This is WORCESTER (CL-144) in July of 1949, while the ship was at San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is camouflaged in the standard post-war Measure 13 scheme (overall Haze Grey, with black funnel tops). The first of a new class of light cruisers with rapid-firing 6"/47-caliber guns, WORCESTER was the largest light cruiser built by the US Navy.
Main armament was twelve 6"/47 rapid-firing Mark 16 guns in twin dual-purpose Mark 16 turrets. This was an improved mounting that could traverse fast enough for the guns to be used in an anti-aircraft role, and automatic shell handling and ramming (capable of loading at any elevation) made these true dual-purpose turrets. These guns achieved a fire rate of 12 rounds per minute in service, but did not prove to be reliable due to their complexity. During the first few years of WORCESTER's service, these guns were fitted with complex bloomers (designed to reduce saltwater intrusion into the mount). The two forward mounts (61 and 62) were fitted with an interesting bloomer arrangement, with rubberized canvas protecting the starboard gun on mount 61, and the port gun on mount 62 - likely an attempt to test different bloomer types at sea.
WORCESTER shows a standard post-war radar fit usually seen on the larger units, with the cut parabola antenna of the SR-2 air search radar at the foremast, the SP-1 height finder on the mainmast, and SG-6 surface/zenith search at the foretop. Interestingly, WORCESTER also received a second air search radar (the SR-6) on a small stub mast ahead of the second funnel. The first SR-6 antenna was not considered successful (Friedman's Naval Radar notes USN officers describing it as "not enough antenna"), and this was later replaced with the SPS-6B antenna. A TDY trainable jammer antenna is bracketed to the rear of the foremast, with a small platform for a magnesyn compass ahead of it. DBM radar direction finders in radomes sit at the maintop, and small dipoles for ship-to-ship and ship-to-air tactical radios are mounted around the foretop and maintop rails. The TBS tactical radio antenna sits above the SG-6 radar on the foretop. Fan-shaped "sword" RCM monitoring antennas are bracketed to the front of the pilothouse and the rear of the aft Mark 13 radar tower, and would listen for enemy reactions to jamming while the TDY was active.
Fire control for the WORCESTER class cruisers was provided by four Mark 37 directors fitted with Mark 25 ranging radars. Curiously, Mark 54 directors (as on the DES MOINES class cruisers) were not fitted to the WORCESTER class; instead, Mark 13 radars on small supports were fitted ahead of the pilothouse and aft of the mainmast. These were tied to the centerline Mark 37 directors and functioned as spotting radars for the 6" guns in surface fire mode. Additionally, each gun turret was fitted with a Mark 27 radar on the front of the turret which would provide shell velocity and backup ranging, as the Mark 16 turret did not have an integrated optical rangefinder as on previous 6" gun turrets.
The secondary battery of the ship consisted of the new 3"/50-caliber rapid-firing Mark 22 guns in twin Mark 27 mounts. These were directed by four Mark 56 Mod.3 directors equipped with Mark 35 ranging radar, mounted on pedestals along the ship's superstructure. The bow and stern 3"/50 mounts were not added until later in the ship's career. As designed, WORCESTER was to mount twelve twin 20mm Oerlikon light AA guns, but the ship went to sea with only six guns installed. These were removed by 1952.
The original WORCESTER design called for twin catapults and a seaplane hangar on the quarterdeck. WORCESTER was launched with the catapults mounted, but they were removed prior to commissioning. The stern was used as boat storage space (with the seaplane crane operating as a boat crane), and doubled as a landing deck for the embarked Sikorsky HO3S-1 helicopter.
This is WORCESTER in June of 1950, while operating with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, just prior to her voyage to Okinawa and then Korea. She is still camouflaged in Measure 13, like all post-war USN units.
WORCESTER emerged from a brief yard period at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in January of 1950 with some slight modifications to her radar fit. The unsuccessful SR-6 antenna atop the small stub mast ahead of the second funnel was replaced with the antenna from the SPS-6B air search system, and the tactical radio arrangement at the mastheads has been revised, with the TDQ/RCK antennas mounted on telescoping masts.
The bow Mark 51 tub was destroyed while taking green water over the bow during a storm in the Atlantic in late 1949, and WORCESTER went to Korea without the bow 3"/50 or its attendant director. The stern 3"/50 mounts have also not yet been fitted, but the ship retains its 20mm Oerlikons in their original positions.
This is WORCESTER in February of 1952 while the ship was at Galveston, Texas. By 1952, WORCESTER's SR-2 air search radar at the foremast has been replaced with the SR-6B previously mounted on the small stub mast ahead of the second funnel. The bow and stern 3"/50-caliber guns have been mounted, with a twin Mark 27 mount forward and two single Mark 33 mounts aft. The aft mounts were controlled by the Mark 63 gunfire control system, with a Mark 51 director in the nearby tub calculating lead and on-mount AN/SPG-34 radars for target ranging. By this period, the large bloomers on guns 63, 64, 65, and 66 have been removed, but 61 and 62 retain their offset pattern. These would be removed in later refits. All of the ship's 20mm Oerlikons have been removed by this time.
This is ROANOKE (CL-145) in June of 1957, while the ship was at San Francisco for a fleet review conducted by Admiral Nimitz. She is camouflaged in the overall Haze Grey of Measure US 27, with black funnel tops and mainmast.
By the late 1950s both WORCESTER class cruisers had had their mainmasts reduced to mount the AN/SPS-8A height-finding radar. This massive antenna replaced the previous (and much smaller) SP-1, a wartime height-finding set. The DBM radar direction finders previously mounted at the maintop have been relocated to small yards abeam the foundation for the new telescoping maintopmast. AT-150 dipoles for various tactical radio and TACAN sets were mounted at the maintop. The foremast on ROANOKE was not rebuilt the same way as WORCESTER, which received the URN-3 TACAN radome at the masthead. CO2 lifeboats in bins have replaced the wartime floater nets in baskets, and "E" for excellence has been painted on various directors and guns (indicating higher than average crew performance). Glazing has been added at the 04 level forward, protecting the navigating bridge, and a small windshield has been built at the 05 level protecting the VJ radar repeater. This trend is indicative of the move away from the large open bridges favored during the war, when overhead visibility was considered paramount, towards greater crew comfort and electronic equipment protection from the elements.
Like WORCESTER, ROANOKE would serve throughout the 1950s, being decommissioned in 1958 and sold for scrap by 1972.
This is WORCESTER in September of 1958, as the ship entered Mare Island Navy Yard for deactivation.
WORCESTER's final electronics fit was slightly more modern than her sister ROANOKE's at this point. The SG-6 surface search radar at the foretop has been replaced with the fiberglass dome of the AN/URN-3 TACAN system. The smaller radome of AN/URD-4 (also a TACAN antenna) sits at the masthead, with the original tactical radio antennas moved to U-shaped yards below the foretop. Main air search is still the AN/SPS-6B, and the mesh antenna of AN/SPS-4 has replaced the magnesyn compass on a small platform ahead of the foremast. The large SPS-8A antenna remains on the mainmast.
By this time, WORCESTER had received the AN/SLR-2 ECM suite standard to almost all USN warships of the time. An AS-570 antenna inside a radome has been installed atop the number one stack, and AS-616 / AS-571 antennas have been installed atop the number two stack. These were countermeasures receiving antennas intended for passive warning. The wartime TDY has been deleted from the foremast.
WORCESTER's bridge windows have been revamped along the same lines as ROANOKE, this time with a more modern style of glazing at the 03 level around the navigating bridge.
All WORCESTER class cruiser drawings available here: http://shipbucket.com/drawings/search?c ... =&drawing=