Naval History/USS Arkansas CGN-41 - History

Naval History/USS Arkansas CGN-41 - History

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Naval History/USS Arkansas CGN-41

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Naval History/USS Arkansas CGN-41 - History

USS Arkansas (CGN-41)

The USS Arkansas (CGN-41) was the fourth and last ship in the Virginia class of Nuclear Powered Guided Missile Cruisers. The cruiser was also the fourth ship in the U.S. Navy to be named after the state of Arkansas.

The keel of the USS Arkansas was laid on January 17, 1977, at Newport News, Virginia, by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. It was launched on October 21, 1978, and was commissioned on October 18, 1980, with Captain Dennis S. Read in command. The guided-missile cruiser spent the four months following its commissioning in the vicinity of Hampton Roads, Virginia. In March 1981, it completed contract trials and conducted a public relations call at Port Everglades, Florida. Until late 1982, the USS Arkansas underwent a number of other qualifications, certifications, and training operations, which saw it venture to the Caribbean and Brazil, as well as post-shakedown repairs. Between September 24 and October 16, 1982, the warship served as escort for aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) during an operational readiness exercise executed in the vicinity of Puerto Rico.

The Arkansas embarked upon its first tour of duty with the Sixth Fleet on November 10, 1982, completing the transatlantic voyage on November 30 and then setting out across the Mediterranean bound for the coast of Lebanon. Though the Arkansas spent most of its time supporting the multinational force ashore in its efforts to keep peace in Lebanon, it left the eastern Mediterranean occasionally for port calls and to participate in some of the Sixth Fleet’s freedom-of-navigation maneuvers into the Gulf of Sidra off the coast of Libya. On January 3, 1983, the Arkansas collided with the Italian merchantman Megara Ilea in the Strait of Messina and was slightly damaged on the port side.

On July 8, after a stint at Norfork, the Arkansas began the long voyage to its new base of operations at Alameda, California. Between February 12 and 14, 1984, the Arkansas made the passage from Alameda to Bremerton, Washington, entering the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for a three-month repair period. The warship returned to Alameda in mid-May, and the crew readied it for a deployment that became a circumnavigation of the globe, putting to sea on June 1. En route to Hawaii, the warship participated in the multinational exercise Operation RIMPAC 84. After stops in the Philippines and Hong Kong, the Arkansas served almost three months in the Indian Ocean, primarily in the Arabian Sea, where the protracted war between Iraq and revolutionary Iran threatened to engulf their neighbors. The Arkansas was the first nuclear-powered vessel ever to pass through the Suez Canal.

Between February 17 and 19, 1985, the Arkansas sailed north to Bremerton for a four-month restricted availability during which it was armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles and the Phalanx close-in air defense system. During time between cruises at the end of 1985, the Arkansas was designated as the Tomahawk test platform for the West Coast. The Arkansas made many ten- to fourteen-day trips off the coast of southern California to test fire the new Tomahawk missile.

After deployments to Hawaii, the Philippines, Singapore, and Pakistan in early 1986, the Arkansas transited the Suez Canal followed by the aircraft carrier Enterprise (CVN 65) and guided-missile cruiser Truxtun (CGN 35). On Memorial Day of 1986, the Arkansas crossed the “line of death” declared by Libyan dictator Colonel Moammar Gadhafi and entered the Gulf of Sidra for the first time. During the months of May and June, the Arkansas served with aircraft carrier Enterprise and guided-missile cruiser Truxtun off the coast of Libya in the wake of the air strikes launched on that country by the United States in retaliation for terrorist activity against Americans in Germany.

One of the Arkansas’s most noteworthy assignments came in 1987. The warship departed from Alameda, California, on April 27, 1987, for operations in the northern Pacific Ocean. Following a stop off at Pearl Harbor, the Arkansas got under way on May 8 for Operation Kennel Freelance, shadowed by two fast-attack submarines. The crew was told that they were heading for Adak, Alaska, but instead headed for the Kamchatka Peninsula. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) drew a straight line between two points that were located at the mouth of the Avacha Bay for its territorial waters, though this was disputed by the United States. The Arkansas was about to enter what the Soviets considered restricted waters near the top-secret Soviet naval base at Petropavlovsk. Within a few hours of dawn on May 17, 1986, the ship was surrounded by Soviet intelligence-gathering ships, cruisers, destroyers, submarines, and fighter aircraft. On the fourth day, the Arkansas crossed the Russian line, but the Arkansas was not rammed and no shots were fired.

In January 1988, the Arkansas steamed for Bremerton for overhaul. In May 1991, the Arkansas deployed to the Persian Gulf as part of the Abraham Lincoln carrier battle group. Five years later, the Arkansas was part of the Carl Vinson carrier battle group off the coast of Iraq and participated in the Rugged Nautilus exercise.

The USS Arkansas was decommissioned on July 7, 1998. The warship was disposed of on November 1, 1999, at the Nuclear-Powered Ships Recycling Program at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton. The Arkansas had once been considered for preservation as a museum ship in its namesake state but, as an ocean-going vessel, would not have been able to navigate inland rivers, except during the springtime flood of the Mississippi River. Artifacts from the Arkansas, including the ship’s bell, the captain’s chair, and anchor, are on public display at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum in North Little Rock (Pulaski County).

For additional information:
Slivka, Judd. “When Ship Quits the Sea, State Would Like a Few Weapons.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, August 29, 1997, pp. 1B, 7B.

“USS Arkansas (CGN-41).” Unofficial U.S. Navy Site. (accessed September 12, 2011).

“USS Arkansas (CGN-41).” NavSource Online: Cruiser Photo Archive. (accessed September 12, 2011).

“USS Arkansas (CGN-41): Defender of Opportunity.” (accessed September 12, 2011).

“USS Arkansas Ready to Sail after Repairs.” Arkansas Democrat, June 19, 1982, p. 1B.

Early Decommissioning

As the decision had been made in 1993 to cancel the mid-life refueling overhauls of the Virginia-class cruisers. With the end of the Cold War, the extra costs of the 9 nuclear powered cruisers was no longer seen as justified and the later stages of the Vietnam War had heightened concerns about the risks of action damage to nuclear powered surface vessels. Arkansas was decommissioned on 7 July 1998 and entered the Navy’s Nuclear-Powered Ships Recycling Program. She had once been considered for preservation as a museum ship in her namesake state, but as an ocean-going vessel, would not have been able to navigate inland rivers, except during the springtime flood of the Mississippi River.

Artifacts from Arkansas, including the ship’s bell and anchor, are on public display at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

Welcome to the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum!

The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum is located in North Shore Riverwalk Park along the shore of the Arkansas River in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The museum opened on May 31, 2005. Since that time, nearly 300,000 families from all 50 states and 81 countries have visited the museum.

We are the only place in the world where you can see two floating Naval vessels that bookend World War II: the tugboat Hoga, designated a National Historic Landmark and recognized for her efforts during the Pearl Harbor attack of 1941 and the submarine USS Razorback, which was in Tokyo Bay during the formal surrender of Japan, ending World War II.

The submarine USS Razorback (SS-394) is 90 percent operational and kept as authentic as possible – meaning a 14-foot ladder climb into the space. Visitors experience the sights, sounds, and smells of submarine service when they step aboard the historic submarine USS Razorback.

For those unable or unwilling to make the climb, the museum topside offers plenty to peruse. The museum features exhibits on the following Naval vessels: the submarine USS Razorback (SS-394), the tugboat USS Hoga (YT-146), the battleship USS Arkansas (BB-33), and the missile cruiser USS Arkansas (CGN-41). The museum also holds a collection from the Arkansas River Historical Society featuring the history of the Arkansas River.

The tugboat Hoga (YT-146), designated a National Historic Landmark for her efforts in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, is currently undergoing renovations but her main deck is open for public, self-guided walk through tours.

The North Shore Riverwalk surrounding the facility features two memorials dedicated to submarines USS Snook (SS-279) and USS Scorpion (SSN-589). There is also a Peace Garden for the community to celebrate the ideal of peace in this war-torn world.

USS Arkansas (CGN 41) Cruiser

USS Arkansas (CGN-41), a Virginia-class nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser, was the most recent vessel to bear the name “Arkansas”. For the first few months after her commissioning, Arkansas had several deficiencies from construction corrected. Her shakedown cruise was postponed until February of 1981 with the rest of that year mostly taken up with other practice and test missions. It was not until mid-October in 1982 that Arkansas was assigned to the sixth fleet in the Mediterranean Sea. Her duties were in support of a multinational peacekeeping force off the coast of Lebanon. While there Arkansas also participated in maneuvers off the coast of Libya. Arkansas ended the tour on station near Lebanon in May 1983.

Afterwards, Arkansas was moved to Alameda, California, where she continued normal operation until 1984. In June of 1984, Arkansas went on a deployment that became a circumnavigation of the globe. Going from California, Arkansas went first to the Hawaiian Islands, then to the Philippines and Hong Kong and stopped in the Indian Ocean. The missile cruiser stayed in the area of the Arabian Sea for three months due to a conflict in the Middle East. From there, Arkansas entered the Red Sea and went through the Suez Canal and headed towards France. After stopping in France, Arkansas went through the Strait of Gibraltar and across the Atlantic Ocean. Proceeding through the Panama Canal in December, Arkansas returned to Alameda on December 17, 1984 ending the circumnavigation.

After the long voyage, Arkansas stayed in Alameda, getting upgrades and going through testing which took a little under a year. Arkansas received new orders for overseas movement during which she nearly circumnavigated the earth once more she made it as far as Italy before returning the way she came. Arkansas returned to port in August 1986, where it resumed local operation on the west coast.

In the 1990’s Arkansas served on the west coast for most of her duties. In 1991 Arkansas joined the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) carrier battle group bound for the Persian Gulf. In 1996, Arkansas was part of the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) carrier battle group off the coast of Iraq. After her stint with the Vinson group, Arkansas returned to Alameda for the rest of her career.

Arkansas was decommissioned in July 1998 and entered the Navy’s Nuclear-Powered Ships Recycling Program. Her anchor, helm station, stern plate, captain’s chair, and bell are currently on display at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum along with other exhibits featuring various historical memorabilia related to Arkansas’ service.

Naval History/USS Arkansas CGN-41 - History

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The Long Beach was dubbed "The Pig" by enlisted crewmembers.

Length: 251.2 m Displacement: 28000 tons
Beam: 28.5 m Crew: 610
Draught: 9.1 m Speed: 30 knots

The Russian Heavy Missile Cruise Ship, Project 1144.2 Kirov Class was built by the Baltic Shipyard in Saint Petersburg. The Kirov Class provides the capability to engage large surface ships and to defend the fleet against air and submarine attack. Four cruisers were built but as of 2001 only Admiral Nakhimov (commissioned in 1988) and Pyotr Velikhiy (commissioned in 1995) remain active.

The ship's propulsion system is based on a combination of nuclear power and steam turbine, with four nuclear reactors and two auxiliary boilers. The four steam turbines deliver 28,000 horsepower. Two shafts drive two 5-bladed fixed pitch propellers. The propulsion system provides a full speed of 31 knots."

Granit (Nato designation SS-N-19 Shipwreck) long range anti-ship missile system with 20 missiles, S-300F Air Defence Missile Complex with 12 launchers and 96 vertical launch air defence missiles, 130 mm AK-130 multipurpose twin-barrel gun, 10 torpedo tubes for 20 Vodopad-NK anti-submarine missiles or torpedoes, two anti-submarine and anti-torpedo rocket systems (the Udav-1 with 40 anti-submarine rockets and the RBU-1000), two RBU-1000 six-tube launcher, with 102 rockets, and three Kamov Ka-27PL or Ka-25RT helicopters.

Originally designed as Project 1153 - a new nuclear powered full -deck aircraft carrier - construction was suspended in 1983 when 50% completed and put aside for 5 years when when it was decided the hull was too small to launch aircraft and the catapult system designed for the ship failed. The hull was then used for the Ural Project #1941 "Titan" (Nato Codename "Kapusta" ). Officially designated 'Sudno Suyazyy' (Communications Vessel). She has since been laid up and is in used as a powerplant on the Pacific coast.

The FS Charles De Gaulle (R91) is the largest and only nuclear powered aircraft carrier in Europe. It is also the only aircraft carrier with conventional take off and landing capabilities. The Charles De Gaulle is perhaps the ugliest nuclear powered ship ever built, although a face lift before entering service makes it a slightly less obnoxious eyesore.

Originally named the Richelieu, the ship was renamed Charles De Gaulle during construction. The Charles De Gaulle took more than 12 years to complete and enter service, largely due to engineering difficulties and budgetary constraints. The ship suffered difficulties during its sea trials including a propulsion failure and abnormal vibration in the main engines. In 1998, engineering spaces were retrofitting to reduce excessive radiation doses during normal operation.

The French Government initially ordered a second nuclear aircraft carrier (also named the Richelieu) which was later canceled. The French Navy attempted to have the programme revived but the Richelieu remains unbuilt.

Builder: DCN International, Brest, Germany
Keel Laid: April 1989
Launched: July 1994
Entered Service: May 2001
Length: 261.5 m
Width: 64.36 m
Displacement: 40,600 tons
Maximum speed : 27 knots
Reactors: 2 GEC Alsthom PWR Type K15, 76,200 shaft horsepower
Core endurance: 5 years
Aicraft: 40
Crew: 1,950
Accomodations for 800 additional troops

USS Fiske (DD 842)

USS FISKE was one of the GEARING - class destroyers and the second ship in the Navy to bear the name. Decommissioned on June 6, 1980, the FISKE was transferred to the Turkish Navy the same day. Recommissioned as PIYALE PASA the ship was heavily damaged in a grounding in 1996. Subsequently decommissioned, the ship was scrapped in 1999.

General Characteristics: Awarded: 1943
Keel laid: April 9, 1945
Launched: September 8, 1945
Commissioned: November 28 1945
Decommissioned: June 6, 1980
Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
FRAM I Conversion Shipyard: New York Naval Shipyard, Brooklyn, NY
FRAM I Conversion Period: February 1964 - November 1964
Propulsion system: four boilers, General Electric geared turbines 60,000 SHP
Propellers: two
Length: 391 feet (119.2 meters)
Beam: 41 feet (12.5 meters)
Draft: 18.7 feet (5.7 meters)
Displacement: approx. 3,400 tons full load
Speed: 34 knots
Aircraft after FRAM I: two DASH drones
Armament after FRAM I: one ASROC missile launcher, two 5-inch/38 caliber twin mounts, Mk-32 ASW torpedo tubes (two triple mounts)
Crew after FRAM I: 14 officers, 260 enlisted

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS FISKE. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

USS FISKE was launched 8 September 1945 by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine sponsored by Mrs. F. E. Ribbentrop and commissioned 28 November 1945, Commander C. H. Smith in command.

Joining the Atlantic Fleet, FISKE served as engineering school ship for Destroyer Force, Atlantic, out of Portland, Maine, and made three cruises to the Mediterranean for duty with the 6th Fleet from her home port at Newport prior to the outbreak of the Korean War. In addition, she took part in the regular schedule of training operations along the east coast and in the Caribbean where in 1948 she rescued 10 men from a small coastal freighter sinking in the Windward Passage.

On 3 January 1951, FISKE sailed from Newport for the Panama Canal and the Far East, reporting on 12 February to the 7th Fleet at Sasebo for duty in the Korean War. Along with screening carrier task forces, she patrolled off Korea, joined in bombarding shore targets, and escorted shipping from Japan to the action areas. Sailing westward for home, she arrived at Newport from her round-the-world cruise 8 August 1951. FISKE was decommissioned 1 April 1952 for conversion to a radar picket destroyer and was reclassified DDR 842 on 18 July 1952.

Recommissioned 25 November 1952, FISKE trained with her new equipment in preparation for her participation in the fall of 1953 in NATO Operation "Mariner," which took her north of the Arctic Circle. In 1954 she resumed her annual tours of duty in the Mediterranean, serving the carrier task forces of the 6th Fleet as radar picket. Her training operations when assigned to the 2nd Fleet for duty in the western Atlantic and Caribbean included special work in development of antisubmarine warfare, and air defense. Homeported at Mayport, Fla., from August 1960, FISKE joined in NATO exercises north of the Arctic Circle in the fall of 1960, and at the close of the year, sailed for patrol duty in the Caribbean. Two more Mediterranean cruises followed in 1961 and 1962. Between overseas voyages, she served in the western Atlantic and the Caribbean, with Cuban Missile Crisis duty with a carrier striking force in the Autumn of 1962.

FISKE underwent a second major conversion during February-November 1964. Emerging from the New York Naval Shipyard in her new FRAM I configuration, she was now a modern anti-submarine warfare ship and was again designated DD 842. Following a year of service in the U.S. and Caribbean, which included patrol work off Santo Domingo during a governmental crisis in the Dominican Republic, the destroyer began the second of her cruises around the World. This one took her to the waters off Vietnam, where she performed search and rescue, carrier escort and shore bombardment duties in March-June 1966. In 1967 FISKE steamed back to the Mediterranean, voyaging to the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf during this deployment, which included a trip around Africa. Another Sixth Fleet tour took place in 1968-1969, and in mid-1970 she again operated in Northern European waters.

In 1973, though now approaching the end of her third decade, FISKE returned to the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf, steaming there by way of the South Atlantic. Though transferred to the Naval Reserve Force later in that year, she was again sent to the Mediterranean in 1974. USS FISKE was placed out of commission in June 1980 and leased to Turkey. Renamed PIYALE PASA, she was an active unit of that nation's navy until the end of the Twentieth Century.

Bradley Allen Fiske was born in Lyons, New York, on 13 June 1854. He was appointed to the Naval Academy from the State of Ohio in 1870, graduating four years later and receiving his commission as a Navy Ensign in July 1875. Fiske's early service years included duty as an officer on board the steam sloops-of-war PENSACOLA and PLYMOUTH, both on the Pacific Station, and the paddle steamer POWHATAN in the Atlantic. He also received instruction in the then-young field of torpedo warfare. Promoted to Master in 1881 and Lieutenant in 1887, during much of that decade he had training ship duty in USS SARATOGA and USS MINNESOTA, served in the South Atlantic Squadron on the steam sloop BROOKLYN, and was twice assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance in Washington, D.C. As one of the Navy's most technically astute officers, in 1886-1888 he supervised the installation of ordnance on USS ATLANTA, one of the first of the Navy's modern steel warships. In 1888-1890 he was involved in the trials of USS VESUVIUS, whose large caliber compressed-air guns were then considered a promising experiment, and was in charge of installing electric lighting in the new cruiser PHILADELPHIA.

During the rest of the 1890s, Lieutenant Fiske was mainly employed at the Bureau of Ordnance and at sea, where he was an officer of the cruiser SAN FRANCISCO and the gunboats YORKTOWN and PETREL. While in the latter, he took part in the 1 May 1898 Battle of Manila Bay. Following the Spanish-American War, Fiske continued his service in Philippine waters on board the monitor MONADNOCK. Promoted to the ranks of Lieutenant Commander in 1899, Commander in 1903 and Captain in 1907, he was an Inspector of Ordnance, Executive Officer of USS YORKTOWN and the battleship MASSACHUSETTS, Commanding Officer of the monitor ARKANSAS and cruisers MINNEAPOLIS and TENNESSEE, had recruiting duty, served as Captain of the Yard at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, attended the Naval War College and was a member of the Navy's General Board and the Army-Navy Joint Board, among other assignments.



The battleship USS Arkansas was the third ship of the United States Navy to bear the name of the 25th state. The construction of the vessel was authorized by the United States Congress on March 3, 1909, and the keel laid January 10, 1910 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation in Camden, New Jersey. The Arkansas was launched January 14, 1911, and commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on September 17, 1912, with Captain Roy C. Smith in command.

In December, 1912, the USS Arkansas transported President William Howard Taft to the Panama Canal Zone, then departed for crew training and ship shakedown, returning to ferry Pres. Taft to Key West, Florida. The Arkansas then joined the US Atlantic fleet and participated in a Mediterranean tour in 1913.

The commissioning of the USS Arkansas was indirectly responsible for the creation of the official state flag of of Arkansas, in which the Pine Bluff chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution sponsored a contest for designs, the winning version presented in 1913 to the officers and men of the Arkansas.

In April 1914, the Arkansas was ordered to Veracruz, Mexico, by President Woodrow Wilson to participate in the military conflict there and to provide protection for US citizens under threat following the ascension to power of the Mexican dictator Victoriano Huerta. The Arkansas put ashore 330 men in four companies who participated in street fighting, with two casualties and two Arkansas' officers later awarded Medals of Honor for their actions.

In October the Arkansas returned to the US naval station at Hampton Roads, Virginia, where the ship remained for four years of patrol duties along the East Coast and the Caribbean.

When the United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917, the Arkansas was attached to US Battleship Division Seven. In July 1918 the Arkansas was sent to Scotland to support the British Navy, becoming a part of the British Grand Fleet, assigned to the Sixth Battle Squadron. The Arkansas was among the ships present at the internment of the German High Seas Fleet in the Firth of Forth on November 21, 1918.

Following the armistice that ended the war, the Arkansas performed escort duties for Pres. Wilson's visit to Brest, France, and from there was sent to New York City, and then to the Norfolk, Virginia navy yard for repairs. In July 1919 the Arkansas was assigned to the US Pacific fleet, and sailed for San Francisco, California.

Following an earthquake in Santa Barbara, California, in June 1925, the Arkansas put medical corpsman and military patrols ashore to assist in recovery efforts there. During these peacetime years until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Arkansas served primarily as a patrol and exercise training ship, receiving regular modernization upgrades and tours that included the West Coast, Hawaii, Canada, the Caribbean, and Europe.

Following the outbreak of World War II, the Arkansas participated in regular convoy escort duties, frequently crossing the Atlantic to Europe and North Africa.

During the D-Day invasion at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, the Arkansas covered the landings from 4,000 yards off shore, fighting with German shore batteries and undergoing attacks by aircraft. On June 25th, the Arkansas repeated bombardment duties against German artillery at Cherbourg, France. By this time the USS Arkansas was the oldest Battleship in active combat duty in the United States Navy.

The Arkansas then moved to the Mediterranean, and on August 14th participated in Operation Anvil, the invasion of the southern French coast between Toulon and Cannes, providing fire support for two days. From there the Arkansas traveled to the United States for repair and rest. In November, 1944, the Arkansas moved to San Diego, California, for preparations for attacks on Japanese strongholds in the Pacific Ocean.

On February 16th, 1945, the Arkansas began bombardment on the Japanese held island of Iwo Jima. She continued fire through the 19th. The Arkansas then moved off to the Ulithi atoll in the Caroline Islands for rearming and provisions. She was at the Japanese island of Okinawa on March 25th, where she performed 46 days of bombardment work while fighting off numerous kamikaze attack.

At the war's end, the Arkansas participated in "Magic Carpet," the program to get US military men back to the United States as quickly as possible. The Arkansas made trips from Nakagusuku Bay and Hawaii, carrying thousands of soldiers.

In January 1946, the Arkansas was stationed to San Francisco, California. Because of her age, the Arkansas was selected for the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands for the purpose of observing nuclear effects on naval craft. Along with an assortment of other aged ships and captured Japanese vessels, the Arkansas was subjected to the airborne atomic explosion of "Test Able" on July 1, which she survived. The "Arky" sank on July 25, 1946, during the second nuclear test, called "Baker" which was a submerged detonation from 90 feet below the water surface. The Arkansas now rests upside down in 170 feet of water in the Bikini Atoll lagoon, where it is often inspected by recreational deep sea divers.

The USS Arkansas received four battle stars for her World War II service.

USS Little Rock (CLG 4)

Originally built as a CLEVELAND - class light cruiser and commissioned as CL 92, the LITTLE ROCK was named after the capital city of Arkansas. Extensively converted to a light guided missile cruiser from 1957-60, LITTLE ROCK was recommissioned as CLG 4. On July 1, 1975, the ship was again reclassified CG 4. Both decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on November 22, 1976, the LITTLE ROCK was donated to the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park as a museum ship on June 1, 1977.

General Characteristics: Awarded: 1940
Keel laid: March 6, 1943
Launched: August 27, 1944
Commissioned: June 17, 1945
Decommissioned as CL 92: June 24, 1949
Commissioned as CLG 4: June 3, 1960
Decommissioned as CLG 4: November 22, 1976
Builder: Cramp Shipbuilding Co., Philadelphia, Penn.
Propulsion system: 4 - 634 psi boilers 4 General Electric geared steam turbines
Propellers: four
Length: 610.2 feet (186 meters)
Beam: 66.3 feet (20.2 meters)
Draft: 24.6 feet (7.5 meters)
Displacement: approx. 14,130 tons full load
Speed: 32.5 knots
Aircraft: none
Armament: three 6-inch/47 caliber guns in one triple mount, two 5-inch/38 caliber guns in one twin mount, one Mk-7 Talos missile launcher
Crew: approx. 1250

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS LITTLE ROCK. These are no official listings but contain the names of sailors who submitted their information.


Accidents aboard USS LITTLE ROCK:

USS LITTLE ROCK was built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Commissioned in mid-June 1945, two months before the end of the Pacific War fighting, in October of that year she began her maiden operational deployment, a cruise to Latin America that lasted until March 1946. LITTLE ROCK served in the Mediterranean Sea in June-September 1946 and again during 1947 and 1948. One of many light cruisers eliminated from the active force by Truman Administration defense economies during the latter part of the decade, she was decommissioned in June 1949.

Laid up in reserve since June 1949, LITTLE ROCK was redesignated CLG 4 in May 1957, some months after beginning conversion to a guided missile light cruiser at the Camden, New Jersey, shipyard of the New York Shipbuilding Corporation. When recommissioned in June 1960, the ship had been significantly transformed. She now had huge superstructures forward and aft of her two smokestacks, the forward one housing command spaces that gave the cruiser a new mission as a fleet flagship. The after superstructure held magazines and handling rooms for long-range Talos guided missiles, whose twin-armed launcher dominated LITTLE ROCK's after deck. Only one triple six-inch gun turret and one twin five-inch gun mount remained of her original battery of four and six of each. Topsides, two tall lattice masts and the after superstructure were topped by an elaborate array of radars to detect and track enemy aircraft and guide Talos missiles to intercept them.

The much-modified LITTLE ROCK spent the rest of 1960 shaking down, testing her new systems and training her crew in their operation. After a brief shipyard overhaul and more training, she deployed to the Mediterranean in February 1961 to serve as flagship of the Sixth Fleet. Returning to the U.S. in September 1961, LITTLE ROCK operated off the politically unstable Dominican Republic later in the year. She regularly cruised in the Mediterranean into the mid-1960s, as well as taking part in exercises off the U.S. East Coast, in northern European waters and in the Caribbean. The ship also received updated radars and other electronic equipment during this time, as well as in later overhauls.

In January 1967 LITTLE ROCK returned to the Mediterranean for a long deployment as Sixth Fleet flagship. Homeported at Gaeta, Italy, she remained in the region until August 1970, a time notable for the brief, intense June 1967 war between Israel and several Arab Nations, and for increasing Soviet naval activity in the area. The ship made another Mediterranean cruise from December 1971 to April 1972, then served as Second Fleet flagship in the Atlantic for much of 1972-1973. LITTLE ROCK arrived back in the "Med" in mid-1973, becoming flagship of the Sixth Fleet in time for another Arab-Israeli war that October. She retained the command ship role for four years before steaming home in September 1976. USS LITTLE ROCK was decommissioned in November of that year and promptly stricken from the Naval Vessel Register. In June 1977 she was donated to the city of Buffalo, New York, where she is still serving as a memorial and museum.

USS LITTLE ROCK's Commanding Officers:

June 1945 - July 1946Captain W. E. Miller, USN
July 1946 - March 1947Captain H. H. Smith-Hutton, USN
March 1947 - January 1948Captain F. J. Mee, USN
January 1948 - May 1948Captain W. D. Wright, Jr., USN
May 1948 - July 1948Captain H. G. Moran, USN
July 1948 - June 1949Commander R. S. Craighill, USN
June 1960 - January 1961Captain J. O. Phillips, Jr., USN
January 1961 - February 1962Captain F. A. Chenault, USN
February 1962- August 1963Captain J. R. Payne, USN
August 1963 - September 1964Captain C. E. Bell, Jr., USN
September 1964 - September 1965Captain R. O. Middleton, USN
September 1965 - April 1967Captain O. F. Dreyer, USN
April 1967 - April 1968Captain J. J. Mitchell, USN
April 1968 - November 1969Captain W. F. V. Bennett, USN
November 1969 - June 1971Captain C. E. Little, USN
June 1971 - July 1972Captain G. R. Nagler, USN
July 1972 - July 1973Captain R. E. Morris, USN
July 1973 - May 1975Captain P. K. Cullins, USN
May 1975 - October 1976Captain W. R. Martin, USN
October 1976 - November 1976Commander K. R. Siegel, USN

USS LITTLE ROCK Image Gallery:

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning on September 25, 2018, during a visit aboard the USS LITTLE ROCK (CLG 4) museum at Buffalo, NY.

Cachet Maker Tom Armstrong

Cachets should be listed in chronological order based on earliest known usage. Use the postmark date or best guess. This applies to add-on cachets as well.

Thumbnail Link To Cachet Close-Up Image Thumbnail Link To Full Cover Front Image Thumbnail Link To Full Cover Back Image Primary Date
Postmark Type
Killer Bar Text

Locy Type F
USCS Postmark Catalog Illus. N-35e
USS Nimitz CVN-68

Homebound from the Arabian Gulf

Cachet by Tom Armstrong and sponsored by the USS Puget Sound Chapter No. 74, USCS

"Midway Island Branch"
FPO 96516

Watch the video: The Last Voyage CGN 41