Initially commissioned as a BALTIMORE - class heavy gun cruiser, the USS COLUMBUS was the third ship in the Navy to bear the name. After serving as a heavy cruiser for 14 years, the COLUMBUS was decommissioned and converted to a guided missiler, changing her designation from CA 74 to CG 12. Recommissioned on December 1, 1962, the COLUMBUS became the last ship in a series of three former heavy cruisers to receive the conversion. Her two sister ships were modernized in 1970, but the COLUMBUS was not. This resulted in her being decommissioned first of the three ships. Decommissioned on January 31, 1975, and stricken from the Navy list on August 9, 1976, the ship was sold for scrapping on October 3, 1977.
|General Characteristics:||Awarded: September 9, 1940|
|Keel laid: June 28, 1943|
|Launched: November 30, 1944|
|Commissioned as CA 74: June 8, 1945|
|Decommissioned: May 8, 1959|
|Recommissioned as CG 12: December 1, 1962|
|Decommissioned: January 31, 1975|
|Builder: Bethlehem Steel, Quincy, Mass.|
|Propulsion system: geared turbines; 120,000 shaft horsepower|
|Length: 673.5 feet (205.3 meters)|
|Beam: 70.9 feet (21.6 meters)|
|Draft: 26.9 feet (8.2 meters)|
|Displacement: approx. 17,500 tons full load|
|Speed: 32.5 knots|
|Armament: two 5-inch/38 caliber guns, two Mk-12 Talos missile launchers, two Mk-11 Tartar missile launchers, one Mk-16 ASROC missile launcher, 6 torpedo tubes (from two triple mounts)|
|Crew: 60 officers and 950, with staff embarked: 85 officers and 1120 enlisted|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS COLUMBUS. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
USS COLUMBUS Cruise Books:
Accidents aboard USS COLUMBUS:
|March 11, 1956||off Luzon, Philippines||USS COLUMBUS, then CA 74, and the USS FLOYD B. PARKS (DD 884) are damaged after colliding off the Philippines.|
History of USS COLUMBUS:
USS COLUMBUS was launched 30 November 1944 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass.; sponsored by Mrs. E. G. Meyers; and commissioned 8 June 1945, Captain A. Hobbs in command.
Joining the Pacific Fleet, COLUMBUS reached Tsingtao China, 13 January 1946 for occupation duty. On 1 April, she helped to sink 24 Japanese submarines, prizes of war, and next day sailed for San Pedro, Calif. For the remainder of the year, she operated in west coast waters, then made a second Far Eastern cruise from 15 January to 12 June 1947.
After west coast operations and an overhaul at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, COLUMBUS cleared Bremerton 12 April 1948 to join the Atlantic Fleet, arriving at Norfolk, Va., 19 May. COLUMBUS made two cruises as flagship of Commander-in-Chief, Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, from 13 September 1948 to 15 December 1949 and from 12 June 1950 to 5 October 1951, and one as flagship of Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic, during parts of NATO Operation "Mainbrace" from 25 August to 29 September 1952. She cruised in the Mediterranean from October 1952 through January 1953, serving part of that time as flagship of the 6th Fleet. Now flagship of Cruiser Division 6, she returned to the Mediterranean from September 1954 to January 1955. Between deployments, COLUMBUS received necessary overhauls and carried out training operations along the east coast and in the Caribbean.
Reassigned to the Pacific Fleet, COLUMBUS cleared Boston 8 November 1955 for Long Beach, Calif., where she arrived 2 December. Just a month later, on 5 January 1956, she sailed for Yokosuka, Japan, and operated with the 7th Fleet until she returned to Long Beach 8 July. COLUMBUS made two more cruises to the Far East in 1957 and 1958. During the late summer of 1958, her presence was a reminder of American strength and interest as she patrolled the Taiwan Straits during the crisis brought on by the renewed shelling of the offshore islands by the Chinese Communists. On 8 May 1959, COLUMBUS went out of commission at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to begin her conversion to a guided missile cruiser, and she was reclassified CG 12, 30 September 1959.
Recommissioned 1 December 1962, the COLUMBUS conducted sea trials off the California coast from March to June 1963 and returned to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in November to be equipped with the SPS-30 Radar Systems and two 5-inch guns. December 1963 to March 1964 were spent operating off the US west coast and in April, the COLUMBUS entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for a short period. In May, the ship was underway again.
The COLUMBUS set sail for the western Pacific 5 August 1964, her first deployment following the guided missile conversion. Returning to the United States 6 February 1965, the ship spent the remainder of the year operating off the west coast.
Reassigned to the Atlantic Fleet in January 1966, the COLUMBUS assumed duties as flagship for COMCRUDESFLOT 8 in February and subsequently participated in operations and exercises along the east coast.
Heading for the Mediterranean in October 1966, the COLUMBUS relieved the USS ALBANY (CG 10) allowing her sister ship to return home. COLUMBUS operated with the Sixth Fleet until April 1967. The ship again deployed to the Mediterranean from January to July 1968 before entering the Boston Naval Shipyard for overhaul from July to October.
The COLUMBUS assumed duties as flagship for COMCRUDESFLOT 10, 1 December 1968 and left for the Mediterranean the next day. COLUMBUS returned home in May 1969 and entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for overhaul from 13 June to 2 September. Reassigned as flagship for COMCRUDESFLOT 2, the ship departed for the Mediterranean 8 October 1969. The COLUMBUS returned to Norfolk 18 March 1970, and once again entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard from 17 April to 6 July.
COLUMBUS conducted three more Mediterranean deployments from 6 September 1970 to 1 March 1971, 17 May 1972 to 18 October 1972, and 2 November 1973 to 31 May 1974. After returning from her last deployment, the COLUMBUS began preparations for deactivation and was finally decommissioned 31 January 1975.
USS COLUMBUS Image Gallery:USS COLUMBUS as CA 74, before the guided missile conversion: