|Ship Class||Northampton-class Heavy Cruiser|
|Builder||Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company|
|Laid Down||2 Jul 1928|
|Launched||1 Feb 1930|
|Commissioned||30 Jan 1931|
|Decommissioned||16 Jul 1946|
|Displacement||9050 tons standard|
|Armament||9x203mm, 8x127mm, 8x7.62mm anti-aircraft, 6x533mm torpedo tubes|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Immediately after USS Augusta's shakedown and training cruiser, she was assigned as Vice Admiral Arthur Willard's flagship for the Scouting Force. She was re-classified a heavy cruiser in Aug 1931. She performed exercises and fleet problems at various locations in US waters until 20 Oct 1933 when she sailed for China. Arriving at Shanghai, China on 9 Nov 1933, she became the flagship of the Asiatic Fleet. In this role, she made extensive visits to such places as Manila, Yokohama, Kobe, Tsingtao, Hong Kong, Batavia, Bali, Guam, Canberra, Melbourne, and Perth, among others, for the next several years.
During the Second Battle of Shanghai in Aug 1937, Augusta was moored in Shanghai to observe Japanese maneuvers while her Marine detachment disembarked to guard Shanghai's neutral international zone. While there, she was mistakenly bombed (though the bombs missed) by Chinese aircraft; large American flags were painted atop the three main batteries to prevent similar mistakes. Nevertheless, she still received casualties when Chinese anti-aircraft shells came down on her on 20 Aug, though she remained in Shanghai to provide intelligence on Japanese troops. She finally left on 6 Jan 1938 after the Dec 1937 incident of the Japanese air attack on American gunboat Panay near Nanjing (Nanking). She did, however, made several more trips along the Chinese coast, and made several port calls at Shanghai.
After refitting at Mare Island Navy Yard in California, United States spanning from Dec 1940 to Apr 1941, Augusta was transferred to the Atlantic Fleet as Admiral Ernest King's flagship. In Jun 1940, she was chosen as President Franklin Roosevelt's flagship for the Aug 1940 meeting with Winston Churchill in Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada; Roosevelt and Churchill discussed and finalized the Atlantic Charter aboard Augusta. Roosevelt left the ship on 14 Aug after transferring his flag aboard another ship for his return trip.
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Rear Admiral Royal Ingersoll took over the command of the Atlantic Fleet and had his flag aboard Augusta until 12 Jan 1942. She patrolled the waters off of the east coast of the United States, in the Caribbean Sea, and off western Africa. On 23 Oct 1942, Rear Admiral H. Kent Hewitt broke his flag aboard her, making her the flagship of Task Force 34; at this time, General George Patton was among the high ranking officers aboard the heavy cruiser in preparation for the Operation Torch landings in North Africa in the following month. During the landing operations, Augusta escorted the landing transports while at the same time provided the firepower needed to counter French naval and coastal batteries off Casablanca. During an engagement with stationary French battleship Jean Bart, she was straddled by shells, but was not damaged. After the successful landings of Operation Torch, she returned to the Atlantic on convoy duties, including spending some time under British Royal Navy control.
On 25 Apr 1944, King George VI of Britain had lunch with Rear Admiral Alan Kirk aboard Augusta.
In Jun 1944, Augusta participated in the Normandy campaign as Lieutenant General Omar Bradley's transport. On 6 Jun, she fired 51 rounds from her main battery upon shore targets starting at 0618. On 10 Jun, Bradley disembarked to establish his command on land. On 1 Jul, she sailed for the Mediterranean Sea with Task Group 120.6, making port calls at Mers el Kebir, Palermo, Naples, and Corsica. In Aug 1944, she participated in Operation Dragoon on the coast of Southern France. On 15 Aug, she fired 15 rounds at Port Cros Island, 63 more on the next day, and 138 the day after; the German-French fort on the island surrendered on the last day of Allied naval bombardment. She remained in the area for naval gunfire support for the remainder of the Dragoon operation; by the time Dragoon was drew to a close, she had fired over 700 rounds of 203mm shells.
In Sep 1944, Augusta returned to the United States to undergo overhaul and repairs in Philadelphia. In Nov 1944, she suffered a mysterious explosion that killed three shipyard workers and four navy men. She sailed from the shipyard on 26 Jan 1945 for Puerto Rico, and on 21 Feb made a return trip as one of the escorting ships of cruiser Quincy which carried President Roosevelt back from the Yalta Conference. She remained at various locations on the east coast of the United States until the end of the European War. On 7 Jul 1945, she transported President Harry Truman, Secretary of State James Byrnes, and Admiral William Leahy to Antwerp, Belgium for the Potsdam Conference. After the end of the Pacific War, she was modified for Operation Magic Carpet to bring troops home from Europe. She was decommissioned in mid-1946 and sold for scrap on 9 Nov 1959 to Robert Benjamin of Panama City, Florida, United States.
USS Augusta Operational Timeline
|30 Jan 1931||Augusta was commissioned into service.|
|25 Jul 1937||Destroyer Squadron 29 of US Asiatic Fleet departed Yantai, Shandong Province, China and made rendezvous with USS Augusta at sea.|
|28 Jul 1937||USS Augusta and Destroyer Squadron 29 of US Asiatic Fleet arrived at Vladivostok, Russia.|
|1 Aug 1937||Destroyer Squadron 29 of US Asiatic Fleet departed Vladivostok, Russia for Yantai, Shandong Province, China while USS Augusta departed the same port for Qingdao, Shandong Province, China.|
|12 Aug 1937||USS Augusta delivered 50 Marines and 57 Navy personnel to reinforce the US 4th Marine Regiment stationed at Shanghai, China.|
|13 Aug 1937||USS Augusta departed Qingdao, Shandong Province, China with Admiral Harry Yarnell of US Asiatic Fleet aboard.|
|16 Jul 1946||Augusta was decommissioned from service.|
» Second Battle of Shanghai
» Atlantic Charter Conference
» Operation Torch
» Normandy Campaign, Phase 1
» Invasion of Southern France
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Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943