This is BOISE (CL-47) in November of 1941 with Measure 1 camouflage while the ship was stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. BOISE shows the results of the King Board refits, with splinter shielding added around her 5"/25-caliber secondary battery gun mounts and .50-caliber machine guns above the bridge. Two 3"/50-caliber guns have also been sited in tubs abeam the aft superstructure. BOISE exhibits the typical pre-war boat complement, serviced by two large cranes amidships.
As launched, the Mark 34 directors for the main battery aboard the BROOKLYN class cruisers did not have integral rangefinders (rather just small spotting glasses). BOISE has received the updated Mark 34 director shield which included the rangefinder. The forward Mark 34 director has the first of the Mark 3 "FC" ranging radar sets. The secondary battery guns were controlled by fully-enclosed Mark 33 directors.
BOISE would join Task Force 5 of the Asiatic Fleet in this configuration, but a collision with an uncharted shoal on 21 January 1942 forced her retirement to Colombo, Ceylon, and eventually to Mare Island for an overhaul, thus escaping the unfortunate fate awaiting the Allied ships defending Java.
This is BOISE (CL-47) as the ship appeared in July of 1942, after a refit period at the Mare Island Navy Yard in Vallejo, California. BOISE is camouflaged in the overall Navy Blue (5-N) of Measure 21.
BOISE entered Mare Island after colliding with an uncharted submerged pinnacle while transiting the Sape Strait while operating with the Asiatic Fleet. This refit saw the pilot house glazing plated in and replaced with portholes as well as the addition of an improvised open bridge just forward and below "Sky One" (the forward Mark 33 director). Additional anti-aircraft guns have been added in tubs around the ship. At this time, BOISE had received four 1.1" Mark 1 quad machine-cannons in tubs abeam the bridge and aft superstructure, but only two Mark 44 directors for these guns have been fitted. Mark 4 "FD" radar has been mounted on the Mark 33 directors, and the reflectors of the Mark 3 "FC" screens sit above the Mark 34 main battery directors. The small mattress of the SC air search antenna sits at the foretop, with an SG surface search antenna on a small platform bracketed to the foremast. Waveguide losses at this time required the SG antenna to be mounted as close to the radar plot as possible, hence its position. The prominent searchlight platform between the funnels remains unchanged, with a large vent and a 5" practice loading machine at its base. The ship's pre-war boat complement has been drastically reduced, limited at this point to two motor whaleboats and two motor launches. This would be further reduced as the war dragged on. The starboard side boat crane has been removed as a weight savings measure.
BOISE would participate in the Battle of Cape Esperance in this configuration, with wartime propaganda casting the ship as the "One-Ship Fleet" next to claims that she sank six enemy ships, a great exaggeration of the actual outcome of the battle, in which the Japanese had only lost two ships sunk.
BOISE survived the war to be sold to Argentina in 1951, where she would be renamed NUEVE DE JULIO (C-5) and remain in service until sold for scrap in 1983.
This is NASHVILLE (CL-43) in October of 1944 while operating in the Philippines. The ship is camouflaged in the light pattern system of Measure 33/21D.
NASHVILLE shows the standard mid-war refit scheme applied to the BROOKLYN class ships, which drastically reduced the superstructure fore and aft. This refit moved the foremast aft 7' and added a large platform forward to accommodate an SK air search radar, with an SG on the foretop above. A second SG was fitted to the small platform on the mainmast. The prominent searchlight and radio direction finding platform between the stacks has been reduced by one deck level, and 20mm Oerlikons in tubs have been added amidships and abeam the searchlight platform. Mark 4 "FD" radar has been fitted to the Mark 33 directors for the 5" guns. NASHVILLE's Mark 34 forward main battery director has received the modern (for the time) Mark 8 "FH" ranging radar, while the aft director retains its Mark 3 "FC" radar, likely due to supply issues. A Vought OS2U Kingfisher of VCS-15 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron FIFTEEN) is spotted on the catapult aft.
NASHVILLE would survive the war to be sold to the Chilean Navy, where it would serve until 1982 as the CAPITAN PRAT.
This is HONOLULU (CL-48) in November of 1943, after a refit period at the Mare Island Navy Yard following massive damage at the Battle of Kolombangara. The ship is camouflaged in Measure 32/2C, a pattern developed for the NEW ORLEANS class cruisers but adapted to the BROOKLYN class.
HONOLULU's fit at this time is nearly identical to her sister NASHVILLE; the main difference is the heavier mainmast, designed to support a second radar antenna (likely a height finder), but this radar antenna was not fitted until HONOLULU's final refit in 1945.
HONOLULU would survive the war, ultimately being sold for scrap in 1959.
This is NASHVILLE (CL-43) in March of 1945, after the conclusion of a refit at the Puget Sound Navy Yard. NASHVILLE returned to the US west coast after sustaining kamikaze damage off the Philippines in December of 1944.
NASHVILLE is camouflaged in Measure 21, though using the later flat grey paints that replaced the blue-grey based paints used earlier on in the war. This refit added Mark 8 Mod.3 "FH" ranging radar on the main battery Mark 34 directors, and Mark 25 radar on the Mark 33 dual-purpose 5" gun directors. The amidships searchlight tower has been cut down and replaced with a small deckhouse mounting a Mark 51 director for 40mm gunfire control. The two 36" searchlights have been relocated to small platforms abaft the second funnel. All single 20mm Oerlikons have been replaced with twins, which allowed for weight savings and consolidation of mounts. The stern 20mm galleries have been expanded to fit twin 40mm Bofors, and the amidships 40mm quad Bofors mount has been fitted with the Mark 28 radar antenna (part of the Mark 63 gunfire control system).
This is SAVANNAH (CL-42) in September, 1944, after refit at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. SAVANNAH was hit by a German FX-1400 radio-controlled bomb off Salerno, with 197 crewmen killed. The damage from this hit nearly sank the ship. After emergency repairs in Malta, SAVANNAH sailed for the U.S. East Coast for a lengthy refit period in Philadelphia. There she received the "ultimate" wartime refit for the BROOKLYN class ships, which included bulging the hull and rebuilding the superstructure almost entirely. Most significant was the addition of four twin 5"/38 Mark 12 guns in Mark 32 mounts, directed by the battle proven Mark 37 gun director system. These replaced the earlier 5"/25-caliber guns and their Mark 33 directors. SAVANNAH mounts a very standard late-war cruiser radar fit, with the SK air search antenna on the foremast and an SG surface search set on the fore top. A backup SG sits on the mainmast, flanked by the small TBS tactical radio antenna. Mark 8 "FH" radar sets are fitted to the ship's Mark 34 directors for the main battery. A Curtiss SOC Seagull of Cruiser Scouting Squadron EIGHT (VCS-8) is spotted on the stern catapult.
As part of the Atlantic Fleet, SAVANNAH remained in the graded system of Measure 22 throughout the war. Of note is the angular pattern applied to the 40mm Bofors positions amidships, likely an attempt to break up an otherwise monotone grey section of the superstructure. White (5-U) countershading has been applied under large overhangs to help reduce contrast created by shadows.
This refit scheme was planned for all units of the class, as they returned to yards for major overhauls or after sustaining (and hopefully surviving) massive battle damage. Ultimately only SAVANNAH and HONOLULU (CL-48) were fully built out into this configuration, and because they were considered the most "modern" of the surviving BROOKLYN class ships, both were retained in the U.S. reserve fleets until the 1960s (while their remaining sisters were all sold to the South American navies).
SAVANNAH would complete the war in the Atlantic, ferrying President Roosevelt to the Yalta Conference before being placed in reserve and finally going to the breakers in 1966.
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