|Ship Class||Atlanta-class Light Cruiser|
|Builder||Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearny, New Jersey, United States|
|Laid Down||22 Apr 1940|
|Launched||6 Sep 1941|
|Commissioned||24 Dec 1941|
|Sunk||13 Nov 1942|
|Armament||16x5in, 9x1.1in, 8x21in torpedo tubes|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseAtlanta was the lead ship of her class of light cruisers. She had her shakedown training in the Chesapeake Bay off Maryland and then Casco Bay off Maine. After post-shakedown repairs at the New York Navy Yard, she sailed for Panama Canal Zone on 5 Apr 1942 and made her way to Pearl Harbor on 23 Apr. After some anti-aircraft practice, she sailed for Nouméa, New Caledonia with a destroyer, an oiler, and a transport on 10 May. She then joined Task Force 16 and returned to Pearl Harbor in preparation for suspected Japanese offensive in the Midway region. During the ensuing Battle of Midway she screened carrier Hornet. After the battle she remained in Hawaii area for repairs, anti-aircraft and shore gunnery practice, and other non-combat duties until 15 Jul 1942 when she sailed for South Pacific.
ww2dbaseDuring the Guadalcanal Campaign, Atlanta joined Task Force 61 and screened carriers as they launched aerial bombardments against Guadalcanal before the invasion. She remained in the area in the same anti-aircraft role, credited in this period with shooting down several Japanese aircraft. Her executive officer Commander Campbell Emery wrote later "[t]he ship functioned as designed in all respects and can be considered an efficient unit" when describing the experience during this time. On 28 Oct, Rear Admiral Norman Scott broke his flag aboard Atlanta, and the ship became the flagship of Task Force 64.2. With Scott onboard she bombarded Japanese position on Guadalcanal and escorted transports in the nearby waters.
ww2dbaseOn 12 Nov, Atlanta and other ships under the command of Rear Admiral Daniel Callahan were struck by 25 Japanese bombers as they guarded transports and cargo ships in their escape from a suspected Japanese attack. The aerial assault was fought off, but it was followed several hours later by a surface engagement against two Japanese battleships and a full compliment of cruisers and destroyers. The ensuing First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal was a great melee, one of the most ferocious naval engagements in the entire war. At 0150, Japanese search lights were switched on Atlanta, and she became the first target of Japanese guns. As Japanese guns exploded all around the ship, Rear Admiral Scott was killed on the flag bridge, along with many of his senior staff officers. After one or two torpedo hits, Atlanta was dead in the water within minutes of the start of battle. She remained afloat until after day break. At about 1400, Captain Samuel Jenkins noted that all efforts to save the ship were becoming useless, and ordered the ship's abandonment. After evacuation, she was sunk by demolition charges at 2015 on 13 Nov 1942 three miles west of Lunga Point in northern Guadalcanal.
ww2dbaseSources: the Struggle for Guadalcanal, Wikipedia.
Light Cruiser USS Atlanta Interactive Map
USS Atlanta Operational Timeline
|24 Dec 1941||Atlanta was commissioned into service.|
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Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal