Cleveland class light cruiser, USS Manchester (CL-83) (1952) - The Last Cleveland to enter service

Would you like to see USS Manchester in her 1952 refit added into war thunder and if so how should she be added?
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Cleveland class light cruiser, USS Manchester (CL-83) (1952) - The Last Cleveland to enter service

Note(s):

Due to sources not straight up specifying the AA armament in question of this refit however as images do confirm the installation of 3-inch guns the number of AA guns is sourced from various images with 8 twin mounts shown to be mounted

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Background

USS Manchester is one of the 27 Cleveland class light cruiser built for the US navy, she was one of the vessels that were completed after the Second World War and only saw combat during the Korean War, what makes her unique is that compared to all her sisters she was the only vessel of the entire Cleveland class cruisers that were modernized during the Cold War, not counting any conversions into guided missile cruisers as well as that she was the last ship of her class to be decommissioned once again not counting conversions due to her being the last Cleveland class cruiser.

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Like any other Cleveland her armament consisted of 12 6-inch/47 main guns in 4 triple turrets, and her secondary dual purpose battery consisted of 12 5-inch/38 dual purpose guns in 6 twin turrets, the initial AA battery consisted of 40mm and 20mm guns however in terms of the configuration in 1952 she had around 16 3-inch/50 guns in 8 twin turrets as images show. With the 3-inch guns she would basically act like USS Pittsburgh in war thunder in which she exchanges her 40mm and 20mm guns for 3-inch guns for a longer range AA armament and in-game would be unique since she was the only Cleveland class cruiser to see this modernization.

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With the lack of specific sources explaining when the ship was modernized can be done via various dated photos, in particular one source which has dated images points out a image that is incorrectly dated as taken in 1953 however as the source indicates it was taken during her deployments from 1950 to 1952 and this is backed up by the presence of 40mm Bofors, on top of that another image shows which is also dated in 1952 mentions it was taken after the completion of her overhaul and repairs in 1952 and in the image the 3-inch guns are now equipped which means it can be concluded that she received this modernization during the repairs and overhaul in 1952.


History

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USS Manchester was laid down on September 25th, 1944, she was launched on March 5th, 1946, and was soon commissioned on October 29th the same year, missing the Second World War she first underwent her shake down cruise in the Caribbean before returning to Boston in 1947, compared to her sisters she was already a bit unique as she had was equipped with an experimental plastic cover for her bridge to be tested on her first transatlantic crossing.

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Her early career from 1947 to 1949 would see her alternate between the US East coast and the US 6th fleet in the Mediterranean for at least 3 deployments until she left Philadelphia in 1949 when she transited over to join the pacific fleet and after reaching Long Beach on April 3rd she spent 2 weeks there until she left to the far east entering the harbor at Tsingtao, China on May 15th and from here she would operate in the South China Sea until late November when she returned to the US and would be undergoing overhaul when the Korean War broke out and so the work on her was sped up and on August 1st she completed the work and was sent to the Western Pacific where she arrived at Sasebo, Japan, in early September and joined TF 77.

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As apart of TF 77 she commenced operations in the Yellow Sea, supporting UN Forces air efforts against the elongated North Korean communications lines by taking part in coastal patrol, blockade, and shore bombardment and she was present for the landings in Inchon before seeing herself mostly relegated to shore bombardment as well as providing escort for the carriers of TF 77. On October 29th she would be reassigned to TF 72 and was assigned to patrolling the Taiwan Straits for a short time up until December 3rd when she was sent back to rejoin TF 77 by the full scale intervention of Communist Chinese troops in Korea. In 1951 she would evacuated injured crew members from the Thai corvette HTMS Prasae, which had grounded the previous day behind enemy lines near Kisamon Tan on the east coast and would provide covering naval gunfire as the crew attempted to free the vessel up until it was concluded she was unsalvageable and would find herself relegated to shore bombardment of various targets inland before heading back to San Francisco in June and would return to the Korean theater in November and was then assigned as flagship of TF 95 where she helped to blockade the Korean coast as well as providing more shore bombardment before returning to the US May arriving home on the 29th and 2 weeks later sailed to San Francisco for overhaul, repairs, and refit and it was during this time she saw her AA battery updated with the 40mm Bofors being replaced with the 3-inch/50 guns making her truly unique since no other Cleveland class cruiser received this modernization of AA armament.

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Coming back into service in 1953 she returned to TF 77 and spent the rest of the war during her 3rd deployment with more shore bombardment until July 28th when she concluded her deployment the day after the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement and she returned to the US from her 3rd deployment rounding up the war with no major damage from the enemy during any of her deployments. The remained of her career would see her on deployment with the 7th fleet for 6 months 2 more times in 1954 and 1955 and on her last return voyage she participated in Operation “Glory”, the return to Hawaii of 50 unidentified Americans that died during the the Korean War and would make a short stay in Hawaii before returning to the US and on February 27th she was placed in the reserve fleet and she was decommissioned on June 27th, 1956 and in 1960 she was stricken from the naval register and sold for scrap in 1960 with a total of 9 battle-stars earned during her service making her the last Cleveland class cruiser to not only enter service but the last to leave service however this is ignoring the conversions of other vessels which became guided missile cruisers as they lasted until the 1970’s.

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Specifications

Displacement -

11,744 long tons (11,932 t) (standard)

14,131 long tons (14,358 t) (max)

Length -

610 ft 1 in (185.95 m) oa

608 ft (185 m)pp

Beam - 66 ft 4 in (20.22 m)

Draft -

25 ft 6 in (7.77 m) (mean)

25 ft (7.6 m) (max)

Installed power -

4 × 634 psi Steam boilers

100,000 shp (75,000 kW)

Propulsion -

4 × geared turbines

4 × screws

Speed - 32.5 kn (37.4 mph; 60.2 km/h)

Range - 11,000 nmi (20,000 km) at15 kn (17 mph; 28 km/h)

Complement - 1,285

Armament -

Main Armament

12 × 6-inch/47 (152 mm) Mark 16 guns (4 x 3)

Secondary Armament

12 × 5-inch/38 (127 mm) Mark 12 dual purpose guns in Mark 32 Mod 0 mounts (6 x 2)

AA Armament

16 x 3-inch/50 (76mm) Mark 22 AA guns in Mark 33 mounts (8 x 2)

Armor -

Belt: 3.25–5 in (83–127 mm)

Deck: 2 in (51 mm)

Bulkheads: 5 in (127 mm)

Turrets Face: 6.50 in (165 mm)

Turrets Roof: 3 in (76 mm)

Turrets Sides: 3 in (76 mm)

Turrets Rear: 1.5 in (38 mm)

Barbettes: 6 in (152 mm)

Conning tower: 2.25–5 in (57–127 mm)


More Images

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Sources

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USS Manchester (CL-83) - Wikipedia

Cleveland-class cruiser - Wikipedia

Cruiser Photo Index CL-83 USS MANCHESTER - Navsource - Photographic History of the U.S. Navy (contains various images and does show the presence of the 3-inch guns)

https://www.navypedia.org/ships/usa/us_cr_cleveland.htm

Image Sources

Spoiler

Category:USS Manchester (CL-83) - Wikimedia Commons

Cruiser Photo Index CL-83 USS MANCHESTER - Navsource - Photographic History of the U.S. Navy