USS Quincy (CA-71)

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USS Quincy (CA-71) underway in the Pacific Ocean 1952-54.jpg
USS Quincy (CA-71) under way, 1952–1954
US flag 48 stars.svgUnited States
Namesake: USS Quincy (CA-39)
Ordered: 17 June 1940
Builder: Fore River Shipyard
Laid down: 9 October 1941
Launched: 23 June 1943
Sponsored by: Mrs. Henry S. Morgan
Commissioned: 15 December 1943
Decommissioned: 2 July 1954
Struck: 1 October 1973
Identification: Hull symbol: CA-71
Fate: Scrapped in 1974
General characteristics
Class and type: Baltimore-class heavy cruiser
Displacement: 13,600 long tons (13,818  t)
Length: 673 ft 5 in (205.26 m)
Beam: 70 ft 10 in (21.59 m)
Draft: 20 ft 6 in (6.25 m)
Speed: 33  kn (61 km/h; 38 mph)
Complement: 1,142 officers and enlisted
Aircraft carried: 4 × OS2U Kingfisher
Aviation facilities:
  • Stern hangar for 4 aircraft(wings folded)
  • 2 × catapults

USS Quincy (CA-71) was a heavy cruiser of the Baltimore-class of the United States Navy. She was the third ship to carry the name.

Heavy cruiser type of cruiser warship

The heavy cruiser was a type of cruiser, a naval warship designed for long range and high speed, armed generally with naval guns of roughly 203 mm (8 inches) in caliber, whose design parameters were dictated by the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the London Naval Treaty of 1930. The heavy cruiser is part of a lineage of ship design from 1915 through the early 1950s, although the term "heavy cruiser" only came into formal use in 1930. The heavy cruiser's immediate precursors were the light cruiser designs of the 1900s and 1910s, rather than the armoured cruisers of before 1905. When the armoured cruiser was supplanted by the battlecruiser, an intermediate ship type between this and the light cruiser was found to be needed—one larger and more powerful than the light cruisers of a potential enemy but not as large and expensive as the battlecruiser so as to be built in sufficient numbers to protect merchant ships and serve in a number of combat theaters.

United States Navy Naval warfare branch of US Armed Forces

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. It has the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 336,978 personnel on active duty and 101,583 in the Ready Reserve, the U.S. Navy is the third largest of the U.S. military service branches in terms of personnel. It has 290 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of June 2019, making it the third-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force and the United States Army.

Three United States Navy ships have been named USS Quincy, after the city of Quincy, Massachusetts.



The third Quincy was authorized on 17 June 1940, and laid down at the Fore River Shipyard of the Bethlehem Steel Company, Quincy, Massachusetts as St. Paul on 9 October 1941. Renamed Quincy on 16 October 1942, to perpetuate that name, after the destruction of the second Quincy (CA-39) at the Battle of Savo Island on 9 August 1942. She was launched on 23 June 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Catherine Adams-Morgan, wife of Henry S. Morgan, daughter of Charles Francis Adams, and sponsor of the previous Quincy. She was commissioned at the U.S. Naval Drydock, South Boston, Massachusetts, on 15 December 1943, with Captain Elliot M. Senn in command.

Fore River Shipyard shipyard

Fore River Shipyard was a shipyard owned by General Dynamics Corporation located on Weymouth Fore River in Braintree and Quincy, Massachusetts. It began operations in 1883 in Braintree, and moved to its final location on Quincy Point in 1901. In 1913, it was purchased by Bethlehem Steel, and later transferred to Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation. It was sold to General Dynamics in 1963, and closed in 1986. During its operation, yardworkers constructed hundreds of ships, for both military and civilian clients.

Quincy, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Quincy is the largest city in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. It is part of Metropolitan Boston and one of Boston's immediate southern suburbs. Its population in 2010 was 92,271, making it the eighth-largest city in the state. Known as the "City of Presidents," Quincy is the birthplace of two U.S. presidents—John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams—as well as John Hancock, a President of the Continental Congress and the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, as well as being the 1st and 3rd Governor of Massachusetts.

USS <i>Quincy</i> (CA-39) United States Navy New Orleans-class cruiser

USS Quincy (CA-39) was a United States Navy New Orleans-class cruiser, sunk at the Battle of Savo Island in 1942.

Service history

World War II

After a shakedown cruise in the Gulf of Paria, between Trinidad and Venezuela, the new heavy cruiser was assigned, 27 March 1944, to Task Force 22 and trained in Casco Bay, Maine, until she steamed to Belfast, Northern Ireland, with TG 27.10, arriving 14 May and reporting to Commander, 12th Fleet for duty. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, accompanied by Rear Admiral Alan G. Kirk, inspected the ship's company in Belfast Lough 15 May 1944.

USS Quincy sailed out of Belfast Lough, 20 May, for the Clyde and anchored off Greenock, Scotland, to begin special training in shore bombardment. She then returned to Belfast Lough, and began final preparations for the invasion of Europe. Her float plane artillery observer pilots were temporarily assigned to VOS-7 flying Spitfires from RNAS Lee-on-Solent (HMS Daedalus). [1] At 0537, 6 June 1944, she engaged shore batteries from her station on the right flank of Utah Beach, Baie de la Seine.

Artillery observer military role for observing artillery strikes and directing them to their targets

A military artillery observer,spotter or FO is responsible for directing artillery and mortar fire onto a target and may be a Forward Air Controller (FAC) for close air support and spotter for naval gunfire support. Also known as Fire Support Specialist or FISTer, an artillery observer usually accompanies a tank or infantry manoeuvre unit. Spotters ensure that indirect fire hits targets which the troops at the fire support base cannot see.


Observation Squadron 7 (VOS-7) was a United States Navy artillery observer aircraft squadron based in England during Operation Overlord. The squadron was assembled expressly to provide aerial spotting for naval gunfire support during the invasion of Normandy. Personnel and aircraft were assembled on 1 June 1944 and began flying missions on 6 June 1944. The squadron was disbanded when Allied capture of the town of Cherbourg ended naval bombardment responsibilities on 26 June 1944. It is thought to be one of the shortest-lived squadrons in the history of United States military aviation.

RNAS Lee-on-Solent (HMS <i>Daedalus</i>) airport in the United Kingdom

Royal Naval Air Station Lee-on-Solent was one of the primary shore airfields of the Fleet Air Arm. First established as a seaplane base in 1917 during the First World War, it later became the main training establishment and administrative centre of the Fleet Air Arm. Situated near Lee-on-the-Solent in Hampshire, approximately four miles west of Portsmouth on the coast of the Solent at grid reference SU560019, the establishment has now been closed down. The airfield hosts the Solent Enterprise Zone.

During the period 6 through 17 June, in conjunction with shore fire control parties and aircraft spotters, Quincy conducted highly accurate pinpoint firing against enemy mobile batteries and concentrations of tanks, trucks, and troops. She also neutralized and destroyed heavy, long range enemy batteries, supported minesweepers operating under enemy fire, engaged enemy batteries that were firing on the crews of the ships USS Corry (DD-463) and Glennon (DD-620) during their efforts to abandon their ships after they had struck mines and participated in the reduction of the town of Quineville on 12 June.

USS <i>Corry</i> (DD-463) Gleaves-class destroyer

USS Corry (DD-463), a Gleaves-class destroyer,, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for Lieutenant Commander William M. Corry, Jr., an officer in the Navy during World War I and a recipient of the Medal of Honor.

USS <i>Glennon</i> (DD-620)

USS Glennon (DD-620) was a Gleaves-class destroyer, the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for Rear Admiral James H. Glennon, who was a recipient of the Navy Cross.

Quinéville Commune in Normandy, France

Quinéville is a commune in the Manche department in north-western France.

Quincy steamed to Portland, England, 21 June, and joined TF 129. She departed Portland, 24 June, for Cherbourg, France. The bombardment of the batteries surrounding the city commenced in conjunction with the Army's assault at 1207. Nineteen of the twenty-one primary targets assigned the task force were successfully neutralized or destroyed thus enabling Army troops to occupy the city on 26 June.

Bombardment of Cherbourg

The bombardment of Cherbourg took place on June 25, 1944, during World War II, when ships from the United States Navy and the British Royal Navy attacked German fortifications in and near the city, firing in support of U.S. Army units that were engaged in the Battle of Cherbourg. In doing so, the Allied naval forces engaged in a series of duels with coastal batteries and provided close support to infantry as they fought to gain control of the city. The bombardment was initially scheduled to last just two hours but it was later extended by an hour to support army units attempting to breaking into Cherbourg's city streets. After the bombardment, German resistance lasted until June 29, when the port was eventually captured by the Allies. Afterwards, the task of clearing the port for use lasted several weeks.

The heavy cruiser sailed for Mers-el Kebir, North Africa, on 4 July, arriving there 10 July. She proceeded to Palermo, Sicily, 16 July, arriving two days later. Quincy, based at Palermo through 26 July, conducted shore bombardment practice at Camarota in the Gulf of Policastro. She then steamed to Malta via the Straits of Messina. Between 27 July and 13 August, the cruiser participated in training exercises at Malta and Camarota, Italy.

On the afternoon of 13 August, in company with four British cruisers, one French cruiser, and four American destroyers, Quincy departed Malta for the landings on the southern coast of France, arriving Baie de Cavalaire 15 August. For three days the group provided fire support on the left flank of the U.S. 7th Army. Quincy transferred 19 August to TG 86.4, and until the 24th, engaged the heavy batteries at Toulon, St. Mandrier, and Cape Sicie. She steamed westward the afternoon of 24 August to support minesweepers clearing the channel to Port de Bouc in the Marseilles area.

Operation Dragoon Allied invasion of southern France on 15 August 1944

Operation Dragoon was the code name for the Allied invasion of Southern France on 15 August 1944. The operation was initially planned to be executed in conjunction with Operation Overlord, the Allied landing in Normandy, but the lack of available resources led to a cancellation of the second landing. By July 1944 the landing was reconsidered, as the clogged-up ports in Normandy did not have the capacity to adequately supply the Allied forces. Concurrently, the French High Command pushed for a revival of the operation that would include large numbers of French troops. As a result, the operation was finally approved in July to be executed in August.

USS Quincy was detached from European duty on 1 September, and steamed for Boston, arriving one week later. She remained at Boston for the installation of new equipment through 31 October, when she got underway for training in Casco Bay. After fitting out at Boston for a Presidential cruise, Quincy steamed for Hampton Roads, Virginia, 16 November.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his party embarked on Quincy on 23 January 1945, at Newport News, Virginia, for passage to Malta, arriving 2 February. After receiving calls by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and other dignitaries, President Roosevelt departed Quincy and continued on to the Crimea by air to attend the Yalta Conference.

The Quincy Agreement

President Roosevelt with Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia and William Leahy aboard Quincy Franklin D. Roosevelt with King Ibn Saud aboard USS Quincy (CA-71), 14 February 1945 (USA-C-545).jpg
President Roosevelt with Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia and William Leahy aboard Quincy

USS Quincy departed Malta 6 February 1945, and arrived at the Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal two days later, after calling at Ismalia, Egypt. The President and his party returned to the Quincy on 12 February, following the Yalta Conference with Soviet leader Josef Stalin and Churchill, and the next day received King Farouk of Egypt and Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia.

From 14 February, President Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, known in the West as Ibn Saud, met aboard Quincy. During the meeting, President Roosevelt tried to persuade Ibn Saud to give support for Jewish immigration to Palestine, and hoped that Ibn Saud might be able to offer constructive advice on the Palestine issue. There, Roosevelt and Saud concluded a secret agreement in which the U.S. would provide Saudi Arabia military security – military assistance, training and a military base at Dhahran in Saudi Arabia – in exchange for secure access to supplies of oil. [2]

After a call at Alexandria, and a final meeting between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, Quincy steamed for Algiers, arriving on 18 February. Following a presidential conference with the American ambassadors to Great Britain, France and Italy, the cruiser steamed for the United States, arriving Newport News, 27 February.

Remainder of Wartime Career

USS Quincy sailed out of Hampton Roads 5 March 1945, arriving Pearl Harbor 20 March. After training in the Pearl Harbor area, she steamed for Ulithi via Eniwetok, joining the 5th Fleet there 11 April. Two days later, she departed Ulithi and joined Rear Admiral Wiltse's Cruiser Division 10, in Vice Admiral Mitscher's Fast Carrier Task Force. From 16 April, Quincy supported the carriers in their strikes on Okinawa, Amami Gunto, and Minami Daito Shima. She returned to Ulithi with units of the task force 30 April.

In company with units of TF 58, Quincy departed Ulithi 9 May, for the area east of Kyushu, Japan, arriving 12 May for carrier strikes against Amami Gunto and Kyushu. Before dawn on 14 May, the cruiser splashed a Japanese plane. Her own aircraft strafed targets in Omonawa on Tokune Shima 19 May. Quincy continued to support carrier aircraft strikes against Okinawa, Tokuno Shima, Kikai Jima, Amami Gunto, and Asumi Gunto until the force returned to base 13 June. En route, Quincy safely rode out the severe typhoon of 5 June.

During the period of replenishment and upkeep at Leyte in the Philippines, Rear Admiral Wiltse, ComCruDiv 10 transferred to Quincy. The cruiser departed Leyte 1 July with Task Force 38 to begin a period of strikes at Japan's home islands which lasted until the termination of hostilities on V-J Day. She supported carriers in strikes in the Tokyo Plains area, Honshu, Hokkaido, and Shikoku.

Quincy joined the Support Force, 23 August, and four days later, helped occupy Sagami Wan, Japan, and entered Tokyo Bay 1 September.

Rear Admiral Wiltse transferred his flag 17 September to Vicksburg (CL-86), and 20 September, Quincy joined the 5th Fleet as a unit of the Eastern Japan Force, TF 53, basing in Tokyo Bay.

Korean War

Quincy was decommissioned on 19 October 1946, in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington. She was assigned to the Bremerton Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet until 31 January 1952, when she recommissioned to serve in the 7th Fleet in support of United Nations Forces in Korea. Following fitting out and readiness training, she served in the screen of the Fast Carrier Task groups ranging off the coastline of Korea from 25 July 1953 to 1 December 1953. She again decommissioned 2 July 1954, at Bremerton.


Quincy sat in the reserve fleet at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard until she was stricken on 1 October 1973. She was the only one of her class to retain her Bofors 40 mm gun mounts instead of receiving the newer 3/50 mounts. Of the Baltimore class she had the second shortest active career (Fall River was in service just 2 1/2 years), and only was in active service for 5 1/2 years. She was sold to American Ship Dismantling Co., Portland Oregon on 1 September 1974 for $1,156,667.66.

Awards and other recognition


In honor of the meeting between Saudi's King Abdul Aziz and Franklin D. Roosevelt aboard Quincy, the official residence of the American ambassador to Saudi Arabia is named Quincy House, and is located on the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh. In 1995, to commemorate 50 years since the meeting occurred, then-U.S. Ambassador Ray Mabus unveiled a detailed model of the meeting on Quincy, paid for with private donations, and this model is still on display today at Quincy House. [3]

Quincy's ship bell has been preserved, and is on display at Constitution Common in Quincy, Massachusetts.

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This article includes information collected from the public domain sources Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships and Naval Vessel Register .

  1. Mersky, Peter (1986). "Naval Aviators in Spitfires". Proceedings . United States Naval Institute. 112 (12): 105&106.
  2. Letter From President Roosevelt to King Ibn Saud, April 5, 1945, Crethi Plethi.
  3. Interview with Ambassador Bob Jordan, 2002