USS Toledo (CA-133)

USS Toledo (CA-133) was a Baltimore class heavy cruiser that carried out three combat tours during the Korean War, and was one of the few members of her class to be continuously in commission in her original configuration. Toledo earned five battle stars for service during the Korean War.

The Toledo was laid down in September 1943, launched on 6 May 1945 and commissioned on 27 October 1946, over a year after the end of the Second World War.

Her shakedown cruiser took her to Cuba and the Caribbean. She was then allocated to the Far Eastern fleet, and departed for her new base in April 1947. She travelled east via the Suez Canal and reached Japan in June 1947, She formed part of the Occupation Forces until October 1947. This was the first of three peacetime tours of duty in the Pacific. The second lasted from April-September 1948, and saw her support the evacuation of the Chinese nationalists to Taiwan. The third lasted from October 1949 to June 1950.

The Toledo arrived back at Long Beach on 12 June 1950, thirteen days before the outbreak of the Korean War. The Toledo was almost immediately sent back across the Pacific. She became the flagship of CruDiv 5 at Pearl Harbor and reached the east coast of Korea on 26 July. She was in action between 27 July and 6 August, bombarding North Korean targets near the coast. She was then relieved and returned to Japan to replenish her supplies. A second and third period of bombardment duties followed (15-27 August, 31 August-5 September).

Toledo was then allocated to the fleet that supporting the UN landings at Inchon, on the west coast of Korea. She was used to bombard the heavily fortified island of Wolmi Do on 13-14 September, clearing the way for an invasion of the island. She then supported the 1st Marine Division as they landed on the mainland. She remained in the area until 5 October, although the main action was out of her gun range after 18 September.

Her first tour of duty off Korea ended with a spell in support of the landings at Wonsan, on the east coast of Korea (13-22 October 1950). She then returned to the United States for an overhaul.

Her second tour of duty off Korea began on 26 April 1951. She was used to support UN troops on the Han River during the Communist Spring Offensive of 1951. In late May she operated further north, near Kansong, and on this occasion was able to use her 8in guns in anger. On 18 June she attacked a North Korean transport hub at Songjin. On 27 June she returned to Wonsan, where she came under bombardment herself. She was based off the east coast of Korea until late November, when she departed for the US West Coast.

The Toledo's third tour of Korea began on 12 September 1952. She was used to support the American X Corps and South Korean I Corps in the fighting during the drawn-own armistice negotiations. In October she began a spell as part of the cruiser screen for the carriers of TF 77, although did carry out some shore bombardment during this period. On 12 October she suffered a near miss from a 75mm gun, which straddled her but didn't hit. This third tour ended on 28 February 1953, and she reached San Francisco on 16 April, where she began a five-month long overhaul.

The Toledo returned to the Far East for a seventh tour in November 1953, but this was now a peacetime mission. An eighth tour followed from November 1954. During this tour she helped the Chinese Nationalists evacuate the Tachen Islands. The Toledoeventually carried out twelve tours of duty in the western Pacific, three of them during the Korean War and nine of them during peacetime.

The Toledo was decommissioned on 21 May 1960 and struck off the Navy List on 1 January 1974. Later in the same year she was sold for scrap.

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

13 September 1943

Launched

5 May 1945

Completed

27 October 1946

Stricken

1 January 1974

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (10 April 2015), USS Toledo (CA-133) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_USS_Toledo_CA133.html

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