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USS COLUMBUS (CA-74) - a Baltimore-class cruiser

In Commission 1945 to 1975

CA-74 Deployments - Major Events

Add a CA-74 Shellback Initiation Add a CA-74 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
JUN 1943 - Keel Date: 28 JUN 1943
NOV 1944 - Launch Date: 30 NOV 1944
JUN 1945 - Commissioned: 8 JUN 1945
SEP 1948 - DEC 1949 North Atlantic-Med-Indian Ocean
AUG 1952 - FEB 1953 Mediterranean
SEP 1954 - JAN 1955 Mediterranean
JUN 1955 - AUG 1955 Mediterranean and England Cruze 1955
JUL 1958 - MAR 1959 West Pac
DEC 1958 - NOV 1959 Middle Pacific
JAN 1975 - Decommissioned: 31 JAN 1975

CA-74 General Specifications

Complement: 1906 Officers and Enlisted

Displacement: 13600 tons

Length: 674 feet 11 inches

Beam: 70 feet 10 inches

Draft: 26 feet 5 in

Flank Speed: 32 Knots


The third Columbus (CA-74) was launched 30 November 1944 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass.; sponsored by Mrs. Edward G. Meyers, mother of two sons killed in the war; and commissioned at Boston on 8 June 1945, Captain Allen Hobbs in command.

Following a shakedown cruise to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in September, and a repair availability at Boston in November, the cruiser sailed for the Pacific and passed through the Panama Canal on 10 December. After brief stops at Pearl Harbor and Buckner Bay, Okinawa, Columbus reached Tsingtao, China, on 13 January 1946 for occupation duty. Serving as flagship for Commander, Cruiser Division One, the warship visited Shanghai, China, as well as Sasebo and Yokosuka, Japan, during the hectic spring months. While in Japanese waters, the cruiser participated in the 1 April Operation "Road's End," the sinking of twenty-four Japanese submarines captured at the end of the war, including the submarine I-58, credited with sinking the American cruiser Indianapolis (CA-*) in the last days of the war. Sailing for home the next day, Columbus remained in west coast waters through the end of the year. The warship made a second Far Eastern cruise from 15 January to 12 June 1947, again serving as cruiser flagship in Chinese waters.

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, Columbus served in the Atlantic Fleet for the next fourteen years, decommissioning at Portsmouth, Virginia, on 31 January 1975. Struck from the Navy list on 9 August 1976, the hulk was sold for scrap to Consolidated Andy Inc., Brownsville, Texas, on 3 October 1977.

[Note: The above USS COLUMBUS (CA-74) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS COLUMBUS (CA-74), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]