Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole Studies USS Alaska CB-1
Posted on 09/09/2006 4:52:42 PM PDT by alfa6
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The six Alaska class "large cruisers" were ordered in September 1940 under the massive 70% Expansion ("Two Ocean Navy") building program. The Navy had been considering since 1938 building ships of this entirely new type, intermediate in size between battleships and heavy cruisers. The new ships were to carry out what were then the two primary missions of heavy cruisers: protecting carrier strike groups against enemy cruisers and aircraft and operating independenly against enemy surface forces. Their extra size and larger guns would enhance their value in both these missions and would also provide insurance against reports that Japan was building "super cruisers" more powerful than U.S. heavy cruisers. In fact, Japan developed plans for two such ships in 1941--partly as a response to the Alaskas--but never placed orders for their construction.
As built, the Alaskas were much closer to cruisers in design than to battleships or battlecruisers. They lacked the multiple layers of compartmentation and special armor along the sides below the waterline that protected battleships against torpedos and underwater hits by gunfire. Other typical cruiser features in their design were the provision of aircraft hangars and the single large rudder. Unlike other U.S. cruisers of the day, the hangars and catapults were located amidships, and the single rudder made them difficult to maneuver. On the other hand, the Alaskas' side armor covered more of the hull than was standard in contemporary U.S. cruisers.
Wartime conditions ultimately reduced the Alaska class to two ships. Construction of CB-3 through CB-6--along with the five Montana (BB-67) class battleships--was suspended in May 1942 to free up steel and other resources for more urgently needed escorts and landing craft. A year later, CB-4 through CB-6 were definitively cancelled. Hawaii (CB-3), however, was restored to the building program. Launched and partially fitted out, her construction was suspended and she was considered for conversion to a missile ship or command ship, but she was scrapped, still incomplete, in 1959.
After more normal construction periods, Alaska (CB-1) and Guam (CB-2) both arrived in the Pacific theater ready for action in early 1945. There they carried out both of their designed missions--carrier protection and surface strike--although their chances of encountering their primary intended opponents, Japanese heavy cruisers, had long since disappeared. Both returned to the U.S. soon after the war's end and, not finding a place in the postwar active fleet, remained in reserve until scrapped in 1960-61.
Design Specifications for the Alaska Class Cruisers displacement. 27,000tons; length. 806'6"; beam. 91'1"; draft. 27'1" (mean)
speed. 31.4 Kts; complement. 2,251;
Armor: 9" belt, 12 4/5" turrets, 1 2/5" + 4" + 5/8" decks
armament. 9 12", 12 5", 56 40 mm, 34 20 mm; aircraft. 4
Machinery: 150,000 SHP; G.E. geared turbines, 4 screws.
The Alaska class consisted of six ships, of which three were never begun:
# Alaska (CB-1), built at Camden, New Jersey. Keel laid in December 1941; launched in August 1943; commissioned in June 1944. # Guam (CB-2), built at Camden, New Jersey. Keel laid in February 1942; launched in November 1943; commissioned in September 1944. # Hawaii (CB-3), built at Camden, New Jersey. Construction suspended between May 1942 and May 1943. Keel laid in December 1943; launched in November 1945; never completed. # Philippines (CB-4), ordered at Camden, New Jersey. Never begun, suspended in May 1942 and cancelled in June 1943. # Puerto Rico (CB-5), ordered at Camden, New Jersey. Never begun, suspended in May 1942 and cancelled in June 1943. # Samoa (CB-6), ordered at Camden, New Jersey. Never begun, suspended in May 1942 and cancelled in June 1943.
The Navy's third Alaska (CB-1 )-the first of a class of "large cruisers" designed as a compromise to achieve a fast cruiser with a heavy main battery was laid down on 17 December 1941 at Camden, N.J., by the New York Shipbuilding Corp., Launched on 15 August 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Ernest Gruening, wife of the Honorable Ernest Gruening, Governor of Alaska, and commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 17 June 1944, Capt. Peter K. Fischler in command.
Following post-commissioning fitting out at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Alaska stood down the Delaware River on 6 August 1944, bound for Hampton Roads, escorted by Simpson (DD-221) and Broome (DD-210). She then conducted an intensive shakedown, first in Chesapeake Bay and then in the Gulf of Paria, off Trinidad, British West Indies, escorted by Bainbridge (DD-246) and Decatur (DD-341). Steaming via Annapolis, Md., and Norfolk, Alaska returned to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, where the large cruiser underwent changes and alterations to her fire control suite: the fitting of four Mk. 57 directors for her five-inch battery.
Alaska departed Philadelphia on 12 November 1944 for the Caribbean, in company with Thomas E. Fraser (DM-24), and after two weeks of standardization trials out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, sailed for the Pacific on 2 December. She completed her transit of the Panama Canal on 4 December, and reached San Diego on the 12th. Thereafter, the new large cruiser trained m shore bombardment and anti-aircraft firing off San Diego before an availability at Hunter's Point, near San Francisco.
On 8 January 1945, Alaska sailed for Hawaii, and reached Pearl Harbor on the 13th, where, on the 27th, Capt. Kenneth M. Noble relieved Capt. Fischler, who had achieved flag rank. Over the ensuing days, Alaska conducted further training before getting underway as a unit of Task Group (TG) 12.2, weighing anchor for the western Pacific on 29 January. She reached Uhthi, the fleet anchorage in the Caroline Islands on 6 February, and there joined TG 58.5, a task group in the famed Task Force (TF) 58, the fast carrier task force.
Alaska sailed for the Japanese home islands as part uf TG 58.5 on 10 February 1945, assigned the mission of screening the aircraft carriers Saratoga (CV-3) and Enterprise (CV-6) as they carried out night air strikes against Tokyo and its airfields. During the voyage, all hands on board Alaska speculated about what lay ahead almost three-quarters of the men had never seen action before and sought out the veterans in their midst "for counsel and advice."
Sensing the air of expectation on board his ship Capt. Noble spoke to the crew over the public address system and reassured them of his confidence in them. In doing so, he used an analogy familiar to most Americans: "We are a member of a large task force which is going to pitch directly over the home plate of the enemy, " he said, "It is our particular job to back up the pitchers."
Alaska, still with TG 58.4formed around the fleet carriers Yorktoum (CV-10), Intrepid (CV-11), Independence (CVL-22) and Langley (CVL-27 - again drew the duty of protecting the valuable flattops. Her principal mission then, as it had been before, was defense of the task group against enemy air or surface attacks.
Its battle plan outlined in detail, TF 58 cruised northwesterly from the Carolines, following the departure from Ulithi on 14 March. Refueling at sea on the 16th, this mighty force reached a point southeast of Kyushu early on the 18th. On that day, the planes from TG 58.4 swept over Japenese airfields at Usa, Oita and Saeki, joining those from three other task groups, TG 58.1 TG 58.2, and TG 58.3 in claiming 107 enemy aircraft destroyed on the ground and a further 77 (of 142) engaged over the target area.
Soon thereafter, Alaska received word of the proximity of "friendlies" in the vicinity. At 0822 a single-engined plane approached the large cruiser "in a threatening fashion" from ahead m a shallow dive. Alaska opened fire promptly and scored hits. Unfortunately, almost simultaneously her fire eontrolmen were receiving word that the plane was, indeed, a friendly F6F"Hellcat." Fortunately, the pilot was uninjured and ditched his crippled plane, another ship in the disposition picked him up.
Thanks for the interesting details. A fine ship!
We always took signs like that to mean no smoking - at the ammo dump.
Perhaps Alaska was "You think you know how to build a pocket battleship? Look at this Lady and weep." Stick them in the eye with a stick with a grin on your face and twelve inch guns at your back.
One must keep in mind Hoel, Roberts, and Johnston.
Destroyers were also big players with the sinking of the Hiei at Guadalcanal. Historical accounts tend to simply mention that the Hiei was sunk by aircraft the next day, but it wasn't. During the previous night, US Destroyers put perhaps hundreds of 5" rounds into the Battleship from point blank range and a torpedo. It was crippled to 5 knots, and a large number of the crew were killed or wounded. A few hits were scored by aircraft from Henderson field, but it was the Japanses who scuttled the ship due to the damage done by the US Destroyers.
If you want a very interesting comparison look at the Scharnhorst versus the Alaska.
Nice pic of a Dannish Dakota taking off, Hat tip to Alf Blume for the pic
September 13, 2006
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God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
A survey titled Caregiving in the US estimates that more than 44 million Americans are unpaid caregivers, and a majority of them currently work or have worked while providing care. The survey also found that God, family, and friends were most often cited as sources of strength by people who are caring for others.
Three-fourths of the respondents said they relied on prayer to deal with the demands of caregiving. Prayer is the best way to refresh yourself, said one person. I find a quiet place and pray and cry and get relief. Then I can go back into the room calm.
God is our refuge and strength, wrote the psalmist, a very present help in trouble (Ps. 46:1). Eugene Petersons vivid paraphrase says: God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need Him.
Through prayer, we can step into the calming presence of the Lord and find strength to go on. As we bring our heartaches and needs to God, He meets us where we are and gives us His peace. He is an ever-present help who cares for us in every situation.
Caregiving is a high calling and a difficult task. But there is strength from the Lord to help us as we care for those who need us.
Bible in One Year: Bible in One Year: Proverbs 16-18; 2 Corinthians 6
September 14, 2006
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Your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. Matthew 6:18
Typically, as we age we lose our prominence and our positions of influence. Even those of us who have never sought the limelight seem increasingly to fade into the shadows.
Obscurity and anonymity are good, however, for it is difficult to perform in public without wondering what impression were making on others. We fret over the extent that our reputations are being enhanced or damaged. And therein lies our peril: To the degree that we seek human recognition, we forfeit Gods approval. On the other hand, to lose the admiration of men and women may turn us to seek Gods approval only.
Here is a test for our gifts, our prayers, our fasts: Are they done for Gods eyes only? If so, though overlooked and unnoticed by others, we have our Fathers acknowledgment and reward.
Three times Jesus repeated to His disciples: Your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly (Matt. 6:4,6,18). This is our assurance as well. Every unobserved gift of time, energy, and love; every petition we whisper in our Fathers ears; every secret, inward struggle against sin and self-indulgence will be fully rewarded in due time. In the end, His Well done, good and faithful servant is all that will matter (Matt. 25:21).
Bible in One Year: Bible in One Year: Proverbs 19-21; 2 Corinthians 7
A pic of the Wake Island Airfield Terminal after the super typhoon went by last week
September 15, 2006
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Constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. Acts 12:5
When I was a pastor, I often visited residents in rest homes. Ill never forget one dear elderly lady I met. She was blind and had been bedridden for 7 years, yet she remained sweet and radiant. One day she told me about a dream she had. She was in a beautiful garden, where the grass was a luxuriant carpet beneath her and the fragrance of flowers filled the air.
She dropped to her knees, entranced by the scene. As her thoughts were drawn heavenward, she felt the need to pray for her own pastor, for me, and for others. When she awakened, however, she discovered that she was still in her hospital bed. With a smile she said to me, You know, Pastor, at first I was a bit disappointed. But in a sense the dream was true. This old bed has been a garden of prayer these 7 years! Prayer had made her room a holy place of meditation and blessing.
Prayer also made a difference when Peter was in prison (Acts 12). It isnt always easy to pray, for real intercession takes self-discipline. Many of us lapse into saying fine-sounding words without truly praying. God often drives us to our knees through the press of circumstances, where we are to seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore (1 Chron. 16:11).
Bible in One Year: Bible in One Year; Proverbs 22-24; 2 Corinthians 8
Oh wow! That's horrible.
Good morning, FOXHOLE!
September 16, 2006
READ: Genesis 17:4-7,15-19
I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants . . . to be God to you. Genesis 17:7
A self-employed inventor from Branson, Missouri, decided to change his name to They. He said he did it for fun to address the common reference that people make to they. He remarked, People say, They do this, or Theyre to blame for that. They accomplish such great things. Somebody had to be responsible. When his friends call his home, they ask, Is They there? His new name must drive grammarians crazy.
Abrams name was changed, but not on a whim. The Lord changed it. In biblical times, God often changed a persons name to indicate what He was going to do through that person.
Abrams name (exalted father) was changed to Abraham (father of many) because God had promised to make him a father of many nations (Gen. 17:5) through whom all the families of the earth shall be blessed (12:3).
In fulfillment of Gods promise, Jesus came from the line of Abraham and blessed the nations by giving His life for our sins. When we believe in Him, we are blessed and are promised eternal life with Him. God now calls us by new names: My people and sons of the living God (Rom. 9:25-26). As His people, we can be used by Him to bless others.
Bible in One Year: Bible in One Year; Proverbs 25-26; 2 Corinthians 9
September 17, 2006
READ: Acts 8:1-8
Those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the Word. Acts 8:4
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the US Gulf Coast and displaced an estimated 1.3 million households. With cities and towns evacuated, homes destroyed, and jobs gone, people relocated to communities in every state including Alaska and Hawaii. Because Christians are not immune to the storms of life, its likely that thousands of people who love the Lord found themselves in places they never expected to live.
Yet many of those same people whose hopes and plans were shattered by Katrina would also bring Gods love to others across the US. Like the early Christians who were forced out of Jerusalem by persecution, it could be said of them: Those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the Word (Acts 8:4).
While none of us would choose this kind of financial loss and disruption, would we see it as an opportunity to share the hope Jesus Christ has given us?
The apostle Peters letter reminded Christians who had been scattered among the nations to be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15).
If we are uprooted, we can scatter the seeds of the gospel wherever we go.
Bible in One Year: Bible in One Year; Proverbs 27-29; 2 Corinthians 10