She was launched 13 January 1944 by Newport News Shipbuilding, Portsmouth, Virginia; sponsored by Mrs. E. H. Hatch, wife of the Mayor of Duluth, Minnesota; and commissioned 18 September 1944, Captain Donald Roderick Osborn, Jr., US Naval Academy class of 1920, in command.
From 14 December 1944 to 2 March 1945, Duluth served as a training cruiser at Newport, Rhode Island. After brief overhaul at Norfolk, she sailed 7 April for the Pacific, arriving at Pearl Harbor 29 April. On 8 May, she got underway to join the 5th Fleet and rendezvoused with the fast carriers on 27 May. Severe structural damage to her bow suffered in a typhoon 5 June forced her to return to Guam for repairs, but she rejoined TF 38 on 21 July to screen during the final air strikes on the Japanese homeland which continued until the end of the war.
From 24 August 1945 until she entered Tokyo Bay 16 September, Duluth operated with TF 38 which was providing radar picket and combat air patrol for transport aircraft flying occupation forces into Japan. On 1 October, Duluth sailed for the United States, arriving at Seattle 19 October for Navy Day celebrations.
Based at San Pedro, California, Duluth served a tour of duty in the Far East between 3 January and 27 September 1946, and on 24 February 1947 sailed for an extended visit at Pearl Harbor. Between May and July, she visited Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, Truk, Guam, and Manila. She served again in the Far East, patrolling the China coast, between 22 September 1947 and 19 May 1948, when she returned to her new home port, Long Beach, California. She carried NROTC midshipmen on a training cruise to British Columbia in the summer of 1948, and in February 1949 joined in cold-weather operations off Kodiak, Alaska. She was placed out of commission in reserve 25 June 1949, and sold on 14 November 1960.
Duluth received two battle stars for World War II service.
- Navy photographs of Duluth (CL-87)
- history.navy.mil: USS Duluth
- navsource.org: USS Duluth
- hazegray.org: USS Duluth
This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
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