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USS Columbia (CL-56)

USS Columbia (CL-56)

USS Columbia (CL-56)

The USS Columbia (CL-56) was the second member of the Cleveland class of light cruisers to enter service. She served in the Pacific theatre throughout the Second World War, winning a Navy Unit Commendation and ten battle stars.

The Columbia was commissioned on 29 July 1942, just over a month after the Cleveland. Unlike her sister-ship the Columbia did not take part in Operation Torch, instead sailing for the Pacific on 9 November 1942, reaching Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides on 10 December. Her combat debut came just a month and a half later. Along with the Cleveland she made up part of Task Force 18, which on 29-30 January 1943 came under heavy Japanese air attack while escorting a convoy to Guadalcanal (battle of Rennell Island). The Columbia shot down three Japanese planes during the battle, in which the heavy cruiser USS Chicago was lost.

After this first battle the Columbiawas based at Efate (the third largest island of Vanuatu, south-east of the Solomons). From there she operated in the Solomons, performing a mix of patrol and bombardment duties. The most important bombardments came on 29-30 June, in support of the landings on New Georgia, and on 11-12 July, when she attacked Munda. After a brief overhaul at Sydney (5-24 September) the Columbia joined Task Force 68, and took part in operations to support the landings on Bougainville. On 1 November she bombarded Buka, Bonis and the Shortland Islands, before on the night of 1-2 November taking part in the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay in which the Japanese light cruiser Sendai was sunk. The Columbia continued to support operations on Bougainville to the end of 1943.

Early in 1944 the fighting moved north-west from Bougainville. On 13-18 February the Columbia helped support the invasion of Nissan, in the Green Islands. In early March she took part in a raid into the gap between Kavieng (New Ireland) and Truk to the north, before returning to the southern end of that gap to support the invasion of Emirau Island (17-23 March 1944). After this she returned to San Fransisco for an overhaul, leaving the Pacific theatre on 4 April and returning on 24 August.

Soon after her return the Columbia took part in the invasion of the Palau Islands, spending most of September 1944 off Peleliu providing naval gunfire to support the bitter fighting on land. She then joined the giant fleet involved in the invasion of the Philippines. On 17 October she helped support the invasion of Dinagat and other islands at the entrance to Leyte Gulf, and on 20 October she joined the fleet supporting the main landings.

Five days later, early on 25 October, the Columbia was part of Rear-Admiral Oldendorf's force of six old battleships and eight cruisers, defending the Surigao Strait. She thus found herself directly in the path of the powerful Japanese South Force, built around the battleships Yamashiro and Fuso (battle of Leyte Gulf). In the resulting gun battle both battleships were damaged, before the Yamashiro was sunk by a torpedo. The surviving Japanese ships were forced to retire, but the Fuso sank soon afterwards, while the Columbia was able to deal the final blows to the damaged destroyer Asagumo.

After this crushing defeat the Japanese turning increasingly to suicide weapons in an attempt to neutralise the massive American advantage in ships and aircraft. On 6 January 1945, during the pre-invasion bombardment in the Lingayen Gulf, the Columbia was hit by two kamikaze aircraft in a short period. The second aircraft broke through two decks before exploding, killing 13 and wounding 44 as well as knocking out the aft-turrets and causing a major fire. Amazingly the crew of the Columbia were not only able to put out the fires and save the ship, they were also able to continue firing from their two remaining forward turrets, and she remaining off-shore until 9 January, when she was hit by a third kamikaze. This time 24 men were killed and 97 wounded, but once again the ship was saved and continued firing for the rest of the day. Only at the end of the day did she retire to Leyte for repairs, and even then she escorted a group of transport ships. The Columbia's crew were awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for their performance in Lingayen Gulf.

After undergoing emergency repairs at San Pedro Bay, the Columbia returned to the US west coast for an overhaul and full repairs, before returning to Leyte on 16 June. She then sailed for Borneo, where from 28 June she protected a force of minesweepers that were preparing the way for the Australian landings on 1 July. The Columbia provided supporting fire on 1 and 2 July, before joining Task Force 95 to take part in a series of anti-shipping sweeps in the East China Sea.

After the Japanese surrender the Columbia carried an inspection part to Truk, which had remained in Japanese hands to the end of the war. She then operated a ferry service for the Army between Guam, Saipan and Iwo Jima, before sailing for the United States on 31 October. Like most early members of her class the Columbia had a short post-war career. She served as a training ship for the Naval Reserve until 1 July 1946, and was then decommissioned and placed in reserve in Philadelphia on 30 November 1946. She remained in the reserve fleet until 18 February 1959 when she was sold, and was broken up in the following year.

Displacement (standard)

11,744t

Displacement (loaded)

14,131t

Top Speed

32.5kts

Range

11,000nm at 15kts

Armour – belt

3-5in

- armour deck

2in

- bulkheads

5in

- barbettes

6in

- turrets

6.5in face
3in top
3in side
1.5in rear

- conning tower

5in
2.25in roof

Length

610ft 1in oa

Armaments

Twelve 6in/47 guns (four triple turrets)
Twelve 5in/38 guns (six double positions)
Twenty eight 40mm guns (4x4, 6x2)
Ten 20mm guns
Four aircraft

Crew complement

1,285

Builder

New York SB

Laid down

19 August 1940

Launched

17 December 1941

Commissioned

29 July 1942

Broken up

1960


USS Columbia (SSBN-826)

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/17/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The Columbia-class submarine is a planned ballistic missile attack submarine for the United States Navy (USN) intended to succeed the Ohio-class boats. Ohio-class submarines are a product of the latter Cold War years, built from 1976 to 1997, and number eighteen completed boats (2018). The Columbia-class will itself number twelve boats and be used in the same undersea role (SSBN).

The successor program was earlier known as the "Ohio Replacement Submarine" and the "SSBN-X Future Follow-On Submarine".

As it stands the boat will have a largely traditional design arrangement with a tubular shape involving a rounded nose cone and a tapering stern section. The sail is positioned just aft of the bow and well-ahead of midships. A squared-off dorsal section of hull will house the ballistic missile packs, of common design to be shared with the British Royal Navy's Dreadnought group and developed General Dynamics Electric Boat Corporation. The armament suite will center solely on between twelve and sixteen ballistic missile tubes as opposed to the twenty-four currently featured on Ohio-class submarines. Dive planes will be set at the sail itself. The propulsion scheme will involve a nuclear reactor as well as an electric-drive unit, the latter feature promising reduced operating noises (acoustic signature). At the stern will be an X-shaped tailplane arrangement for improved maneuverability.

Planned dimensions include an overall length of 560 feet and a beam of 43 feet. Due to the boat's nuclear propulsion scheme, range will be essentially unlimited.

The initial operating boat of the class will be christened USS Columbia (SSBN-826). It is planned that the series will begin construction sometime in 2021 and the first boat will enter service in the following decade, possible in 2031. The primary contractors are Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding.


Kamikaze Images

Calvin Adams, a 19-year-old crewman of the light cruiser Columbia (CL-56), was blown overboard when a kamikaze aircraft carrying a 250-kg bomb hit the ship in Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines at 7:45 on the morning of January 9, 1945. The kamikaze attack killed 24 and wounded 97 men. On March 17, 1945, his mother received a telegram that her son Calvin was missing in action, and his remains were never recovered.

Carl Adams, the oldest son of Calvin's younger brother Russell, became interested in Calvin's history when he attended the first memorial service honoring him in May 1997 at the cemetery next to Bethel Methodist Church in Mount Vernon, Texas. In March 1944 while home on leave after joining the Navy in November 1943, Calvin became engaged to his sweetheart Alma Lee Scroggins. When Carl heard the story of his uncle and saw a photograph taken in March 1944 of Calvin and Alma Lee together on an outing when they stopped at Bethel Church, he became interested in writing a song about their love story.

This privately created DVD emotionally depicts the love story of Calvin and Alma Lee, his tragic death, and the interest of his family decades after his death. The narrator tells the history through a series of still photographs. Carl Adams started in 1997 on a song but did not get very far until he found out more in 2005 about the history of the light cruiser Columbia (CL-56) through the members and web site of USS Columbia CL-56 Association. He found out that just over three quarters of Columbia crewmen who died during World War II did so within the first ten days of 1945, so "inside ten days" became the title and hook line for a song that he quickly completed about not just his uncle Calvin but all of the crewmen aboard Columbia who died during the first ten days of 1945.

The DVD's end has the song "Inside Ten Days" with the following lyrics. Carl Adams, an amateur songwriter and singer, sings the slow-paced touching song while various news clips are shown.

1) 1944 turned out
To be the best year of our lives.
The end of a war in sight
Our love so alive.
But that New Year came in like
One big dark scary haze.
And our '45 ended
Inside of ten days.

Chorus #1:
Now I am forever young.
I am forever gone.
Now our forever love
Can live on and on.
Divine wind-kamikaze.
One dark deadly haze
And our '45 ended
Inside of ten days.

2) From the fires of Peal Harbor
To that Lingayen Bay
Her crew and Columbia had known
Only glory and praise.
But that New Year came in like
One big dark deadly haze.
As three-fourths of her losses came
Inside those ten days.

Chorus #2:
Now they're all forever young
They're all forever gone
Their love for their country lives
On and on.
Divine wind-kamikaze
One dark deadly haze.
And all their '45s ended
Inside those ten days.

Chorus #3:
Forever young
Forever gone
Loved by their country
From now on.
Divine wind-kamikaze
One dark deadly haze.
And all their '45s ended
Inside ten days.

The mother of Calvin Adams kept her son's Purple Heart Medal until her death in 1976. When she passed away, it was given to Alma Lee, who lived in Dallas and had married after finding out about Calvin's death. In 2005 when Carl Adams was researching Calvin's history to prepare a documentary, she sent Calvin's Purple Heart Medal to him for use in telling his uncle's history. She passed away in February 2006 before she could hear the song that Carl had written.

Two kamikaze aircraft also attacked the light cruiser Columbia on January 6, 1945, three days before Calvin Adams lost his life in another kamikaze attack. The first plane crashed close to the ship after clipping off an antenna. The second plane caused heavy damage when its bomb exploded. In the second attack the ship lost 13 men, and 44 men were wounded.

Columbia continued to fight after the kamikaze plane attacks on both January 6 and 9, 1945, but the ship had to return to California for repairs after the invasion of Lingayen Gulf. The men of Columbia earned a Navy Unit Commendation for outstanding heroism during the Lingayen operation. Carl discovered that the 1952 documentary series Victory at Sea shows the actual kamikaze attack on Columbia on January 9, which he shared with relatives and members of the USS Columbia CL-56 Association.


USS Columbia (CL-56), Cleveland-class Light Cruiser

USS Columbia (CL-56) was one of 26 United States Navy Cleveland-class light cruisers completed during or shortly after World War II. The ship, the sixth US Navy ship to bear the name, was named for the city of Columbia, South Carolina. Columbia was commissioned in July 1942, and saw service in several campaigns in the Pacific. Like almost all her sister ships, she was decommissioned shortly after the end of the war, and never saw active service again. Columbia was scrapped in the early 1960s. A memorial to the ship and men who served on her exists in Columbia, SC.

Construction and commissioning

Columbia was laid down on 19 August 1940 by the New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, New Jersey[1] and launched on 17 December 1941 sponsored by Miss J. A. Paschal. She was commissioned on 29 July 1942, with Captain W. A. Heard in command.[2]

Sailing from Norfolk on 9 November 1942, Columbia arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides on 10 December, and joined in the patrols west of the New Hebrides in support of the continuing struggle for Guadalcanal. On 29 January 1943, while cruising off Rennell Island to cover the movement of transports to Guadalcanal, Columbia's group came under heavy air attack, and the battle of Rennell Island followed, with land and carrier-based aircraft joining in to protect the American ships. Columbia aided in shooting down three enemy planes in this battle. Based out of Efate from 1 February, Columbia continued her patrols in the Solomons, and in June carried out a bombardment and mining mission on 29–30 June, coordinated with the New Georgia landings. On 11–12 July, she bombarded Munda, and until 5 September, when she sailed for a brief overhaul at Sydney, patrolled southeast of the Solomons.[2]

Columbia, rejoined her division on 24 September off Vella LaVella, as patrols to intercept Japanese shipping continued. As Marines stormed ashore on Bougainville on 1 November, Columbia's guns pounded targets on Buka and Bonis and in the Shortlands. On the night of 2 November, her force intercepted a Japanese group sailing to attack transports lying off Bougainville. In the furious fighting of the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay which resulted, Columbia joined in sinking the Japanese cruiser Sendai and destroyer Hatsukaze, and turning the attackers back from their goal. She continued to support the Bougainville landings and bombard targets in the Solomons through December.[2]

After training exercises in the New Hebrides in January 1944, Columbia helped spearhead the attack and occupation of Nissan, one of the Green Islands from 13 to 18 February. Early in March, her group swept along the line between Truk and Kavieng in search of enemy shipping, then covered the assault and occupation of Emirau Island from 17 to 23 March. On 4 April, Columbia sailed from Port Purvis for an overhaul at San Francisco, returning to the Solomons on 24 August.[2]

Columbia sortied from Port Purvis on 6 September with the covering force for the landings in the Palaus, and remained off Peleliu to provide gunfire support to forces ashore and protection to assault shipping until her return to Manus on 28 September. She sailed on 6 October, guarding the force which was to seize Dinagat and other islands at the entrance of Leyte Gulf which must be neutralized before the vast Leyte invasion fleet could enter the Gulf. These islands were taken on 17 October, and Columbia sailed on to give gunfire cover to the main landings three days later. But as the landings proceeded, the Japanese fleet sailed south to give battle, and on the night of 24 October, its southern force entered Leyte Gulf through Surigao Strait. Attacks by motor torpedo boats and destroyers on the Japanese force opened this phase of the decisive battle for Leyte Gulf. Columbia with other cruisers had joined the old battleships and lay in wait. In a classical maneuver, the American ships "crossed the T" of the Japanese column, and opened heavy gunfire which sank the battleship Yamashiro, and forced the heavily damaged cruiser Mogami and other units to retire. Toward dawn, Columbia sped to deliver the final blows which sank destroyer Asagumo, crippled in earlier attacks.[2]

After replenishing at Manus early in November, Columbia returned to Leyte Gulf to protect reinforcement convoys from air attack. In December, operating from Kossol Roads in the Palaus, she covered Army landings on Mindoro, and on 14 December, lost four of her men when a 5-inch (127 mm) gun misfired during an air attack.[2] These were Columbia's first casualties of the war.[3]

The kamikaze hits Columbia at 1729. The plane and its bomb penetrated two decks before exploding, killing 13 and wounding 44.

On 1 January 1945, Columbia sailed for the landings in Lingayen Gulf and on 6 January, as pre-invasion bombardments were getting underway, Japanese kamikaze attacks began. Columbia suffered a near miss by a kamikaze and then another of the kamikaze planes struck on her port quarter by a second. The plane and its bomb penetrated two decks before exploding, killing 13 (including 3 survivors of the USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) who had been rescued two days earlier after their ship was sunk following a kamikaze attack) and wounding 44 men, putting her aft turrets out of action, and setting the ship afire. Prompt flooding of two magazines prevented further explosions, and impressive damage control measures enabled Columbia to complete her bombardment with her two operative forward turrets, and remain in action to give close support to underwater demolition teams. Ammunition was removed from the after magazines to refill the forward magazines much of this was done by hand. On the morning of the landings, 9 January, as Columbia lay close inshore and so surrounded by landing craft that she was handicapped in maneuver, she was again struck by a kamikaze, knocking out six gun directors and a gun mount.[4] 24 men were killed and 97 wounded, but short-handed as she was, Columbia again put out fires, repaired damage, and continued her bombardment and fire support. Columbia sailed that night, guarding a group of unloaded transports. Her crew's accomplishments in saving their ship and carrying out their mission without interruption were recognized with the Navy Unit Commendation for this operation.[2]

Columbia received emergency repairs at San Pedro Bay, Leyte, and sailed on to an overhaul on the west coast, returning to Leyte on 16 June. Three days later, she sailed for Balikpapan, Borneo, off which she lay from 28 June, guarding minesweeping which preceded the invasion of the island on 1 July. She covered the landing of Australian troops, and gave them gunfire support through the next day, sailing then to join Task Force 95 (TF 95) in its repeated sweeps against Japanese shipping in the East China Sea. At the close of the war, she carried inspection parties to Truk, the important Japanese base bypassed during the war, and carried Army passengers between Guam, Saipan, and Iwo Jima until sailing for home on 31 October.[2]

After calling on the west coast, Columbia arrived at Philadelphia on 5 December for overhaul and service training Naval Reserve men until 1 July 1946. She was decommissioned and placed in reserve at Philadelphia on 30 November 1946, and sold for scrapping on 18 February 1959. In an odd coincidence, the tug that towed Columbia to the breakers, the Triton, owned by Curtis Bay Towing, was also one of the tugs present at her launching, 18 years earlier.[2]

In addition to the Navy Unit Commendation, Columbia received 10 battle stars for World War II service.[2]

Columbia flew a Confederate Navy Ensign as a battle flag throughout combat in the South Pacific in World War II. This was done in honor of the ship's namesake, the capital city of South Carolina, the first state to secede from the Union.


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The USS Columbia (CL-56) flew a Confederate Navy Ensign as a battle flag throughout combat in the South Pacific in World War II. This was done in honor of Columbia, the ship's namesake and the capital city of South Carolina, the first state to secede from the Union. Some soldiers carried Confederate flags into battle. After the Battle of Okinawa a Confederate flag was raised over Shuri Castle by a Marine from the self-styled "Rebel Company" (Company A of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines).

A Japanese Kamikaze hit the ship at 1729 hrs on 6 January 1945, during the Lingayen Gulf operation. The impact, on the main deck by the after gun turret, with the resulting explosion and fire, caused extensive damage and casualties.

Southern men and women have always answered the call, form 1776 to today…who will deny them the right to their heritage and their flag?

Defending the Heritage

With ammunition gone they defended me along the railroad bed at Manassas by throwing rocks. I saw the fields run red with blood at Sharpsburg. Brave men carried me across Doctor's Creek at Perryville. I saw the blue bodies cover Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg and the Gray ones fall like leaves in the Round Forest at Stones River. I AM THEIR FLAG Dr. Michael Bradley

Defending the Heritage

Fort Sumter - what nobody seems to know:

The original agreement where the national government gained possession of Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie was executed in 1805 and reads in part:

“That, if the United States shall not, within three years from the passing of this act, and notification thereof by the governor of this State to the Executive of the United States, repair the fortifications now existing thereon, or build such other forts or fortifications as may be deemed most expedient by the Executive of the United States on the same, and keep a garrison or garrisons therein, in such case this grant or cession shall be void and of no effect.”

The fortifications had not been repaired by April 1861, much less in 3 years. Indeed a full 56 years had passed between the signing of the lease and the events of April, 1861. Fort Sumter had been empty until it was garrisoned December 26, 1860 when Major Robert Anderson moved his troops from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter in response to South Carolina’s secession this FIRST act of the so-called Civil War was done even though there was an existing agreement in place between the federal government and the government of South Carolina leaving Anderson AT MOULTRIE without interference by EITHER side.

With regard to Sumter, the United States had failed to fulfill its responsibilities in the lease agreement with South Carolina and that fort had legally reverted to South Carolina. Hence, not only did Anderson destroy parts of Fort Moultrie, but he and his troops illegally invaded and occupied territory that had reverted back to South Carolina.


USS Columbia (CL 56)

Decommissioned 30 November 1946.
Stricken 1 March 1959.
Sold 16 February 1959 to be broken up for scrap.

Commands listed for USS Columbia (CL 56)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Capt. William Augustin Heard, USN29 Jul 19426 Apr 1943
2T/R.Adm. Frank Edmund Beatty, Jr., USN6 Apr 19433 Jun 1944
3T/Capt. Maurice Edwin Curts, USN3 Jun 194431 Jul 1945
4T/Capt. Marcy Mathias Dupre, Jr., USN31 Jul 19457 Jan 1946
5T/Capt. Bruce Byron Adell, USN7 Jan 19461 Jul 1946

You can help improve our commands section
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this vessel.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve this ships page.


USS Columbia (CL-56) - History

Home The following is a list of Columbia's DIVISIONS provided by Bob Kratz & Rich Gary
Note: List is incomplete at this time

The ship had five departments

1st Division picture The 1st Division was responsible for 6 inch turrets numbers 1 & 2 . They were also responsible
for the upkeep of the forward part of the ship.

2nd Division picture T he 2nd Division was responsible for 6 inch turrets number 3 & 4 (which were aft).
They were also responsible for the upkeep of the aft part of the ship.
In addition they operated and maintained the catapults used to launch our search aircraft.

3rd Division picture The 3rd Division was responsible for 5 inch gun mounts number 51, 52 & 53 . They were also
responsible for upkeep of half of the middle of the ship.

4th Division picture The 4th Division was responsible for 5 inch gun mounts number 54, 55 & 56 . They were also
responsible for upkeep of the other half of the middle of the ship.

5th Division picture The 5th Division was responsible for 40mm gun mounts number 41, 42, 43, 44, 47, 48, 49 & 50 and
10 20mm guns. In addition they were responsiable for the upkeep of the boat deck.

Original Marine Detachment aboard Columbia Roster of original Marine Detachment aboard Columbia
List of Marines that served aboard Columbia List from page 86, Battle History of USS Columbia
6th Division picture (Marines) on stern 40 Marines on stern (poor quality)
6th Division picture (Marines) The 6th Division was manned by the Marine detachment (35-40 men).
They were responsible for 40 mm gun mounts number 45 & 46 and some gun directors.


F Division picture The F Division was responsible for all the Gun Fire Control Systems, Gun Directors
and the Main Battery Gun Plotting Rooms for the 6 inch guns.
F Division on the quarterdeck

A Division A Division was called the Auxiliary Division. They operated and maintained the evaporators which
made fresh water from sea water. Columbia had the reputation for making more fresh water than any
other ship in Cruiser Division 12. The men rarely had to take salt water showers.

B Division NEW Dec. 2018 B Division was responsible for the two fire rooms (fore & aft). They made the steam that
powered the four turbines that drove the ship's four screws.
List of men NEW Steam also powered the four turbines that drove the four electrical generators. B Division
was also responsible for operating and maintaining the electrical generator turbines.

M Division M Division was responsible for operating and maintaining the equipment in the two engine rooms .
There were two steam turbines for each engine room. The turbines drove the four props.
M Division 1945

R Divison on stern R Division was responsible for the damage control stations, fire fighting and shipfitter shop which repaired
and replaced various equipment throughout the ship.

E Division picture E Division was responsible for generating the electricity that powered equipment throughout the ship.
They also maintained the lighting equipment.
In addition they maintained the sound powered telephones and the dial telephone system.

C Division picture C Division was responsible for the radio rooms and radar shacks . They also provided a signal man .

S Division picture S Division was responsible for cooking, baking and food store rooms . They ran all the food handling,
barber shop and ship's store .

V Division picture V Division was responsible for maint aining the search aircraft . The pilots were attached to the V Division.

OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT
L Division on stern L Division provided the ship lookouts, so vital for the safety of the ship.
L Division on quarter deck L Division function unknown

N Division was responsible for the ship's bridge. They manned the ship's wheel and provided the
navigation to get the ship from place to place. No picture.


UNIDENTIFED DIVISION PICTURES

Unknown Division u2 Unknown Division u2. names unknown

Unknown Division u3 Division u3 has been ID as B Division, Dec. 2018 names unknown


USS Columbia (CL-56) - History

10,000 Tons
610' 1" x 66' 6" x 20'
12 x 6" guns
12 x 5" guns

Ship History
Built by New York Shipbuilding Corporation of Camden, NJ. Laid down on August 18, 1940, launched December 17, 1941 and commissioned July 29, 1942 with Captain W. A. Heard in command.

Wartime History
Departed Norfolk, Virginia on November 9, 1942 and arrived at Espiritu Santo on December 10 and joined in the patrols west of the New Hebrides in support of operations on Guadalcanal.

Battle of Rennell Island
On January 29, 1943, while cruising off Rennell Island to cover the movement of transports to Guadalcanal, Columbia's group came under heavy air attack during the Battle of Rennell Island. Columbia aided in claiming three enemy bombers during the battle.

Based on Efate from February 1, Columbia continued her patrols in the Solomons, and in June carried out a bombardment and mining mission on the 29th and 30th, against Ballale and Shortlands. On 11 July and 12 July, she bombarded Munda.

On September 5, she sailed for a brief overhaul at Sydney, patrolled southeast of the Solomons. Columbia, rejoined her division on 24 September 1943 off Vella LaVella, as patrols to intercept Japanese shipping continued.

On November 1, 1943 in support of the Marine landing at Empress Augusta Bay, Columbia participated in the bombarded Buka and Bonis, then Ballale Island and Shortland Isalnd.

Battle of Empress Augusta Bay
On the night of November 2, Columbia Naval Task Force intercepted a Japanese group incoming to attack transports lying off Bougainville. In the furious fighting of the battle of Empress Augusta Bay which resulted, Columbia joined in sinking a Japanese cruiser and a destroyer, and turning the attackers back from their goal. She continued to support the Bougainville landings and bombard targets in the Solomons through December.

After training exercises in the New Hebrides in January 1944, Columbia helped spearhead the attack and occupation of Nissan Island from 13 February to 18 February. Early in March her group swept along the line between Truk and Kavieng in search of enemy shipping, then covered the assault and occupation of Emirau Island from 17 March to 23 March. On 4 April Columbia sailed from Port Purvis for an overhaul at San Francisco, returning to the Solomons 24 August.

Columbia sortied from Port Purvis 6 September 1944 with the covering force for the landings in the Palaus, and remained off Peleliu to provide gunfire support to forces ashore and protection to assault shipping until her return to Manus on 28 September.

She sailed on 6 October, guarding the force which was to seize Dinagat and other islands at the entrance of Leyte Gulf which must be neutralized before the vast Leyte invasion fleet could enter the Gulf. These islands were taken on 17 October, and Columbia sailed on to give gunfire cover to the main landings 3 days later. But as the landings proceeded, the Japanese fleet sailed south to give battle, and on the night of 24 October, its southern force entered Leyte Gulf through Surigao Strait. Columbia with other cruisers had joined the old BBs and lay in wait. In a classical maneuver, the American ships capped the T of the Japanese column, and opened heavy gunfire which sank the battleship Yamashiro, and forced the heavily damaged cruiser Mogami and other units to retire. Toward dawn, Columbia sped to deliver the final blows which sank destroyer Asagumo, crippled in earlier attacks.

After replenishing at Manus early in November, Columbia returned to Leyte Gulf to protect reinforcement convoys from air attack. In December, operating from Kossol Roads in the Palaus, she covered Army landings on Mindoro, and on 14 December, lost four of her men when a gun misfired during an air attack.

On 1 January 1945 Columbia sailed Lingayen Gulf and on January 6, as preinvasion bombardment. Columbia was hit by one of the kamikaze planes, then was struck on her port quarter by a second. The plane and its bomb penetrated two decks before exploding, killing 13 and wounding 44 of the crew, putting her after turrets out of action, and setting the ship afire. Prompt flooding of two magazines prevented further explosions, and impressive damage control measures enabled Columbia to complete her bombardment with her two operative turrets, and remain in action to give close support to underwater demolition teams.

On the morning of the landings, January 9, as Columbia lay close inshore and so surrounded by landing craft that she was handicapped in maneuver, she was again crashed by a kamikaze, knocking out six gun directors and gun mount. Twenty-four men were killed and 97 wounded, but drastically short-handed as she was, Columbia again put out fires, repaired damage, and continued her bombardment and fire support. Columbia departed that night, guarding a group of unloaded transports. Her crew's accomplishments in saving their ship and carrying out their mission without interruption were recognized with the Navy Unit Commendation for this operation.

Columbia received emergency repairs at San Pedro Bay, Leyte, and sailed on to an overhaul on the west coast, returning to Leyte 16 June 1945. Three days later she sailed for Balikpapan, Borneo, off which she lay from 28 June, guarding minesweeping which preceded the invasion of the island on 1 July. She covered the landing of Australian troops, and gave them gunfire support through the next day, sailing then to join TF 95 in its repeated sweeps against Japanese shipping in the East China Sea. At the close of the war, she carried inspection parties to Truk, the important Japanese base bypassed during the war, and carried Army passengers between Guam, Saipan, and Iwo Jima until sailing for home 31 October.

Postwar
After calling on the west coast, Columbia arrived at Philadelphia 5 December 1945 for overhaul and service training Naval Reserve men until 1 July 1946. She was decommissioned and placed in reserve at Philadelphia 30 November 1946, and sold for scrap on February 18, 1959.

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Model Art No. 451, Imperial Japanese Army Air Force Special Attack Units, Model Art, 1995.

“The IJA’s Makoto 32nd Hikotai ‘Bukoku-tai,’” evnara.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-32.html?.

USS Biloxi, Report of AA Action off the Ryukyu Islands, 27 March 1945, RG 38, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD (hereafter NARA).

USS Callaghan, Report of Capture of Okinawa Gunto, Phases 1 and 2, RG 38, NARA.

USS Callaghan, War Diary for the month of March 1945, RG 38, NARA.

USS Dorsey, Action Report 25 March 1945–4 April 1945, RG 38, NARA.

USS Dorsey, War Diary for the month of March 1945, RG 38, NARA.

USS Foreman, Report of AA Action 27 March 1945, RG 38, NARA.

USS Indianapolis, War Diary for the month of March 1945, RG 38, NARA.


USS Columbia (CL-56) - History

Download this Cruise Book as high resolution .pdf file

Here you can download the USS COLUMBIA (CL 56) World War II Cruise Book 1942-45 as a high resolution .pdf file. You will be able to zoom in to better read names etc. Printing is also easily possible because of the high resolution and the missing watermarks. Please note that the scans in the download are the same images like above, however, they have not been resized. That means that everything that's visible in the scans above will be visible in the .pdf file as well. Click here for a sample page.

  • High Resolution Images, suitable for printing
  • Images are in the book's original order (not sorted like the scans above)
  • No watermarks
  • Double pages with overlapping images will be provided as a single page, not as two separate pages
  • .pdf file, 91 pages, filesize: 131.53 MB
  • $15.00 USD
  • Instant download
  • Click here for a sample page

You are interested in having a hard bound reproduction made of this cruise book? Click here for more information.

After completion of the Paypal check-out you will be redirected to the download page. Additionally, you will also receive an email with the download link after the Paypal check-out. Your download link will then be active for 48 hours before it expires.


Watch the video: WOWS - USS Columbia CL-56 - WiP Preview (January 2022).