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U.S.S. NEWPORT NEWS

(CA-148)

GRAY GHOST FROM THE EAST COAST

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The USS NEWPORT NEWS (CA-148), a Des Moines-class heavy cruiser, was commissioned on 29 JAN 1949. USS NEWPORT NEWS served her country for 26 years, 4 months and 29 days, until decommissioned on 27 JUN 1975. NEWPORT NEWS spent the first eighteen years sailing from the East Coast on routine and contingency deployments. She answered the call to project American strength in the East Mediterranean and in several instances in the Caribbean, including the Cuban Missile Blockade. In September 1967 she sailed for the Pacific and the War in Vietnam. NEWPORT NEWS deployed three times to Vietnam, providing air defense and shore bombardment for the American effort. USS NEWPORT NEWS spent her "twilight tour" homeported in Norfolk, and sailing to the North Atlantic, Caribbean, hosting diplomatic and ceremonial events, midshipman training and a final dependent's cruise. NEWPORT NEWS was decommissioned in June 1975 and eventually scrapped in the early 1990s

The USS NEWPORT NEWS (CA-148) deployment history and significant events of her service career follow:

CA-148 Deployments - Major Events

Add a CA-148 Shellback Initiation Add a CA-148 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
NOV 1945 Keel Date: 1 NOV 1945
at Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Newport News VA
MAR 1948 Launch Date: 6 MAR 1948
JAN 1949 Commissioned: 29 JAN 1949
JAN 1953 - MAY 1953 Mediterranean
AUG 1954 - OCT 1954 Caribbean
SEP 1954 - OCT 1954 Guantanamo Bay
MAY 1957 - OCT 1957 Mediterranean
JUL 1958 - DEC 1958 Mediterranean-Lebanon
SEP 1958 - DEC 1958 Mediterranean
AUG 1960 - Shellback Initiation - 10 AUG 1960 - Atlantic Ocean
OCT 1962 - OCT 1962 Cuban Missle Blockade
JAN 1963 - APR 1963 Caribbean
SEP 1964 - SEP 1964 Blue Nose - Artic Circle
MAR 1965 - APR 1968 West Pac-Viet Nam
SEP 1966 - DEC 1966 North Atlantic
APR 1967 - MAY 1968 West Pac-Viet Nam
SEP 1967 - MAY 1968 West Pac-Viet Nam
DEC 1968 - Shellback Initiation - 12 DEC 1968 - Atlantic Ocean
DEC 1968 - JUL 1969 West Pac-Viet Nam
SEP 1969 - OCT 1970 North Atlantic
OCT 1971 - OCT 1971 Blue Nose - Artic Circle
FEB 1972 - FEB 1972 Caribbean
APR 1972 - NOV 1972 No. 2 8,Memory
APR 1972 - APR 1972 Panama Canal
APR 1972 - DEC 1972 West Pac-Viet Nam
OCT 1974 - Shellback Initiation - 21 OCT 1974 - Atlantic Ocean
JUN 1975 Decommissioned: 27 JUN 1975

CA-148 General Specifications

Class: Des Moines-class heavy cruiser

Complement: 1667 Officers and Enlisted

Displacement: 20980 tons

Length: 717 feet 6 inches

Beam: 76 feet 6 inches

Draft: 27 feet

Final Disposition: Scrapped in 1993



USS NEWPORT NEWS (CA-148)



The second Newport News (CA-148), a heavy cruiser, was laid down 1 November 1945; launched on 6 March 1948 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia; sponsored by Mrs. Homer T. Ferguson; commissioned 29 January 1949, Captain Roland N. Smoot commanding.

In addition to annual deployments to the Mediterranean from 1950 to 1961 for duty with the Sixth Fleet, she participated in major fleet exercises and midshipman training cruises in the Caribbean and Western Atlantic. In early September 1957, Newport News was on station in the Eastern Mediterranean in preparation for any contingency during the Syrian crisis. In March 1960, while steaming 75 miles northeast of Sicily, Newport News was ordered to proceed to Agadir, Morocco, to render assistance to the survivors of that earthquake shattered city. She steamed 1,225 miles in 40.5 hours at an average speed of 31 knots, arriving on 3 March to provide medical and material aid. With the assassination of General Trujillo and the resulting instability in Santo Domingo, Newport News was underway on short notice on 4 June 1961, and proceeded to a station in international waters off the Dominican Republic to await further orders. When the crisis terminated, the ship returned to Norfolk after conducting training exercises off Puerto Rico.

Newport News' berthing and communications facilities were modified in the winter of 1962 to accomodate Commander Second Fleet and his staff. In August 1962, she participated in NATO Exercise RIPTIDE III, and upon the end of the exercise, made a month long tour of Northern European ports as flagship of ComStrikFltLant, the NATO role of Commander Second Fleet.

Within a month after return to Norfolk, Newport News was underway on 22 October along with other units of the Atlantic Fleet for the Cuban Quarantine. For the next month, acting as flagship for ComSecondFlt, CA-148 was on station northeast of Cuba. When the Soviet MRBM's were dismantled and removed from Cuba, Newport News assisted in the missile count. Upon cancellation of the quarantine, she returned to her homeport of Norfolk the day before Thanksgiving.

Operations from 1963 through 1967 consisted primarily of NATO exercises in the North Atlantic, gunnery and amphibious exercises off the Eastern seaboard and Caribbean, and midshipman cruises. When the Dominican Republic crisis of 1965 developed, Newport News sortied from Norfolk on 29 April for Santo Domingo, where she was flagship for Commander Joint Task Force 122. Newport News remained on station off Santo Domingo until 7 May 1965 when JTF 122 was dissolved, and command was shifted to the Army ashore in the Dominican Republic. She returned to Norfolk, where in June alterations were made to increase her combat capabilities.

1 September 1967, Commander Second Fleet shifted his flag to Springfield, and Newport News departed Norfolk 5 September for a six month deployment to South East Asia. Arriving Da Nang, South Vietnam, on the morning of 9 October, she became the flagship of ComCruDesFlot 3. That night, at 2300, she fired her eight inch rifles for the first time in anger against shore targets in North Vietnam as part of operation Sea Dragon. For years her powerful guns had served as a major force to keep the peace. Now her strength served well in war during the following months in providing interdiction fire north of the Demilitarized Zone and naval gunfire support for American allied troops in South Vietnam.

The cruiser departed Subic Bay 21 April and arrived at her homeport of Norfolk 13 May 1968, via the Panama Canal.

[Note: The above USS NEWPORT NEWS (CA-148) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS NEWPORT NEWS (CA-148), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]