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Aircraft Carriers






Torpedo Boats

Liberty Ships

Foreign Warships

Warships Associated With
World War II in the Pacific


Des Moines class

  7. USS Des Moines (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

By 1942 cruisers had become the principal surface combat ship in the Pacific. In addition to screening the fast attack carriers, cruisers carried out gunnery raids on enemy held shores, provided fire support for amphibious operations and were given many assignments in support of general fleet operations. Of the many existing types and classes of American cruisers that fought in the Pacific none has survived unaltered today. USS Des Moines is the culmination of wartime American cruiser development. She is the first of a class of ships designed to effectively compete against Japanese cruisers in World War II. Although she was not commissioned until after the end of the war her design concept and equipment date from the war. She represents one of the last big gun wartime cruisers in existence today. She is still retained by the navy in the reserve fleet at the Philadelphia Naval Yard along with two other Des Moines class cruisers, USS Salem (Editors Note: Since this report was completed in 1985 USS Salem has moved to the former Quincy Fore River Shipyard in historic Quincy, Massachusetts. For additional information please visit the following web site, and USS Newport News. She is the first ship of her class and is in the best condition of the three cruisers.

USS Little Rock, a Cleveland class heavy cruiser, now preserved as a war memorial in Buffalo, New York, was also inspected. Although she is in good condition and well maintained, USS Little Rock has lost her historic character and does not appear to meet the criteria for designation as a National Historic Landmark. In 1960 the navy converted USS Little Rock to a Talos missile cruiser. She was commissioned on June 1945 and saw no World War II service.


Last Modified: Fri, Aug 25 2000 12:00:00 pm PDT

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