Juneau file photo [3826]

USS Juneau

CountryUnited States
Ship ClassAtlanta-class Light Cruiser
BuilderFederal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearny, New Jersey, United States
Laid Down27 May 1940
Launched25 Oct 1941
Commissioned14 Feb 1942
Sunk13 Nov 1942
Displacement6000 tons standard
Length542 feet
Beam52 feet
Draft16 feet
Speed32 knots
Armament16x5in, 9x1.1in, 8x20mm, 6 depth charge projectors, 2 depth charge tracks


ww2dbaseThe first Juneau of the Atlanta-class light cruisers was designated CL-52 in the United States Navy. She was commissioned three months after the United States entered WW2 with Captain Lyman K. Swenson in command. She had an accelerated shakedown cruise along the Atlantic coast due to the demand of the war and sailed for the Caribbean Sea to patrol off Maritinique and Guadeloupe Islands against Vichy French naval forces in the region. After some time in the North Atlantic, she departed from the Caribbean Sea for the Pacific Theater on 22 Aug 1942. She joined Rear Admiral Leigh Noyes' Task Force 18 on 19 Sep 1942. On 15 Sep, carrier Wasp was hit by three torpedoes from the Japanese submarine I-19, and was scuttled by destroyer Lansdowne at 2100 that evening; Juneau and destroyers rescued the survivors and delivered them to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, on 16 Sep. On 17 Sep, she joined Task Force 17 and sailed for Guadalcanal. On 26 Oct, she participated in the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands, where she was a part of the anti-aircraft screen that together downed about 20 Japanese aircraft during the battle; however, the screen was not able to save carrier Hornet, which was badly damaged and sank the next day. Because of the loss of Hornet, Juneau was transferred to the Enterprise group to provide additional anti-aircraft capability just in time for the next round of Japanese air attacks before the battle waned several hours later. On 8 Nov, she sailed from Noum»a, New Caledonia as a unit of Task Force 67 under the command of Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner to escort transports to Guadalcanal. During the day of 12 Nov, the convoy was attacked by Japanese torpedo bombers, and Juneau, once again as anti-aircraft ship, downed six. That evening, the convoy was engaged in what was later named the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. Cruisers Helena, Portland, and Juneau sailed in a close line into the battle; one of the torpedoes of a spread that aimed at the group of three ships struck Juneau on the port side, disabling her almost at the onset of the battle, rendering her useless. On the next day, she sailed for Espiritu Santo for repairs, but was intercepted by Japanese submarine I-26 and was hit by two torpedoes. She exploded, broke in two, and sank. Helena and San Francisco, both damaged from the previous night's battle, continued on without turning back to rescue Juneau's survivors. More than 100 survivors floated on the open waves, waiting for rescue that would not arrive for another eight days; by then, only 10 remain. Captain Swenson also died while waiting for the rescuers.

ww2dbaseThe second Juneau of the Altanta-class was launched during the war (15 Jul 1945) but WW2 ended before she was completed and commissioned; she was designated CL-119 in the US Navy.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

USS Juneau Operational Timeline

14 Feb 1942 Juneau was commissioned into service.


Juneau just after being launched at the Federal Shipbuilding Company yard, Kearny, New Jersey, United States, 25 Oct 1941Juneau ready for launching, Federal Shipbuilding Company yard, Kearny, New Jersey, United States, 25 Oct 1941Juneau sliding down the ways at the Federal Shipbuilding Company yard, Kearny, New Jersey, United States during her launching ceremonies, 25 Oct 1941Juneau in New York Harbor, United States, 11 Feb 1942
See all 5 photographs of Light Cruiser USS Juneau

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Tim Gardner says:
17 May 2010 08:41:26 AM

My grandfather was one of the 10 survivors, Henry Gardner. If he did not survive my dad would have never been born, nor I.
2. Chris Cooper says:
11 Nov 2010 09:02:36 AM

My great uncle parished on the USS Juneau. His name was James Edward Mallett. He was just 18 yrs old.
3. Ruth Gardner Uhlman says:
13 Nov 2010 09:49:00 AM

My Dad was one of the survivors ( Henry J. Gardner)...he spoke of how he survived in the shark infested waters and saw many die. He also had written a short account of his story for the Navy. Although he may not have been "top-notch" in rank, he will ALWAYS be a man I will respect, honor and love. He passed away in 1984. RIP Dad.
4. Jeremy Pitchford says:
1 Dec 2010 11:45:52 AM

My uncle James Edward Mallett, whom I never got to meet. Died on The USS Juneau. My mother Janet Pitchford still talks about him.
5. Helen Ross says:
25 Oct 2015 08:19:14 PM

My husband's brother died on the USS Juneau CL-52 He was 21 years old. I wonder if they will ever find any debre of the ship-they did go to the bottom and take pics of the Atlanta-- there has to be some wreckage-quite a bit on the Atlanta even tho' one person said it was burning from one end to the other and they blew it up after taking survivors off.
6. Kadrick Powell says:
11 Jan 2018 05:32:08 PM

I have been working on a Silent Hero project for my ww2 seminar and have researched a man named Clarence Daniel Powell who was a 25 year old coxswain aboard the ship, presumed MIA. Is truly a tragic story may all 673 men aboard rest in peace

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More on USS Juneau
Event(s) Participated:
» Guadalcanal Campaign
» Solomon Islands Campaign

» Letters between Alleta Sullivan and Franklin Roosevelt

Light Cruiser USS Juneau Photo Gallery
Juneau just after being launched at the Federal Shipbuilding Company yard, Kearny, New Jersey, United States, 25 Oct 1941
See all 5 photographs of Light Cruiser USS Juneau

Famous WW2 Quote
"All that silly talk about the advance of science and such leaves me cold. Give me peace and a retarded science."

Thomas Dodd, late 1945