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Thread: St. Paul vs Des Moines

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    St. Paul vs Des Moines

    The USN decided around 59-60 to keep the St. Paul (CA 73) in commission and decommission the Des Moines (CA 134).

    Ive never quite understood that.

    Anybody out there have any info on the decision.

    Thanks. Rick
    Last edited by rickusn; 21 Jan 07, at 04:33.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickusn View Post
    The USN decided around 59-60 to keep the St. Paul (CA 71) in commission and decommission the Des Moines (CA 134).

    Ive never quite understood that.

    Anybody out there have any info on the decision.

    Thanks. Rick
    To speculate, the St. Paul CA 73 homeport was moved to Yokosuka in 1959 and ended up being the First Fleet Flagship shortly afterwards. My dad's destroyer homeport was moved to Yokosuka about the same time. We came back in 1962 due to his destroyer's scheduled FRAM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickusn View Post
    The USN decided around 59-60 to keep the St. Paul (CA 73) in commission and decommission the Des Moines (CA 134).

    Ive never quite understood that.

    Anybody out there have any info on the decision.

    Thanks. Rick
    Rick,
    Perhaps maybe for the same reason the KittyHawk being our oldest carrier in service is based at Yokosuka. Perhaps they wanted to keep the Des Moines
    here because being the newer cruiser and the auto 8"s perhaps they didnt want anybody getting to close to look her over real good. Why not let them look at an older less powerful cruiser while we keep the new one available for deployment elsewhere if needed. (Even know it didnt happen.). We could also speculate that the reason we didnt let Des Moines go was Japan was a very big fan of heavy cruisers and therefore maybe really interested to take a much closer look at a new one.

    You will note that Washington is supposed to replace the KittyHawk. And she is the sixth (I believe) of the Nimitz class carriers. Perhaps since she is older then the other five big carriers that is what her fate is resigned to. Let them look at an older carrier while the newer larger ones stay either at sea or here any place but beneath some other military's "eyes".

    Just thoughts.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 22 Jan 07, at 22:08.
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    The Des Moines and Salem were basically East coast ships where as the St. Paul was homeported in Long Beach at the time. Yokosuka was used to having all types of cruisers in. I have a picture from 1955 with the USS Helena, USS Bremerton, USS Los Angeles and the USS Rochester in. The Rochester with it's single funnel could easily be mis-identified as being in the same class as the Des Moines.

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    Thanks guys I pretty much considered all your points also.

    I thank you for restating them for me. It was much helpful.

    My thought was that the Des Moines class 8" guns were supposedly much superior and the Des Moines was already outfitted as a Flagship.

    Guess Im just curious and was trolling for some documented info on the USN's thoughts.

    Some day Im hoping to put up a website dedicated to just the history and reasoning to all the USN's postwar force structure decisions.

    But Im probably just dreaming.

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    By 1959-60 at least 3 West coast CA's (Helena, Toledo and Los Angeles) had been fitted with the Regulus rocket and I believe all had served as flagship at one time so I'm surprised that one of them wasn't assigned to Yokosuka for a couple of years prior to their decommissioning.

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    I will say this..For the very brief time we were aboard her she was in very good condition interior wise. Not that being her age didnt have her faults but when the Navy lays a ship up for that amount of time they appear to be super thorough atleast to the interior spaces. Being she was laid up about "61" walking inside her interior spaces some 45 years later shows just how good of a job they do.

    Hey come to think of it I walked through the last of a dead breed. That is not being museumed but a mothballed hull in storage.

    Alot of people dont realize her sister ship Newport News (CA148) played a roll in blockading during the Cuban Missle Crisis.

    There are some great shots of her being pulled from the basin as well.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 23 Jan 07, at 19:42.
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    The USS Salem( CA 139 );sister to the Des Moines is a museum ship in Boston and it's in great shape.

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    Another interesting area of these ships was the aft lower aircraft hangar where her seaplane was to be held. Many people dont know these ships were designed to carry her sea plane below decks instead of on the fantail or catapult as in other cruiser designs. This is the aft section of Des Moines (CA134). Note the original 3" on both sides of the stern in the gun tubs and her aircraft crane disassembled on the aft deck.
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    Last edited by Dreadnought; 22 Feb 07, at 21:04.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    Another interesting area of these ships was the aft lower aircraft hangar where her seaplane was to be held. Many people dont know these ships were designed to carry her sea plane below decks instead of on the fantail or catapult as in other cruiser designs. This is the aft section of Des Moines (CA134). Note the original 3" on both sides of the stern in the gun tubs and her aircraft crane disassembled on the aft deck.
    The Baltimore Class CA's also had the seaplanes and hangar. Around 1949-50 they were converted for helicopters. They still kept the crane(s) on the fantail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RAL's_pal? View Post
    The Baltimore Class CA's also had the seaplanes and hangar. Around 1949-50 they were converted for helicopters. They still kept the crane(s) on the fantail.
    I can remember reading somewhere that Des Moines class didnt have elevators and used the crane to bring the aircraft out and return it via crane to the hangar when finished. Does this sound correct to you? and did the Baltimore class have elevators?
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    Dreadnought: In your picture, the weather is obviously very wet. But what interests me is it appears that somebody is growing parsley in the seams of the deck planks.

    When's the harvest?
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    No Dick, it's not that kind "shipyard" parsley.....
    Last edited by Ytlas; 22 Feb 07, at 22:55.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBattleship View Post
    Dreadnought: In your picture, the weather is obviously very wet. But what interests me is it appears that somebody is growing parsley in the seams of the deck planks.

    When's the harvest?
    Just goes to show you "parsley" can grow just about anywhere eh?
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

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    When you go aboard mothballed ships is there electricity inside or do you inspect them with flashlights?

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