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USS Pittsburgh CA-72 - History

USS Pittsburgh CA-72 - History


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USS Pittsburgh CA-72

Pittsburgh III

(CA-72: dp. 13,600,1. 674'11", b. 70'10", dr. 20'6", s. 3:3 k.
cpl. 1142; a. 9 8", 12 5", 48 20mm., cl. Balti~nore)

The third Pittsburgh (CA-72) originally named Albany was laid down 3 February 1943 by Bethlehem Steel Co. Quincy, Mass., Iaunched 22 February 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Cornelius D. Scully, wife of the Mayor of Pittsburgh and commissioned at Boston 10 October 1944, Capt. John E. Gingrich in command.

Pittsburoh trained along the east coast and in the Caribbean until departing Boston 13 January 1945 for duty in thePacific. After calling in Panama and final gunnery exercises in the Hawaiians, she joined TF 58 at Ulithi 13 February, assigned to TG 58.2 formed around aircraft carrier Le~ington (CV-16).

The force sortied 10 February to prepare the way for the assault on Iwo Jima. Carrier air strikes against airfields near Tokyo 16 and 17 February limited Japanese air response to the initial landings 19 February. That day planes from Pittsburgh's group began direct support to Marines fighting to overcome fierce Japanese resistance on the island. Final strikes against Tokyo's environs 25 February and 1 March ag'?inst the Nansei Shoto completed this operation.

The force sailed from Ulithi 14 March to pound airfields and other military installations on Kyushu 18 March, and again the next day. The Japanese struck back at dawn on the 19th, with an air raid which set Franklin (CV-13) ablaze, her decks utter chaos and power lost. Pittsburgh dashed to the rescue at 30 knots. After saving 34 men from the water Pittsburgh, with Santa Fe (CL-60), performed an outstanding feat of seamanship in getting a tow line on board the flaming carrier. Pittsburgh than began the agonizingly slow task of pulling the carrier to safety, as the flattop's crew struggled to restore power. Twice gunning oR enemy air attacks attempting to finish Franklin, the cruiser continued her epic effort until at noon 20 March when Franklin was able to cast off the tow and proceed, albeit slowly, under her own power. Capt. Gingrich had remained at the conn for 48 hours during this display of superlative professionalism.

Between 23 March and 27 April, Pittsburgh guarded the carriers as they first prepared for, then covered and supported the invasion of Okinawa. Enemy airfields were interdicted, and the troops given direct aid from the carriers. Pittsburah repelled enemy air attacks and launched her scout planes to rescue downed carrier pilots. After replenishing at Ulithi, the force sortied once more 8 May to attack the Nansei Shoto and Southern Japan in the continuing fight for Okinawa.

On 4 June, Pittsburgh began to fight a typhoon which by early next day had increased to 70-knot winds and 100-foot waves. Shortly after her starboard scout plane had been lifted off its catapult and dashed onto the deck by the wind, Pittsbur,gh's second deck buckled, her bow structure thrust upward, and then wrenched free. Miraculously, not a man was lost. Now her crew's masterful seamanship saved their own ship. Still fighting the storm, and maneuvering to avoid being rammed by the drifting bow-structure, Pittsburgh was held quarter on to the seas by engine manipulations while the forward bulkhead was shored. After a 7-hour battle, the storm subsided, and Pittsburgh proceeded at 6 knots to Guam arriving 10 June. Her bow, nick-named "McKeesport" (a suburb of Pittsburgh), was later salvaged by Munsee and brought into Guam.

With a false bow, Pittsburgh left Guam 24 June bound for Puget Sound Navy Yard, arriving 16 July. Still under repair at war's end, she was placed in commission in reserve 12 March 1946 and decommissioned 7 March 1947.

As the Korean War called for a major restoration of naval strength, Pittsburoh recommissioned 25 September 1951, Capt. Preston V. Mercer in command. She sailed 20 October for the Panama Canal, trained ont of C'uantanamo Bay, Cuba, and prepared at Norfolk for a tour of duty with the 6th Fleet for which she sailed 11 February 1952. Returning 20 May she joined in the Atlantic Fleet~s schedule of exercises and special operations in the western Atlantic and Caribbean.

During her second Mediterranean cruise, for which she sailed 1 December, she flew the flag of Vice Admiral Jerauld P. Wright, Commander in Chief, Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean for a good-will cruise to the Indian Ocean in January 1953. She returned to Norfolk in May for a major modernization overhaul, but rejoined the 6th Fleet at Gibraltar 19 January 1954. Once again she carried Admiral Wright to ports of the Indian Ocean during this cruise which ended with her return to Norfolk 26 May. After further operations along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean, she passed through the Panama Canal 21 October to join thePacific Fleet, with Long Beach her home port.

She sailed almost at once for the Far East, calling at Pearl Harbor 13 November and reaching Yokosuka 26 November. She joined the 7th Fleet in exercises and to cover the Chinese Nationalist defense of the Tachen Islands and their evacuation of civilians and non-essential military personnel. Leaving Japan 16 February 1955, she resumed west coast operations until reporting at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard 28 October for inactivation. She went into reserve 28 April 1956, and decommissioned at Bremerton 28 August 1956. There she remains in reserve into 1970.

Pittsburgh received 2 battle stars for World War II service.


USS Pittsburgh (CA-72)

The third USS Pittsburgh (CA–72), originally named USS Albany (CA-72), was a Baltimore-class heavy cruiser laid down on 3 February 1943 by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation's Fore River Shipyard at Quincy, Massachusetts launched on 22 February 1944, sponsored by Mrs Cornelius D. Scully, wife of the Mayor of Pittsburgh and commissioned at Boston on 10 October 1944, Capt. John Edward Gingrich in command.


USS Pittsburgh CA-72 - History

In the evening of 4 June 1945 Admiral William F. Halsey's Third Fleet, which had taken a replenishment break after pounding the Japanese on Okinawa and Kyushu, encountered a small, violent typhoon southeast of the Ryukyu Islands. By early the next morning Rear Admiral Joseph J. Clark's Task Group 38.1, of which USS Pittsburgh was a member, was enveloped by the storm. Ships were rolling heavily in the high wind and waves and, despite changing course and reducing speed, most received damage. Just before 6AM on 5 June, the floatplane on Pittsburgh 's port catapult was blown off. About a half-hour later the cruiser was hit by two very large waves and her bow broke away in front of her forward gun turret. Fortunately, as a precaution all watertight bulkheads had been closed and the crew sent to battle stations, so no lives were lost in the incident. Prompt work by damage control parties prevented any significant flooding and the ship was able to ride out the rest of the storm by keeping her stern into the wind.

After the typhoon had passed, Pittsburgh made her way to Guam, arriving on 10 June. The shortened cruiser was fitted there with a temporary "stub" bow, similar to those used on the torpedoed cruisers Minneapolis and New Orleans during the Guadalcanal Campaign. This work, made possible by the extensive repair facilities the Navy maintained near the combat zone, was completed in about two weeks. Pittsburgh was then able to steam safely across the Pacific to the West Coast, where a new bow was made and attached.

Meanwhile Pittsburgh 's original bow was still afloat. Between 6 and 11 June the fleet tug Munsee (ATF-107), assisted late in the operation by her sister ship Patana (ATF-108), slowly towed the more than 100-foot long structure to Guam, where salvage work was undertaken.

The loss of Pittsburgh 's bow, as well as less severe structural damage suffered by the heavy cruiser Baltimore and the light cruiser Duluth , dramatically demonstrated both the power of nature and the sometimes unreliable strength of contemporary welding. The latter problem, which resulted from both a not-completely-mature technology and the pressures of wartime production, was one that reared its ugly head from time to time on other war-built ships, both during and after the conflict.

This page features all the views we have related to the breaking off of USS Pittsburgh 's bow in a typhoon on 5 June 1945.

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

En route to Guam for temporary repairs, shortly after she lost her bow in a typhoon on 5 June 1945.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 139KB 740 x 600 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

At Guam, circa mid-June 1945, showing damage forward. She lost her bow in a typhoon on 5 June.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 104KB 740 x 540 pixels

The cruiser's detached and capsized bow (at left) under tow toward Guam in June 1945. It had broken loose in a typhoon on 5 June.
Two fleet tugs seen at right are probably USS Munsee (ATF-107) and USS Pakana (ATF-108).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 85KB 740 x 615 pixels

The cruiser's detached and capsized bow under tow toward Guam in June 1945. It had broken loose in a typhoon on 5 June.
While under salvage, Pittsburgh 's bow was humorously called "USS McKeesport" and "suburb of Pittsburgh".

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 191KB 740 x 600 pixels

Sailors working on the cruiser's detached and capsized bow, during salvage operations at Guam, circa June 1945. It had broken away from the ship in a typhoon on 5 June.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 77KB 585 x 765 pixels

Divers working on the cruiser's severed bow, during salvage operations at Guam, circa June 1945. The bow had broken away from the ship in a typhoon on 5 June.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 111KB 585 x 765 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Recovering the starboard anchor from the cruiser's severed bow, during salvage operations at Guam, circa June 1945. The bow had broken away from the ship in a typhoon on 5 June.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 98KB 575 x 765 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Lifting the starboard anchor from the cruiser's severed bow, during salvage operations at Guam, circa June 1945. The bow had broken away from the ship in a typhoon on 5 June.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 96KB 575 x 765 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Lifting the starboard anchor from the cruiser's detached and capsized bow, during salvage operations at Guam, circa June 1945. The bow had broken away from the ship in a typhoon on 5 June.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 114KB 740 x 625 pixels

In addition to the images presented above, the National Archives appears to hold other views related to the loss of USS Pittsburgh 's bow. The following list features some of these photographs:

The images listed below are NOT in the Naval Historical Center's collections.
DO NOT try to obtain them using the procedures described in our page "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions".

Reproductions of these images should be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system for pictures not held by the Naval Historical Center.


USS Pittsburgh (CA-72), Typhoon Damage, WWII

USS Pittsburgh (CA–72), originally named USS Albany (CA-72), was a Baltimore-class heavy cruiser of the US Navy. The third ship to bear this name, it was laid down on 3 February 1943 by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation's Fore River Shipyard at Quincy, Massachusetts launched on 22 February 1944, sponsored by Mrs Cornelius D. Scully, wife of the Mayor of Pittsburgh and commissioned at Boston on 10 October 1944, with Capt. John Edward Gingrich in command.

Pittsburgh trained along the east coast and in the Caribbean until departing Boston on 13 January 1945 for duty in the Pacific. After calling in Panama and final gunnery exercises in the Hawaiians, she joined TF 58 at Ulithi on 13 February, assigned to TG 58.2 formed around the aircraft carrier Lexington.

The force sortied on 10 February to prepare the way for the assault on Iwo Jima. Carrier air strikes against airfields near Tokyo on 16 and 17 February limited Japanese air response to the initial landings on 19 February. That day planes from Pittsburgh's group began direct support to Marines fighting to overcome fierce Japanese resistance on the island. Final strikes against Tokyo's environs on 25 February and 1 March against the Nansei Shoto completed this operation.

The force sailed from Ulithi on 14 March to pound airfields and other military installations on Kyūshū on 18 March, and again the next day. The Japanese struck back at dawn on the 19th, with an air raid which set the carrier Franklin ablaze, her decks utter chaos and power lost. Pittsburgh dashed to the rescue at 30 knots (56 km/h). After saving 34 men from the water, Pittsburgh, with the light cruiser Santa Fe, performed an outstanding feat of seamanship in getting a tow line on board the flaming carrier. Pittsburgh then began the agonizingly slow task of pulling the carrier to safety, as the flattop's crew struggled to restore power. Twice gunning off enemy air attacks attempting to finish Franklin, the cruiser continued her effort until noon, on 20 March when Franklin was able to cast off the tow and proceed, albeit slowly, under her own power. Capt. Gingrich had remained at the conn for 48 hours during the situation.

Between 23 March and 27 April, Pittsburgh guarded the carriers as they first prepared for, then covered and supported, the invasion of Okinawa. Enemy airfields were interdicted, and the troops given direct aid from the carriers. Pittsburgh repelled enemy air attacks and launched her scout planes to rescue downed carrier pilots. After replenishing at Ulithi, the force sortied once more on 8 May to attack the Nansei Shoto and Southern Japan in the continuing fight for Okinawa.

USS Pittsburgh after the typhoon, with her bow section missing.

On 4 June, Pittsburgh began to fight a typhoon which by early next day had increased to 70-knot (130 km/h) winds and 100-foot (30 m) waves. Shortly after her starboard scout plane had been lifted off its catapult and dashed onto the deck by the wind, Pittsburgh's second deck buckled, her bow structure thrust upward, and then the front fell off. However, not a man was lost. Still fighting the storm, and maneuvering to avoid being rammed by the drifting bow-structure, Pittsburgh was held quarter-on to the seas by engine manipulations while the forward bulkhead was shored. After a seven-hour battle, the storm subsided, and Pittsburgh proceeded at 6 knots (11 km/h) to Guam arriving on 10 June. Her bow, nicknamed "McKeesport" (a suburb of Pittsburgh), was later salvaged by the tugboat Munsee and brought into Guam. The 104-foot section of bow broke off owing to poor plate welds at the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co. at the Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts, in April 1943.

With a false bow, Pittsburgh left Guam on 24 June bound for Puget Sound Navy Yard, arriving 16 July. Still under repair at war's end, she was placed in commission in reserve on 12 March 1946 and decommissioned on 7 March 1947. The typhoon damage also earned her the nickname "Longest Ship in the World" as thousands of miles separated the bow and stern.

Atlantic and Mediterranean, 1951–1954

USS Pittsburgh anchored in Souda Bay, Crete, 8 May 1952.

As the Korean War called for a major restoration of US naval strength, Pittsburgh recommissioned on 25 September 1951, Capt. Preston V. Mercer in command. She sailed on 20 October for the Panama Canal, trained out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and prepared at Norfolk for a tour of duty with the 6th Fleet for which she sailed on 11 February 1952. Returning on 20 May, she joined in the Atlantic Fleet's schedule of exercises and special operations in the western Atlantic and Caribbean. At this time her captain was P D Gallery.

During her second Mediterranean cruise, for which she sailed on 1 December, she flew the flag of Vice Admiral Jerauld Wright, Commander in Chief, Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean for a good-will cruise to the Indian Ocean in January 1953. She returned to Norfolk in May for a major modernization overhaul, but rejoined the 6th Fleet at Gibraltar on 19 January 1954. Once again she carried Admiral Wright to ports of the Indian Ocean during this cruise which ended with her return to Norfolk on 26 May. During the summer of 1954, she engaged in further operations along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean. On 29 July 1954, Pittsburgh collided with another ship while sailing in the Saint Lawrence River. Damage to the hull was above the waterline and the holes were quickly repaired.

On 21 October 1954, she passed through the Panama Canal to join the Pacific Fleet, with Long Beach her home port. She sailed almost at once for the Far East, calling at Pearl Harbor on 13 November and reaching Yokosuka on 26 November. She joined the 7th Fleet in exercises and to cover the Chinese Nationalist defense of the Tachen Islands and their evacuation of civilians and non-essential military personnel. Leaving Japan on 16 February 1955, she resumed west coast operations until reporting at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 28 October for inactivation.

Decommissioning and sale, 1956–1974

Pittsburgh went into reserve on 28 April 1956, and was decommissioned at Bremerton on 28 August 1956. The ship remained there until stricken on 1 July 1973 and sold for scrap on 1 August 1974, to Zidell Explorations Corp., Portland, Oregon.

An anchor from USS Pittsburgh is on display in front of the Children's Museum, Allegheny Center, Pittsburgh, PA. Additionally, the ship's bell is on display in front of Pittsburgh's Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum.


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1. “USS Pittsburgh” in Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

2. ADM John E. Gingrich, USN, Biographies in Naval History, Naval History and Heritage Command.

3. “USS Pittsburgh” in Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

4. Commanding Officer [John Gingrich] to Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, Damage Report –Typhoon of 5 June 1945, dated 26 June 1945, RG19, National Archives, College Park, MD (hereafter NARA), 1.

6. Bob Drury and Tom Calvin, Halsey’s Typhoon: The True Story of a Fighting Admiral, an Epic Storm, and an Untold Ordeal (New York, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2007).

7. ADM Horacio Rivero, USN, “Reminiscences of Admiral Horacio Rivero Jr., U.S. Navy (Retired),” (Annapolis, MD: U.S. Naval Institute, May 1978), 151.

8. Damage Report, 26 June 1945.

9. USS Pittsburgh Deck Log, 5 June 1945, RG24, NARA.

11. Letter, Russell Barr to Alva and Hazel Barr, undated, in possession of author.

12. USS Pittsburgh Deck Log, 5 June 1945.

13. SF2/c William Bingler, USN, “An Episode Recalled,” in Buccaneer, the USS Pittsburgh Association newsletter, January 2010, 9.

14. Fergus Hoffman, “Two-Thirds of Cruiser Limps in for New Bow,” Seattle Post Intelligencer, 18 July 1945, 2.

15. “Reminiscences of Admiral Horatio Rivero, Jr., U.S. Navy (Retired),” 153.

16. Robin Coons, “Crew Averts Disaster in Raging Sea,” Seattle Times, 13 July 1945.

17. USS Pittsburgh Deck Log, 5 June 1945.

18. Fergus Hoffman, “Two-Thirds of Cruiser Limps in for New Bow.”

19. SF2/c William Bingler, USN, “An Episode Recalled.”

20. Rivero, “Reminiscences,” 155.

21. Robin Coons, “Crew Averts Disaster in Raging Sea,” 1, 7.

22. USS Pittsburgh Deck Log, 5 June 1945.

24. Fergus Hoffman, “21 Men Saved Pittsburgh,” Seattle Post Intelligencer, 19 July 1945.

25. SF2/c William Bingler, USN, “An Episode Recalled,” (continued) in Buccaneer, the USS Pittsburgh Association newsletter, July 2010, 10.

26. “Gale Scatters Vast American Fleet Over 125-Mile Area,” Seattle Daily Times, 13 July 1945.

27. Fergus Hoffman, “21 Men Saved Pittsburgh.”

28. USS Pittsburgh Deck Log, 5 June 1945.

29. “USS Munsee,” in Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

30. E. W. Mills, Acting Chief of Bureau, to Chief of Naval Operations, Subject: CL55 Class and CA 68 Class: Strength of Bow Structure, 30 July 1945 (RG38, NARA).


USS Pittsburgh CA-72 - History

USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720), a Los Angeles-class submarine, was the fourth ship of the U.S. Navy to be named for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Conn., on April 16, 1979, and her keel was laid down on April 15, 1983. She was launched on December 8, 1984, sponsored by Mrs. George Sawyer, and commissioned on November 23, 1985 , with Cmdr. Raymond Setser in command.

January 5, 2003 The Pittsburgh recently departed Manama, Bahrain, after a routine port call.

March 20, USS Pittsburgh launched its first Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) on targets in Iraq.

April 6, The Los Angeles-class attack submarine moored outboard the USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) in Souda Bay, Crete, for a four-day port call to get tender support services.

April 27, USS Pitsburgh returned to Groton after a seven-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The sub departed in October 2002 for a scheduled deployment in the Mediterranean Sea, with the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Battle Group.

September 19, Cmdr. David J. Hahn relieved Cmdr. Jeffrey S. Currer as CO of the Pittsburgh during a change of command ceremony on board the sub at Naval Submarine Base New London.

October 21, USS Pittsburgh launched a Tactical Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile from the Atlantic sea range east of Jacksonville, Fla., to the test range at Eglin Air Force Base. The Tomahawk completed its fully guided 818-nautical mile flight using Terrain Contour Matching navigation. When the Tomahawk safely made it to the recovery site, its parachute recovery system was activated as planned.

April 1, 2005 The nuclear-powered attack submarine arrived in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard at Kittery, Maine, for a 16-month Engineered Overhaul (EOH).

April 28, 2008 SSN 720 arrived in Port Everglades, Fla., for a Navy Fleet Week.

February 4, 2009 USS Pittsburgh returned to Groton after a scheduled six-month deployment in the U.S. Southern Command and African Command Areas of Responsibility (AoR).

June 19, Cmdr. Michael K. Savageaux relieved Cmdr. Andrew C. Jarrett as CO of the Pittsburgh during a change-of-command ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London's Shepherd of the Sea chapel.

September 28, 2010 USS Pittsburgh arrived in Portsmouth, England, for a scheduled port visit.

October 15, SSN 720 returned to Groton, Conn., after more than six-month deployment in the U.S. 6th Fleet AoR. During the underway period, the Los Angeles-class attack submarine traveled 30,000 miles and visited ports of Faslane, Scotland Haakonsvern, Norway and Brest, France.

March 9, 2011 The Pittsburgh pulled into Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay for a routine port call.

December ?, USS Pittsburgh departed homeport for a scheduled Middle East deployment.

April 22, 2012 The Los Angeles-class attack submarine is currently assigned to Commander, Task Force (CTF) 54, which commands U.S. submarine forces and coordinates theater-wide anti-submarine warfare in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AoR).

June 27, USS Pittsburgh returned to Naval Submarine Base New London after a six-month deployment.

August 3, Cmdr. Michael P. Ward, II relieved Cmdr. Michael K. Savageaux as CO of the SSN 720 during a change-of-command ceremony on board the sub in Groton.

August 10, Capt. Vernon J. Parks, Jr., Commander, Submarine Development Squadron (SUBDEVRON) 12, relieved of duty Cmdr. Michael Ward "due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command." Cmdr. Savageaux assumed temporary command of the Pittsburgh.

September 5, USS Pittsburgh recently entered the newly restored auxiliary floating dry-dock Shippingport (ARDM 4) at NSB New London for a 10-month Extended Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability (E-DSRA).

December 10, Cmdr. William E. Solomon, III relieved Cmdr. Michael K. Savageaux as CO of the Pittsburgh.

February 26, 2013 The Los Angeles-class attack submarine moved from dry-dock to a pierside location at Naval Submarine Base New London. Completed availability on Aug. 15.

May 12, 2015 USS Pittsburgh returned to Groton after a six-month North Atlantic deployment. She steamed more than 30,000 nautical miles and made port calls to Haakonsvern, Norway Rota, Spain and Faslane, Scotland.

November 6, Cmdr. James N. Colston relieved Cmdr. William E. Solomon, III as CO of the SSN 720 during a change-of-command ceremony at the NSB New London.

January 20, 2016 The Pittsburgh departed Naval Submarine Base New London for routine operations.

August 17, USS Pittsburgh departed Groton for a scheduled deployment.

September 27, The Pittsburgh departed Pier 1, Naval Station Rota after a routine port call.

October 12, SSN 720 departed Faslane, Scotland, to participate in a biannual multinational exercise Joint Warrior 16-2.?

December 30, USS Pittsburgh recently moored at Milhaud Pier 5E in Toulon Naval Base, France, for a liberty port visit.

January 1?, 2017 The Los Angeles-class attack submarine moored at West Berth K14, NATO Fuel Depot in Souda Bay, Crete, for a routine port call.

February 17, USS Pittsburgh moored at Pier 8S on Naval Submarine Base New London following a six-month deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet AoR. The sub traveled 39,000 nautical miles and also made port calls to Haakonsvern, Norway.

April 11, The Pittsburgh entered the floating dry-dock Shippingport (ARDM 4) on Naval Submarine Base New London for a Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability (DSRA).

October 20, USS Pittsburgh moored at Warrior Wharf on Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Fla., after recently departed homeport for Tactical Development Exercise (TDE).

November 13, The Pittsburgh recently participated in a Submarine Commander's Course (SCC) at the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) range, off Andros Island, Bahamas.

January 12, 2018 Cmdr. Jason M. Deichler relieved Cmdr. James N. Colston as CO of the Pittsburgh during a change-of-command ceremony at Dealey Center theater on NSB New London.

September 19, The Pittsburgh recently returned to homeport for emergent repairs due to a "minor leak" in its nuclear propulsion plant.

October ?, USS Pittsburgh departed Groton for a scheduled North Atlantic deployment.

December 1, The Pittsburgh moored at Valiant Jetty on Her Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde in Faslane, Scotland, for a nine-day port call Moored at HMNB Clyde again from Jan. 24-2?.

February 6, 2019 SSN 720 moored at Berth 3, Pier 1 on Naval Station Rota, Spain, for a week-long port call.

February 25, USS Pittsburgh moored at Pier 6S on Naval Submarine Base New London after completing its final deployment. The sub traveled approximately 39,000 nautical miles and also made port calls to Haakonsvern, Norway.

May 28, USS Pittsburgh moored at Berth 6, Delta Pier on Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, Wash., to commence a year-long inactivation process at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, following a month-long transit through the Arctic Ocean.

August 6, The Pittsburgh is inactivated and placed in Reserve (Stand Down) status.

January 17, 2020 USS Pittsburgh held a decommissioning ceremony at the Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport, Wash., after a 34-years of active service.


Contents

World War II, 1944 – 1945

Pittsburgh worked up along the east coast and in the Caribbean before departing from Boston, Massachusetts on 13 January 1945 for duty in the Pacific theatre of operations. After calling at Panama and final gunnery exercises around the Hawaiian Islands, she was assigned to Fast Carrier Task Force 58 (TF   58) at Ulithi, built around the aircraft carrier USS Lexington on the 13 February.

Iwo Jima

The force sailed on the 10 February for the assault on Iwo Jima, conducting carrier airstrikes against airfields near Tokyo on 16 and 17 February which restricted the Japanese air response to the initial landings on 19 February. Further strikes against Tokyo on 25 February and Ryukyu Islands on 1 March complemented these actions.

The task force sailed from Ulithi on 14 March to shell airfields and other military installations on Kyūshū on 18 and 19 of March. The next day, a Japanese aircraft hit the aircraft carrier USS Franklin with two 250kg bombs, setting the fuelled and armed aircraft on her flight deck on fire and she lost all power. Pittsburgh came alongside and rescued 34 men from the water and with the light cruiser Santa Fe, managed to get a tow line on board the carrier to begin the task of towing the carrier. The cruiser continued her effort until midday on the 20 March when Franklin was able to cast off the tow and proceed under her own power. Capt. Gingrich remained on the bridge for 48 hours during this time.

Okinawa

Between 23 March and 27 April, Pittsburgh guarded the carriers as they first prepared, covered and supported, the invasion of Okinawa. Enemy airfields were interdicted, and the troops given close air support by the carriers. Pittsburgh helped repelled enemy air attacks and launched her scout planes to rescue downed pilots. After replenishing at Ulithi, the force sailed on 8 May to attack the Ryukyu Islands and Southern Japan.

Damaged by a typhoon

On 4 June, Pittsburgh was caught in a Typhoon Viper [1] which increased to 70-knot (130   km/h) winds and 100-foot (30   m) waves. Shortly after her starboard scout plane had been lifted off its catapult and dashed onto the deck by the wind, Pittsburgh ' s second deck buckled, her bow was thrust upward, and then sheared off, although there were no casualties. Still fighting the storm, and manoeuvring to avoid being hit by her drifting bow structure, Pittsburgh was held quarter-on to the seas by her engine power while the forward bulkhead was shored. After a seven-hour battle, the storm subsided, and Pittsburgh proceeded at 6 knots (11   km/h) to Guam, arriving on 10 June. Her bow, nicknamed "McKeesport" (a suburb of Pittsburgh), was later salvaged by the tugboat USS Munsee and brought into Guam. The 104-foot section of bow broke off owing to poor plate welds at the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co. at the Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts. The typhoon damage also earned her the nickname "Longest Ship in the World" as thousands of miles separated the bow and stern.

With a false bow, Pittsburgh left Guam on 24 June for Puget Sound Navy Yard, arriving 16 July. Still under repair at war's end, she was placed in reserve on 12 March 1946 and decommissioned on 7 March 1947.

Atlantic and Mediterranean, 1951 – 1954

As the Korean War called for a major restoration of US naval strength, Pittsburgh was recommissioned on 25 September 1951, with Capt. Preston V. Mercer in command. She sailed on 20 October for the Panama Canal, worked up out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and prepared at Norfolk, Virginia for a tour of duty with the 6th Fleet sailing on 11 February 1952. Returning on 20 May, she joined in the Atlantic Fleet's schedule of exercises and special operations in the western Atlantic and Caribbean. At this time her captain was P D Gallery.

During her second Mediterranean tour of duty, sailing on 1 December, she flew the flag of Vice Admiral Jerauld Wright, Commander in Chief, Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean for a good-will cruise to the Indian Ocean in January 1953. She returned to Norfolk in May for a major modernization overhaul, before rejoined the 6th Fleet at Gibraltar on 19 January 1954. Once again she carried Admiral Wright to ports of the Indian Ocean, returning to Norfolk on 26 May. During the summer of 1954, she engaged in further operations along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean. On 29 July 1954, Pittsburgh collided with another ship while sailing in the Saint Lawrence River. Damage to the hull was above the waterline and the holes were repaired.

Pacific, 1954 – 1956

On 21 October 1954, she passed through the Panama Canal to join the Pacific Fleet, with Long Beach as her home port. She sailed for the Far East, calling at Pearl Harbor on 13 November and reaching Yokosuka on 26 November. She joined the 7th Fleet helping to cover the Chinese Nationalist defense of the Dachen Islands and evacuation of civilians and non-essential military personnel. Leaving Japan on 16 February 1955, she resumed west coast before reporting to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 28 October to be deactivated.

Decommissioning and sale, 1956 – 1974

Pittsburgh went into reserve on 28 April 1956, and was decommissioned at Bremerton on 28 August 1956. The ship remained there until stricken on 1 July 1973 and sold for scrap on 1 August 1974, to the Zidell Explorations Corp., Portland, Oregon. An anchor from USS Pittsburgh is on display in front of the Children's Museum, Allegheny Center, Pittsburgh, PA. and the ship's bell is on display in front of Pittsburgh's Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum.


USS Pittsburgh (CA-72)


Figure 1: USS Pittsburgh (CA-72) underway in November 1944. Her camouflage is Measure 33, Design 18d. Official U.S. Navy Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 2: USS Pittsburgh en route to Guam for temporary repairs, shortly after she lost her bow in a typhoon on 5 June 1945. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 3: USS Pittsburgh’s detached and capsized bow under tow toward Guam in June 1945. It had broken loose in a typhoon on 5 June. While under salvage, Pittsburgh's bow was humorously called "USS McKeesport" and "suburb of Pittsburgh". Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 4: The Pittsburgh's detached and capsized bow (at left) under tow toward Guam in June 1945. It had broken loose in a typhoon on 5 June. Two fleet tugs seen at right are probably USS Munsee (ATF-107) and USS Pakana (ATF-108). Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 5: USS Pittsburgh anchored in Suda Bay, Crete, 8 May 1952. Photographed from a USS Midway (CVB-41) aircraft. Pittsburgh's gun directors still have World War II era fire control radars. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 6: USS Pittsburgh underway, 11 October 1955. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.

The 13,600-ton USS Pittsburgh (CA-72) was a Baltimore-class heavy cruiser built by the Bethlehem Steel Company at Quincy, Massachusetts, and was commissioned on 10 October 1944. The Pittsburgh was approximately 674 feet long and 70 feet wide, had a top speed of 33 knots, and had a crew of 1,142 officers and men. She was armed with nine 8-inch guns, twelve 5-inch guns and 48 20-mm guns.

After a shakedown cruise along America’s east coast and the Caribbean, the Pittsburgh left for the Pacific via the Panama Canal on 13 January 1945. She reached Ulithi atoll in the Caroline Islands on 13 February and joined a task force that was centered around the carrier Lexington (CV-16). The Pittsburgh screened aircraft carriers during strikes on the Japanese home islands and then took part in the American invasion of Iwo Jima. After Iwo Jima was secured, the Pittsburgh’s task force was sent back to Japan to bombard airfields and other military installations on Kyushu on 18 March. However, disaster struck on 19 March when a Japanese air raid on the carrier USS Franklin (CV-13) succeeded in severely damaging the carrier. The Franklin was ablaze and in danger of sinking, but the Pittsburgh steamed at 30 knots to assist the carrier in any way possible. Once arriving on the scene and after rescuing 34 of the Franklin’s men who were floating helplessly in the water, the Pittsburgh, along with the cruiser Santa Fe (CL-60), assisted in fighting the Franklin’s fires and managed to get a tow line on board the stricken carrier. After the tow line was secured, the Pittsburgh began pulling the Franklin to safety. The carrier’s crew tried to restore power while the Pittsburgh used her antiaircraft guns to fight off Japanese air attacks. The Pittsburgh continued towing the carrier until noon on 20 March, when what was left of the Franklin’s crew was able to cast off the tow line after regaining some power in her engines and extinguishing her fires. Captain John E. Gingrich, the Pittsburgh’s commanding officer, was at the conn for 48 hours during this operation and the assistance provided by the Pittsburgh and the Santa Fe undoubtedly played an enormous role in saving the Franklin.

From March to June, the Pittsburgh escorted carriers that were assigned to the invasion of Okinawa. On the evening of 4 June 1945, Admiral William F. Halsey’s Third Fleet, which had just completed pounding the Japanese on Okinawa and Kyushu, was hit by a violent typhoon southeast of the Ryukyu Islands. During the early morning hours of 5 June, Rear Admiral Joseph J. Clark’s Task Group 38.1 (which included the Pittsburgh) was right in the middle of the storm. All the ships in the Task Group were being tossed around and battered by the 70-plus knot winds and 100-foot waves. Just before 0600 on 5 June, the floatplane on the Pittsburgh’s port catapult was blown off. Approximately 30 minutes later the cruiser was hit by two very large waves and her bow broke away in front of her forward gun turret. Miraculously, all watertight bulkheads had been closed and the crew was at battle stations, so no lives were lost when the bow was torn away from the ship. Excellent damage control by the Pittsburgh’s crew prevented any significant flooding and the ship rode out the rest of the storm by keeping her stern to the wind.

After the typhoon ended, the Pittsburgh was able to steam to Guam, arriving there on 10 June. The cruiser was fitted with a temporary “stub” bow (the same type that was used previously on the torpedoed cruisers Minneapolis and New Orleans during the Guadalcanal Campaign) and the repairs were completed in approximately two weeks. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh’s original bow was still afloat! From 6 June to 11 June, the fleet tug Munsee (ATF-107) and her sister ship Patana (ATF-108) towed the more than 100-foot long bow to Guam, where anything of value (such as the ship’s anchors) was salvaged from the structure.

The Pittsburgh left Guam on 24 June and was sent to the Puget Sound Navy Yard, arriving there on 16 July. However, the war ended before a new bow could be attached to the cruiser. Once final repairs were completed, the Pittsburgh was placed in commission but in reserve on 12 March 1946. She was decommissioned on 7 March 1947.

During the Korean War, the Pittsburgh was called back to active duty. The cruiser was recommissioned 25 September 1951 and was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet. She twice deployed to the Mediterranean Sea in 1952 and 1953, with her second cruise also taking her to the Indian Ocean. The Pittsburgh returned to Norfolk, Virginia, for a major modernization overhaul and joined the Sixth Fleet at Gibraltar on 19 January 1954. After a tour of duty in the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, the Pittsburgh was sent to the Pacific and cruised in the Far East from November 1954 to February 1955. Following operations off America’s west coast, the Pittsburgh was decommissioned at Bremerton, Washington, on 28 August 1956. The Pittsburgh remained in the Pacific Reserve Fleet until July 1973 and was sold for scrapping in 1974. A tough veteran that served the US Navy for 30 years, the Pittsburgh endured the horrors found in both war and nature and still remained afloat.


USS Pittsburgh To Be Decommissioned Following 35 Years Of Service

BREMERTON, Wash. (KDKA) – After 35 years of service and 1,000 dives, the submarine USS Pittsburgh will be decommissioned.

To honor the submarine, Senator Pat Toomey officially recognized the USS Pittsburgh in the Congressional records.

The USS Pittsburgh is a fast attack Los Angeles-class submarine commissioned in 1985. By 2017, it had completed its 1,000 dive, which a news release says is a milestone few submarines reach during service.

Toomey, along with members of Congress, released statements ahead of the inactivation ceremony.

&ldquoThe USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720) — forged of iron and steel just like her namesake — has always been a source of pride for our town,&rdquo said Congressman Conor Lamb in a press release.

&ldquoWe are grateful to the USS Pittsburgh and all who served aboard for their distinguished service to America.&rdquo

Congressman Guy Reschenthaler said in the press release that as a Navy veteran, he’s proud to recognize the USS Pittsburgh’s 35 years and all the sailors who served aboard.

&ldquoThe ship represented our region proudly during times of war, most notably Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, by providing critical intelligence and deterring our adversaries. The legacy and record of service of the USS PITTSBURGH (SSN-720) will be etched in history for generations to come,” he said in the press release.


USS Pittsburgh CA-72 - History

Sept 1951 - May 1952 Cruise Book

Bring the Cruise Book to Life with this Multimedia Presentation

This CD will Exceed your Expectations

A great part of Naval history.

You would be purchasing the USS Pittsburgh CA 72 cruise book during this time period. Each page has been placed on a CD for years of enjoyable computer viewing. The CD comes in a plastic sleeve with a custom label. Every page has been enhanced and is readable. Rare cruise books like this sell for a hundred dollars or more when buying the actual hard copy if you can find one for sale.

This would make a great gift for yourself or someone you know who may have served aboard her. Usually only ONE person in the family has the original book. The CD makes it possible for other family members to have a copy also. You will not be disappointed we guarantee it.

Some of the items in this book are as follows:

  • Some Ports of Call: San Francisco , San Diego , Panama , Guantanamo , Norfolk , Gibraltar, Syracuse , La Spezia , Cannes , Create, Algiers , Athens and Istanbul .
  • Brief History of the Ship
  • The Recommissioning
  • Operation Grand Slam
  • Individual Officer Photos
  • Crew Roster by State (Name, Rank and Hometown Address)
  • Many Crew Activity Photos
  • Plus Much More

Over 714 Photos on Approximately 70 Pages.

Once you view this book you will know what life was like on this Heavy Cruiser during this time period.


Watch the video: USS Californias arrival marks celebration of Connecticuts Submarine Century (June 2022).


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