Juneau-class Light Cruiser, USS Juneau (CL-119) - The Galloping Ghost

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USS Juneau
As Outfitted Following the 1952 Refit
Note: This is not the Atlanta-class Juneau, this is Juneau II, the ship named after that one

USS Juneau off of Mare Island Navy Yard following refit in 1952.

USS Juneau was the lead ship of her class of three light cruisers. She was laid down on the 15th of September, 1944, launched on the 15th of July, 1945, and commissioned into the US Navy on the 15th of February, 1946. She was named after the Atlanta-class cruiser, USS Juneau (CL-52), which was torpedoed and sank in 1942, with the loss of 687 men.

The new Juneau-class of cruisers was a modified version of the Oakland-subclass of the Atlanta-class. In a sense they were a double modified Atlanta-class. The loss of Atlanta and Juneau (the Atlanta-class Juneau) during the early war had revealed some weaknesses in the stability and hull integrity of the ships, which was addressed with a redesign in 1942, at the same time the Cleveland-class was redesigned to the Fargo-class.
The Juneau-class had the same main armament as the Oakland-subclass, with a redesigned bridge and superstructure for visibility and weight savings. The anti-submarine armament that had been added to the Atlantas was removed, as was the torpedo tubes, for more weight savings. The reductions in weight and free deck space allowed increased light anti-aircraft armament to be fitted, but ironically the weight of these additional armaments negated the weight savings that had been made. Watertight integrity was improved, by removing doors on the lowest decks between the bulkheads.

USS Juneau would be the longest serving of her class, from 1946 until placed in reserve in 1955. She was the only one of her class to fire in anger, during the Korean War. She would be decommissioned in 1959 as the anti-air missile supplanted the gun-based AA of the past, and sold for scrap in 1962. For her actions in Korea, she would be awarded 1 battle star.

Service History

USS Juneau, although being commissioned before the end of WW2, did not see service in the conflict. She spent 1946 in operations along the US Atlantic Coast and the in Caribbean. In April, 1947, she would leave New York for Trieste, where she joined the 6th Fleet on the 2nd of May. She would assist in stabilizing the territorial dispute between Italy and Yugoslavia, and then would stay off of Greece during the Greek Civil War. In November, 1947, she would return to Norfolk for training, and then return to the 6th Fleet in mid-1948, operating with the fleet between June-October, 1948, and May-September, 1949.
On the 18th of March, 1949, she was reclassified as CLAA-119 (Light Cruiser, Anti-Air). Following her return to Norfolk in November, 1949, she would depart for the Pacific.

She arrived in Bremerton on the 15th of January, 1950, taking part in training operations along the Pacific Coast. On the 22nd of June, she became the flagship of Rear Admiral J. M. Higgins, Commander Cruiser Division 5, and would steam to Yokosuka, Japan, arriving on the 1st of June. She began surveillance patrols in the Straits of Tsushima, and was at sea when the Korean War broke out on the 25th of June.
Being so close to the peninsula, Juneau was one of the few ships immediately available to Vice Admiral Turner C. Joy, Commander of Naval Forces, Far East, and would sail to off of the Korean Coast. She conducted the first shore bombardments at Bokuko Ko on the 29th of June, destroying North Korean shore installations. She was the first USN cruiser to see action in the Korean War.

Juneau replenishing in Sasebo Harbor, after operating off of Korea.

She was present for the naval action of the 2nd of July, 1950, when she, HMS Black Swan, and HMS Jamacia encountered four North Korean torpedo gunboats that had just escorted a flotilla of ammunition ships. The North Korean boats began an attack on the Allied ships, but were met with a storm of gunfire from the UN ships that sank three of the four torpedo boats. The last boat escaped, but later Juneau would encounter the ammunition ships mentioned previously, sinking some of them.
On the 18th of July, she was sailing as part of a force including HMS Belfast, among others, when they engaged in a surface bombardment of North Korean troop concentrations near Yongdok to slow the North Korean push southward.

United Nations ships in Sasebo Harbor during a break in action. Front to back is HMS Unicorn (R72), USS Juneau (CLAA-119), USS Valley Forge (CV-45), USS Leyte (CV-32), USS Hector (AR-7), and USS Jason (ARH-1).

Juneau returned to Sasebo following this, and departed the harbor on the 28th of July. She conducted a sweep through the Formosa (Taiwan) Strait, before joining the 7th Fleet at Okinawa. She became flagship of the Formosa Patrol Force upon arrival, until the 29th of October when she left to escort the carriers operating off of Korea. She remained there until returning to the US in early-1951 for an overhaul.
Between May, 1951, and January, 1952, she was fitted with new radars and fire control systems, and all of her Bofors and Oerlikons were swapped for the newer, and more effective, dual 3"/50 guns. After training with the new equipment, she returned to Korea, conducting strikes along the Korean coast until returning to Long Beach in November, 1952. For her actions in Korea, she would earn 1 battle star.

Closeup of Juneau looking aft, visible are most of the 3"/50 guns and some of the new radars. Mare Island Naval Shipyard, following overhaul, on the 26th of January, 1952.

She was then engaged in maneuvers and training until April, 1953, when she returned to Norfolk to rejoin the Atlantic Fleet. She operated with the 6th Fleet in the Atlantic and Mediterranean until returning to the East Coast in February, 1955.
Juneau was placed in reserve at Philadelphia on the 23rd of March, 1955, and remained inactive until decommissioned on the 23rd of July, 1955. Plans to refit Juneau and her sisters, that had so far been inactive since 1950, to guided missile cruisers or ASW platforms did not materialize. On November 1st, 1959, she was struck from the naval register, and she would be sold for scrap in 1962.

Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Earl Klinkel, and family, waving goodbye to the USS Juneau following her decommission at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, 23rd of July, 1956.

Picture of USS Juneau after her 1952 refit, with labels.

General Information
Displacement 8,678 tons (full load)
Length 541ft 0in (164.9m)
Beam 52ft 10in (16.1m)
Draft 20ft 6in (6.2m)
Speed 32.7kts (61kph)
Complement 742 officers and enlisted
AN/SPS-6 Air Search
AN/SG-6 Surface Search
SP-5A Height Finding
Mk 37 GFCS with Mk 25 Radar Fire Control (Main Battery)
Mk 56 GFCS with Mk 35 Radar Fire Control (Secondary Battery)
Mk 63 Radar and Mk 29 Gunsight Gun Laying (Secondary Battery)
DBM Radar Direction Finder
TDY-1 ECM/Radio Jamming
Weapon Turret/Mount
12 × 5"(127mm)/38 Mk 12 6 x Mk 29 Twin
14 x 3"(76.2mm)/50 Mk 22 6 x Mk 33 Twin, 2 x Mk 34 Single
Belt 1.1-3.75" (28-95mm)
Deck 1.25" (32mm)
Turrets 1.25" (32mm)
Conning Tower 2.5" (64mm)


Patch of USS Juneau.


Wikipedia - USS Juneau (CL-119)
Wikipedia - Juneau-class Cruiser
Naval-Encyclopedia - Atlanta-class Light Cruiser
History.Navy - USS Juneau II (CL-119)
NavSource - USS Juneau (CL/CLAA-119)
Navweaps - 5"/38 Mk 12
Navweaps 3"/50 Mk 22
Navweaps - US WW2 Radar

Take my +1, would be a neat thing to see added.

Also just as an FYI, you might want to change the second poll question as it currently reads “How should Idaho be added?

the number of naval suggestions is getting to me

But, due to my internet being down the past few days I have no way of changing it short of making a new poll.
So I guess use your imagination?

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Oof that’s fair. I have a bunch of naval suggestions I’m working on as well, but I alas I just keep getting writer’s block and haven’t finished any yet (I have something like four or five in the works)

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Rip, writers block and burnout comes for us all. I hope to see those ones soon though

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No promises, but I’m almost done with my SMS Pillau suggestion, so hopefully that’ll pop up within the next week or so. I may even drop the other one that’s nearly done as well. Had to also start from scratch on my SMS Konig suggestion as I lost the initial draft.

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