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The USS COLUMBUS (CG-12), a Baltimore class cruiser, was commissioned on 8 JUN 1945, as CA-74. Commissioned too late for combat in world War II, performed post war occupation duty in the Far East, then returned to the U.S. in April 1946. After a 1947 Far East deployment and subsequent overhaul, COLUMBUS joined the Atlantic Fleet. From 1948 thru 1955 COLUMBUS regularly deployed to the "MED". In 1956 she returned to the Pacific Fleet and made three "West Pacs" before beginning the conversion to a guided missile cruiser in May 1959. De-designated GC-12, CULUMBUS was recommissioned on 1 DEC 1962 and continued with the Pacific Fleet. COLUMBUS returned to the Atlantic Fleet, where she finished her service career, in late 1965. Over the next eight years COLUMBUS deployed to the Mediterranean seven times. USS COLUMBUS served her country, as CG-12, for 12 years, 1 month and 30 days, until decommissioned on 31 JAN 1975. The hulk of USS COLUMBUS sold was scrapped by Union Minerals & Alloys Corp. in 1977-78.

The USS COLUMBUS (CG-12) deployment history and significant events of her service career follow:

CG-12 Deployments - Major Events

Add a CG-12 Shellback Initiation Add a CG-12 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
JAN 1950 - JAN 1952 korean war
MAY 1964 - NOV 1964 West Pac-Viet Nam
JUL 1964 - Shellback Initiation - 22 JUL 1964 - Pacific Ocean
AUG 1964 - FEB 1965 West Pac-Viet Nam
AUG 1964 - FEB 1965 West Pac
AUG 1964 - Shellback Initiation - 18 AUG 1964 - Pacific Ocean
SEP 1964 - FEB 1965 West Pac
DEC 1964 - JAN 1965 shellback initation
FEB 1965 - Shellback Initiation - 18 FEB 1965 - Atlantic Ocean
MAY 1965 - Shellback Initiation - 22 MAY 1965 - Atlantic Ocean
MAY 1965 - Shellback Initiation - 22 MAY 1965 - Atlantic Ocean
JUN 1965 - AUG 1965 Midshipman Cruise - Annapolis San Juan Port Everglades Boston
NOV 1965 - NOV 1965 West Pac-Viet Nam
DEC 1965 - MAR 1966 transfered to atlantic fleet
JAN 1966 - MAR 1966 1st fleet to 2nd fleet
SEP 1966 - MAY 1967 Mediterranean
JAN 1968 - JUL 1968 Mediterranean
FEB 1968 - JUL 1968 Mediterranean
NOV 1968 - MAY 1969 Mediterranean
FEB 1969 - Shellback Initiation - 8 FEB 1969 - Atlantic Ocean
OCT 1969 - MAR 1970 Mediterranean
JAN 1970 - JUN 1973 Mediterranean
SEP 1970 - MAR 1971 Mediterranean
MAY 1972 - OCT 1972 Mediterranean
OCT 1973 - MAY 1974 Mediterranean
JAN 1975 - Decommissioned: 31 JAN 1975

CG-12 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 (CG-12) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS COLUMBUS (CG-12), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]