USS Albany (CA-123/ CG-10)

USS Albany (CA-123/ CG-10) was a member of the Oregon City sub-class of the Baltimore class of heavy cruisers, and served with the 5th Fleet in the Mediterranean before being converted into a guided missile cruiser.

The Albany was laid down on 6 March 1944, launched on 30 June 1945 and commissioned on 15 June 1946.  Her shakedown cruise took place off Maine. For the first years of her career the Albany was based on the US east coast, and carried out training cruises with naval reservists and midshipmen.

In September 1948 the Albany was allocated to the new Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. This was the first of five tours of duty with the Sixth Fleet, which alternated with further periods carrying out training cruises off the US coast, as well as three goodwill cruisers to South America.

Guided Missile Cruiser

In 1958 the Navy began work on converting the Albany into a guided missile cruiser. She was reclassified as CG-10 on 1 November 1958 and towed to San Francisco for the conversion work. The conversion began on 1 July 1959.

The Navy had already converted two Baltimore class cruisers into missile cruisers. Work on the Boston (CA-69) began in 1941, and she became CAG-1. Canberra (CA-70) was next, becoming CAG-2. These ships had their rear 8in turret and rear 5in gun houses removed and replaced with Terrior missile launchers.

Albany, Chicago and Columbus were all given rather more extensive modifications to turn them into missile cruisers. The entire superstructure was removed and a new aluminium structure built. This featured 'Macks', combined masts and stacks, replacing both the existing masts and the two funnels. A large rectangular superstructure was built in front of the forward 'Mack', topped with the new bridge. Radar antennas were installed on top of the 'Macks'.

All of the 8in guns were replaced and the ships were armed with four missile launchers. Two twin Talos surface to air missile launchers were carried, one fore and one aft, both on the centre line. The RIM-8 Talos had a range of 60 miles and could launch a missile with a 465lb warhead or a 5 kiloton nuclear bomb.

The Albany was also armed with triple torpedo tubes that could fire UUM-44 nuclear tipped anti-submarine torpedoes and could carry two anti-submarine helicopters. She also retained two 5in/ 38 guns.

The Albany was recommissioned on 3 November 1962. She resumed her previous pattern of deployment, with spells on the US East Coast, the West Indies and with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. In 1967-69 she underwent a second overhaul. She rejoined the Atlantic Fleet late in 1969 and rejoined the Sixth Fleet early in 1970. Between 1970 and 1976 she carried out three normal tours of duty with the Sixth Fleet. In 1976 she became the flagship of the 6th Fleet, a role she carried out for the next four years.

The Albany was relieved by the Puget Sound (AD-38) on 28 May 1980 and returned to the United States. She was decommissioned on 29 August 1980 and she was struck off the Navy List on 30 June 1985. She remained intact for an unusually long time after this and wasn't sold for scrap until 1990. Part of her bow was saved and is now at the Albany County Fairground, Altamont.  

Displacement (standard)

14,472t

Displacement (loaded)

17,031t

Top Speed

33kts

Range

10,000nm at 15kts

Armour – belt

4-6in

 - armour deck

2.5in

 - barbettes

6.3in

 - turrets

8in face
3in roof
2-3.75in sides
1.5 rear

 - conning tower

6in
3in roof

 - underwater magazines

3in side
2.5in deck

Length

673ft 5in oa

Armaments

Nine 8in guns (three triple turrets)
Twelve 5in/38 guns (six double positions)
Forty eight 40mm guns (11x4, 2x2)
Twenty four 20mm guns
Four aircraft

Crew complement

2039

Laid down

6 March 1944

Launched

30 June 1945

Completed

11 June 1946

Stricken

1990

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 March 2015), USS Albany (CA-123/ CG-10) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_USS_Albany_CA123.html

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