Memphis file photo [3650]


CountryUnited States
Ship ClassOmaha-class Light Cruiser
BuilderWilliam Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Laid Down14 Oct 1920
Launched17 Apr 1924
Commissioned4 Feb 1925
Decommissioned17 Dec 1945
Displacement7,050 tons standard
Length556 feet
Beam56 feet
Draft20 feet
Speed35 knots
Armament12x6in guns, 6x3in guns, 6x21in torpedo tubes


ww2dbaseAfter commissioning at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, United States, light cruiser Memphis held her shakedown cruise in the Caribbean Sea. On 13 Apr 1925, she participated in the dedication of an American memorial gateway to Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry at Port of Spain, Trinidad. In Jun, she joined a scouting fleet off Honolulu, Hawaii for a cruise to South America until Sep and then Australia and New Zealand until Oct. She returned to New York City in Apr 1926. Between 26 Jun and 1927, she operated in Europe as the flagship of US Naval Forces in Europe, and hosted King Alfonso XIII of Spain and Captain Charles Lindbergh in this role. She returned to Washington, DC on 11 Jun 1927. In Jan 1928, she escorted President Calvin Coolidge's flagship during his cruise to the West Indies. Between Jun 1928 and May 1933, she served off Central America. After a good will cruise to Australia in Jan 1938, Memphis reached Honolulu, Hawaii on 1 Apr. On 12 Jul 1939, she participated in the presidential review off San Francisco, California. Between Aug 1939 and early 1941, Memphis operated in the North Pacific off Alaska.

ww2dbaseMemphis' involvement in WW2 began on 24 Apr 1941 when she departed from Newport, Rhode Island for the South Atlantic for neutrality patrols. In Mar 1942, she escorted two US Army transports to Ascension Island where the US Army's 38th Engineer General Service Regiment debarked to construct an airfield for Allied aircraft to fly between the US and Africa. In May 1942, she patrolled the entrance to Fort-de-France, Martinique in the Caribbean Sea.

ww2dbaseMemphis' remaining service in WW2 saw less combat and more VIP-related duties. In Jan 1943, she hosted President Franklin Roosevelt off Bathurst, Gambia, during the Casablanca Conference. From Feb to Sep 1943, she patrolled off Bahia and Recife, Brazil. In Jan 1944, she hosted President Juan José de Amézaga of Uruguay and President Getúlio Vargas of Brazil. On 16 Jan 1945, Memphis arrived at Naples, Italy to serve as the flagship of Admiral Harold Stark. Later that month, she hosted Admiral Ernest King and General George Marshall. On 18 Feb, she escorted the convoy that brought Roosevelt from Algiers back to the United States after the Yalta conference. On 15 Aug, she participated in the first anniversary ceremonies of the Allied landings at St. Raphael and St. Tropez, southern France.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, Memphis remained in the Mediterranean Sea as the flagship of US naval forces in the area. On 27 Oct 1945, she participated in the Navy Day ceremonies at Naples, Italy. She was sent back to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States in Nov 1945 for decommissioning. She was sold for scrap to Patapsco Scrap Company of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States on 10 Jan 1947.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jun 2007

Light Cruiser Memphis Interactive Map


Memphis in drydock at Kiel, Germany, circa 1926-1927, while she was serving as flagship for Commander US Naval Forces, EuropeMempis in the late 1920sCharles Lindbergh prepared to disembark from Memphis at the Washington Navy Yard, Washington DC, United States upon his return from Europe after his pioneering trans-Atlantic flight, 11 Jun 1927Memphis at the Washington Navy Yard, Washington DC, United States, with Charles Lindbergh on board, upon his return from Europe after his pioneering trans-Atlantic flight, 11 Jun 1927
See all 13 photographs of Light Cruiser Memphis

Memphis Operational Timeline

4 Feb 1925 Memphis was commissioned into service.
4 Nov 1941 American cruisers Omaha and Memphis, accompanied by three destroyers, sortied to hunt for German surface raiders.
17 Dec 1945 Memphis was decommissioned from service.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. James Myers says:
19 Sep 2022 07:18:44 PM

From 1943 to 1945, the Executive Officer of the Memphis was CMDR Lionel P. Marks, USNR, (1910 - 1984).
I’m looking for any further information about this officer’s service record.

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More on Memphis
Event(s) Participated:
» United States Neutrality Patrol
» Casablanca Conference

Light Cruiser Memphis Photo Gallery
Memphis in drydock at Kiel, Germany, circa 1926-1927, while she was serving as flagship for Commander US Naval Forces, Europe
See all 13 photographs of Light Cruiser Memphis

Famous WW2 Quote
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939

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