Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Chart (2023) Military Ranks

Naval Warfare

USS Northampton (CLC-1) / (CC-1)

Tactical Command Cruiser Warship [ 1953 ]

With the end of World War 2 in 1945, USS Northampton was completed as a tactical command cruiser instead of a dedicated cruiser warship for the USN.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/22/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

USS Northampton (CLC-1) became one of a planned ten vessels making up the Oregon City-class heavy cruiser group of the United States Navy (USN) during World War 2 (1939-1945). Six of the lot were ultimately cancelled with the end of the war in August 1945 and Northampton herself had her construction suspended as authorities reevaluated post-war needs. Ultimately reclassified as a Tactical Command Ship, USS Northampton emerged as in 1953 with her revised role.

USS Northampton was built by Bethlehem Steel Corporation of Quincy, Massachusetts and saw her keel laid down on August 31st, 1944 but work was stopped in August of 1945. Construction was resumed in 1948 and she was launched quite some time later on January 27th, 1951. USS Northampton (CLC-1) was officially commissioned for service in the USN on March 7th, 1953.

Because her battlefield role was rewritten while she was still under construction, USS Northampton was not completed with traditional heavy cruiser armament. Instead she carried a modest load out led by 4 x 5" /54 caliber Mark 42 main guns set in four single-gunned turrets. The only other weaponry was 8 x 3" /70 caliber secondary guns arranged in four twin-gunned turrets.

Her profile massed most of the superstructure at midships including specialized antenna, communications and various arrays. Overall length was 675 feet with a beam of 70.9 feet and draught of 26.3 feet. The onboard crew complement numbered 2,000. Power was from four boilers feeding steam turbines generating 120,000 horsepower and driving 4 x shafts under stern. Over the rear of the warship was a helipad capable of launching and retrieving a single helicopter. The ship's displacement reached 14,000 tons. Armor protection ranged from 6" at the belt to 2.5" at the deck.

Her initial assignment took her to Atlantic waters where the new global threat was the Soviet Union. She and her crew evaluated her various systems for months into 1954. She was then granted flagship status for Commander Amphibious Force then Commander 6th Fleet and, finally, Commander Strike Force.

In the mid-1950s, the warship underwent a needed overhaul at Norfolk Naval Shipyard and then moved on to Caribbean waters to train new crews. From there she managed a career that took her across the Atlantic and to European waters filled with friendly port stops at allied countries and training maneuvers with NATO forces in preparation for war with the Soviets. Indeed it was only later revealed that the warship was to be used as a central "base-of-operations" for the White House authorities and related personnel should the worst befall the American mainland due to a Soviet nuclear attack. This afforded the warship special attention and she was appropriately outfitted with equally-special equipment due to this status.

In April of 1961, USS Northampton was reclassified as "CC-1" and maintained station in Atlantic waters for the remainder of her career. The vessel was ultimately decommissioned on April 8th, 1970 and her name was struck from the Naval Register on December 1st, 1977. That same month her stripped hulk was sold for scrapping and this was completed in March of 1980, bringing about a formal end to her sailing days.

For her time at sea, USS Northampton was awarded two National Defense Service Medals.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

United States national flag graphic
United States


Oregon City-class

USS Oregon City (CA-122); USS Albany (CA-123/CG-10); USS Rochester (CA-124); USS Northampton (CA-125/CLC-1); USS Cambridge (CA-126) (cancelled); USS Bridgeport (CA-127) (cancelled); USS Kansas City (CA-128) (cancelled); USS Tulsa (CA-129) (cancelled); USS Norfolk (CA-137) (cancelled); USS Scranton (CA-138) (cancelled)

National flag of the United States United States
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Offshore Bombardment
Offshore bombardment / attack of surface targets / areas primarily through onboard ballistic weaponry.
Offshore strike of surface targets primarily through onboard missile / rocket weaponry.
Maritime Patrol
Active patroling of vital waterways and maritime areas; can also serve as local deterrence against airborne and seaborne threats.
Airspace Denial / Deterrence
Neutralization or deterrence of airborne elements through onboard ballistic of missile weaponry.
Fleet Support
Serving in support (either firepower or material) of the main surface fleet in Blue Water environments.

675.0 ft
205.74 m
70.9 ft
21.61 m
26.3 ft
8.02 m

Installed Power: 4 x Boilers feeding 4 x Steam turbines developing 120,000 horsepower and driving 4 x Shafts.
Surface Speed
32.5 kts
(37.4 mph)

kts = knots | mph = miles-per-hour | nm = nautical miles | mi = miles | km = kilometers

1 kts = 1.15 mph | 1 nm = 1.15 mi | 1 nm = 1.85 km
4 x 5" /54 caliber Mark 42 main guns in four single-gunned turrets.
8 x 3" /70 caliber secondary guns in four twin-gunned turrets.

Supported Types

Graphical image of a historical warship turreted main gun armament

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
1 x Medium-lift transport helicopter.

Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War period
Military lapel ribbon for early warship designs
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective naval campaigns / operations / periods.

Images Gallery

1 / 3
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
2 / 3
Image from the Public Domain.
3 / 3
Image from the Public Domain.


Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2023 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing all American military medals and ribbons.

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-