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NavSource Online: Cruiser Photo Archive

USS BIRMINGHAM (CL 62)


       
Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Alpha - Whiskey - Juliet

CLASS - CLEVELAND
Displacement 10,000 Tons, Dimensions, 610' 1" (oa) x 66' 4" x 25' (Max)
Armament 12 x 6"/47, 12 x 5"/38AA, 28 x 40mm, 10 x 20mm, 4 Aircraft
Armor, 5" Belt, 6" Turrets, 2" Deck, 5" Conning Tower.
Machinery, 100,000 SHP; Geared Turbines, 4 screws
Speed, 32.5 Knots, Crew 1255.
Operational and Building Data
Keel laid on 17 FEB 1941 by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA
Launched 20 MAR 1942
Commissioned 29 JAN 1943
Decommissioned 2 JAN 1947
Stricken 1 MAR 1959
Fate: Sold for scrap on 12 NOV 1959 to Nassco, Treasure Island, CA.

Click On Image
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
Birmingham 109k

USS Birmingham (CL 62) Launching, at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company shipyard, Newport News, Virginia, 20 March 1942. Courtesy of James Russell, 1972.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 75592.

Fred Weiss/USNHC
Birmingham 237k WWII era starboard bow image. It appears to have been censored as all the Radar antennae are removed. From the collection of Oscar Hale. Gary J. Hale
Birmingham 103k Early 1943 image. (During Atlantic Service) USN
Birmingham
0406228
46k Midships looking forward during Inclining while at Newport News Shipbuilding, 16 January 1943. Pieter Bakels
Birmingham
0406229
28k Bow looking aft during Inclining while at Newport News Shipbuilding, 16 January 1943. Pieter Bakels
Birmingham 135k

USS Birmingham (CL 62) Underway in the Hampton Roads area, Virginia, on 20 February 1943. This image has been retouched by wartime censors to obscure radar antennas atop the ship's gun directors.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Fred Weiss/USNHC
Birmingham 130k

USS Birmingham (CL 62) Underway in the Hampton Roads area, Virginia, on 20 February 1943. Photographed by Naval Air Station, Hampton Roads. Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute. James C. Fahey Collection.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 90021.

Fred Weiss/USNHC
Birmingham
0406233
171k

Aerial view while underway in the Hampton Roads area on 20 Feb 1943. Note the open Aircraft Hanger hatch on the fantail.

USN Photo.

David Buell
Birmingham
0406236
412k

Damage to Turret #4 sustained on the night of 8 November 1943. Here is a quote from DANFS on the incident - "Just as the damage and flooding was contained by shoring-up the surrounding bulkheads, another Val swung past a destroyer and made a run against Birmingham from the port beam. Taken under fire, the bomber exploded over the warship and splashed 100-yards off the starboard beam. The stricken planes’ bomb hit turret #4, damaging the mount and all three gun barrels in the ensuing explosion. Two sailors were killed and 32 wounded in these attacks."

The BuShips damage report from this battle can be found on the contributors website.

NARA San Francisco, Mare Island Naval Shipyard General Correspondence Files, 1939-47

Tracy White
Birmingham
0406237
435k

Quote from DANFS: "At 1911, the three light cruisers began firing 6-inch gun salvoes at a range of 18,000 yards as the dozen or so Japanese aircraft closed the formation. By the light of green, red, and yellow flares, Birmingham’s 40-mm and 20-mm gunners picked up an Aichi D3A Val very low and close on the port quarter. Taken under fire, the carrier bomber burst into flames and crashed into the water 750 yards off the port beam. Almost simultaneously, the stricken planes’ bomb skipped into the warships starboard counter, blowing a 15-foot hole in the hull and demolishing her float plane hanger." The bomb blast in the hangar tore the hangar hatch from its fastenings, threw it up and forward, and severed the cables in the crane above it so that it fell on top of the displaced hangar hatch. Photo taken 1 December 1943, Pearl Harbor Navy Yard.

The BuShips damage report from this battle can be found on the contributors website.

NARA San Francisco, Mare Island Naval Shipyard General Correspondence Files, 1939-47

Tracy White
Birmingham
0406238
480k

Stern view of bomb damage. Quote from DANFS: "At 1911, the three light cruisers began firing 6-inch gun salvoes at a range of 18,000 yards as the dozen or so Japanese aircraft closed the formation. By the light of green, red, and yellow flares, Birmingham’s 40-mm and 20-mm gunners picked up an Aichi D3A Val very low and close on the port quarter. Taken under fire, the carrier bomber burst into flames and crashed into the water 750 yards off the port beam. Almost simultaneously, the stricken planes’ bomb skipped into the warships starboard counter, blowing a 15-foot hole in the hull and demolishing her float plane hanger." Photo taken 6 December 1943, Pearl Harbor Navy Yard.

The BuShips damage report from this battle can be found on the contributors website.

NARA San Francisco, Mare Island Naval Shipyard General Correspondence Files, 1939-47

Tracy White
Birmingham
0406239
391k

Starboard quarter view of bomb damage. Photo taken 6 December 1943, Pearl Harbor Navy Yard.

The BuShips damage report from this battle can be found on the contributors website.

NARA San Francisco, Mare Island Naval Shipyard General Correspondence Files, 1939-47

Tracy White
Birmingham
0406235
205k

Port bow view while in drydock at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard on 6 December 1943. The damage seen in this photo was sustained on 08 November 1943 while on patrol southwest of Bougainville. The 30' hole was cause by an aerial torpedo. The ship's gunners shot down the torpedo plane which torpedoed their ship. (caption updated by Darryl Baker)

The BuShips damage report from this battle can be found on the contributors website.

NARA San Francisco, Mare Island Naval Shipyard General Correspondence Files, 1939-47

Tracy White
Birmingham 246k

Amidships looking aft plan view of USS Birmingham (CL 62) at Mare Island on 6 Feb 1944. Birmingham was at the yard from 22 Dec 43 until 15 Feb 44 for battle damage repair.

U.S. Navy Photo #841-44

Darryl Baker
Birmingham
0406230
49k Plan view midships looking aft at Mare Island on 6 Feb 1944. Birmingham was at the yard from 22 Dec 43 until 15 Feb 44 for battle damage repair. Pieter Bakels
Birmingham
0406231
48k Plan view midships looking forward at Mare Island on 6 Feb 1944. Birmingham was at the yard from 22 Dec 43 until 15 Feb 44 for battle damage repair. Pieter Bakels
Birmingham 305k

Forward plan view of USS Birmingham (CL 62) at Mare Island on 6 Feb 1944. Birmingham was at the yard from 22 Dec 43 until 15 Feb 44 for battle damage repair.

U.S. Navy Photo #844-44

Darryl Baker
Birmingham 183k

Broadside view of USS Birmingham (CL 62) off Mare Island on 7 Feb 1944. Birmingham was at the yard from 22 Dec 43 until 15 Feb 44 for battle damage repair.

U.S. Navy Photo #848-44

Darryl Baker
Birmingham 124k Birmingham at sea in dazzle camouflage scheme on June 11, 1944. She has returned from torpedo damage repair after being struck on November 4, 1943. USN
Birmingham
0406232
135k USS Birmingham (CL 62), taken from USS Indianapolis (CA 35). Photo is file # 57-78, dated 15 June 1944.

Caption reads,: "Saipan-D-Day. Splash from Jap shell on USS Birmingham".

Official U.S. Navy Photograph
Artemis Buell
Birmingham
022306
128k

Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 1944 - USS Birmingham (CL 62) comes alongside the burning USS Princeton (CVL 23) to assist with fire fighting, 24 October 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives # 80-G-281660-2.

Scott Dyben/National Archives
Birmingham 160k USS Birmingham (CL-62) Shown here on October 24, 1944 helping fight fires aboard the USS Princeton (CVL-23). The Princeton exploded violently, shortly after this photo was taken, sealing her fate and grievously killing and injuring the Birmingham's topside crew and severely damaging the cruiser too. USN
Birmingham 78k

Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 1944 - Crewmen on USS Birmingham (CL 62) play fire hoses on the burning USS Princeton (CVL 23), as their ship comes alongside to assist in damage control measures, 24 October 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives # 80-G-270357.

Scott Dyben/National Archives
Birmingham
022339
173k USS Princeton (CVL 23) alongside USS Birmingham (CL 62) in the vicinity of the cruiser's 5" gun mount No. 3. This picture was recorded by the Mare Island Navy Yard (photo # 7309-44) when CL-62 was repaired there.
Darryl Baker
Birmingham
022325
98k

View from the foredeck on USS Birmingham (CL 62) as she stood alongside USS Princeton (CVL 23) to help fight her fires, during the afternoon of 24 October. The carrier had been hit by a Japanese air attack while operating off the Philippines. Note fire hoses on Birmingham's deck and details of the underside of her Number Two 6"/47 gun turret.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives #80-G-270453.

National Archives
Birmingham
022338
164k Another view of USS Princeton (CVL 23) from USS Birmingham (CL 62). This picture was recorded by the Mare Island Navy Yard (photo # 7308-44) when the light cruiser was repaired there.
Darryl Baker
Birmingham
022326
186k Damage control party examines Princeton's shattered hangar, after she was ripped by explosions following a Japanese bomb hit off the Philippines on 24 October. Note the burned out airplane inside the carrier's hangar, and the top of her hull blister in the lower foreground. Photo taken from USS Birmingham (CL 62), which was alongside to assist with firefighting, and recorded by the Mare Island Navy Yard (photo # 7307-44) when the light cruiser was repaired there.
Darryl Baker
Birmingham
022326a
125k Light cruiser USS Birmingham (CL 62) as she comes alongside the USS Princeton (CVL 23) after the flattop was hit by Japanese bombs in one of the battles for Leyte Gulf. Moments later the Princeton blew up, killing and maiming hundreds of men on the cruiser's deck. Photo USN.

Photo and text from Aircraft Carriers, by Norman Polmar.

Robert Hurst
Birmingham 91k

Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 1944 - Heavy explosion aft on USS Princeton (CVL 23), with USS Birmingham (CL 62) alongside, 24 October 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives #80-G-281663-3.

Scott Dyben/USNHC
Birmingham 86k

USS Birmingham (CL 62), at left, and a destroyer pull away from USS Princeton (CVL 23) following the big explosion that destroyed the carrier's stern at about 1523 hrs. on 24 October 1944. This blast killed over two hundred men aboard Birmingham, which was alongside Princeton fighting fires. Note the light smoke over Birmingham's midships and stern areas. Princeton's stern, and a good deal of her after superstructure, has been blown off.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives # 80-G-270553.

USNHC
Birmingham 123k Close up of bridge area of the Birmingham showing damage sustained when the light-carrier USS Princeton (CVL 23) torpedo magazine exploded after it appeared her fires were out. USN
Birmingham 123k Shown here entering San Francisco's Mare Island Navy Yard in November, 1944 for repairs and replacement of personnel. She is shown here battered, burned and war weary from her experience with the USS Princeton (CVL 23) attempted rescue and fire fighting efforts. USN
Birmingham 94k

USS Birmingham (CL 62) Off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, following overhaul and repair of combat damage, 21 January 1945.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center #NH 87950.

USNHC
Birmingham 169k

USS Birmingham (CL 62) At the Mare Island Navy Yard, 22 January 1945, following battle damage repair and overhaul. Photographed from one of the Navy Yard cranes, this "plan view" of the ship's forward area shows a number of recent alterations, enclosed in white lines drawn on the image. Notable features include the forward Mark 37 Gun Director with antennas for Mark 12 and Mark 22 radars (upper left center); 6"/47, 5"/38, 40mm and 20mm guns; protective canvas covers on 40mm gun barrels; and a variety of equipment on the ship's command platform. Also note the portable gangway between the ship and the pier, and very long shadows cast by people standing on the pier.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center #NH 98122.

USNHC
Birmingham 147k

USS Birmingham (CL 62) At the Mare Island Navy Yard, 22 January 1945, following battle damage repair and overhaul. Photographed from a Navy Yard crane, this "plan view" of the ship's midships area shows a number of recent alterations, enclosed in white lines drawn on the image. Notable features include Mark 34 Gun Directors with antennas for Mark 8 radar on top; height-finding radar on the mainmast; antenna for SK search radar on the foremast; and new electronic antennas on the after end of the forward smokestack.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center #NH 98123.

USNHC
Birmingham 174k

USS Birmingham (CL 62) At the Mare Island Navy Yard, 22 January 1945, following battle damage repair and overhaul. Photographed from a Navy Yard crane, this "plan view" of the ship's midships area shows a number of recent alterations, enclosed in white lines drawn on the image. Notable features include the forward smokestack, with a new electronics platform mounted on it; 40mm quad gun mounts; life rafts; Mark 34 Gun Director; and a variety of equipment on the ship's forward superstructure platforms.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center #NH 98124.

USNHC
Birmingham 144k

USS Birmingham (CL 62) At the Mare Island Navy Yard, 22 January 1945, following battle damage repair and overhaul. Photographed from a Navy Yard crane, this "plan view" of the ship's after area shows a number of recent alterations, enclosed in white lines drawn on the image. Notable features include a Mark 34 Gun Director with antenna for Mark 8 radar; Mark 37 Gun Director with antennas for Mark 12 and Mark 22 radars; the after smokestack with searchlight platforms mounted on it; and the height-finding radar and other electronic equipment on the mainmast.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center #NH 98125.

USNHC
Birmingham
0406234
546k

USS Birmingham (CL 62), maneuvering alongside the USS Block Island (CVE 106) on 30 January 1945. Taken by Lt. (jg) Hoffman from an airship of ZP-31.

USN photo

David Buell
Birmingham
0406240
163k

USS Birmingham suffers her 3rd battle damage - Having survived trial by fire twice earlier in the war, the light cruiser USS Birmingham faced her 3rd test on 04 May 1945 when a Japanese kamikaze bearing a 500 pound bomb crashed on her decks just aft of the number two turret during action off Okinawa. The ensuing explosion and fire wiped out sick bay and ruptured the main, second, and third decks. Bulkheads were blown in and a five foot hole was blown in the starboard side below the waterline. Four living compartments, the armory, and three ammunition magazines were flooded before the water was contained. The final tally was 52 killed and 82 wounded. (caption updated by Bill Gonyo)

U.S. Navy BUMED Library and Archives Number 274280; 09-7921-14.

Bill Gonyo
Birmingham
0406235
57k Port bow view, 1946. Richard Leonhardt
Birmingham
0406227
515k The USS Birmingham (CL 62) is seen in dry dock #2 at Mare Island on 12 June 1946. She has in dock from 10 June to 16 July 1946. The USS Gen. C. C. Breckinridge (AP 176) is seen to the left and USS Rankin (AKA 103) is in dry dock #3 to the right. Darryl Baker
Birmingham 65k Starboard bow view possibly at Mare Island just before decommissioning which would put it in January 1947. Bruce Billig
Birmingham 120k

USS Birmingham (CL 62) View on the cruiser's forecastle, looking aft, taken the day she left the San Diego Reserve Fleet facility for the wrecking yard, circa 9 December 1959. Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute Photo Collection, 1979.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 89291.

Fred Weiss/USNHC

Commanding Officers
Name/Rank Final Rank Dates
Wilkes, John, CAPT VADM 01/29/1943 - 08/11/1943
Inglis, Thomas Browning, CAPT RADM 08/11/1943 - 10/24/1944
Folk, Winston Estes Pilcher, CDR (acting CO) RADM 10/24/1944 - 11/21/1944
Power, Harry Douglas, CAPT   10/21/1944 - 08/09/1945
Cruzen, Richard Harold, CAPT   08/09/1945 - 10/10/1946
Hunt Jr., William Andrew, CDR   10/10/1946 - 01/02/1947

(Courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves - Photos courtesy of Bill Gonyo)


USS BIRMINGHAM (CL-62) History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry on the U.S. Navy Historical Center website.

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Mrs Mary Ann Jeffreys
Address:122 John Dr Chester, IL 62233
Phone: 618-826-4432
E-mail: None


Note About Contacts.

The contact listed, Was the contact at the time for this ship when located. If another person now is the contact, E-mail me and I will update this entry. These contacts are compiled from various sources over a long period of time and may or may not be correct. Every effort has been made to list the newest contact if more than one contact was found.


Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway Cruiser Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Back To The Main Photo Index Back To The Cruiser Photo Index Page

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Last updated on 04/12/2014