The Cleveland class was born with the need to increase both range and AA armament in mind. Much of this need resulted from the European War, which had shown the need for effective AA fire.
The design steps to achieve the desired results were remarkably simple: the 152mm gun turret number three in front of the bridge was to be removed, for weight saving, and the 127mm L/25 AA guns were to be removed and replaced by the advanced L/38 twin mounts, also placed on battleships. As well, 300 tons extra weight were to be added.
This class was exceptionally large; a total of 39 ships were projected, and could have been built without major problems. However, three units were cancelled, and nine ships were build as the Independence class of Light Carriers instead. The rest of 27 cruisers saw service throughout the war, and the first batch of cruisers of this type came right in time to supplement the Brooklyn class in the fierce night and day battles around the Solomons.
This class was well protected against torpedo and mine hits through a well sub-divided hull, which also had no openings as on the earlier cruiser classes.
of this class saw combat in the Pacific once in a while, and mostly most
of the time. Cleveland was off North Africa during the Torch landings,
and she, Montpelier and Columbia fought in the Air-Sea Battle
Together with Denver, the three aforementioned ships fought at the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, and the class also supported the US carrier fleets on their march across the Pacific. Santa Fé and Vincennes supported the damaged cruisers Canberra and Houston off Formosa, after the latter duo had been hit by Japanese aerial torpedoes.
Birmingham helped the damaged carrier Princeton, and was damaged when a terrible explosion rocked the US carrier, receiving heavy casualties.
Houston suffered, as remarked, and torpedo hit off Formosa and was towed out by Boston.
12 x 152mm L/47 in four triple turrets, two superfiring fore and aft each
12 x 127mm L/38 in six twin turrets, one forward, one aft, two on each side
12 x 40mm L/56
20 x 20mm
12 x 152mm L/47 as above
12 x 127mm L/38 as above
28 x 40mm L/56
10 x 20mm
Standard: 11800 tons
Full: 14131 tons
Length: 186.0 meters
Beam: 20.2 meters
Draught: 7.5 meters
Height (Mast): 34.5 meters
Crew (Officers/Men): 70/1285
Speed: 32.5 knots
CL-60 Santa Fe
CL-91 Oklahoma City
CL-92 Little Rock
CL-103 Wilkes Barre