New Orleans class HEAVY CRUISERS
 
USN Heavy Cruiser CA-34 "Astoria"
Displacement: 11,515 t (9,950 t Std)Machinery:8 boilers, 4 shafts  Main Guns: 3×3×8 in (203 mm)/55 Main Belt: 5-3 in 127-76 mm
Max Length: 588 ft 2 in 179.3 mMax Power: 107,000 hp 78 698 kW DP Guns: 8×1×5 in (127 mm)/25 Decks: 2.3-1.3 in 57-32 mm
Beam: 61 ft 9 in 18.8 mMax Speed: 32.7 kts 60.56 km/h AA Guns: 4×4×1.1 in (28 mm)* Barbettes: 5 in 127 mm
Draght: 19 ft 5 in 5.9 m Range: 14,000 nm 25 928 km AA Guns: 12×1×.79 in (20 mm)* Turrets: 8-3 in 203-76 mm
Complement: 708 officers and enlisted Bunkerage: 3,269 t fuel oil Aircraft: 4 × SOC-1 Seagull CTower: 5 in 127 mm

  * Antiaircraft armament as during the Battle of Midway (June 1942).

Seven New Orleans class ships was the last U.S. heavy cruisers built under the restrictions of the Washington and London Naval Treaties, wich limited the displacement of cruisers to 10,000 tons, and its main battery caliber to 8 in (203 mm).

Commisioned in 1934-1937 the ships turned out to be the most well balanced design of the “treaty” heavy cruisers built for the U.S. Navy. All available weight within the 10,000 tons limit was to be used for increased protection, primarily for the magazines and ammo lifts. At the same time, armor protection everywhere else, over and around machinery, guns, important control stations all remained weak and capable at most of stopping 5 in (127 mm) destroyer shells; gun houses and command and control facilities being hard-pressed to even handle those.

The New Orleans class was the second US cruisers built without torpedo tubes due to war gaming results from the Naval War College which indicated that the torpedoes were unlikely to be fired from a cruiser, and more a liability than an asset. These academic results were contradicted a number of times during World War II, when both Japanese and British cruisers used torpedoes rather effectively. All three New Orleans class ships lost during the war were sunk exactly by torpedoes fired from Japanese cruisers at the Battle of Savo Island on 9 August 1942.

Four New Orleans class cruisers took part in the Battle of Midway, three of them (CA-32 New Orleans, CA-36 Minneapolis, CA-44 Vincennes) as a part of Task Force 16 Cruiser Group (Task Group 16.2), one more (CA-34 Astoria) as a flagship of Task Force 17 Cruiser Group (Task Group 17.2).

 

Ship Builder Laid Down    Launched    Commisioned    Fate
 CA-32  New Orleans U. S. Navy Yard. New York, NY 14 Mar 1931   12 Apr 1933   15 Feb 1934   Sold for scrap 22 Sep 1959
 CA-34 Astoria U. S. Navy Yard. Puget Sound, WA   1 Sep 1930   16 Dec 1933   28 Apr 1934   Sunk in action   9 Aug 1942
 CA-36 Minneapolis U. S. Navy Yard. Philadelphia, PA 27 Jun 1931     6 Sep 1933   19 May 1934   Sold for scrap 14 Aug 1959
 CA-37 Tuscaloosa New York Shipbuilding Corp., NY   3 Sep 1931   15 Nov 1933   17 Aug 1934   Sold for scrap 25 Jun 1959
 CA-38 San Francisco U. S. Navy Yard. Mare Island, CA   9 Sep 1931   9 Mar 1933   10 Feb 1934   Sold for scrap   9 Sep 1959
 CA-39 Quincy Bethlehem Steel Corp. Quincy, MA 15 Nov 1933   19 Jun 1935     9 Jun 1936   Sunk in action   9 Aug 1942
 CA-44 Vincennes Bethlehem Steel Corp. Quincy, MA   2 Jan 1934   21 May 1936   24 Feb 1937   Sunk in action   9 Aug 1942