USS Milwaukee (CL-5)

article - USS Milwaukee (CL-5)

USS Milwaukee (CL-5) was an Omaha-classlight cruiser built for the United States Navy during the 1920s. The ship spent most of her early career assigned to the Asiatic and Battle Fleets. In 1941 she was assigned to the Neutrality Patrol until she was refitted in New York in late 1941. She escorted a troop convoy to the Pacific in early 1942 before returning to the South Atlantic where she patrolled for German commerce raiders and blockade runners. In November, she intercepted one of the latter, but it scuttled itself before it could be captured. In 1944 she was temporarily transferred to the Soviet Navy and commissioned as Murmansk. The ship was returned by the Soviets in 1949 and sold for scrap in December.

Omaha-class light cruiser
For other ships with the same name, see USS Milwaukee and Soviet cruiser Murmansk.

USS Milwaukee in New York, 1943
United States
Name Milwaukee
Namesake City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Awarded 27 August 1917
Builder Todd Dry Dock & Construction Co.
Laid down 13 December 1918
Launched 24 March 1922
Sponsored by Mrs. Rudolph Pfeil
Commissioned 20 June 1923
Identification Hull number: CL-5
Fate Loaned to the Soviet Union, 20 April 1944
Soviet Union
Name Murmansk
Namesake Murmansk
Operator Soviet Navy
Acquired 20 April 1944
Renamed 20 April 1944
Fate Returned to the United States, 16 March 1949
United States
Name Milwaukee
Acquired 16 March 1949
Fate Sold for scrap, 10 December 1949
General characteristics (as built)
Class and type Omaha-classlight cruiser
Displacement 7,050 long tons (7,160 t) (standard)
Length 555 ft 6 in (169.32 m)
Beam 55 ft 4 in (16.87 m)
Draft 13 ft 6 in (4.11 m)
Installed power
Speed 35 kn (65 km/h; 40 mph)
Range 6,500 nmi (12,000 km; 7,500 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Complement 458 officers and enlisted men
Aircraft carried 2 × floatplanes
Aviation facilities 2 × catapults

. . . USS Milwaukee (CL-5) . . .

Right elevation drawing and photo of Milwaukee

Milwaukee was 550 feet (170 m)long at the waterline and 555 feet 6 inches (169.3 m) long overall, with a beam of 55 feet 4 inches (16.9 m) and a mean draft of 13 feet 6 inches (4.1 m). Her standard displacement was 7,050 long tons (7,160 t) and 9,150 long tons (9,300 t) at full load.[1] Her crew consisted of 29 officers and 429 enlisted men.[2] The ship was fitted with a powerful echo sounder.[3]

The ship was powered by four Westinghouse geared steam turbines, each driving one propeller shaft, using steam generated by 12 Yarrow boilers.[1] The engines were rated at 90,000 indicated horsepower (67,000 kW) and designed to reach a top speed of 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph). At deep load she carried 1,852 long tons (1,882 t) of fuel oil that provided her a range of 6,500 nautical miles (12,000 km; 7,500 mi) at a speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).[4]

Milwaukee mounted a dozen 53-caliber6-inch (152 mm) guns; four in two twin gun turrets and eight in tiered casemates fore and aft.[1] Her secondary armament initially consisted of two 50-caliber 3-inch (76 mm)anti-aircraft (AA) guns in single mounts, but this was doubled to four guns during construction. Milwaukee was initially built with the capacity to carry 224 mines, but these were removed early in her career to make more space for crew accommodations.[5] The ship carried above-water two triple and two twin torpedo tube mounts for 21-inch (533 mm)torpedoes. The triple mounts were fitted on the upper deck, aft of the aircraft catapults, and the twin mounts were one deck lower, covered by hatches in the side of the hull. These lower mounts proved to be very wet and were removed, and the openings plated over, before the start of World War II. Another change made before the war was to increase the 3-inch (76 mm) guns to four, all mounted in the ship’s waist.[6]

The ship lacked a full-length waterlinearmor belt. The sides of her boiler and engine rooms and steering gear were protected by 3 inches (76 mm) of armor. The transverse bulkheads at the end of her machinery rooms were 1.5 inches (38 mm) thick forward and three inches thick aft. The deck over the machinery spaces and steering gear had a thickness of 1.5 inches. The gun turrets were only protected against muzzle blast and the conning tower had 1.5 inches of armor.[4]Milwaukee carried two floatplanes aboard that were stored on the two catapults. Initially these were probably Vought VE-9s, but the ship operated Curtiss SOC Seagulls from 1935 and Vought OS2U Kingfishers after 1940.[7]

. . . USS Milwaukee (CL-5) . . .

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. . . USS Milwaukee (CL-5) . . .