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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:25 pm 
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HUNTINGTON



Excerpted from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships entry for USS HUNTINGTON (CA-5), ex-WEST VIRGINIA (Armored Cruiser No.5):

In the summer of 1929, it was decided to rebuild HUNTINGTON for continued service to her country. Accordingly, she was towed from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where she had been laid up since 1920, to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, which she entered on 10 May 1930 and began modernization. Recommissioned 15 December 1931, HUNTINGTON departed Philadelphia 2 January 1932, conducting post-modernization trials off the Maine coast prior to cruising through the Caribbean en route Panama. Among her ports of call were Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Culebra, Puerto Rico; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; and Kingston, Jamaica. Transiting the Panama Canal, she reached San Pedro, California, in early April and joined the US Fleet there. She remained with that force for the next several years. 



HUNTINGTON departed San Pedro 22 May 1934, bound for the Far East. Reaching Manila 15 June, she relieved her sister ship FREDERICK (CA-8) and took up the normal duties of an Asiatic Fleet cruiser. During the next three years, she visited numerous ports in the Far East, protecting American lives and property while working to increase US prestige in the region. Relieved by HURON (CA-9) on 5 April 1937, HUNTINGTON returned to the United States for overhaul and then rejoined the US Fleet. 



At the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that thrust America into the Second World War, HUNTINGTON was at sea in company with the heavy cruiser MINNEAPOLIS (CA-32), about twenty miles outside Pearl Harbor. Mistaken for enemy ships, they were bombed by American aircraft during the afternoon of 7 December but avoided damage and returned to Pearl Harbor the next day. 



HUNTINGTON patrolled off Hawaii until 20 December, when she was ordered to the West Coast. Except for a Mare Island refit in May 1942, she operated off California until 1 August, when she departed for Pearl Harbor in company with other major elements on the Pacific Fleet. Arriving 14 August, she was soon sent to the South Pacific as close cover for a convoy; thereafter she conducted patrol and local escort missions in that area.



In company with cruisers PITTSBURGH (CA-4), PUEBLO (CA-7), and MISSOULA (CA-13), plus four destroyers, HUNTINGTON departed Espiritu Santo on 14 October bound for Guadalcanal. Arriving in the waters of Ironbottom Sound early the next morning, HUNTINGTON and her sisters attacked the Japanese tranport unloading areas off Tassafaronga, causing significant damage to the enemy, but an enemy torpedo struck and sank flagship MISSOULA during the American retirement. 



Following this action, HUNTINGTON returned to Espiritu Santo, where she remained until ordered out on 8 November as part of Rear Admiral R. K. Turner's Task Force 67, escorting a troop convoy to Guadalcanal. Reaching the island on 12 November, HUNTINGTON successfully defended the transports against a Japanese air attack that same day. The same day American search planes found a major Japanese surface force steaming towards Guadalcanal; refusing to leave the men on Guadalcanal without first completing his reinforcement chores, Admiral Turner ordered HUNTINGTON, with seven other cruisers and eight destroyers, to intercept this force.



Early on Friday, 13 November, the two opposing forces met and engaged in what was perhaps the fiercest and surely the most confused fighting during the entire Pacific War. Tragically, HUNTINGTON's participation in this fighting was short. Only a few minutes after opening fire an enemy Long Lance torpedo struck HUNTINGTON abreast her forward turret, exploding the magazine and sending the gallant old cruiser to the bottom within one minute. The bulk of her crew of 754 went down with her; only 46 bluejackets survived. 



Stricken from the Navy List on 13 January 1943 and her name reassigned to a new heavy cruiser, CA-41, HUNTINGTON (CA-5) was awarded a total of eight battle stars during her career, one for Mexican service, two for service in World War I, and five for service in World War II.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:06 pm 
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short career, which wasn't unusual

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:34 pm 
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That was a ship-shattering KABOOM! I take it they really couldn't do much to improve ammo safety from underwater hits?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:39 pm 
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They have glass jaws, especially against the Long Lance torpedo.

I'm not very surprised at all.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:55 pm 
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Johnnie Lyle wrote:
That was a ship-shattering KABOOM! I take it they really couldn't do much to improve ammo safety from underwater hits?


Doubtful - the ammunition spaces extended across the full beam of the ship right up to the hull so a torpedo hit in that area would almost certainly be fatal to a ship of this vintage, particularly given the power of WWII torpedoes.

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