USS Baltimore (CA-68)

USS Baltimore (CA-68)

The fifth USS "Baltimore" (CA-68), the lead ship of her class of cruiser, was launched 28 July 1942 by Bethlehem Steel Company, Fore River, Massachusetts, sponsored by Mrs. Howard W. Jackson, wife of the Mayor of Baltimore, commissioned 15 April 1943, Captain W. C. Calhoun in command, and reported to the Pacific Fleet.

Between November 1943 and June 1944 "Baltimore" was a unit of the fire support and covering forces at the Makin Islands landings (20 November-4 December 1943); Kwajalein invasion (29 January-8 February 1944), Truk raid (16 February-17 February); Eniwetok seizure (17 February-2 March), Marianas attacks (21 February-22 February), Palau-Yap-Ulithi-Wolesi raid (30 March-1 April); Hollandia (currently known as Jayapura) landing (21 April-24 April); Truk-Satawan-Ponape raid (29 April-1 May), air strikes against Marcus Island (19 May-20 May) and Wake Island (23 May), Saipan invasion (11 June-24 June); and the Battle of the Philippine Sea (19 June-20 June).

Returning to the United States in July 1944, she embarked President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his party and steamed to Pearl Harbor. After meeting with Admiral Chester Nimitz and General Douglas MacArthur, the President was carried to Alaska where he departed "Baltimore" 9 August 1944.

Returning to the war zone in November 1944, she was assigned to the 3rd Fleet and participated in the attacks on Luzon (14 December-16 December 1944; and 6 January-7 January 1945); Formosa (3-4, 9, 15, and 21 January); the China coast (12 January and 16 January); and Okinawa (22 January).

On 26 January she joined the 5th Fleet for her final operations of the war: Honshū Island attacks (16 February-17 February); Iwo Jima operation (19 February-5 March); and the 5th Fleet raids in support of the Okinawa operation (18 March-10 June).

After the cessation of hostilities "Baltimore" served as a unit of the "Magic Carpet" fleet and then as a part of the naval occupation force in Japan (29 November 1945-17 February 1946). Departing the Far East 17 February 1946 she returned to the United States and went out of commission in reserve 8 July 1946 at Bremerton, Washington.

"Baltimore" was recommissioned 28 November 1951 and assigned to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. She was deployed with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean during the summers of 1952, 1953, and 1954. In June 1953 she represented the United States Navy in the Coronation Naval Review at Spithead, England. On 5 January 1955 she was transferred to the Pacific Fleet and was deployed with the 7th Fleet in the Far East between February and August 1955."Baltimore" commenced pre-inactivation overhaul upon her return from the Far East and went out of commission in reserve at Bremerton, 31 May 1956. She was struck from the Navy List 15 February 1971, sold 10 May 1972, and subsequently scrapped at Portland, OR.

North Korean Propaganda

A museum in Pyongyang preserved a propaganda poster claiming that the "Baltimore" was sunk by the North Korean navy on 2 July 1950. The submarine which 'sank it' is also displayed there. In fact, the "Baltimore" was never deployed to the Korean War, nor did it see action again after World War II.

Awards

"Baltimore" received nine battle stars for her service in the Pacific during World War II.

External links

* [http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/b1/baltimore-v.htm history.navy.mil: USS "Baltimore"]
* [http://www.navsource.org/archives/04/04068.htm navsource.org: USS "Baltimore"]
* [http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/cruisers/ca68.txt hazegray.org: USS "Baltimore"]


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