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USS Columbus
CA-74 & CG-12

USS Columbus

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Significant Date Information:
Built by Bethlehem Steel Co. Quincy, Mass.
Launched as USS Columbus CA-74 on November 30, 1944
Commissioned as CA-74 on June 8, 1945
Decommissioned in March of 1959
Modernized March 1959 to November 1962
Recommissioned as CG-12 on December 1, 1962
Decommissioned on Jan 31, 1975
Stricken on Aug 9, 1976
Sold on October 3, 1977 and broken up

Ships Specifications as CA-74:
Displacement 13,600 Tons
Length - 674 feet 11 inches
Width - 70 feet 10 inches
Draft - 26 feet 10 inches
Complement - 1,902


Ship Specifications as CG-12:
Displacement 18,070 Tons
Length - 674 feet 11 inches
Width - 70 feet 10 inches
Draft - 26 feet
Height (keel to highest antenna) - 211 feet 6 inches
Height (water to highest antenna) - 190 feet
Complement - 1,000 to 1,200

Armament as CG-12 :
2 Talos Systems Launchers (Fore and Aft with 2 rails on each System)
2 Tartar Systems Launchers (Port and Starboard with 2 launchers on each System)
1 ASROC Systems (8-tube launcher)
2 Triple Torpedo Tubes
2 Five Inch 38 Caliber Guns

Talos Systems 1 & 2 were Forward, with 1 Talos Missile launcher (forward). Talos Systems 7 & 8 were Aft, with 1 Talos Missile launcher (aft).
Tartar Systems 3 & 5 were Starboard with the Starboard MK 11 Tartar Launcher (starboard).
Tartar Systems 4 & 6 were Port with Port MK 11 Tartar Launcher (portside).
Talos Systems 1,2,7, & 8 could use either the Forward or Aft Talos launchers.
Tartar 3 & 5 could only use the Starboard launcher & Tartar 4 & 6 could only use the Port launcher.

Ship on a Line

The USS Columbus  CG-12 was 190 feet above the water line and was the tallest of the three Albany Class guided missile cruisers, thus earning her the nickname "The Tall Lady". She was 211' 6" from keel to the top of the mast on the forward "mack" which actually made her slightly taller than the Coral Sea class aircraft carrier.

All three of the Albany Class guided missile cruisers were converted from heavy cruisers, the USS Columbus being converted from a Baltimore Class Heavy Cruiser. The USS Chicago was also converted from a Baltimore Class CA heavy cruiser and the USS Albany was converted from an Oregon City Class CA heavy cruiser. These were the first ships given the "CG" hull number designations. The USS Columbus was one of these first US Navy's ships to be classified as a "true" guided missile class cruiser.

The USS Albany CA-123 was the first to be converted to an Albany Class guided missile cruiser with the hull number of CG-10 at the Boston Navy Yard. It was recommissioned on March 11, 1962.
The USS Columbus was converted at the Puget Sound Navy Shipyard from CA-74. It was actually the second of the three sister ships to be recommissioned and was on December 1, 1962.
The USS Chicago was converted at the San Francisco Navy Yard from CA-136 to CG-11. It was recommissioned on May 2, 1964.

There were to be two more Albany Class guided missile cruisers. One was to be converted from the USS Rochester CA-124 and to be CG-13. The other one was to be converted from the USS Bremerton CA-130 and it was to be CG-14. However, they were never converted. There was to be no CG-15 to allow for reclassification to the Leahy class guided missile cruiser.

The USS Columbus was converted at the Puget Sound Ship Yard in Bremerton, Washington. It was the first of the three Albany Class guided missile cruisers to be decommissioned. It was decommissioned on Jan 31, 1975, then stricken on Aug 9, 1976, sold on October 3, 1977 and broken up.


Once you knew the silhouette of these ships they could be recognized quickly. The distinct silhouette was in part due to the "macks" (mast and stacks combined) and their tall superstructure. One of the Albany Class cruisers is in an aerial view photograph of the Elizabeth River published in the National Geographic. The photograph can be seen in the July 1985 issue on pages 88 and 89. The article is entitled "Hampton Roads, Where the Rivers End" by William S. Ellis, National Geographic Senior Writer. The photographs are by Karen Kasmauski. It is probably the USS Albany because of the publishing date. The USS Columbus CG-12 would probably have been broken up by this time.
The "macks" stand out plainly from the ships and surrounding area seen in the picture.


"Click" on the images

Ships Crew Pictures
Slides and Pictures
from the crew.

Log Book
Sign or View the
Log Book
USS Columbus Publications
USS Columbus
Commanding Officer Letters
Other Publications
Newspaper Clips
Extra, Extra Read All About it
USS Columbus Newspaper Clips

USS Columbus Covers
USS Columbus Covers
Plank Owners Certificates
a CA-74 Matchbook Cover ?!?!?
USS Columbus CG-12
Ship's Plaque
Emblem History
Artifacts from the USS Columbus
Columbus Ohio Photos
"The Remaining Pieces"
of CA-74 & CG-12
as seen in Columbus, Ohio in 1999
USS Columbus SSN-764 Items
Sea Stories
USS Columbus Sea Stories

Chain Links
Links and
Other Information

Note: The Ships' Emblem and USS Columbus CG-12 small ship drawing on the "Opening Page" were taken from
Ships' Stationary and Envelope.
Here is another Letterhead print used on Ships' Sationary.

Here is a Letterhead print used on Ships' Sationary from Paul Payne.

Anchor     "NEWS"

USS Columbus CA-74 Ball Team

The USS Columbus CA-74 Ball Team

Contributed by John Gala

Freedom is not Free Served Proudly US Navy

Feather on a Line

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