Montpelier file photo [6193]


CountryUnited States
Ship ClassCleveland-class Light Cruiser
BuilderNew York Shipbuilding Company, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Laid Down2 Dec 1940
Launched12 Feb 1942
Commissioned9 Sep 1942
Decommissioned24 Jan 1947
Displacement10,000 tons standard
Length608 feet
Beam66 feet
Draft20 feet
MachineryGeared turbines, 4 screws
Power Output100,000 shaft horsepower
Speed33 knots
Armament12x6in guns, 12x5in guns, 28x40mm anti-aircraft, 10x20mm anti-aircraft


ww2dbaseLight cruiser Montpelier was commissioned during WW2 to Captain Leighton Wood. On 18 Jan 1943, she arrived at Nouméa, New Caledonia, becoming the flagship of Cruiser Division 12's Rear Admiral Aaron Stanton Merrill. On 25 Jan, she arrived at Efate, New Hebrides, where she would based out of for the next few months. On 29 Jan, she participated in the Battle of Rennell Island, Solomon Islands. On 21 Feb, she covered the landings at the Russell Islands. Between the night of 5 Mar and the following day, she bombarded the Vila‑Stanmore airfield on Kolombangara in the Solomon Islands, and helped sink an enemy destroyer in the Battle of Blackett Strait. During the night of 29-30 Jun, she bombarded Poporang Island. During the night of 11-12 Jul, she bombarded Munda, New Georgia, and remained in the area for the following four months.

ww2dbaseAfter a brief rest period at Sydney, Australia, Montpelier joined Task Force 39 as its flagship for the invasion of the Treasury Islands and Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. On 1 Nov, she bombarded the Buka-Bonis airfields on Bougainville, and on the following day engaging in the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay.

ww2dbaseBetween 15 and 19 Feb 1944, Montpelier covered the landings in the Bismarck Islands. In Mar, she patrolled south of Truk, Caroline Islands for Japanese shipping. On 9 Jun, after the death of Captain Wood, Captain Robert G. Tobin took command of her. On 14 Jun, she bombarded Saipan of the Mariana Islands. Between 19 and 21 Jun, she participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea as a part of Task Force 58. She remained in the Mariana Islands area until 2 Aug in support of the campaign.

ww2dbaseOn 25 Nov 1944, Montpelier returned to the front in the Philippine Islands. On 27 Nov, she was damaged by a special attack aircraft, and in the subsequent days she was the target of four more such kamikaze attacks. On 12 Dec, with the new Captain Harry D. Hoffman, she began covering for the invasion of Mindoro, Philippine Islands, and then performed in a similar role during the Lingayen Gulf invasion at Luzon, Philippine Islands in Jan 1945. Between 14 and 23 Apr, under Captain William A. Gorry, she covered the landings at Mindanao, Philippine Islands. Between 17 Jun and 2 Jul, she operated off Borneo, providing naval gunfire support for Allied troops on that island. Between late Jul and early Aug, she patrolled the East China Sea against Japanese shipping.

ww2dbaseAfter WW2, Montpelier performed occupation duties until 15 Nov 1945. She returned to New York, New York, United States on 11 Dec. After serving with the US Navy's Atlantic Fleet and then the 16th Fleet, she was decommissioned at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States in 1947. She was sold for scrap to Bethlehem Steel Company on 22 Jan 1960.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jun 2008

Light Cruiser Montpelier Interactive Map


The launching of Montpelier, Camden, New Jersey, 12 Feb 1942Light cruiser Montpelier off Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, United States, early Dec 1942Light cruiser Montpelier underway near Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, United States, probably in the Delaware River or Delaware Bay, 12 Dec 1942Line crossing ceremony aboard light cruiser USS Montpelier, circa 30 Dec 1942; note SOC-1 aircraft in background
See all 20 photographs of Light Cruiser Montpelier


Track chart featuring the movements of USS Montpelier during the action in Kula Gulf, Solomon Islands on 6 Mar 1943 where Japanese destroyers Murasame and Minegumo were sunk.

Montpelier Operational Timeline

9 Sep 1942 Montpelier was commissioned into service.
19 Feb 1943 Cruisers USS Montpelier, USS Cleveland, USS Columbia, and USS Denver along with destroyers USS Fletcher, USS O’Bannon, USS Radford, and USS Nicholas departed Efate, New Hebrides bound for the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area in the Solomon Islands.
21 Feb 1943 Cruisers USS Montpelier, USS Cleveland, USS Columbia, and USS Denver along with destroyers USS Fletcher, USS O’Bannon, USS Radford, and USS Nicholas arrived off Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, patrolled north of Savo Island, and arrived in Purvis Bay, Tulagi for refueling.
22 Feb 1943 Cruisers USS Montpelier, USS Cleveland, USS Columbia, and USS Denver along with destroyers USS Fletcher, USS O’Bannon, USS Radford, and USS Nicholas departed Tulagi bound for the Russell Island Group, Solomon Islands.
28 Jan 1944 At sea, cruisers USS Honolulu and USS St. Louis met with cruisers USS Montpelier, USS Cleveland, and USS Columbia and conducted fleet exercises. Honolulu and St. Louis then departed for Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
27 Nov 1944 US Navy Task Group 77.2 consisting of battleships USS Maryland, USS West Virginia, USS Colorado, and USS New Mexico, cruisers USS Denver, USS St. Louis, USS Columbia, USS Minneapolis, and USS Montpelier, destroyers USS Nicholas, USS Waller, USS Eaton, USS Cony, USS Mustin, USS Conway, USS Pringle, USS Lang, USS Sigourney, USS Saufley, USS Aulick, USS Renshaw, USS Taylor, USS Edwards, and USS Mugford, tanker USS Caribou, and other patrol craft were patrolling in Leyte Gulf, Philippines when the group came under a concentrated Japanese special air attack from 20 to 30 aircraft. All but two of the Japanese planes dived on the formation in the sustained attack. Submarine chaser SC-744 was sunk and battleship Colorado and cruisers St. Louis and Montpelier were damaged.
29 Nov 1944 US Navy Task Group 77.2 consisting of battleships USS Maryland, USS West Virginia, and USS New Mexico, cruisers USS Denver, USS Columbia, USS Minneapolis, USS Montpelier, and USS Portland, destroyers USS Nicholas, USS Waller, USS Cony, USS Conway, USS Pringle, USS Lang, USS Saufley, USS Aulick, USS Renshaw, USS Edwards, USS Mugford, and USS Connor, and other patrol craft were patrolling in Leyte Gulf, Philippines when the group came under a Japanese air attack where special attack aircraft that damaged Maryland, Saufley, and Aulick.
24 Jan 1947 Montpelier was decommissioned from service.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Henry Kutten says:
17 Apr 2013 10:29:11 AM

I am a WWII who was on the USS Montpelier CL-57. I am looking for a contact number for anyone who is still alive from this time who I may have served with. As far as I know, there are only 14 of us alive to this day from the association.
2. catherine scott goon says:
20 Sep 2013 06:50:02 PM

My father John Scott was on the Montpelier from 1944-1946. He is still alive & lives @ 1015 Ardmore Rd Baldwin NY 11510, phone # 516-223-3537. He went to several of the Montpelier reunions, did you go to any of them? you can contact John @ the above address or phone # or email me. Hope to here from you. Thanks Catherine
3. James Rodgers says:
2 Oct 2013 09:01:10 AM

I served aboard the USS Montpelier CL-57 from August 14, 1943 through the end of the war. I was in the engineering force. WT2/C was my rating. I am 88 years old and still kicking.
4. Jack Vallely says:
9 Oct 2013 06:22:56 AM

I am the editor of the Waltham Museum newsletter. Jim Fahey, author of Pacific War Diary and USS Montpelier sailor (S/1C 40mm mount) was one of Waltham's favorite sons. I have written a newsletter on Jim for this issue. He had a pretty amazing story. Anyone wishing a copy or with information they would like to share (We have a pretty good Jim Fahey exhibit) please leave me a message at the Waltham Museum 781 893-9020 or write us at:
The Waltham Museum
25 Lexington St
Waltham Ma 02452
Thank you for your service.
5. Geoff Westbrook says:
13 Nov 2013 10:36:32 AM

Hello, I am the grandson of Captain Wood, has anyone here served with my grandfather? My email is, Thank You
6. Scott Guthrie says:
22 May 2014 01:58:34 PM

My grandfather served on the Montpelier from September 1942 until 1945. His name was Jack Alfred Petersen s/n 648-40-59. I think he was part of Item Gunnery Division. Any info about him or his service/job would be greatly appreciated.
7. faith o lovett says:
4 Jul 2014 07:26:46 PM

my father, Eddy Warford Opdycke, served on the Monpelier during WWI and especially in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He didn't talk much abt the war but he did buy James Fahey's book. I think I remember that he said he shot 16 inch guns? Could that be correct? There was a quick photo of him in the gun tuuret on the history channel a couple of years ago. If anyone has any info on him, I would appreciate it. He wore the Seahorse patch on his fatigues. Thanking you in advance...
8. Ray Saiz says:
3 Feb 2015 12:42:54 PM

My father Frank G Saiz was on the USS montpieler during wwII he passed away at 88 in 2010!
i wish this site was up when he was alive!
but he was proud of his service and the men he served with!
9. R Saiz says:
3 Feb 2015 12:46:59 PM

just to let you all know!
i am in posession of newsletters from the ship during the war. would like to donate them to a museum
10. Bobby Clarke says:
1 Mar 2015 12:14:17 PM

My Dad( Russell Keith Clarke) served on the Montpelier from when it was commissioned until Oct. 1945. He was previously on the USS Babbitt. He was BM2 when he left the Navy. He passed away in 2008. If anyone knew him let me know. My email is
11. rene j fournier sm2c lsm54 lci 503 ff says:
2 Mar 2015 06:28:32 PM

i was on flag staff landing lsm 54 made all the same phillippine inculding the borneo landings with the montpelier recently met grandson of one of your crew members name is barret we live in vt ny
12. Anonymous says:
20 Jun 2015 05:14:41 PM

My father was an Australian Prisoner of War in Japan. They were repatriated from Wakayama Harbour to Manila on the USS Montpelier. I have a copy of the ships newsletter from that time. Is there a museum or historical sight for the Montpelier.
13. Phillip Jones, Jr. says:
14 Jul 2015 12:45:00 PM

My Grandfather, Floyd F. Jones served on USS Montpelier and is still living in St. Louis, MO. His phone number is 314-426-5150 and he would love to speak with anyone else that woudl have served with him.
14. Michael Ball says:
24 Dec 2015 12:06:38 PM

I've read James J. Fahey's book, Pacific War Diary, several times, and was always impressed of his description of life on a light cruiser in a war area, and all of the problems involved. I'm hoping to get to the Waltham Museum and view it's exhibits.
15. Anonymous says:
30 Jan 2016 02:40:04 PM

My father John gray kennedy, sr. Served on this ship as fireman 1st class he died Jan 30,1974. Known as Johnny kennedy
16. Michael E Reinier says:
19 Mar 2016 10:54:57 AM

My grandfather served on the USA Montpelier. His name is Wendell Collison. He was a gunners mate. He also boxed and I've heard stories of him beating the world champion at the time. He also told me of a story when the Marines took an island then the army couldn't hold it and the Marines had to go back in and take it back. If anyone new my grandfather I would love to here from them. Much appreciated.
17. John J Stefanik says:
2 Apr 2016 08:43:07 AM

i came aboard the Monty in 1944 @Mare Island navy yard the ship was in dry dock for repairs when we left the states we operated the ADMIRALTY ISLANDS NORTH OF australia to the mouth of the Yangse river inChina the Monty has 13 battle stars i was on for 4 the MONTY WAS THE FIRST us SHIP INTO hIROSHIMA 60 DAS AFTER THE BOMB DROP
18. Jeff Baird says:
6 Jul 2016 06:27:25 PM

I have conducted quite a bit of research on the Monty and Chief Gunner's Mate Lyman Longfellow who was on board throughout the war. If anyone has any information regarding him, I would appreciate it!
19. Robert F. Jones, Jr. says:
13 Sep 2016 08:47:59 AM

I am the son of Robert F. Jones, Radioman and gunner who flew on one of the SOC planes off the USS Montpelier. Dad passed on May 30, 2013. Anyone who would like to hear the stories he told me, please email me at
Thank you for your service!
20. a. buenaflor says:
26 Sep 2016 05:58:03 PM

my father felix buenaflor was amd. merrills didn't talk much about the war, after I served in the navy uss Randolph cs-15. he started telling us about the battle of empress bay, and other battles. Montpelier was in the reserve basin phila naval shipyard. everytime I went down the yard(it was along broad st), stood there and remembered his words, and saluted. bless all who sailed in her.
21. Bo Crawford says:
1 Feb 2017 10:04:36 PM

My father Buck l Crawford served on the monty during WWII.
22. M Hinshaw says:
10 Sep 2017 12:03:12 PM

My father, William E. (Bill or Elbert) Hinshaw served in WWII on the Mighty Monty.
23. Susan (Tompkins) Price says:
31 Dec 2017 01:56:01 PM

My dad Richard H. Tompkins and his brother Raymond served on the Mighty Monty is there any one left alive who served with them
24. Anonymous says:
13 Jan 2018 07:21:38 PM

my grandfather Walter Green served on the mighty monty. He passed in 2015. Would love to hear from anyone who served on or is family of anyone who served on the ship
25. Susan Langstroth Chase says:
26 Feb 2018 08:52:01 PM

My father, Lovell Langstroth Jr served on the Mighty Monte as a medical doctor. My father died just short of 100 years in 2016.
26. Anonymous says:
15 Mar 2018 09:08:11 AM

My father was a gunner and then a radar man and when the ship was torpedoed he lost 70% of his hearing in one ear and never compensated, Times were different back then and my father never thought he would come back from sea alive!
27. Terry stanek says:
15 Mar 2018 07:07:42 PM

My father John Albert Stanek served on the mighty Monte for the duration of WWII. My father died of colon cancer in 1997 and after having 9 lives at sea died of a humiliating death.
28. Anonymous says:
15 Mar 2018 07:23:35 PM

My father told me the new captain said “we only change the riders, but never the horses” which is funny considering captain Harry D. Hoffman who was promoted to admiral was nicknamed “The Horse”. My dad called him Harry the horse, but he was the rider,lol.
29. Brian Schreiber says:
26 Apr 2018 06:46:28 AM

My grandfather Homer Patchin severed on the Montpellier for the duration of the war. He died in 2012 at 107 years. We miss him ...
30. Will Pearson says:
25 Aug 2018 10:12:08 PM

Grandfather served on this ship William bill pearson
31. Tony Rogers says:
4 Nov 2018 07:33:42 PM

My grandfather Clarence Shelton served along the brave men on the 'Mighty Monty'.
32. Anonymous says:
27 Sep 2019 05:24:10 AM

My father- in- law, James Bryant Miller, served aboard the Mighty Monte. We are looking for any information on the ship and him as well. Thanks in advance. My email is

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More on Montpelier
Event(s) Participated:
» Solomon Islands Campaign
» Mariana Islands Campaign and the Great Turkey Shoot
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 2
» Borneo Campaign

Light Cruiser Montpelier Photo Gallery
The launching of Montpelier, Camden, New Jersey, 12 Feb 1942
See all 20 photographs of Light Cruiser Montpelier

Famous WW2 Quote
"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."

James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945

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