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NavSource Online: Cruiser Photo Archive

USS DES MOINES (CA 134)



Image courtesy of Al Grazevich

Des Moines


       
Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Hotel - Sierra - Golf
Voice Call Sign: Crusader

CLASS - DES MOINES
Displacement 17,000 Tons, Dimensions, 716' 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, Crew 1799.
Operational and Building Data
Keel laid on 28 MAY 1945 by the Bethlehem Steel Company, Quincy, MA
Launched 27 SEP 1946
Commissioned 17 NOV 1948
Decommissioned 14 JUL 1961
Stricken 09 JUL 1991
Fate: Scrapping completed by ESCO Marine, Inc., Brownsville, TX on 16 AUG 2007.

Click On Image
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
Des Moines
0413430
296k

Starboard quarter view while on sea-trials prior to her commissioning.

U.S. Navy photo.

David Buell
Des Moines
0413442
88k During sea trials in 1948. Note the bucklers (rubberized cloth boot that protects the gun ports) have not yet been installed on the 8" turrets..  
Des Moines
0413431
277k

Starboard side view while underway date and location unknown.

U.S. Navy photo.

David Buell
Des Moines
0413424
84k USS Des Moines (CA 134) underway taking in on fuel from an unidentified 'Midway'-class aircraft carrier. Robert Hurst
Des Moines
0413434
47k Liberty boad departing, date and location unknown. Louis Lockwood
Des Moines
0413443
70k Sikorsky H-5 helicopter sitting on the fantail Tommy Trampp
Des Moines
0413444
85k 20mm practice Tommy Trampp
Des Moines
0413445
78k 20mm practice Tommy Trampp
Des Moines 53k Taken 15th November, 1948, as completed. Location unknown (Caption updated by Bob Hirst). USN
Des Moines 126k Undated (1950's), Image as she appeared in service. Randy Kimes
Des Moines
0413438
93k

Port bow view, late 1950's, location unknown.

U.S. Navy photo

David Buell
Des Moines
0413437
153k

Port bow view, late 1950's, location unknown.

U.S. Navy photo

David Buell
Des Moines
0413425
455k Port bow view while underway during Operation "Long Step" in November 1952. Robert Carey
Des Moines 157k Port bow view, in Norfolk, 1954. USS Missouri (BB 63) (right) is tied up at pier 7, USS Macon (CA 132) is tied up to pier 5 and Des Moines rafting on Macon. Across pier 5 is the USS Randolph (CV 15). Larry Bohn
Salem
0413439
154k Port quarter view while moored in Genoa, Italy, 01 January 1955. Carlo Martinelli
Des Moines 325k Taken during the 1955 Cruise Able: Norfolk - Malaga, Spain - Plymouth, England - Guantanamo, Cuba - Norfolk. It was taken as the ship passed Gibralter inbound to Malaga. The midshipman not on watch were on deck to view the scenery. Stan Cochran
Des Moines 196k Taken during the 1955 Cruise Able: Norfolk - Malaga, Spain - Plymouth, England - Guantanamo, Cuba - Norfolk. It was taken while the ship was at anchor at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in July 1955. Stan Cochran
CVA-59 Forrestal
025970
252k Sunday, 11 November 1956 (Suez Crisis). Steaming in the Atlantic in company with Task Force 26 composed of DESRON 26, DESDIV 322, USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA 42) [seen in the background in photo NS025970b], USS Des Moines (CA 134) and USS Forrestal (CVA-59) refuel from USS Severn (AO 61) enroute to the Azores Islands.

(Thanks to Ken Killmeyer, USS Forrestal Association historian).

Image courtesy of
Larry Blumenthal, PH3, 1957-61.
"US Navy Photos"
CVA-59 Forrestal
025970a
210k
CVA-59 Forrestal
025970b
147k From the collection of CDR Thomas B. Ray (USS Essex CV-9),
via Chris Stanley.
Official U.S. Navy photo (#1002494).
Des Moines
0413423
307k Port bow view, possibly in the Med, 1957. Larry Blumenthal, PH3, 1957-1961,
"US Navy photos"
Des Moines 419k Port side view while at anchor in port at Venice, Italy during the summer of 1958. Harry M. Funkhouser
Des Moines
0413436
71k

Taken during the July 1959 Villefranche in-port period, with the Ship at Full Dress for the 4th and 14th!! As a side note, the Ship is moored at Buoy #1 in 100 fathoms of water - the deepest natural harbor in the Med. It was a good mile into the Fleet Landing at the quai right in the middle of Villefranche, right in front of Mom Germaine's Restaurant. (I read a story in the July '59 issue of Reader's Digest about her and as I was awaiting orders, thought it would be nice to be assigned to a place like that!! (A Ship had not been mentioned in the article.) Three weeks later I received orders to the USS DES MOINES and picked her up at Cadiz, Spain, across the bay from Rota. Four weeks later after Gibraltar, Lisbon, and Barcelona, we pull into Villefranche and there is Mom Germaine', and I was on boat crew!!!!! [Boat Crews and SP's had free run of Mom's from 2300 to 2400, or till the food ran out!!]

U.S. Navy Photo

Louis Lockwood
Des Moines
0413432
66k

The crew practice manning the rail on 30 November 1959 for an upcoming visit by President Eisenhower. Note that there are men even on top of the Gun Directors.

U.S. Navy Photo

Louis Lockwood
Des Moines
0413441
192k PRESIDENTIAL CRUISE SHIP -- This is the cruiser Des Moines on which President Eisenhower will take a two and a half day Mediterranean cruise during this current good-will tour. THe president will board 21,000 ton flagship of the U.S. Sixth Fleet at Athens Dec. 15, breaking the cruise with a formal visit to Tunis enroute to Toulon, France and the Paris Conference. (U.S. Navy photo via APWirephoto) Tommy Trampp
Des Moines
0413433
80k

President Eisenhower arrives aboard, 15 December 1959 at 1259 while anchored off Piraeus Greece (seaport of Athens). The Sideboys' OinC is Ens. Pat Dillon, and I am the second Sideboy on the left side (Ship's Starboard - Ike's right) from the camera. Ike's arrival for five days aboard of R&R - right!!!! Only that afternoon and the third day. The morning of the 16th saw an Air Show unknown to Sixth Fleet Sailors - lots of tax dollars landed in the Med that morning. Three hours of constant bombing runs, strafing runs, and sidewinder air-to-air demo (including some wild flying to escape missile lock-on)!! At 1300 hrs a four hour Allied/Nato Passing Ship Review commenced. On Day 3 the Ship anchored off of Tunis, Tunisia for Ike to attend a two hour conference with that Country's Head of State. Day four saw Putt-Putt Golf and Skeet Shooting on the Fantail, with very limited Officer participation only! Day 5 the Ship arrived at Toulon France at 1000 hrs and Charles DeGaulle arrived aboard at 1100 hrs. Degaulle and Ike departed at approximately 1500 hrs, and the departed bound for Villefranche (ETA "0755" the next morning!). The weather all five days was mirror calm to just a 'twinkle' on the water!! Overnight out of Toulon we hit a Gulf du Lyons storm and took a 28 degree roll - that's huge for a CA!! We also lost two vehicles overboard and had lots of broken windows in the remaining ones!! (All the Flag vehicles had been driven back to Villefranche where as the Ship's vehicles were aboard prior to departing Toulon.)

U.S. Navy Photo

Louis Lockwood
Des Moines 84k Seen here in reserve, "Mothballs" at South Boston Naval Annex, July 1961. Note the Ensign still flying on the aft mast (Thanks to ISC Art Cappabianca for noticing it). © Richard Leonhardt
Des Moines 45k Seen here in reserve, "Mothballs" at South Boston Naval Annex, July 1961. Good detail of the Protective "Cocoons" that cover the secondary armament and gave the name to ships in reserve. © Richard Leonhardt
Des Moines
0413435

86k

The three sisters at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Philadelphia, PA in the 1980's. From left to right: Newport News, Salem, Des Moines. Louis Lockwood
Salem
0413946
94k

USS Salem (CA 139) with the USS Des Moines (CA-134) moored to her port side at the Philadelphia Navy Yard Reserve Basin circa 1995.

Library of Congress, HAER PA,51-PHILA,709W—3

Mike Green
Des Moines 88k Port bow view while moored at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility (NISMF) in Philadelphia, PA on 31 AUG 2002. Roy J. Brooks
Des Moines 168k Starboard bow view while moored at the NISMF in Philadelphia, PA on 31 AUG 2002. Roy J. Brooks
Des Moines 33k Port side view while moored at the NISMF in Philadelphia, PA on 31 AUG 2002. Roy J. Brooks
Des Moines 47k Port bow view of USS Des Moines in the Reserve basin at the old Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. The Des Moines has called the basin home for over thirty years, but is slated to become a museum in Milwaukee, Brian S. Bell AO3 USNR
Des Moines 171k Years of neglect are apparent in this image of the Daisey Mae's aft deck. This image was taken in 2002, fourteen years after the ship was stricken from the Naval Register. All maintainance was ceased and only the systems which alert the inactive ships office of flooding or intrusion are still functioning. Brian S. Bell AO3 USNR
Des Moines 271k The poor condition of the teak decking on Des Moines is apparent in this accompanying photo. Fortunately, this seems to be the worst aspect of the ship. Rust is limited to those areas where water is laying, and thanks to layers and layers of paint, it can be easily remedied. The moss growing between the planks is something you will likely not find aboard any other ship in the reserve fleet. Brian S. Bell AO3 USNR
Des Moines 168k View looking aft from the forward 20mm gun tub. The ship is a bit messy but very much intact. Unfortunately, the covers have been removed from the 8 inch gun barrels and the cocoons from the remaining anti-aircraft batteries are also missing. These are the worst areas for rust, but hopefully clean-up will soon begin. Note also the marine railways for submarine repair to the right, as well as the Spruance and Coontz class destroyers, and Belknap class cruiser to the left. Brian S. Bell AO3 USNR
Des Moines 81k Still moored at the NISMF June 2005. Mark Hager
Des Moines 89k Still moored at the NISMF June 2005. Mark Hager
Des Moines 108k Still moored at the NISMF June 2005. Mark Hager
Des Moines 99k Still moored at the NISMF June 2005. Mark Hager
Des Moines 88k Still moored at the NISMF June 2005. Mark Hager
Des Moines 93k Still moored at the NISMF June 2005. Mark Hager
Des Moines
0413426
180k Taken on June 26, 2006 of the Des Moines on the first day she was open to the museum ships to remove equipment. Joe Hood, USS North Carolina Living History Crew
Des Moines
0413428
224k Taken on June 27, 2006 of the Des Moines Combat Information Center. This picture was taken before Museum personnel began removing different pieces of equipment. Joe Hood, USS North Carolina Living History Crew
Des Moines
0413427
193k Taken on June 28, 2006 of the Des Moines from the Starboard beam. From here you can see much of the surface rust that is slowly taking over the ship. Joe Hood, USS North Carolina Living History Crew
Des Moines
09375111
55k

Grasp (T-ARS-51) tows Ex-Des Moines (CA 134) up the Brownsville ship channel enroute to the ESCO scrapping yard, at Brownsville, TX., circa 2006.

Photo ©Michael Martin, Brownsville, TX., 2006.

TJ Tropea with permission of Michael Martin
Des Moines
0413429
1mb Photo taken on Jan 9, 2007 of the Des Moines alongside Esco Marine in Brownsville, TX. Quite a bit of the upper deck has been removed.
Photo ©Michael Martin, Brownsville, TX., 2006.
C. Busack with permission of Michael Martin
Des Moines
0413440
172k Last shipmate to see the Des Moines at Esco Scrapping Yard. Bernie Cortez from Laredo,Texas, Command Master Chief, USN (Ret.). I served aboard Daisey Mae from 1958 to 1960 as SN,SM3 and SM2, TAD to COMSIXTHFLT flag. I drove the camera crew around the area getting photos of her entrance and last berthing at Brownsville, Texas in 2006. Bernie Cortez

Commanding Officers
Name/Rank Final Rank Dates
Chandler, Alvin Duke, CAPT VADM 11/16/1948 - 09/1949
Daniel, Henry Chesley, CAPT VADM 09/1949 - 09/01/1950
Ellis, Robert Beaman, CAPT RADM 09/01/1950 - 07/16/1952
Bergin, Charles Kniese, CAPT RADM 07/16/1952 - 07/1953
Yeager, Howard Austin, CAPT   07/1953
Adams, Carlton Rolla, CAPT   ~1955 - 08/1956
Dornin, Marshall Edgar (Skinny), CAPT RADM 08/1956 - 09/20/1957
Groverman Jr., William Heald, CAPT RADM 09/20/1957 - 11/11/1958
Moncure, Samuel Pemberton, CAPT   11/11/1958 - 11/13/1959
Slayton, Morgan, CAPT   11/13/1959 - 03/02/1960
Grimm, Edward Elias, CAPT RADM 03/02/1960 - 12/1960
Lyndon, Dennis Charles, CAPT RADM 12/1960 - 03/01/1961
Barry Jr., Richard Francis, CDR   03/01/1961 - 03/20/1961
Winslow, Edward Hughes, CAPT   03/20/1961 - 07/14/1961

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


USS DES MOINES (CA 134) History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry on the U.S. Navy Historical Center website.

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: James Aker
Address: 6447 Sauterne Drive, Hamilton, OH 45011
Phone: None
E-mail: jeaker01@hotmail.com
Date: Anually, The first weekend in August
Location: Mercer, PA


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 Des Moines Reunion Association website

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Last updated on 04/04/2014