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U.S.S. Portland CA33, Portland, ME
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 43° 39.939 W 070° 14.392
19T E 400037 N 4835485
Quick Description: In the thick of Naval warfare in World War II, then scrapped at Wainwright Shipyards, Panama City, Florida, 1962.
Location: Maine, United States
Date Posted: 9/3/2008 8:07:36 AM
Waymark Code: WM4KJW
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member C4A
Views: 97

Long Description:

Memorial Erected by: The City of Portland.
County of Memorial: Cumberland County.
Location of Memorial: Fore St. & Eastern Promenade, Fort Allen Park, Portland.

Ships Statistics:
USS Portland
"Sweet Pea"

The Portland's History
Displacement: 9,950 t.
Length: 610' 3"
Beam: 66' 1"
Draft: 17' 1"
Speed: 32.7 knots
Complement: 848 (Peacetime) 1200 - 1400 (War Time)
Armament: 9 - 8" 55 cal (triple mountings); 8 - 5" 25 cal (single mountings)
Westinghouse turbines, 107,800 S.H.P.
8 Babcock & Wilcox boilers

Monument Text:

Coral Sea
Leyte Landings
Surigao Strait
Manila Bay
Accepted Japanese
Surrender at Truk
Sept. 2, 1945

[some history from the web site of the USS Portland Reunion Association:
The first PORTLAND (CA-33), a heavy cruiser, was authorized 13 February 1929; laid down by Bethlehem Steel Co., Shipbuilding Div., Quincy, Mass. 17 February 1930; launched 21 May 1932, under the sponsorship of 12 year old Mary Brooks (now Mrs. Mary Doughty, Cumberland Center, ME), daughter of Mr. Ralph D. Brooks, Chairman of the Portland City Council. The heavy cruiser was commissioned in the Boston Navy Yard, 23 February 1933, Captain H. F. Leary, USN in command.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, PORTLAND was two days out, enroute Midway with a carrier group. Through the remainder of December and until 1 May 1942, she operated between the west coast, Hawaii, and Fiji.

PORTLAND served in Rear Admiral T. C. Kinkaid's Attack Group 4-8 May when a Japanese invasion force was turned back from Port Moresby, New Guinea during the two-day battle of the Coral Sea. When LEXINGTON (CV-2) was lost, the cruiser took on 722 survivors. Some were later transferred to the destroyer ANDERSON and the remainder were landed at Tongatabu, Tonga Island where PORTLAND arrived on 14 May.

PORTLAND provided cover and support for the Marine landings at Tulagi and Guadalcanal, the Solomons, 7 through 9 August. She then remained in the area to support the Guadalcanal operations and to protect Allied communications lines. The cruiser participated in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, 23-25 August, when Allied forces prevented reinforcement of Japanese units in the Solomons by a large naval armada under Admiral Yamamoto. Returned to Pearl Harbor on 30 August 1942.

PORTLAND departed Pearl Harbor on 9 October 1942 on a lone raid mission as T.U. 16.9.1 to Tarawa, Maiana and Apemama. Arrived off Tarawa, Gilbert Island, 15 October 1942 and opened fire on an enemy group of one CL or DD and two AK's. Ceased fire and withdrew at 1451. She then steamed south to take part in the Battle of Santa Cruz, 26-27 October, as one of the escorts for ENTERPRISE (CV-6). During this engagement, PORTLAND was struck simultaneously by three Japanese torpedoes which failed to explode.

From November 1943 through February 1944, PORTLAND participated in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaigns. She next screened carriers during air strikes against Palau, Yap, Ulithi, and Woleai, 30 March-1 April.

The night of 24 October, a strong Japanese force consisting of two battleships, one heavy cruiser, and four destroyers headed for Surigao Strait with the apparent intent of raiding shipping in Leyte Gulf. The Japanese force advanced in rough column up the narrow strait during darkness, while PORTLAND and her sisters steamed across the top of the strait, crossing the enemy's T. The Japanese were first met by PT boats, then in succession by three coordinated destroyer torpedo attacks, and finally by devastating gunfire from American battleships and cruisers disposed across the northern end of the strait. The Japanese force was utterly defeated, losing two battleships and three destroyers. The PORTLAND became the only cruiser to survive two separate night engagements against enemy battleships. The first was at Guadalcanal.

With the termination of hostilities, PORTLAND played a significant role in the Japanese surrender ending World War II Though overshadowed by the ceremonies aboard battleship MISSOURI in Tokyo Bay, documents were signed at the same hour on the decks of the PORTLAND in Truk Lagoon, Caroline Islands. There, Vice Admiral George D. Murray received Lt. General Shinzaburo Magikura, commander of the 31st Japanese Army; Vice Admiral Chuichi Hara, Commander of the Japanese 4th Fleet and Mr. Alhara, Japanese civilian south-seas government representative, aboard Murray's flagship the USS PORTLAND. There they signed documents surrendering all territories under their control.

After returning to New York City, PORTLAND was designated a part of "Operation Magic Carpet", the massive effort to transport American troops home from Europe. On her second voyage, two days out of Le Havre, France, she encountered a violent hurricane with seas up to 100 feet and winds that wrecked her anemometer. One gigantic wave warped her bow and stove in her starboard hangar which had been converted into living space for returning soldiers. Two were killed, two swept over the side and more than fifty were severely injured. On the New York Times building on 18 December 1945, the moving news headlines reported "USS Portland Lost at Sea." Fortunately this was an error.]

Seagoing Marine Marker also at Site:
Erected by: The United States Seagoing Marine Association.
Marker Text:
To Honor All Marines
Who Have Served Aboard This Gallant Ship

Type of vessel: Indianapolis Class Cruiser

Admission? Cost?: City Park

Parking Coordinates: N 43° 39.918 W 070° 14.400

Date: 09/03/2008

Hours of use: Not listed

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