USS Macon (CA-132)

USS Macon (CA-132) was a Baltimore class heavy cruiser that was completed too late for service in the Second World War and that was used in the Atlantic and Mediterranean during the Korean War.

The Macon was laid down in June 1943, launched on 15 October 1944 and commissioned on 26 August 1945, after the end of the fighting in the Pacific.

Her first period of active service lasted from 1945 until 1950 and for most of that period she was used as a training ship or to conduct experiments on new equipment. Her career began with manoeuvres with the 8th Fleet in April-May 1946, but in the following month she became a test ship as part of the Operational Development Force. She was used to test out new equipment on a regular basis between then and 1950.

She was also used as a training ship, serving as an anti-aircraft gunnery school ship and being used for naval reservist cruises. In 1948 she also took part in a midshipmen cruise. This first period of service ended when she was decommissioned on 12 April 1950.

In June 1950 the Korean War broke out and the US Navy suddenly needed more ships. The Macon was recommissioned on 16 October 1950, and was posted to the Atlantic, where she became the flagship of Cruiser Division 6.  

This second period of service lasted until 1961. Once again she spent some of her time acting as a training ship, taking part in six midshipmen cruises between 1950 and 1959. She split her time between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, spending most autumns and winters with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. She served with the 6th Fleet during the 1956 Suez Crisis, when a lack of American support forced the British and French to abandon their intervention in Egypt.

The Macon continued to be used for experimental work In January-March 1956 she was equipped with the Regulus Missile system and on 8 May she became the first Atlantic Fleet cruiser to fire the new weapon.

The Macon was decommissioned for the second and final time on 10 March 1961 and was struck off the Navy List in November 1969.

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

14 June 1943

Launched

15 October 1944

Completed

26 August 1945

Stricken

1 November 1969

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (10 April 2015), USS Macon (CA-132) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_USS_Macon_CA132.html

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