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Jracule

Worchester Class Light Cruiser

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Worcester Class Light cruiser

 

Posted Image

 

The Worcester class, laid down in 1945 and commisioned in 48-49, were the last light cruisers to serve in the US navy. They and thier contemporaries, the Des Moines class, were the last of the all gun cruiser designs. 10 ships of the Worcester class were ordered, however only three were laid-down and only two were completed.

- USS Worchester (CL-144 )

- USS Roanoke (CL -145)

- USS Vallejo (CL -146) Scrapped soon after construction began.

 

The Worcester class design was derived from the earlier Atlanta class. The Atlantas, mounting 16 5" DP guns, were excellent anti-aircraft ships but lacking when it came to engaging other ships. Of the 2 Atlanta class cruisers to engage in surface combat, USS Atlanta and USS Juneau, both were lost. A heavier design was needed. Enter the Worcester Class.

 

http://de635.ussengl...es/USS Oa36.jpg

(Atlanta Class cruiser, forerunner to the Worchester Class)

 

The requirements of the Worcester Design were incredibly demanding. Destroyer speed and agility were to be applied to a ship that was to have cruiser level firepower to effectively engage both aircraft and surface targets. They were to take the lessons learned  from earlier DP cruisers and use them throughout the design.

 

Posted Image

 

It is important to know that the term "Light" is somewhat misleading when applied to a Worcester class vessel. They were both larger and heavier than the earlier Baltimore class Heavy Cruisers. They were only called light cruisers due to thier 6" main armaments.

 

Length   679ft Armor: 3-5 in belt

3.5 in (max) deck

2-6.5 in turrets

5 in barbettes

 

Beam 70.5 ft

Draft 25ft

Displacement   13,000 tons (Standard)

17,997 tons (Full)

Compliment   1,560 officers and enlisted

 

4 Boilers, 4 geared steam turbines, and 4 screws propelled the ship to over 33 Knots.

 

Armament

The most defining feature of the Worcester Class was the brand new 6"/47DP (15.2cm) Mark 16 gun design. Though based on the standard 6" guns found on earlier light cruisers, the design was highly improved. Training and elevation rates were improved enough to allow the gun to be classified as a Dual Purpose weapon. The guns could elevate to -5 or +78 degrees and were able to load at any elevation. They could fire 12 RPM per barrel thanks to the autoloading design. However, the entire mechanism was extremely heavy. (The dual gun turret was 20% heavier than the earlier 3 gun turret of the Cleveland Class) The guns were prone to occasional jamming and were not well liked (However the design was used in the heavier 8" guns of the Des Moines class where they performed much better)

 

The layout was identical to the much smaller Juneau and Improved Atlanta class light cruisers, carrying 12 guns in six turrets, three forward and three aft, with only turrets 3 and 4 superfiring.

 

Secondary guns included 24 of the brand new 3"/50 Mk27 cannon which replaced the Bofors 40mm in US Navy service. 10 weapons in dual mounts were carried on each side, another dual 3" mount was carried on the bow, and finally two single 3" mounts on the fantail.

 

Overall, the Worcester class carried a potent collection of weapons that was devastating to aircraft, destroyers, and other light cruisers. In addition, the high RoF could bloody the nose of any enemy heavy cruiser should they cross paths.

 

Posted Image

 

From a WW2 perspective, the Worcester class was a highly effective design. However, by the time the class was finally placed into service the use for light cruisers was disappearing fast. Aircraft were becoming faster and lighter, quicker guns were more effective in dealing with them. Shore bombardment was more effective in the hands of Heavy Cruisers of Battleships. (Though the USS Worcester did support the Inchon landings in Korea, her cannons being highly effective against lightly armored targets) Had the Worcester been in service during WW2, it would have easily been able fight against the cruisers of any Navy in WW2. Lets hear it for America's tier 10 light cruiser :Smile_honoring:

Edited by Jracule
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Good post.

Impressive rate of fire, a very mean antidestroyer cruiser.

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Nice post indeed! Didn't know this class...and from the name i expected to find a British ship to be honest!

Still, it's a very nice ship! :Smile_great:

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Alpha Tester
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Thank you for the support. My next topic is a comparison of US and Japanese AA gunnery on thier respective warships. Keep an eye out for it :Smile_honoring:

Edited by Jracule

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That's WORCESTER Class, not Worchester.

 

As is Worcester, Massachusetts, where I was born.

 

And the correct, New England pronunciation is Wustaah. :Smile_veryhappy:

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:Smile_honoring: Excellent read. not sure how I missed this when you first posted it :Smile_amazed:

(+1) :Smile_great:

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Alpha Tester
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View Postjausten, on 09 October 2012 - 09:07 PM, said:

That's WORCESTER Class, not Worchester.

As is Worcester, Massachusetts, where I was born.

And the correct, New England pronunciation is Wustaah. :Smile_veryhappy:

My greatest apologies. I had no idea my computer took the liberty to auto-correct for me as I was making this. I'll fix it for you.

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This kind of cruiser was a blend of artillery, destroyer and anti air making it a very vital ship in the sea. Important to it is that the one who commands this ships know when to shoot and not to shoot and when  to turn and not to turn due to its (almost) countless armaments. I agree for a tier 10 but let say how about for tier 8 perhaps....

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