|Ship Class||New Orleans-class Heavy Cruiser|
|Builder||Philadelphia Navy Yard|
|Laid Down||27 Jun 1931|
|Launched||6 Sep 1933|
|Commissioned||19 May 1934|
|Decommissioned||10 Feb 1947|
|Displacement||9950 tons standard|
|Armament||9x8in guns, 8x5in guns, 8x0.50 caliber guns|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Minneapolis held her shakedown cruise in European waters between Jul and Sep 1934. On 4 Apr 1935, she departed from the Philadelphia Navy Yard in Pennsylvania, United States for San Diego, California, United States via the Panama Canal. Upon arrival on 18 Apr, she joined the Scouting Force of United States Navy Cruiser Division 7. In early 1939, she cruised in the Caribbean Sea, ending that tour at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, United States in 1940.
When Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japanese aircraft on 7 Dec 1941, Minneapolis was performing gunnery exercise about 20 miles away. She patrolled the waters around Hawaii until late Jan 1942, and then joined the screening force for carrier Lexington as Lexington's aircraft struck Japanese positions in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands in Feb and disrupted Japanese shipping in Central and South Pacific in Mar 1942. In this role, she shot down three G4M bombers on 1 Feb. Between 4 and 8 May, she escorted Lexington during the Battle of the Coral Sea; Minneapolis shot down three Japanese aircraft during the battle and rescued Lexington's survivors when the carrier was lost. Between 3 and 6 Jun 1942, she participated in the Battle of Midway, and then underwent repairs at Pearl Harbor. Between 7 and 9 Aug, she escorted carriers during the landings at Tulagi and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. On 30 Aug, she towed the torpedo-damaged carrier Saratoga out of the front lines. Between Sep and Oct, she remained in the Guadalcanal region in support of operations.
On 29 Nov 1942, as the flagship of Rear Admiral Carleton Wright's Task Force 67, Minneapolis sailed to intercept a Japanese force attempting to reinforce Guadalcanal, and was engaged in the Battle of Tassafaronga. At 2306, the first Japanese destroyer was detected, but Wright delayed the order to launch torpedoes until 2320 because he thought the range was still too far at 2306. At 2320, 20 torpedoes were launched by destroyers, followed by cruiser and destroyer gunfire. Japanese destroyers charged forward at 24 knots and used American gunfire flashes as target to launch their torpedoes. At 2327, two torpedoes struck Minneapolis at the port bow and at number two fireroom, disabling her. Dead in the water, she was rammed by cruiser New Orleans as New Orleans maneuvered to avoid the torpedoes (which was unsuccessful; she was struck and sank during the battle). Minneapolis' damage control team kept her afloat, and she was eventually brought to Tulagi for temporary repairs. She was out of commission for months as she received extensive repairs at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in California.
Minneapolis returned to the Pacific War in Aug 1943. She bombarded Wake Island on 5 Oct. In Nov and Dec, she screened a carrier group during the Gilbert and Marshall Islands Campaigns. As the carriers attacked Palau, Truk, Satawan, Ponape, and other islands across the Pacific Ocean, Minneapolis followed, providing anti-aircraft protection. On 14 Jun 1944, her guns fired on Japanese targets on Saipan in the Mariana Islands ahead of the amphibious invasion. Between 19 and 20 Jun, during the Battle of the Philippine Sea where Japanese air power was seriously damaged, she again provided anti-aircraft support for carriers. Between 8 and 9 Aug, she bombarded Guam, Mariana Islands. Between 6 Sep and 14 Oct, she provided naval gunfire support for the ground operations in the Palau Islands. On 17 Oct, she entered Leyte Gulf in the Philippine Islands during the invasion, and shot down five Japanese aircraft and participated in the Battle of Surigao Strait on 25 Oct. Between 4 and 18 Feb 1945, screened carriers as well as provided gunfire support for the operations at Lingayen Gulf, Bataan, and Corregidor at Luzon, Philippine Islands. On 25 Mar, she bombarded Kerama Retto off Okinawa, Japan in preparation for the invasion of that island at the start of the Okinawa Campaign. On 1 Apr, she bombarded the Japanese airfield and other targets near Naha, Okinawa. On 12 Apr, off Okinawa, she shot down four suicide planes launched during Operation Kikusui. In the evening of 12 Apr, with badly worn gun barrels, she sailed for the Bremerton Navy Yard in Washington, United States for repairs. She returned to the Pacific War near the end.
On 9 Sep 1945, Minneapolis was Admiral Thomas Kinkaid's flagship as the admiral accepted the surrender of Japanese forces in Korea. Minneapolis then covered the United States Marines landing of Taki and Chinwangtao, China. In late 1945, she brought troops back to the United States, and was placed in reserve on 21 May 1946 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was decommissioned in the following year. She was sold for scrapping on 14 Aug 1959 to Union Metals and Alloys Corporation. She was broken up in Jul 1960 at Chester, Pennsylvania.
Heavy Cruiser USS Minneapolis Interactive Map
USS Minneapolis Operational Timeline
|19 May 1934||Minneapolis was commissioned into service.|
|10 Feb 1947||Minneapolis was decommissioned from service.|
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» Mariana Islands Campaign and the Great Turkey Shoot
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 2
» US Navy Report of Japanese Raid on Pearl Harbor, Enclosure E, USS Minneapolis
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Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal