Operational and Building Data:
Keel laid on 1 NOV 1945 by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA
Launched 06 MAR 1948
Commissioned 29 JAN 1949
Decommissioned 27 JUN 1975
Stricken 31 JUL 1978
Fate: Sold for scrap to Southern Scrap Material Co., Ltd, New Orleans 25 FEB 1993
CLASS - DES MOINES
Displacement 17,000 Tons, Dimensions, 717' 6" (oa) x 76' 4" x 26' (Max)
Armament 9 x 8"/55, 12 x 5"/38AA, 24 x 3"/50, 24 x 20mm, 4 Aircraft
Armor 6" Belt, 8" Turrets, 3 1/2" Deck, 6 1/2" Conning Tower.
Machinery 120,000 SHP; G. E. Geared Turbines, 4 screws
Speed 33+ Knots (top speed was classified)
The Heavy Cruiser USS NEWPORT NEWS (CA 148) is named in honor of the shipbuilding city of southern Virginia. The last and largest of 18 cruisers built by the NEWPORT NEWS Shipbuilding and Drydock Company between 1902 and 1949, NEWPORT NEWS was commissioned on January 29, 1949.
USS NEWPORT NEWS (CA-148) served as the flagship for the SIXTH FLEET on eight occasions during its early years of service. The cruiser responded to the Syrian crisis in 1957 and again, in 1958, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent U.S. Marines into Lebanon. In 1960, when an earthquake shattered the city of Agadir, Morocco, and left 12,000 dead and missing, NEWPORT NEWS raced more than 1,200 miles in 40 hours to aid the stricken city.
In 1962, NEWPORT NEWS became permanent flagship for the SECOND FLEET. In that same year and with the Commander, SECOND FLEET onboard, she headed the blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In 1965, NEWPORT NEWS served as flagship and landed the first detachment of U.S. Marines in the Dominican Republic when a revolt broke out that spring.
NEWPORT NEWS was the last naval vessel in the world with rapid-fire weaponry of heavy caliber. Her fire-power includes three turrets, each housing three rapid-fire 8-inch/55 caliber guns. A secondary gun battery is composed of 12 dual purpose 5-inch /38 caliber guns.
During three deployments to the waters of North and South Viet Nam, NEWPORT NEWS called on all of her combat capabilities. From October 1967 to April 1968, the ship supported the SEVENTH FLEET's effort to stem the flow of enemy supplies and war goods into South Viet Nam. Firing more than 59,000 rounds, the ship earned the Navy Unit Commendation. For support of Allied Forces in South Viet Nam from December 1968 to June 1969, the cruiser earned the Meritorious Unit Citation. The third, longest and most demanding tour in Vietnamese waters lasted from April to December 1972. During this time, NEWPORT NEWS lead the first cruiser-destroyer surface actions against the Haiphong Harbor complex on two occasions. She also made record-breaking performances in firing and at-sea replenishment of 8-inch ammunition.
NEWPORT NEWS has deployed on countless occasions to the waters of Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, North America, South America, the Caribbean and Asia. The cruiser has hosted tens of thousands of visitors, from the man on the street to Kings and Queens. NEWPORT NEWS will end her active service on June 27, 1975, after 26-years of naval service. -USN- NO. 127-75
Disclaimer: Most of the information on these pages was gathered from the book “CRUISERS of the US NAVY; 1922-1962” by Stefan Terzibaschitsch. Published and distributed in the US by the Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland 21402 - All Photos on CA-148 remain property of the original owner(s) unless otherwise stated.