Another one I've always wanted to do, especially after reading about the early battles so much recently.
This is HELENA (CL-50) at the conclusion of a refit at Mare Island in July of 1942. HELENA is camouflaged in the standard Measure 21 all-over Navy Blue (5-N) favored by the Pacific Fleet at the time.
CL-50 shows a typical mid-war electronics fit for a USN cruiser, with Mark 4 "FD" radars on the ship's Mark 33 directors, and Mark 3 Mod.1 "FC" antennas on the Mark 34 directors. HELENA's foremast mounts an SC air search antenna and an SG surface search radar below it. Waveguide losses with the early SG installations meant that they had to be placed close to the radar plot room, hence the SG's less than advantageous position. Once these issues were solved, the radar set could be relocated to the top mast as on almost all later combatants. A Curtiss SOC Seagull of Cruiser Scouting Squadron NINE (VCS-9) is spotted on the stern catapult.
HELENA was lost in this configuration after the ship was hit by three Japanese torpedoes during the Battle of Kula Gulf, with 186 men killed in action.
This is ST. LOUIS (CL-49) in October 1944, after a refit period in California. She is camouflaged in Measure 32/2C.
ST. LOUIS was refitted in late 1943 along the same lines as the BROOKLYN class cruisers, with a cut-down bridge and heavy masts to support radar. Overhaul in 1944 added the SK-2 air search radar with its distinctive circular reflector on the foremast, with SG sets at the top masts. No radar has been fitted to the mainmast, though it has been readied to receive a second air search set (likely the new SP or SM height finder). The highly successful Mark 8 "FH" radar has been mounted on the Mark 34 directors for the 6" guns, with Mark 24 radar on the Mark 33 dual-purpose directors. An SOC Seagull of Cruiser Scouting Squadron NINE (VCS-9) Detachment B is spotted on the aft catapult.
ST. LOUIS would end the war in this configuration, going on to serve in the Brazilian Navy as ALMIRANTE TAMANDARE (C-12), where the ship served as the fleet flagship until 1976.
All ST LOUIS class cruiser drawings available here: http://shipbucket.com/drawings/search?c ... =&drawing=
All USN cruiser drawings available here: http://shipbucket.com/drawings?category ... hipType=16