Northampton class HEAVY CRUISERS
 
USN Heavy Cruiser CA-26 "Northampton"
Displacement: 11,515 t (9,950 t Std)Machinery:8 boilers, 4 shafts  Main Guns: 3×3×8 in (203 mm)/55 Main Belt: 3-2.5 in 76-63.5 mm
Max Length: 600 ft 3 in 182.9 mMax Power: 109,000 hp 80 169 kW DP Guns: 8×1×5 in (127 mm)/25 Decks: 2-1 in 51-25 mm
Beam: 66 ft 1 in 20.4 mMax Speed: 32.5 kts 60.2 km/h AA Guns: 4×4×1.1 in (28 mm)* Barbettes: 1.5 in 38 mm
Draght: 16 ft 4 in 5.0 mRange: 10,000 nm 18 520 km AA Guns: 10×1×.79 in (20 mm)* Turrets: 2.5-.75 in 63.5-19 mm
Complement: 621 officers and enlisted Bunkerage: 3,067 t fuel oil Aircraft: 4 × SOC-1 Seagull CTower: 1.5 in 38 mm

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

The six Northampton class heavy cruisers were built to add more firepower to the U.S. Navy's battle fleet which couldn't build any additional battleships due to the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty. The ships were based on the Pensacola class heavy cruisers, though the Northamptons mounted only nine 8 in (203┬ámm) guns in three triple turrets (instead of ten in two triple and two twin turrets on Pensacolas), the layout followed in all subsequent U.S. heavy cruisers. These cruisers were also the first U.S. ships to adopt a hangar for aircraft, and bunks instead of hammocks. Although armor was increased the North­amptons turned out to be lighter than the Pensacolas, and nearly 1,000 tons below the treaty limitations. The first three ships were equipped as flagships with an additional complement around 750.

The cruisers were initially armed also with four 5 in (127 mm) double purpose guns, eight .50 in (12.7 mm) AA machine guns, and six 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes. But before the World War II began, the torpedo tubes were removed 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. At the same time the anti-aircraft armament was increased with four additional 5 in (127 mm) guns and four of the new four-barrel 1.1 in (28 mm) autocannons.

One Northampton class heavy cruiser (CA-26 Northampton) took part in the Battle of Midway as a flagship of Task Force 16 Cruiser Group (Task Group 16.2).

 

Ship Builder Laid Down    Launched    Commisioned    Fate
 CA-26  Northampton Bethlehem Steel Corp. Quincy, MA 12 Apr 1928     5 Sep 1929   17 May 1930   Sunk in action 30 Nov 1942
 CA-27 Chester New York Shipbuilding Corp., NJ   6 Mar 1928     3 Jul 1929   24 Jun 1930   Sold for scrap 11 Aug 1959
 CA-28 Louisville U. S. Navy Yard. Puget Sound, WA   4 Jul 1929     1 Sep 1930   15 Jan 1931   Sold for scrap 14 Sep 1959
 CA-29 Chicago U. S. Navy Yard. Mare Island, CA 10 Sep 1928   10 Apr 1930     9 Mar 1931   Sunk in action 30 Jan 1943
 CA-30 Houston Newport News Shipbuilding, VA   1 May 1928     7 Sep 1929   17 Jun 1930   Sunk in action   1 Mar 1942
 CA-31 Augusta Newport News Shipbuilding, VA   2 Jul 1928     1 Feb 1930   30 Jan 1931   Sold for scrap   9 Nov 1959