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USS Atlanta (CL-51) on trials, November 1941

USS Atlanta (CL-51) on trials, November 1941


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US Navy Light Cruisers 1941-45, Mark Stille .Covers the five classes of US Navy light cruisers that saw service during the Second World War, with sections on their design, weaponry, radar, combat experience. Nicely organised, with the wartime service records separated out from the main text, so that the design history of the light cruisers flows nicely. Interesting to see how new roles had to be found for them, after other technology replaced them as reconnaissance aircraft [read full review]


USS Atlanta (CL 104)

USS ATLANTA was one of the CLEVELAND - class light cruisers and the fourth ship in the Navy named after the city in Georgia.USS ATLANTA was decommissioned in July 1949 and, after over thirteen years in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, was stricken from the Navy list at the beginning of 1962. However, she was reinstated in May 1964, redesignated IX 304, and converted to a weapons effects test ship. Laid up once more late in 1965, ATLANTA was stricken from the Navy list for the second time in April 1970, and was sunk as a target off San Clemente Island, Calif., on 1 October 1970.

General Characteristics: Awarded: 1942
Keel laid: January 25, 1943
Launched: February 6, 1944
Commissioned: December 3, 1944
Decommissioned: July 1, 1949
Builder: New York Shipbuilding, Camden, NJ.
Propulsion system: geared turbines, 100,000 shp
Propellers: four
Length: 610.2 feet (186 meters)
Beam: 66.3 feet (20.2 meters)
Draft: 24.6 feet (7.5 meters)
Displacement: approx. 14,130 tons fully loaded
Speed: 32.5 knots
Aircraft: four
Armament: twelve 15.2cm 6-inch/47 caliber guns in four triple mounts, twelve 12.7cm 5-inch/38 caliber guns in six twin mounts, 28 40mm guns, 10 20mm guns
Crew: 70 officers and 1285 enlisted

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS ATLANTA. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

USS ATLANTA was laid down on 25 January 1943 at Camden, N.J., by the New York Shipbuilding Corp. launched on 6 February 1944 sponsored by Mrs. John R. Marsh (better known by her pen name, Margaret Mitchell, the author of the novel Gone With The Wind) who also sponsored the cruiser ATLANTA (CL 51) and commissioned on 3 December 1944, Capt. B. H. Colyear in command.

After commissioning, the light cruiser got underway on 5 January 1945 for shakedown training in the Chesapeake Bay and the Caribbean. Upon the completion of those exercises, ATLANTA arrived at Norfolk on 14 February and then moved up the coast to Philadelphia. After a period in the navy yard there, she sailed on 27 March for the Pacific. She stopped at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and transited the Panama Canal before reaching Pearl Harbor on 18 April. From 19 April to 1 May, the ship conducted training exercises in Hawaiian waters. She then sailed to Ulithi and reported to Task Force (TF) 58 on 12 May.

From 22 to 27 May, ATLANTA served with the Fast Carrier Task Force operating south of Japan near Okinawa while its aircraft struck targets in the Ryukyus and on Kyushu to support forces fighting for Okinawa. Her task group broke up on 13 June, and ATLANTA entered San Pedro Bay, Philippines, on 14 June. Following two weeks of upkeep, she sailed on 1 July with Task Group (TG) 38.1 and once again protected the fast carriers launching strikes against targets in the Japanese home islands. During these operations, the cruiser took part in several shore bombardment missions against Honshu and Hokkaido.

ATLANTA was operating off the coast of Honshu when the Japanese surrendered on 15 August 1945. On 16 September, she entered Tokyo Bay and remained there through 29 September.

With over 500 passengers on board, the cruiser sailed on 30 September for the United States. She paused en route at Guam before arriving in Seattle, Wash., on 24 October. The vessel then proceeded to the shipyard at Terminal Island, Calif., for an extensive overhaul. She was ready to return to sea on 3 January 1946 and got underway for Sasebo, Japan.

From January through June, ATLANTA operated among several Far Eastern ports which included Manila, Philippines Tsingtao and Shanghai, China Okinawa Saipan Nagasaki, Kagoshima, and Yokosuka, Japan. In June, she returned via Guam to the United States and arrived at San Pedro, Calif., on the 27th. Two days later, the cruiser entered the San Francisco Naval Shipyard for overhaul. On 8 October, she headed toward San Diego for sea trials.

The cruiser remained in southern California waters until 23 February 1947, when she left for maneuvers off Hawaii. On 1 May, she departed Pearl Harbor with TF 38 for a visit to Australia. The ships stayed in Sydney through 27 May, then sailed for San Pedro, Calif., via the Coral Sea, Guadalcanal, Tulagi, and Guam. She dropped anchor at San Pedro on 28 July. A series of maneuvers off the California coast ensued, the ATLANTA returned to Pearl Harbor on 28 September. She continued on to Yokosuka, Japan. After two days at anchor there, she sailed to Tsingtao, China. Other ports of call during the deployment were Hong Kong Singapore and Keelung, China. On 27 April 1948, the cruiser got underway and proceeded via Kwajalein and Pearl Harbor to San Diego.

Following her arrival back in the United States on 19 May, ATLANTA conducted exercises off San Diego. She paid a visit to Juneau, Alaska, from 29 June to 6 July. She then arrived at Seattle on 12 July to begin a major overhaul. The cruiser returned to San Diego for local maneuvers on 20 November.

In early February 1949, the ship embarked naval reservists for a training cruise and operated between San Diego and San Francisco until 1 March when she entered the Mare Island Naval Shipyard to commence deactivation. Atlanta was decommissioned on 1 July 1949 and placed in the Pacific Reserve Fleet. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 October 1962, and she was earmarked for disposal.

ATLANTA's career, however, had not yet ended. Instead, she underwent an extensive modification at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard. Reinstated on the Navy list as IX 304 on 15 May 1964, the vessel was converted to a target ship for studies of the effects of high energy air explosions on naval ships. The changes included cutting her hull down to the main deck level and erecting various experimental superstructures - designed for guided missile frigates and guided missile destroyers - on her deck. In these configurations she was subjected to explosions to determine whether or not the experimental structures could satisfactorily combine essential lightness with equally essential strength and blast resistance. These three tests were conducted off the coast of Kahoolawe, Hawaii, in early 1965. ATLANTA was damaged, but not sunk, by the experiments. She was laid up at Stockton, Calif., sometime late in 1965. Her name was again struck from the Navy list on 1 April 1970, and the former light cruiser was sunk during an explosive test off San Clemente Island, Calif., on 1 October 1970.


USS Atlanta (CL-51) on trials, November 1941 - History

6,718 Tons (Standard)
8,340 Tons (Max load)
541' 6" x 53 x 20' 6"
16 x 5" Mark 12guns (8x2)
9 x 1.1" AA guns (3x4)
8 x 20mm AA guns
8 x 21" torpedo tubes

Wartime History
Afterwards, underwent a shake down cruise off Chesapeake Bay and Casco Bay until March 13, 1942 then returns to the New York Navy Yard for repairs and alterations until the end of the month. On April 5, 1942 transits the Panama Canal to Balboa a week later until ordered to perform a reconnaissance of Clipperton Island west of Mexico then arrives Pearl Harbor on April 23, 1942 and continues training exercises including anti-aircraft practice on May 3, 1942.

On May 10, 1042 departs Pearl Harbor with USS McCall (DD-400) escorting a convoy including USS Rainier (AE-5) and USS Kaskaskia (AO-27) to the South Pacific to Nouméa on New Caledonia. On May 16, 1942 joins Task Force 16 (TF-16) under the command of Vice Admiral William F. Halsey including USS Enterprise (CV-6) and USS Hornet (CV-8) and proceeded from the South Pacific to Pearl Harbor arriving on May 26, 1942 and two days later departs as part of the screening force for the aircraft aircraft carriers and proceeds to the northeast of Midway Atoll.

On June 4, 1942 during the Battle of Midway served as part of the warship screen protecting USS Hornet (CV-8) for a week then back to Pearl Harbor arriving June 13, 1942. For the remainder of the month and took on provisions and undertook training exercises including anti-aircraft practice and being on alert status. On July 1, 1942 entered dry dock until the next day for hull scraping, cleaning and painting then resumed training.

On July 15, 1942 departed Pearl Harbor still as a part of TF-7 bound for Tongatapu on Tonga nine days later. That same day, Atlanta refueled USS Maury (DD-401) then was refueled herself. She screened the carriers that supported the landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi during August 1942.

Later in the month, escorted USS Enterprise and during the Battle of the Eastern Solomons (Second Battle of the Solomon Sea) and protected USS Saratoga (CV-3) after that carrier was damaged by a torpedo fired by a Japanese submarine.

During the next two months, she kept busy escorting combat and auxiliary ships engaged in the ongoing struggle to hold Guadalcanal.

In late October 1942 provides distant support during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands then was stationed closer to Guadalcanal. On October 30, 1942, her 5" guns conducted a shore bombardment of Japanese positions Guadalcanal and nearly two weeks later, on November 11-12, 1942, her guns helped defend against Japanese planes attacking U.S. transports and supply ships.

Sinking History
During the night of November 12-13, 1942 during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (Third Battle of the Solomon Sea), USS Atlanta was part of the cruiser and destroyer force ordered to stop the Japanese bombardment of Henderson Field on Guadalcanal.

During the battle, Atlanta was illuminated by searchlights from Hiei and Akatsuki and hit by a torpedo launched by either Inazuma or Ikazuchi. Afterwards, Atlanta was hit by gunfire from other enemy and friendly ships and was almost completely disabled and suffered heavy casualties.

On November 13, 1942 during the early daylight hours her crew worked to save the ship but the damage was too extensive. The captain ordered her scuttled and the remaining crew were rescued. Atlanta sank at 8:15am roughly three miles west of Lunga Point in Iron Bottom Sound off Guadalcanal. On January 13, 1943 Atlanta was officially struck from the Navy register.

Shipwreck
The Atlanta rests on her port side at a depth of 430' in Iron Bottom Sound off Lunga Point on Guadalcanal.

During the 1991-1992 Lost Ships of Guadalcanal expedition led by Dr. Robert Ballard, Atlanta was briefly examined by a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and video footage was included in National Geographic: The Lost Fleet of Guadalcanal that first aired in 1993.

In November 1995, the Atlanta was first dived by Kevin Denlay and Terrence Tysall and then thoroughly explored in detail on several dedicated expeditions led by them during the following years.

During May 2011, a team of six divers from Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) with Neil Yates / Tulagi Dive made six dives on the shipwreck using rebreathers. They recorded high-definition video footage for the documentary USS Atlantic: Defender of Guadalcanal documentary.

Relatives
Richard Nunziato adds:
"Carmen Nunziato, was (is) a crew member of the USS Atlanta CL-51. He is 85 years old. He is very proud of the Atlanta and the others who served on board."

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Service history [ edit | edit source ]

After fitting out, Atlanta conducted shakedown training until 13 March, first in Chesapeake Bay and then in Maine's Casco Bay, after which she returned to the New York Navy Yard for post-shakedown repairs and alterations. Adjudged to be "ready for distant service" on 31 March, the new cruiser departed New York for the Panama Canal Zone on 5 April. She reached Cristobal on the 8th. After transiting the isthmian waterway, Atlanta then cleared Balboa on 12 April with orders to reconnoiter Clipperton Island, a tiny barren, uninhabited atoll about 670 mi (1,080 km) southwest of Acapulco, Mexico, in the course of her voyage to the Hawaiian Islands, for any signs of enemy activity. Finding none, she ultimately reached Pearl Harbor on 23 April.

Battle of Midway [ edit | edit source ]

Punctuating her brief stay in Hawaiian waters with an antiaircraft practice off Oahu on 3 May, Atlanta, in company with McCall, sailed on 10 May as escort for Rainier and Kaskaskia, bound for Nouméa, New Caledonia. On 16 May, she joined Vice Admiral William F. Halsey's Task Force 16 (TF 16), formed around Enterprise) and Hornet, as it steamed back to Pearl Harbor, having been summoned back to Hawaiian waters in response to an imminent Japanese thrust in the direction of Midway Atoll. TF 16 arrived at Pearl on 26 May.

Atlanta again sailed with TF 16 on the morning of the 28th. Over the days that followed, she screened the carriers as they operated northeast of Midway in anticipation of the enemy's arrival. At the report of Japanese ships to the southwest, on the morning of 4 June, Atlanta cleared for action as she screened Hornet. Squadrons from the American carriers sought out the Japanese, and during that day, planes from Yorktown and Enterprise inflicted mortal damage on four irreplaceable enemy flattops. Japanese planes twice hit TF 17, and it took the brunt of the enemy attacks. Over the days that followed the Battle of Midway, Atlanta remained in the screen of TF 16 until 11 June, when the task force received orders to return to Pearl Harbor.

Reaching her destination on 13 June, Atlanta, outside of brief period of antiaircraft practice on 21 and 25–26 June, remained in port, taking on stores and provisions and standing on 24-hour and then 48-hour alert into July 1942. Drydocked on 1–2 July so that her bottom could be scraped, cleaned and painted, the cruiser completed her availability on the 6th and then resumed a busy schedule of gunnery practice with drone targets, high-speed sleds, and in shore bombardment in the Hawaiian operating area.

On 15 July 1942, Atlanta, again in TF 16, sailed for Tongatapu. Anchoring at Nukuʻalofa, Tonga on 24 July, where she fueled Maury and then took on fuel from Mobilube, the light cruiser pushed on later the same day and overtook TF 16. On 29 July, as all preparations proceeded for the invasion of Guadalcanal, Atlanta was assigned to TF 61.

Screening the carriers as they launched air strikes to support the initial landings on 7–8 August, Atlanta remained there until the withdrawal of the carrier task forces on the 9th. For the next several days, she remained at sea, replenishing when necessary while the task force operated near the Solomons.

Battle of the Eastern Solomons [ edit | edit source ]

As the Americans consolidated their gains on Guadalcanal, the critical need for reinforcements prompted Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto to send the Combined Fleet south to cover a large troop convoy. American scout planes spotted the Japanese forces on the morning of 23 August. With the enemy reported to the northwest, Enterprise and Saratoga launched search and attack planes, but they failed to make contact because of deteriorating weather and the fact that the Japanese, knowing that they had been spotted, reversed course.

Throughout the day on 24 August, Atlanta received enemy contact reports and screened Enterprise as she launched a strike group to attack the Japanese carriers. The sighting of an enemy "snooper" at 1328 sent Atlanta ' s sailors to general quarters, where they remained for the next 5½ hours. At 1530, the cruiser worked up to 20 kn (23 mph 37 km/h) as TF 16 stood roughly north-northwestward "to close [the] reported enemy carrier group." At 1637, with unidentified planes approaching, Atlanta went to 25 kn (29 mph 46 km/h). Enterprise then launched a strike group shortly thereafter, completing the evolution at 1706.

In the meantime, the incoming enemy bombers and fighter aircraft from Shōkaku and Zuikaku prompted the task force to increase speed to 27 kn (31 mph 50 km/h), shortly after Enterprise completed launching her own aircraft, the Japanese raid, estimated by Captain Jenkins to consist of at least 18 Aichi D3A1 "Val" dive bombers, came in from the north northwest at 1710. Over the next 11 minutes, Atlanta ' s 5 in (130 mm), 1.1 in (28 mm) and 20 mm batteries contributed to the barrage over Enterprise, as the light cruiser conformed to Enterprise ' s every move as she maneuvered violently to avoid the dive bombers.

Despite the heavy antiaircraft fire, Enterprise took one hit and suffered some shrapnel damage from an estimated five near hits. Captain Jenkins later reported that his ship may have shot down five of the attackers.

Reporting to TF 11 for duty the following day, Atlanta operated with that force, redesignated TF 61 on 30 August, over the next few days. When I-26 torpedoed Saratoga on 31 August, the light cruiser screened the stricken flagship as Minneapolis rigged a towline and began taking her out of danger. The force ultimately put into Tongatapu on 6 September, where Atlanta provisioned ship, fueled from New Orleans, and enjoyed a period of upkeep.

Underway on 13 September, the light cruiser escorted Lassen and Hammondsport on the 15th. After seeing her charges safely to their destination at Dumbea Bay, Nouméa, on the 19th, Atlanta fueled, took on stores and ammunition, and sailed on the 21st as part of Task Group 66.4 (TG 66.4). Becoming part of TF 17 on 23 September, the light cruiser was detached the following day to proceed in company with Washington, Walke and Benham to Tongatapu, which she reached on the 26th.

Underway with those same ships on 7 October, Atlanta briefly escorted Guadalcanal-bound transports from 11–14 October, before putting into Espiritu Santo for fuel on the afternoon of the 15th. Assigned then to Rear Admiral Willis A. Lee's TF 64, the ship sailed after dark that same day to resume operations covering the ongoing efforts to secure Guadalcanal. Returning briefly to Espiritu Santo for fuel, stores and provisions, the warship stood out from Segond Channel on the afternoon of 23 October.

Two days later, with a Japanese Army offensive having failed to eject the Americans from Guadalcanal, Admiral Yamamoto sent the Combined Fleet south in an attempt to annihilate the American naval forces doggedly supporting the marines. Atlanta operated in TF 64, along with Washington, San Francisco, Helena and two destroyers, as the opposing forces engaged in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands on 26 October. That day, Atlanta patrolled astern of the fueling group supporting the two American carrier task forces. On the 27th, when I-15 attacked TF 64, the force maneuvered at high speed to clear the area.

On the morning of the 28th, Atlanta brought on board Rear Admiral Norman Scott from San Francisco, and became the flagship of the newly designated TG 64.2. After fueling from Washington, Atlanta, screened by four destroyers, headed northwest to shell Japanese positions on Guadalcanal. Reaching the waters off Lunga Point on the morning of the 30th, Atlanta embarked Marine liaison officers at 0550, and then steamed west, commencing her bombardment of Point Cruz at 0629 while the destroyers formed a column astern. Provoking no return fire, TG 64.2 accomplished its mission and returned to Lunga Point, where Atlanta disembarked the liaison officers. She then proceeded, in company with her screen, to Espiritu Santo, where she arrived on the afternoon of 31 October.

Naval Battle of Guadalcanal [ edit | edit source ]

Convoy Escort [ edit | edit source ]

Atlanta served as Admiral Scott's flagship as the light cruiser, accompanied by four destroyers, escorted Zeilin, Libra and Betelgeuse to Guadalcanal. The cruiser and her consorts continued to screen those ships, designated TG 62.4, as they lay off Lunga Point on 12 November unloading supplies and disembarking troops.

At 0905, the task group received a report that nine bombers and 12 fighters were approaching from the northwest, and would reach their vicinity at about 0930. At about 0920, Atlanta led the three auxiliaries to the north in column, with the destroyers spaced in a circle around them. 15 minutes later, nine "Vals" from Hiyō emerged from the clouds over Henderson Field, the American airstrip on Guadalcanal. The American ships opened fire soon after, putting up a barrage that downed "several" planes. Fortunately, none of the primary targets of the attack, Zeilin, Libra and Betelgeuse, suffered more than minor damage from several close calls, though Zeilin sustained some flooding. The three auxiliaries returned to the waters off Lunga Point as soon as the attack ended and resumed working cargo and disembarking troops.

A little over an hour later, at 1050, Atlanta received word of another incoming Japanese air raid. 15 minutes later, Atlanta led the three auxiliaries north with the destroyers in a circle around the disposition. The "bogeys", 27 Mitsubishi G4M "Bettys" from Rabaul, closed, sighted bearing west by north, approaching from over Cape Esperance in a very loose "V" formation. Although the destroyers opened fire, the planes proved to be out of range and the ships checked fire. The "Bettys", for their part, ignored the ships and continued on to bomb Henderson Field. Upon the disappearance of the planes, TG 62.4 resumed unloading off Lunga Point.

On 12 November, Atlanta was still off Lunga Point, screening the unloading, as part of TF 67 under Rear Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan in San Francisco. At about 1310, Atlanta received a warning that 25 enemy planes were headed for Guadalcanal, slated to arrive within 50 minutes. The light cruiser went to general quarters at 1318 and received the signal "prepare to repel air attack. "

Within six minutes, Atlanta and the other combatants of the support group formed a screen around the transport group (TG 67.1), and the two groups steamed north together at 15 kn (17 mph 28 km/h). At about 1410, the Americans sighted the incoming raid, consisting of what appeared to be 25 twin-engined bombers ("Bettys") which broke up into two groups after clearing Florida Island, came in at altitudes that ranged from 25 to 50 ft (8 to 16m). Juneau opened fire at 1412. Atlanta did so a minute later, training her guns at planes headed for the gap in the screen between San Francisco and Buchanan. Atlanta claimed to have shot down two "Bettys", just after they dropped their torpedoes, at about 1415, only three minutes before the attack ended. Once the last Japanese plane had been splashed, the work of unloading the transports and cargo ships resumed. One "Betty", crippled by antiaircraft fire, crashed into the after superstructure of San Francisco, inflicting the only damage on the force.

Night Attack [ edit | edit source ]

The abrupt end of the air attack gave Atlanta and her colleagues only a brief respite, however, for trouble approached from yet another quarter. A Japanese surface force, made up of two battleships, one cruiser and six destroyers, was detected steaming south toward Guadalcanal to shell Henderson Field. Admiral Callaghan's support group was to "cover [the retiring transports and cargo vessels] again enemy attack." TG 67.4 departed Lunga Point about 1800 and steamed eastward through Sealark Channel, covering the withdrawal of TG 67.1. An hour before midnight, Callaghan's ships reversed course and headed westward.

Helena ' s radar picked up the first contact at a range of 26,000 yd (24,000 m). As the range closed, Atlanta ' s surface search radar, followed by her gunnery radars, picked up a contact on the enemy ships.

Admiral Callaghan's order for a course change caused problems almost at once, as Atlanta had to turn to port (left) immediately to avoid a collision with one of the four destroyers in the van, the latter having apparently executed a "ships left" rather than "column left" movement. As Atlanta began moving to resume her station ahead of San Francisco, the Japanese destroyer Akatsuki Ώ] illuminated the light cruiser and immediately suffered the consequences. Atlanta shifted her main battery to fire at the enemy destroyer, opening fire at a range of about 1,600 yd (1,500 m) and, along with other US ships that concentrated on Akatsuki’s searchlights, simply overwhelmed the hapless destroyer. ΐ] Α]

As two other Japanese destroyers crossed her line, Atlanta engaged both with her forward 5 in (130 mm) mounts, while her after mounts continued to blast away at the illuminated ship. An additional, unidentified assailant also opened up on the light cruiser from the northeast. At about that time, at least one torpedo plowed into Atlanta's forward engine room from the port side, fired almost certainly by either Inazuma or Ikazuchi Β] (Akatsuki’s destroyer consorts). Atlanta lost all but auxiliary diesel power, suffered the interruption of her gunfire, and had to shift steering control to the steering engine room aft. Meanwhile Akatsuki, now a floating charnel house, drifted out of the action and soon sank with heavy loss of life. Michiharu Shinya, Akatsuki's Chief Torpedo Officer, one of her few survivors, was rescued the next day by US Forces and spent the rest of the war in a New Zealand Prisoner Of War camp. Γ] (He latter stated unequivocally that Akatsuki had not been be able to fire any torpedoes that night before being overwhelmed by gunfire. Δ] )

Soon after being torpedoed, Atlanta was then hit by an estimated nineteen 8-inch (200 mm) shells when San Francisco, "in the urgency of battle, darkness, and confused intermingling of friend or foe", fired at her. Though almost all of the shells passed through the thin skin of the ship without detonating, scattering green dye, fragments from their impact killed many men, including Admiral Scott and members of his staff. Atlanta prepared to return fire on her new assailant, but San Francisco's own gun flashes disclosed a distinctly "non-Japanese hull profile" that resulted in a suspension of those efforts. San Francisco's shells, which passed high through Atlanta's superstructure, may have been intended for a Japanese target further beyond her from San Francisco's perspective. Ε]

After the 8 in (200 mm) fire ceased, Atlanta ' s Captain Jenkins took stock of the situation, and, having only a minor foot wound, made his way aft to Battle II. His ship was badly battered, largely powerless, down by the head and listing slightly to port, and a third of his crew was dead or missing. As the battle continued, the light cruiser's men began clearing debris, jettisoning topside weight to correct the list, reducing the volume of sea water in the ship, and succoring the many wounded.

Sinking [ edit | edit source ]

Daylight revealed the presence nearby of three burning American destroyers, the disabled Portland, and the abandoned hulk of Yudachi, which Portland summarily dispatched with three salvoes. Atlanta, drifting toward the enemy-held shore east of Cape Esperance, dropped her starboard anchor, and her captain sent a message to Portland explaining the light cruiser's condition. Boats from Guadalcanal came out to take her most critically wounded. By mid-morning, all of those had been taken.

Bobolink arrived at 0930 on 13 November, took Atlanta under tow, made harder by the cruiser's still lowered anchor, and headed toward Lunga Point. During the voyage, a "Betty" bomber neared the disposition, and one of the two surviving 5 in (130 mm) mounts, the one powered by a diesel generator, fired and drove it off. The other mount, on manual control, could not be trained around in time.

Atlanta reached Kukum about 1400, at which point Captain Jenkins conferred with his remaining officers. As Jenkins, who was later awarded a Navy Cross for his heroism during the battle, later wrote, "It was by now apparent that efforts to save the ship were useless, and that the water was gaining steadily." Even had sufficient salvage facilities been available, he allowed, the severe damage she had taken would have made it difficult to save the ship. Authorized by Commander, South Pacific Forces, to act at his own discretion regarding the destruction of the ship, Jenkins ordered that Atlanta be abandoned and sunk with a demolition charge.

Accordingly, all remaining men except the captain and a demolition party boarded Higgins boats sent out from Guadalcanal for the purpose. After the charge had been set and exploded, the last men left the battered ship. Ultimately, at 2015 on 13 November 1942, Atlanta sank 3 mi (5 km) west of Lunga Point in about 400 ft (120 m) of water. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 13 January 1943.

Exploration of the Wreck [ edit | edit source ]

The wreck of the USS Atlanta was discovered in 1992 by an expedition led by Dr Robert Ballard using a remotely operated underwater vehicle, (ROV). Dr Ballard was famous for leading the expeditions that discovered the RMS Titanic and the DKM Bismarck. Unfortunately, strong ocean currents and poor visibility prevented the expedition from thoroughly exploring the Atlanta. In 1994, two Australian ‘technical divers’ Rob Cason and Kevin Denlay travelled to Solomon Islands with the intention of being the first scuba divers to dive the Atlanta but this was unsuccessful because of the lack of a suitable surface support vessel and strong surface currents this was also the first mixed gas scuba diving expedition to Guadalcanal. However, they did manage to dive one of the two other, deepest diveable wrecks the Japanese transport Azumasan Maru, which is almost 90m deep at the stern and the Sasako Maru, which Denlay dived in 1995 at over 90m in the collapsed debris field of the bridge. Many other World War II wrecks discovered by Dr Ballard in Iron Bottom Sound are beyond the current technical limit for scuba and are only accessible by ROVs or submersibles. Dr Ballard gives an account of this in his book The Lost Ships of Guadalcanal. In the same year, Denlay returned with American Terrance Tysall and made the first successful scuba dive on the USS Atlanta, which was at the time the deepest wreck dive by free swimming divers in the southern hemisphere.

In the following years, Denlay and Tysall mounted several larger expeditions to survey the Atlanta, exploring and videoing the wreck in detail to a depth of 130 m (430 ft) at the bow. Ζ] The civil unrest in Solomon Islands from late 1998 prevented further diving around Guadalcanal for a couple of years. However, on the final expedition that year, the then deepest wreck dive by a woman was made by Kevin’s wife, Mirja, on the Atlanta. Denlay's last visit to the wreck was in 2002 using a closed circuit rebreather or CCR, the first CCR dive on the Atlanta. Η] Since then, very few dives have been conducted on the Atlanta, although in May 2011 a very experienced deep diving team from Global Underwater Explorers successfully videoed the wreck for documentary purposes, the first survey of the wreck since Denlay’s expeditions up to 1998.


ATLANTA CL 51

This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.


    Atlanta Class Light Cruiser
    Keel Laid 22 April 1940 - Launched 6 September 1941

Naval Covers

This section lists active links to the pages displaying covers associated with the ship. There should be a separate set of pages for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Covers should be presented in chronological order (or as best as can be determined).

Since a ship may have many covers, they may be split among many pages so it doesn't take forever for the pages to load. Each page link should be accompanied by a date range for covers on that page.

Postmarks

This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Within each set, the postmarks should be listed in order of their classification type. If more than one postmark has the same classification, then they should be further sorted by date of earliest known usage.

A postmark should not be included unless accompanied by a close-up image and/or an image of a cover showing that postmark. Date ranges MUST be based ONLY ON COVERS IN THE MUSEUM and are expected to change as more covers are added.
 
>>> If you have a better example for any of the postmarks, please feel free to replace the existing example.


American General and Flag Officers killed in World War II.

Rear Admiral Isaac Campbell Kidd (U.S Navy), Commander, Battleship Division One. Killed, age 57, December 7, 1941 aboard USS ARIZONA (BB-39) Kidd was killed on the bridge during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.

Rear Admiral Daniel Judson Callaghan (U.S. Navy) Commander, Task Group 67.4. Killed, age 52, November 13, 1942 aboard USS SAN FRANCISCO (CA-38) at the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. Callaghan was killed by an enemy shell on the bridge of his flagship Awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.

/>Rear Admiral Norman Scott (U.S. Navy) Commander Task Group 67.2. Killed, age 53, November 13, 1942 aboard USS ATLANTA (CL-51) at the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. His flagship, was fatally damaged by Japanese gunfire and torpedoes. Awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.

Brigadier General Guy Osborne Fort (U.S. Army) Commanding General, 81 st Philippine Division. Nothing more is known of Fort’s death, only that he was captured, tortured, and executed by the Japanese in 1942, age 63.

Lieutenant General Frank Maxwell. Andrews (U.S. Army) Supreme Commander of all U.S. Forces in the ETO. Killed, age 59, May 3, 1943 in a B-24 Liberator crash on Iceland.

Brigadier General Charles Henry Barth, Jr. (U.S. Army) Chief of Staff U.S. Forces in the ETO. Killed, age 39, May 3, 1943 in a B-24 Liberator crash on Iceland.

Brigadier General Charles Leslie Keerans, Jr. (U.S. Army) Assistant Division Commander, 82nd Airborne Division. Age 44, MIA June 11, 1943, later declared dead, when his stick was shot down by friendly fire.

Major General William Peterkin Upshur (U.S. Marine Corps) Commanding General, Department of the Pacific, U.S. Marine Corps. Killed, age 61, July 21, 1943 in an aircraft crash near Sitka, Alaska, while on an inspection tour of his command. Awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions as a captain during the 1915 Haitian campaign.

Major General Charles Dodson Barrett (U.S. Marine Corps) Commanding General, I Marine Amphibious Corps. Died, age 58, October 8, 1943, following a fall from the second-floor porch of his quarters at Noumea, New Caledonia.

Brigadier General Don F. Pratt (U.S. Army) Assistant Division Commander, 101 st Airborne Division. Killed , age 51, June 6, 1944 when he was crushed by cargo that had broken its moorings when the glider landed.

Major General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (U.S. Army) Commanding General, 90th Division. Died, age 56, June 12, 1944 of a heart attack the day of his appointment as CG 90th. As Deputy Commanding General, 4th Infantry, awarded the Medal of Honor for his leadership on Utah Beach.

Lieutenant General Leslie J. McNair (U.S. Army) Commanding General, Army Ground Forces. Killed, age 61, June 25, 1944 near St Lô, during a pre-attack bombardment by Eight Air Force strategic bombers.

Brigadier General James Edward Wharton (U.S. Army) Commanding General, 28 th Infantry Division. Killed, age 49, August 12, 1944 by German Sniper while at a regimental command post near Sourdeval, Normandy, France, after being in command of the division for less than 24 hours.

Brigadier General Vicente Lim (U.S. Army) Commanding General, 41 st Philippine Division. Native Filipino, survived the Death March, released by the Japanese, joined the resistance, captured, tortured and executed by the Japanese, age 56.

Brigadier General James R. Anderson (U.S. Army) Chief of Staff (Strategic Air Force, Pacific Ocean Area). MIA and presumed dead February 25, 1945 when his B-24 disappeared between Kwajalein Island and Hawaii.

Lieutenant General Millard “Miff” Fillmore Harmon, Jr. (U.S. Army Air Force) Commanding General, Task Force 93 (Strategic Air Force, Pacific Ocean Area). MIA and presumed dead, age 51, February 25, 1945 when his B-24 disappeared between Kwajalein Island and Hawaii.

Major General Edwin Davies Patrick (U.S. Army) Commanding General, 6 th Infantry Division. Mortally wounded, age 51, in action on March 14, 1945 by Japanese machine-gun fire while at a regimental forward command post on the island of Luzon, Philippine Islands.

Brigadier General Gustav J. Braun, Jr. (U.S. Army) Assistant Division Commander, 34th Division. Killed, age 50, March 17, 1945, shot down by enemy gunfire while flying in a light aircraft on reconnaissance.

Major General Maurice Rose (U.S. Army) Commanding General, 3d Armored Division. Killed, age 45, March 30, 1945 near Paderborn by a German tank commander while his jeep was attempting to pass through a German tank column, a sniper hit his head..

Colonel William “Bill” Orlando Darby (approved by Congress for promotion to Brigadier General before death) (U.S. Army) Assistant Division Commander, 10 th Mountain Division. Killed, age 54, by artillery fire on April 30, 1945. Earlier he had led U.S. Army Rangers during combat operations in Sicily and Italy.

Brigadier General James Leo Dalton II (U.S. Army) Assistant Division Commander, 25 th Infantry Division. Killed, age 34, by a Japanese sniper during the Battle of Balete Pass, Luzon, Philippine Islands on May 16, 1945.

Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr. (U.S. Army) Commanding General, Tenth Army. Killed, age 58, June 18, 1945 by direct fire artillery while inspecting a forward observation post.

Brigadier General Claudius Miller Easley (U.S. Army) Assistant Division Commander, 96 th Infantry Division. Killed, age 53, June 19, 1945 by a Japanese sniper on the Island of Leyte, Philippine Islands.


USS Atlanta (CL-51) on trials, November 1941 - History

(CL-104: dp. 14,400 1. 610'1" b. 66'4" dr. 24'10" s. 31.6 k. cpl. 1,426 a. 12 6", 12 5", 28 40mm., 10 20mm. cl. Cleveland)

The fourth Atlanta (CL-104) was laid down on 25 January 1943 at Camden, N.J., by the New York Shipbuilding Corp. launched on 6 February 1944 sponsored by Mrs. John R. Marsh, the author of Gone With The Wind, who also sponsored the cruiser Atlanta (CL-51) and commissioned on 3 December 1944, Capt. B. H. Colyear in command.

After commissioning the light cruiser got underway on 5 January 1945 for shakedown training in the Chesapeake Bay and the Caribbean. Upon the completion of those exercises, Atlanta arrived at Norfolk on 14 February and then moved up the coast to Philadelphia. After a period in the navy yard there, she sailed on 27 March for the Pacific. She stopped at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and transited the Panama Canal before reaching Pearl Harbor on 18 April. From 19 April to 1 May, the ship conducted training exercises in Hawaiian waters. She then sailed to Ulithi and reported to Task Force (TF) 58 on 12 May.

From 22 to 27 May, Atlanta served with the Fast Carrier Task Force operating south of Japan near Okinawa while its aircraft struck targets in the Ryukyus and on Kyushu to support forces fighting for Okinawa. Her task group broke up on 13 June, and Atlanta entered San Pedro Bay, Philippines, on 14 June. Following two weeks of upkeep, she sailed on 1 July with Task Group (TG) 38.1 and once again protected the fast carriers launchin strikes against targets in the Japanese home islands. During these operations, the cruiser took part in several shore bombardment missions against Honshu and Hokkaido.

Atlanta was operating off the coast of Honshu when the Japanese surrendered on 15 August 1945. On 16 September, she entered Tokyo Bay and remained there through 29 September.

With over 500 passengers on board, the cruiser sailed on 30 September for the United States. She paused en route at Guam before arriving in Seattle, Wash., on 24 October. The vessel then proceeded to the shipyard at Terminal Island, Calif., for an extensive overhaul. She was ready to return to sea on 3 January 1946 and got underway for Sasebo, Japan.

From January through June, Atlanta operated among several Far Eastern ports which included Manila, Philippines Tsingtao and Shanghai, China Okinawa Saipan Nagasaki, Kagoshima, and Yokosuka, Japan. In June, she returned via Guam to the United States and arrived at San Pedro, Calif., on the 27th. Two days later, the cruiser entered the San Francisco Naval Shipyard for overhaul. On 8 October, she headed toward San Diego for sea trials.

The cruiser remained in southern California waters until 23 February 1947, when she left for maneuvers off Hawaii. On 1 May, she departed Pearl Harbor with TF 38 for a visit to Australia. The ships stayed in Sydney through 27 May, then sailed for San Pedro, Calif., via the Coral Sea, Guadalcanal, Tulagi, and Guam. She dropped anchor at San Pedro on 28 July. A series of maneuvers off the California coast ensued, the Atlanta returned to Pearl Harbor on 28 September. She continued on to Yokosuka, Japan. After two days at anchor there, she sailed to Tsingtao, China. Other ports of call during the deployment were Hong Kong Singapore and Keelung, China. On 27 April 1948, the cruiser got underway and proceeded via Kwajalein and Pearl Harbor to San Diego.

Following her arrival back in the United States on 19 May, Atlanta conducted exercises off San Diego. She paid a visit to Juneau, Alaska, from 29 June to 6 July. She then arrived at Seattle on 12 July to begin a major overhaul. The cruiser returned to San Diego for local maneuvers on 20 November.

In early February 1949, the ship embarked naval reservists for a training cruise and operated between San Diego and San Francisco until 1 March when she entered the Mare Island Naval Shipyard to commence deactivation. Atlanta was decommissioned on 1 July 1949 and placed in the Pacific Reserve Fleet. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 October 1962, and she was earmarked for disposal.

Atlanta's career, however, had not yet ended. Instead, she underwent an extensive modification at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard. Reinstated on the Navy list as IX-304 on 15 May 1964, the vessel was converted to a target ship for studies of the effects of high energy air explosions on naval ships. The changes included cutting her hull down to the main deck level and erecting various experimental superstructures--designed for guided missile frigates and guided missile destroyers-on her deck. In these configurations she was subjected to explosions to determine whether or not the experimental structures could satisfactorily combine essential lightness with equally essential strength and blast resistance. These three tests were conducted off the coast of Kahoolawe, Hawaii, in early 1965. Atlanta was damaged, but not sunk, by the experiments. She was laid up at Stockton, Calif, sometime late in 1965. Her name was again struck from the Navy list on I April 1970, and the former light cruiser was sunk during an explosive test off San Clemente Island, Calif, on 1 October 1970.


Compatible Upgrades

Performance

Atlanta is a Tier VII American cruiser that plays like a "tweener" she can be used as a slightly under-gunned light cruiser, or she can be played as "heavy" destroyer.

Success in game depends on finding the sweet spot between the two. At 27,500 HP and a good chance that one of the heavyweights on the enemy team will hit critical areas if given a clean shot, it's best to weave through friendly traffic, get in close (the 5-inch main guns have a range of a touch over 11km) and spray whatever target is a priority with HE rounds. She'll do far more damage with fire than she will with actual shell impacts. AP rounds are highly situational with this ship as they will only penetrate broadside targets at point-blank range (less than 5km) however, they can be utterly devastating if her captain knows when to use them.

Atlanta - and her sister ship, Flint - are unique in the game in that they have unlimited charges of the Defensive AA Fire consumable. When coupled with her excellent anti-aircraft armament, she utterly shreds enemy planes, though her over-reliance on flak means this can sometimes be inconsistent if the enemy planes dodge, and she's not nearly as threatening to them once they get close. As of patch 0.5.9.0, Atlanta has also been given access to the Surveillance Radar consumable, making her an even bigger threat to enemy destroyers.

  • Fast main battery traverse speed
  • Extremely high DPM and shell volume for a Tier 7 cruiser
  • Very high shell arcs allow to safely shoot over islands
  • Tight turn radius
  • Good long range (flak) AA suite
  • Equipped with torpedoes with good damage and speed
  • Access to the Surveillance Radar () consumable
  • The Defensive AA Fire () consumable has unlimited charges
  • Small hitpoint pool and no usable armor, poor survivability
  • Torpedoes are very short ranged
  • Abysmal main battery base range, barely better than Atlanta's base surface detection
  • Poor shell velocity makes hitting targets at range difficult
  • Low AA DPS with no mid-range aura Atlanta's over-reliance on long-range flak can make her inconsistent against planes
  • Slow rudder shift for such a small ship
  • Requires several 4-point captain skills to perform optimally IFHE is a must in order to be capable of hurting battleships

Research

As a premium ship, Atlanta doesn't have any upgrades to research.

Tactical Advice: Stick with HE most of the time, she'll do more damage in the long run that way. Don't go toe to toe with anyone unless forced into it. Even some destroyers out-range and outgun her. Keep her speed up at all times and move, move, move. Twist, turn, vary her speed anything to throw the enemy's aim off. This ship is a knife fighter and she is best used like a shotgun. Fast, messy, quick hit and run close quarters combat. If she finds herself at the front of the pack staring down a couple of ships, she's probably going to get hammered. Practice predicting the "arc" of the shells. This ship has a ridiculously high rate of fire but at anything beyond 4-5km the shells come in at such an extreme angle that she's literally "raining" or "walking" shells across her target. If she ends up going one-on-one with someone and they can concentrate on what her arc of fire is doing even a large slow ship has a decent chance to evade most of the impacts. Focus on ships already under attack by allies, add her firepower to the carnage. The most rewarding tactic using the Atlanta, is staying behind cover and using your outstandingly high shell arcs to harass the enemy with HE Rounds.


USS Atlanta (i) (CL 51)


USS Atlanta in the south-west Pacific, late1942.

USS Atlanta (Capt. Samuel Power Jenkins, USN) was wrecked by gunfire and torpedoes from Japanese warships on 12 November 1942.

After an attempted salvage failed the ship was scuttled off Guadalcanal the following day.The Commanding officer survived the sinking however he was wounded and Rear Admiral Norman Scott was killed.

Commands listed for USS Atlanta (i) (CL 51)

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1Capt. Samuel Power Jenkins, USN24 Dec 194113 Nov 1942

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Watch the video: WoWS: Legends - USS Atlanta (July 2022).


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