Alaska file photo [2548]

Alaska-class Large Cruiser

CountryUnited States


This article refers to the entire Alaska-class; it is not about an individual vessel.

ww2dbaseThe Alaska-class large cruisers were a class of six very large cruisers ordered prior to World War II for the US Navy. They were designed to fit between heavy cruisers and battleships in both size and function, sharing many features with each.

ww2dbaseOther navies had intermediate sized vessels classified as pocket battleships or battlecruisers. Alaska-class large cruisers are often referred to as battlecruisers, which reflects the size and scope of the vessels well but is not technically correct.

ww2dbaseUS Navy cruisers were named for large US cities and battleships were named for US states. The Large Cruisers were intermediate with their names as well, named for US territories (remember, Alaska and Hawaii were not yet states). Two Alaska-class large cruisers were completed (Alaska and Guam), one was laid down but not completed (Hawaii), and three were planned but never laid down (Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Samoa).

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Apr 2010

Alaska-class Large Cruiser Interactive Map

Alaska-class Large Cruiser Operational Timeline

17 Dec 1941 The keel of the large cruiser USS Alaska (CB-1) was laid down by New York Shipbuilding in Camden, New Jersey, United States.
17 Jun 1944 Alaska was commissioned into service.
17 Sep 1944 USS Guam was commissioned with Captain Leland P. Lovette in command.
17 Jan 1945 USS Shangri-La departed the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, United States alongside of USS Guam and USS Harry E. Hubbard.
23 Jan 1945 USS Shangri-La, USS Guam, and USS Harry E. Hubbard arrived Cristobal, Panama Canal Zone.
24 Jan 1945 USS Shangri-La, USS Guam, and USS Harry E. Hubbard transited the Panama Canal.
13 Jul 1945 Large cruisers USS Alaska and USS Guam, accompanied by 4 light cruisers and 9 destroyers, sortied from Leyte, Philippine Islands to attack Japanese shipping in the East China Sea.
17 Feb 1947 Alaska was decommissioned from service.
17 Feb 1947 Guam was decommissioned from service.

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