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USS Oregon City (CA-122)
USS Oregon City (CA-122) underway at sea on 17 June 1946 (80-G-262557)
USS Oregon City (CA-122)
Career (US) US flag 48 stars.svg
Name: USS Oregon City
Namesake: Oregon City, Oregon
Builder: Bethlehem Steel Company
Laid down: 8 April 1944
Launched: 9 June 1945
Commissioned: 16 February 1946
Decommissioned: 15 December 1947
Struck: 1 November 1970
Fate: Scrapped in 1973
General characteristics
Class & type: Oregon City-class heavy cruiser
Displacement: 13,700 tons
Length: 673 ft 5 in (205.26 m)
Beam: 70 ft 10 in (21.59 m)
Draft: 26 ft 4 in (8.03 m)
Propulsion: GE turbines turning 120,000 horsepower
Speed: 32.4 kn (60.0 km/h)
Complement: 1,142 officers and enlisted
Armament: 9 x 8"/55 caliber guns
12 x 5"/38 caliber guns
48 x 40 mm guns
20 x 20 mm guns
Aircraft carried: Four amphibious scout planes

USS Oregon City (CA-122), the lead ship of the Oregon City class of heavy cruisers, was laid down 8 April 1944 by Bethlehem Steel Company, Quincy, Massachusetts; launched 9 June 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Raymond P. Canfield, wife of the City Commissioner of Oregon City, Oregon. Newspapers showed pictures of celebrated radio, film and television personality Bing Crosby adding a bit of glamor to the launching. The Oregon City was commissioned 16 February 1946, Capt. Burtnett Kent Culver in command.

The commissioning program says: "The U.S.S. Oregon City is named for that historical city in the state of Oregon that bears the same name as the state. Oregon City is the oldest seat of government in the entire West and first capital of Oregon. It is located on the banks of the Willamette River and was founded over a century ago by the noted Dr. John McLoughlin."

Continuing: "The U.S.S. Oregon City, like the city it is named for believes in being a first. As the first heavy cruiser of her type and class she carries on the heritage of that great city that is noted for its historical firsts."

Oregon City departed Boston 31 March 1946 for shakedown out of Guantanamo Bay, then returned to Boston in mid-May.

Oregon City became flagship of the 4th Fleet 3 July and the following month began dockside training of reservists in Philadelphia. From 6 October to 19 October she made a post-war Reserve Training Cruise, to Bermuda, then sailed to Boston and remained until the following March with a somewhat reduced complement. Reassigned to the 2nd Fleet in January 1947, Oregon City’s crew had returned to full strength by the time she sailed for Guantanamo Bay 30 March. After three weeks of exercises she returned to Boston, not sailing again until 6 June. She embarked midshipmen at Annapolis on the 21st, then sailed for the Canal Zone and the Caribbean on an annual summer training cruise.

Oregon City debarked her midshipmen at Norfolk in mid-August and sailed for Philadelphia and deactivation. She decommissioned on 15 December 1947. She was the only Oregon City-class ship to be decommissioned soon after completion, and was not selected for conversion to a missile ship. Her bell was sent back to Oregon where it is on display at the Museum of the Oregon Territory in Oregon City, Oregon. She was stricken 1 November 1970, and sold 17 September 1973 to Union Minerals & Alloys Co., NYC, and scrapped in Kearny, NJ the following year. Her 5" gunhouses could still be seen well into the 90's at Philadelphia Navy Yard.


This article includes information collected from the public domain sources Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships and Naval Vessel Register.

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