcesters were thus designed to serve as AA cruisers like the Juneaus but with much more potent guns, as well as conventional light cruisers.

Both ships were decommissioned in 1958, the last conventional light cruisers to serve in the fleet, and scrapped in the early 1970s.


The Worcester-Class was designed as a departure from the Cleveland-class and Fargo-class cruisers, and an expansion of the Atlanta and Juneau classes.[dubious ] They carried six twin D.P. 6"/47cal turrets on the center-line, of which turrets three and four were superimposed. They carried 24 3"/50 cal AA in eleven twin mounts and two single mounts. The RDF was superb, as they were supplied with four HA/LA.DCT's and two LA/DCT's arranged in lozenge disposition. Their armor was a 3-6" belt, a 3" main deck, a 2" lower deck, 3-4" bulkheads, 4" turrets and barbettes, and a 6.5" C.T. Four Babcock & Wilcox boilers with four shafts and G.E. geared turbines provided 120,000 S.H.P., which could propel these ships at 32.75 knots.[1]

Ships in class[edit]

Ship Name Hull No. Builder Laid Down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Fate
Worcester CL-144 New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey 29 January 1945 4 February 1947 26 June 1948 19 December 1958 Struck 1 December 1970; Sold to Zidell Explorations, Inc., of Portland, OR on 5 July 1972
Roanoke CL-145 15 May 1945 16 June 1947 4 April 1949 31 October 1958 Struck 1 December 1970; Sold to Levin Metals Corporation of San Jose, Calif. on 22 February 1972
Vallejo CL-146 16 July 1945 N/A Construction cancelled 8 December 1945; hull was subsequently scrapped
Gary CL-147 N/A Cancelled 12 August 1945 prior to the start of construction

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lenton, H. (1968). American Battleships, Carriers, and Cruisers. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company INC. pp. 94–95.

External links[edit]