USS Quincy (CA-71) (originally St Paul)

USS Quincy (CA-71) was a Baltimore class heavy cruiser that helped support the D-Day landings and Operation Dragoon before moving to the Pacific for the final battles against Japan. She also served in the Korean War before being decommissioned for a second time in 1954. Quincy received four battle stars for World War II service.

CA-71 was laid down on 9 October 1941, and was originally going to be named USS St Paul. On 9 August 1942 the New Orleans class heavy cruiser USS Quincy (CA-39) was sunk at the battle of Savo Island. It was decided to rename CA-71 in her honour, and she became the third USS Quincy on 16 October 1942. CA-73, which had been named USS Rochester was renamed as USS St Paul, and CA-124 became USS Rochester.

The new Quincy was launched on 23 June 1943 and commissioned on 15 December 1943. Her shakedown cruiser took her to the Caribbean and she was then allocated to Task Force 22 for further training off the coast of Maine.

Most of the Baltimore class cruisers to see service during the Second World War were sent to the Pacific but the Quincy began her active career against Germany. She was assigned to TG 27.10 and joined the 12th Fleet after her arrival at Belfast in mid-May.

She was allocated to the bombardment group for the Utah Beach landings, and opened fire at 5.37am on D-Day. Her first task was to suppress German shore guns. She remained off the Normandy beaches from D-Day to 17 June, providing fire support for the troops firing onshore, hitting a wide range of targets including enemy gun batteries, tanks and artillery. She also helped in the attack on Quineville on 12 June 1944.

On 21 June the Quincy joined TF 129 at Portland. The task force bombarded Cherbourg on 24 June, helping US troops capture the port on the same day.

The Quincy was next allocated to the fleet that was to support Operation Dragoon. She arrived at Mers-el-Kebir on 10 July, then moved to Italy for shore bombardment practice.  

On 15 August she opened fire in support of the left flank of the 3rd US Army in the south of France. On 19 August she moved to TG 86.4 and from then until 24 August concentrated her effort against the German gun batteries at Toulon, St. Mandrier and Cape Sicie.  

On 1 September the Quincy left the fleet in the Mediterranean to return to the US. She spent part of the rest of 1944 training, before being selected to carry President Roosevelt to Malta on his way to the Great Power conference at Yalta on the Crimea. The President came on board on 23 January and was delivered to Malta on 2 February. Winston Churchill came onboard to visit the President before the leaders flew on to Yalta

The Quincy continued east to the Suez Canal, where on 12 February the President came back on board. Over the next few days the cruiser hosts King Farouk I of Egypt, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia. The Quincy then transported President Roosevelt back to the United States, arriving on 27 February.

Only now did she move to the Pacific theatre. She joined the 5th Fleet at Ulithi on 11 April, and then moved on to join Cruiser Division 10, part of Admiral Mitscher's Fast Carrier Task Force.  

The Quincy took part in three combat sorties in the Pacific. The first lasted from 16-30 April and saw the carriers attack Okinawa, Amami Gunto and Minami Daito Shima.

She formed part of TF 58 during the second sortie, which lasted from 9 May to 13 June. This time the carriers hit Amami Gunto, Kyushu, Okinawa, Tokuno Shima, Kakai Jima, Amami Gunto and Asumi Gunto. During this period the Quincy shot down one Japanese aircraft while her own spotting places carried out an attack on Tokune Shima.  

The third sortie began on 1 July and lasted to the end of the war. This time the Quincy was with Task Force 38 (when command of the fleet changed it swapped between being the Third Fleet and Fifth Fleet, with all task forces changing their numbers accordingly. This time the carrier's focus their efforts against the Japanese Home Islands.

After the end of the fighting the Quincy was allocated to the Support Force. She took par tin the occupation of Sagami Wan and then entered Tokyo Bay on 1 September. On 20 September she became part of the 5th Fleet, based in Tokyo Bay.

The Quincy decommissioned for the first time on 19 October 1946. On 31 January 1952 she was recommissioned to take part in the Korean War. Some recommissioned ships were quickly thrown into the action, but the Quincy didn't join the 7th Fleet off the Korean Coast until 25 July 1953. Two days later an armistice ended the war. Quincy remained with the fleet until 1 December 1953. She then returned to the United States, where she was decommissioned on 2 July 1954. She remained in the reserve until she was struck off the Navy List on 1 October 1973. She was sold for scrap in 1974.

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

9 October 1941

Launched

23 June 1943

Completed

15 December 1943

Stricken

1 October 1973

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 January 2015), USS Quincy (CA-71) (originally St Paul) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_USS_Quincy_CA71.html

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