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USS Canberra (CA-70)

United States (1943)
Picture of USS Canberra (CA-70) Heavy Cruiser / Missile Cruiser Warship
Picture of USS Canberra (CA-70) Heavy Cruiser / Missile Cruiser Warship Picture of USS Canberra (CA-70) Heavy Cruiser / Missile Cruiser Warship
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The USS Canberra survived World War 2, the Vietnam War and the Cold War as two different class of fighting ship.


Detailing the development and operational history of the USS Canberra (CA-70) Heavy Cruiser / Missile Cruiser Warship.  Entry last updated on 9/13/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The USS Canberra was a United States naval warship that was put into action in the middle years of World War 2 and survived long enough to take part in some of the most critical years of the Cold War and the Vietnam conflict. The vessel was modestly armed and was fielded initially as part of the Baltimore-class cruiser family. Later, the Canberra was converted to accept the Terrier surface-to-air missile system and had her designation changed from CA-70 to CAG-2 to represent her as a guided missile cruiser, now part of the Boston-class of warships.

The Canberra's profile is typical of ships in the class with a large superstructure dominating the design. The superstructure is complimented with masts containing sensors and arrays and is surrounded by a battery of armament which originally consisted of 9 x 8" main guns and 12 x 5" cannons. This was altered when the Canberra became a guided missile cruiser and as such she was now armed with 6 x 8" main guns, 10 x 5" cannons and 12 x 3" cannons along with her supply of 2 x Terrier missile launchers for anti-aircraft defense. In any case, the World War 2-era vessel was now making a transition to the Cold War-era where missiles would begin to take the place of cannon as a vessels main armament. Her main guns were held in turrets with two forward and one aft with three guns to an emplacement. The addition of the Terrier system deleted the aft gun turret and its three guns.

While in service during World War 2, her actions primarily kept her located in the central Pacific. In 1944, she served as part of US Task Force 58 for the Battle of Philippine Sea and took part in the battle for Truk eventually succumbing to severe damage inflicted by a Japanese torpedo in the Battle of Formosa off Okinawa in June of that year. Her damage was such that her war days in the conflict were numbered and the USS Canberra was decommissioned following the war in 1947 and put into reserve.

With the arrival of the Cold War, the USS Canberra (CA-70) was back in service, now undergoing conversion to become a guided missile heavy cruiser. This conversion forced her from her Baltimore-class classification to the Boston-class family where she joined the USS Boston as the modernized CAG-2. The vessel was made ready in time to take part in the deterrent blockading actions in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Some time later, Canberra would see herself deployed several times in support of the Vietnam conflict where, by this time, her Terrier missile systems were wholly outdated though her common guns were put to good use as she shelled inland targets and took part in the TET Offensive. With the war over and her fighting years behind her, the USS Canberra returned home with her old CA-70 designation now reinstated and was officially decommissioned in 1970. Her parts were unceremoniously sold for scrapping in 1980.

The USS Canberra was first ordered in 1940 and laid down in 1941 by Bethel Steel Company Fore River Shipyard. She was launched in 1943 and commissioned later that same year. She fought under the motto of "Can-Do Kangaroo" and was named in honor of an Australian cruiser - the HMAS Canberra, a vessel lost to the sea after taking torpedo damage from Japanese forces at the Battle of Savo Island. Incidentally, the USS America remains the only United States Navy vessel to be named after an existing foreign ship. In response, the Australian Navy commissioned the destroyer HMAS Bataan as a tribute to the Battle of Bataan.


Picture of the USS Canberra (CA-70) Heavy Cruiser / Missile Cruiser Warship
Picture of the USS Canberra (CA-70) Heavy Cruiser / Missile Cruiser Warship



Any available statistics for the USS Canberra (CA-70) Heavy Cruiser / Missile Cruiser Warship are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, ship class and number-in-class. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard base performance figures, installed armament, global users (from A-to-Z) and named ships-in-class.


National Flag Graphic
National Origin: United States
Service Year / Commissioned: 1943
Classification Type: Heavy Cruiser / Missile Cruiser Warship
Ship Class: Baltimore-class / Boston-class
Number-in-Class: 2
Global Operators:
United States
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Operating Weights:

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1,544

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Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
674 ft


Meters
205.44 m


Dimension
BEAM


Feet
70 ft


Meters
21.34 m


Dimension
DRAUGHT


Feet
24 ft


Meters
7.32 m


Displacement
SURFACE


Tons
13,600 t

Installed Power / Machinery - Standard Day Performance:
4 x Boilers with geared turbines driving 4 x shafts.

Performance
SPEED


Knots
33 kts


Miles-per-Hour
38 mph


Performance
RANGE


Nautical Miles
7,094 nm


Miles
8,164 mi


Miles
13,139 km

Armament / Air Wing:

CA 70 (heavy cruiser):
9 x 8"/55 main guns
12 x 5"/38 cannons

CAG 2 (missile cruiser):
6 x 8"/55 main guns
10 x 5"/38 cannons
12 x 3"/50 cannons
2 x Terrier twin-rail surface-to-air missile (SAM) launchers

Aircraft:
None.
Ships-in-Class (2):

USS Albany (CA-123); USS Baltimore (CA-68); USS Boston (CA-69); USS Bremerton (CA-130); USS Canberra (CA-70); USS Chicago (CA-136); USS Columbus (CA-74); USS Fall River (CA-131); USS Helena (CA-75); USS Los Angeles (CA-135); USS Macon (CA-132); USS Oregon City (CA-122); USS Pittsburgh (CA-72); USS Quincy (CA-71); USS Rochester (CA-124); USS Saint Pau (CA-73); USS Toldeo (CA-133)
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Navy ship graphic