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NavSource Online: Cruiser Photo Archive

USS WILKES BARRE (CL 103)


       
Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Bravo - Lima - Whiskey

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
Ordered 07 AUG 1942
Keel laid on 14 DEC 1942 by the New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, NJ
Launched 24 DEC 1943
Commissioned 01 JUL 1944
Decommissioned 09 OCT 1947
Stricken 15 JAN 1971
Fate: Sunk during underwater explosive tests on 12/13 MAY 1972 off the Florida Keys.

Click On Image
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
Wilkes Barre 72k As built, (Small Image) USN
Wilkes Barre
0410318
166k

Port side view just after slipping down the ways, 24 DEC 1943.

New York Shipbuilding Photo.

David Buell
Wilkes Barre
0410308
137k

Port bow view while undergoing Inclining prior to commissioning at New York Shipbuilding, 10 June 1944. The Guam (CB 2) can be seen in the background.

U.S. Navy Photo.

David Buell
Wilkes Barre
0410309
107k

Starboard side aft view while undergoing Inclining prior to commissioning at New York Shipbuilding, 10 June 1944

U.S. Navy Photo.

David Buell
Wilkes Barre
0410310
111k

Starboard side forward view while undergoing Inclining prior to commissioning at New York Shipbuilding, 10 June 1944

U.S. Navy Photo.

David Buell
Wilkes Barre
0410311
127k

Starboard side bow view while undergoing Inclining prior to commissioning at New York Shipbuilding, 10 June 1944

U.S. Navy Photo.

David Buell
Wilkes Barre
0410313
141k

Port side aft view while undergoing Inclining prior to commissioning at New York Shipbuilding, 10 June 1944. The Guam (CB 2) can be seen in the background.

U.S. Navy Photo.

David Buell
Wilkes Barre
0410315
124k

Starboard side view of aft deckhouse while undergoing Inclining prior to commissioning at New York Shipbuilding, 10 June 1944

U.S. Navy Photo.

David Buell
Wilkes Barre
0410316
141k

Port side view of forward deckhouse while undergoing Inclining prior to commissioning at New York Shipbuilding, 10 June 1944. The Guam (CB 2) can be seen in the background.

U.S. Navy Photo.

David Buell
Wilkes Barre
0410317
134k

Port side view of aft deckhouse while undergoing Inclining prior to commissioning at New York Shipbuilding, 10 June 1944. The Guam (CB 2) can be seen in the background.

U.S. Navy Photo.

David Buell
Wilkes Barre
0410312
97k

Port side view soon after commissioning while at Philadelphia Navy Yard, 18 August 1944

U.S. Navy Photo.

David Buell
Wilkes Barre
0410314
117k

Port bow view soon after commissioning while at Philadelphia Navy Yard, 18 August 1944

U.S. Navy Photo #2199-44.

David Buell
Wilkes Barre
0410323
132k

Smoke clears from Wilkes-Barre's forward turrets as she fires on Iwo Jima's Northeastern side on February 21st or 22nd. She fired 592 rounds from her 6" guns on those two days and took no damage in return other than the loss of one of her OS2U Kingfisher scout aircraft due to engine failure (the crew was picked  up by USS Crowley (DE 303))

National Archives photo 80-G-307063

Tracy White
Wilkes Barre
0410319
167k

One of Wilkes-Barre's starboard twin 40mm mounts and crew at the ready in February or March of 1945. Note the Ready Service Ammunition ringing the tub bulkhead.

National Archives, College Park photo #80-G-307053

Tracy White
Wilkes Barre
0410320
168k

Wilkes-Barre's crew has swung her starboard airplane catapult out to aid in recovery of one of her OS2U Kingfisher scout aircraft. The recovery sled line is run up to a pulley hanging off the aft end of the catapult and then to a roller chock at deck edge and then to a winch aft of her after 6" mount. Photo dated February/March of 1945.

National Archives, College Park Photo #80-G-30705

Tracy White
Wilkes Barre 81k

USS Bunker Hill (CV 17) burning after being hit by a "Kamikaze" attack while operating off Okinawa on 11 May 1945. Photographed from USS Wilkes Barre (CL 103), which appears to have received fire damage herself helping to fight the blaze from alongside the carrier. A destroyer is off Bunker Hill's port side.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives # 80-G-328618.

Scott Dyben/National Archives
Wilkes Barre
021720b
75k USS Wilkes Barre (CL 103) alongside USS Bunker Hill (CV-17). USN
Wilkes Barre 73k

USS Bunker Hill (CV 17) casualties from Kamikaze hits are transferred to USS Wilkes-Barre (CL 103) for medical care, off Okinawa on 11 May 1945. Photographed from Wilkes-Barre's port side amidships, looking aft. Note SB2C aircraft (one with a burned wing) parked aft on Bunker Hill, smashed 40mm gun position on her starboard side, smoke from still-burning fires, and firefighting water streaming over her side. On Wilkes-Barre note the 40mm quad gun mount in the foreground and the electronic antenna above.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives # 80-G-328619.

National Archives
Wilkes Barre 83k

USS Wilkes-Barre (CL 103) Color-tinted photograph of the ship at San Pedro, California, 31 January 1946, upon her return from wartime service in the western Pacific. Note the homeward bound pennant held up by balloons. Courtesy of Captain Edwin C. Finney, USN (Retired), 1991.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 96708-KN.

USNHC
Wilkes Barre 112k

USS Wilkes-Barre (CL 103) At anchor, probably at San Pedro, California, circa 31 January 1946. Donation of Commander Reo E. Nicar, USNR (Retired), April 1978.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 98601.

USNHC
Wilkes Barre 128k

USS Wilkes-Barre (CL 103) Off San Pedro, California, circa 31 January 1946. Photographed by Thompson, Los Angles, California. Donation of Commander Reo E. Nicar, USNR (Retired), April 1978.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 98602.

USNHC
Wilkes Barre 112k

USS Wilkes-Barre (CL 103) Alongside a destroyer tender, at Newport, Rhode Island, 21 June 1947. Courtesy of the Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia. Ted Stone Collection.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 66329.

USNHC
Wilkes Barre 112k

Port bow view, Moored in Philadelphia, PA with the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, 1971.

From the collection of the Naval Record Club.

Richard Leonhardt
Wilkes Barre
0410321
594k

ex-USS Wilkes Barre (CL 103) at the outer mole of the Naval Station before she was sunk as an artificial reef off Key West in April 1972. From the Ida Woodward Barron Collection.

Florida Keys Public Libraries photo #MM00007227.

Robert Hurst
Wilkes Barre
0410322
575k

ex-USS Wilkes Barre (CL 103) being sunk for an artificial reef off Key West in April 1972. From the Ida Woodward Barron Collection.

Florida Keys Public Libraries photo #MM00007973.

Robert Hurst

Commanding Officers
Name/Rank Final Rank Dates
Porter Jr., Robert Lee, CAPT   07/01/1944 - 08/17/1945
Juvenal, William Williams, CAPT   08/17/1945 - 06/13/1946
Tompkins, Rutledge Barker, CAPT   06/13/1946 - 05/28/1947
Gardner, Edward Randolph, CAPT   05/28/1947 - 10/1/1947
Johnson Jr., Charles Henry, LCDR   10/1/1947 - 10/08/1947
Davis Jr., Lewis Edwin, LCDR   10/08/1947 - 10/09/1947

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


USS WILKES BARRE (CL 103) History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry on the U.S. Navy Historical Center website.

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Mr. Larry McLean
Address: 2115 Harbor Drive, Podickory Point, Annapolis, MD 21401-5716
Phone: 410-757-9025
E-mail: USSWB@cs.com

Reunion Date: September 2004
Location: Baltimore, MD

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.
USS Wilkes Barre CL-103 Webite

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Last updated on 01/14/2018