Tuesday, June 2, 2009
USS Quincy (CA-39)
Figure 1: USS Quincy (CA-39) photographed during the late 1930s. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 2: USS Quincy (CA-39) underway at sea, circa 1937. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 3: Cruiser Division Seven's South American Cruise, 1939. View of USS Quincy (CA-39) at left and USS Tuscaloosa (CA-37) steaming in rough seas near the Strait of Magellan, 14 May 1939. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Collection of Rear Admiral Paul H. Bastedo. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 4: View looking forward from the bridge of USS Quincy (CA-39) while she was steaming through rough seas in the Strait of Magellan during Cruiser Division Seven's South American cruise, 14 May 1939. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Collection of Rear Admiral Paul H. Bastedo. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 5: USS Quincy (CA-39) underway on 1 May 1940, as seen from a Utility Squadron One aircraft. Note identification markings on her turret tops: longitudinal stripes on the forward turrets and a circle on the after one. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 6: USS Quincy (CA-39) in New York Harbor, 23 May 1942, after her last overhaul. HMS Biter (British Escort Aircraft Carrier, 1942) is in the left background, partially hidden by Quincy's bow. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 7: View on board USS Quincy (CA-39) looking aft on the port side from alongside 8-inch gun turret No. 1 while the ship was at the New York Navy Yard on 29 May 1942. Numbers in white circles mark recently installed items, including (# 1) splinter protection on the pilothouse; (# 2) 20-mm guns just forward of the pilothouse (largely hidden behind the second 8-inch gun turret); and (# 3) 1.1-inch gun mountings on the upper bridge wings. Other notable items include paravanes on the superstructure side just forward of the second 8-inch gun turret and the rangefinder "tub" atop the pilothouse. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 8: View on board USS Quincy (CA-39) looking forward over the boat deck from the secondary conn while the ship was at the New York Navy Yard for her last overhaul, 29 May 1942. Crude # "1" in white circle (center) marks the location of the 5-inch loading practice machine. Other notable items include: boats and boat cradle in foreground; four Curtiss SOC "Seagull" floatplanes atop the catapults; crated food piled by the after smokestack; and USS Marblehead (CL-12) at left. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 9: USS Quincy (CA-39) photographed from USS Wasp (CV-7) at Noumea, New Caledonia, on the eve of the invasion of Guadalcanal, 3 August 1942. She was sunk six days later during the Battle of Savo Island. Note Quincy's signal flags and Measure 12, Modified, camouflage scheme. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 10: USS President Adams (AP-38) photographed from USS Wasp (CV-7), at Noumea, New Caledonia, 4 August 1942. She is crowded with U.S. Marines bound for the invasion of Guadalcanal. USS Quincy (CA-39) is in the background. Note President Adams' life rafts, landing craft, and climbing netting. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 11: USS Quincy (CA-39) photographed from a Japanese cruiser during the Battle of Savo Island off Guadalcanal, 9 August 1942. Quincy, seen here burning and illuminated by Japanese searchlights, was sunk in this action. Copied from the Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison World War II history illustrations file. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 12: Captain Samuel N. Moore (1891-1942), USN, photographed circa 1941, while he was assigned to the Navy Department in Washington, D.C. In May 1942, he took command of the heavy cruiser USS Quincy. On 9 August 1942, during the night Battle of Savo Island, Captain Samuel N. Moore was killed in action on the bridge of his ship. The destroyer USS Samuel N. Moore (DD-747), which served from 1944 until 1969, was named in his honor. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.
Named after a city in Massachusetts, USS Quincy (CA-39) was a 9,375-ton New Orleans class heavy cruiser that was built by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Quincy, Massachusetts, and was commissioned on 9 June 1936. The ship was approximately 588 feet long and 61 feet wide, had a top speed of 32 knots, and had a crew of 807 officers and men. Quincy initially was armed with nine 8-inch guns, eight 5-inch guns, and eight .50-caliber machine guns, although this armament was modified a bit after the start of World War II. Quincy also was equipped with four lightly armed floatplanes that were used for reconnaissance.
Quincy first was assigned to Cruiser Division 8 of the Atlantic Fleet and was ordered to the Mediterranean on 20 July 1936 to protect American citizens during the Spanish Civil War. The heavy cruiser arrived off Malaga, Spain, on 27 July and while in Spanish waters worked with an international rescue fleet that included the German pocket battleships Deutschland, Admiral Graf Spee, and Admiral Scheer. During the Spanish Civil War, Quincy evacuated 490 refugees to France before being relieved by USS Raleigh on 27 September 1936.
In April 1937, Quincy transited the Panama Canal to begin operations in the Pacific. She returned to the Atlantic in January 1939 and in February took part in US naval exercises in the Caribbean. Quincy also spent some time in South American waters from April to June 1939 on a good will cruise.
Following the outbreak of World War II in Europe in September 1939, Quincy was assigned to the Neutrality Patrol in the western Atlantic. She returned to South America in mid-1940 and for several months acted as a training ship for Naval Reservists. Quincy also was attached to more Neutrality Patrols and participated in various amphibious warfare exercises in the Caribbean. In July 1941, Quincy steamed between America’s Atlantic coast and Iceland, assisting in the protection of unarmed American merchant ships in the area. Towards the end of 1941, Quincy escorted a convoy from South Africa to Trinidad. Her escort and patrol duties continued until shortly after the United States entered the war on 7 December 1941.
On 25 January 1942, Quincy was assigned to convoy escort duty and steamed off the coast of Iceland as part of Task Force 15. Quincy patrolled the Denmark Straits from 8 to 11 March and then left the area on 14 March for the New York Navy Yard. Once there, the heavy cruiser underwent a major overhaul that was to last until the end of May.
After the overhaul was completed, Quincy was transferred to the Pacific Fleet by way of the Panama Canal in June 1942. The following month, Quincy was sent to New Zealand in preparation for the invasion of the southern Solomon Islands. On 7 August 1942, the heavy cruiser bombarded Japanese targets on Guadalcanal and provided close fire support for the US Marines who were landing on the island.
During the evening of 8–9 August 1942, Quincy was one of five heavy cruisers (four American and one Australian) on patrol in the approaches to the landing beaches of Guadalcanal. While steaming in the channel between Florida Island and Savo Island in the early hours of 9 August, Vice Admiral Gunichi Mikawa’s Japanese task force of seven cruisers and one destroyer ran straight into five Allied cruisers and seven destroyers. What took place became known as the disastrous Battle of Savo Island, where the Japanese, who were experts in night gunfire and torpedo warfare, slaughtered the inexperienced Allied warships. USS Quincy, along with two other American and one Australian cruiser, were sunk and the remaining American cruiser was damaged. Approximately 1,002 Allied officers and men were killed and 666 were wounded. Quincy alone lost 370 killed and 167 wounded. The Japanese sustained only a few casualties and moderate damage to three cruisers, but lost no ships. It was one of the worst disasters in American naval history and tragically demonstrated the US Navy’s inability to fight a major naval battle at night. It also was a sad end to the relatively brief career of a fine ship, but the loss of USS Quincy (as well as the other Allied cruisers that night off Savo Island) showed that the US Navy had a lot to learn if it was going to prevail over the Japanese Navy at Guadalcanal.
Posted by Remo at 9:23 AM