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USS Canberra CA-70
(CA-70: dp. 13,600; 1. 673'5", h 70'10", dr. 20'6"; B.
33 k.; cpl. 1,142; a. 9 8", 12 5"; cl Baltimore)
Canberra (CA-70) was launched 19 April 1943 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass.; sponsored by Lady Alice C. Dixon; and commissioned 14 October 1943, Captain A. R. Early in command.
Canberra departed Boston 14 January 1944 and sailed via San Diego to embark passengers for Pearl Harbor, arriving 1 February. She rendezvoused with TF 68 on 14 February and took part in the capture of Eniwetok. The cruiser steamed from her base at Majuro to join the Yorktown (CV-10) task group for the raids on the Palaus, Yap, Ulithi, and Woleai (.30 March-l April), then got underway from the same base 13 Apr&Mac245;l for air strikes against Hollandia and Wakde in support of the Army landings on New Guinea. Canberra joined with the Enterprise (CV-6) task group for fighter sweeps against Truk, then bombarded Satawan, rejoining the carriers for further strikes on Truk (29 April-1 May).
After a raid against Marcus and Wake Islands in May 1944, Canberra sailed from Majuro 6 June to participate in the Marianas operation, including the farflung Battle of the Philippine Sea, and the supporting air strikes and bombardment to neutralize bases in the Bonins. Following replenishment at Eniwetok, Canberra sailed 29 August for raids on the Palaus and the Philippines, and to back up the Morotai landings ( 15-16 September).
On 2 October 1944 Canberra sailed in company with TF 38 for air strikes on Okinawa and Formosa in anticipation of the forthcoming landings on Leyte. On 13 October, only 90 miles off Formosa, close to the enemy and far from safe harbor, Canberra was struck below her armor belt at the engineering spaces by an aerial torpedo which blew a huge, jagged hole in her side and killed 23 of her crew instantly. Before damage control could isolate the compartments, some 4,500 tons of water rushed in to flood her after fireroom and both engine rooms, which brought the cruiser to a stop. Then began one of the most notable achievements of the war in saving wounded ships. Canberra was taken in tow by Wichita (CA-45). The task force reformed to provide escort for her and Houston (Cl-81 ) who had been torpedoed on the morning of the 14th. Retiring toward Ulithi, "Cripple Division 1" fought off an enemy air attack which succeeded in firing another torpedo into Houston. Admiral Halsey (CTF 38) attempted to use the group, now nicknamed "Bait Division 1," to lure the Japanese fleet into the open, but when the enemy sortied from the Inland Sea, air attacks from the rest of TF 38 roused enemy suspicions of the trap, and the Japanese force withdrew. Canberra and her group continued unmolested to Ulithi, arriving 27 October, 2 weeks from the Jay she was hit. The cruiser was towed to Manus for temporary repairs, thence departed for permanent repairs at Boston Navy Yard (16 February-17 October l945). Canberra returned to the west coast late in 1945 and was placed out of commission in reserve at Bremerton, Wash., 7 March 1947.
Reclassified CAG-2, 4 January 1952, Canberra was towed from Bremerton to New York Shipbuilding Corp. Camden, N.J., where she was converted to a guided missile heavy cruiser. Her after 8" turret was replaced by terrier antiaircraft missile launchers and she was otherwise modernized. Canberra was recommissioned 15 June 1956, part of the sweeping revolution that is increasing the United States' seapower for peace. Local operations from her home port of Norfolk and Caribbean exercises were conducted until 14 March 1967 when she carried President Dwight D. Eisenhower to Bermuda for a conference with Prime Minister Harold MacMillan of Great Britain. On 12 June she served as a reviewing ship for the International Naval Review in Hampton Roads, with Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson embarked. After a midshipman training cruise to,the Caribbean and Brazil (13 June-5 August), she departed Norfolk 3 September to participate in NATO Operation "Strikeback," sailing on to the Mediterranean for duty with the 6th Fleet before returning home 9 March 1958.
In the spring of 1958 Canberra was designated as ceremonial flagship for the selection of the unknown servicemen of World War II and Korea to be buried with honor at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. The cruiser rendezvoused off the Virginia Capes 26 May with Blandy (DD-943) carrying the Unknown of the European Theater, and Boston (CAG-1) carrying the unknowns of the Pacific Theater and the Korean War. After Blandy had transferred her Unknown to Boston, all three caskets were highlined to Canberra, where the selection between the two Unknowns of World War II was made. The selected casket along with the Korean Unknown was returned to Blandy for transportation to Washington, D.C., and the unselected Unknown was buried at sea with military honors by Canberra
Canberra carried midshipmen on a training cruise to Europe (9 June 7 August 1958), then after a brief visit to New York, entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard for overhaul.
Departing from the normal operating schedule, Canberra sailed from Norfolk on 3 March 1960 on good-will cruise around the globe, flying the flag of Rear Admiral J. McN. Taylor, Commander of the Atlantic Fleet Cruiser Force and Cruiser Division 6. On this cruise he took his flagship to the South Pacific, where her namesake had sunk, where she had engaged the enemy in 1944 and where he had served. On this cruise Canberra operated with both the 7th and 6th Fleets as she sailed across the Pacific, through the Indian Ocean, Suez, the Mediterranean, and across the Atlantic. She arrived home in Norfolk on 24 October, For the remainder of the year she operated on the east coast.
Canberra received seven battle stars for World War II servic
Here at LSOZI, we take off every Wednesday to look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1833-1954 period and profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places. – Christopher Eger
Warship Wednesday, April 28, 2021: Kan-do Kangaroo
Official U.S. Navy Photographs NH 98383 and NH 98391, from the Naval History and Heritage Command collections. (Click to big up)
Here we see what a difference 19 years make! The brand-new Baltimore-class heavy cruiser USS Canberra (CA-70) underway in Boston harbor, 14 October 1943, clean and ready for WWII compared to the Boston-class guided-missile cruiser USS Canberra (CAG-2) underway at sea during the Cuban Missile Crisis, 28 October 1962.
When the early shitstorm of 1939 World War II broke out, the U.S. Navy, realized that in the likely coming involvement with Germany in said war– and that country’s huge new 18,000-ton, 8x8inch gunned, 4.1-inches of armor Hipper-class super cruisers– it was outclassed in the big assed heavy cruiser department. When you add to the fire the fact that the Japanese had left all of the Washington and London Naval treaties behind and were building giant Mogami-class vessels (15,000-tons, 3.9-inches of armor), the writing was on the wall.
That’s where the Baltimore class came in.
These 24 envisioned ships of the class looked like an Iowa-class battleship in miniature with three triple turrets, twin stacks, a high central bridge, and two masts– and they were (almost) as powerful. Sheathed in a hefty 6 inches of armor belt (and 3-inches of deck armor), they could take a beating if they had to. They were fast, capable of over 30-knots, which meant they could keep pace with the fast new battlewagons they looked so much like as well as the new fleet carriers that were on the drawing board as well.
While they were more heavily armored than Hipper and Mogami, they also had an extra 8-inch tube, mounting nine new model 8-inch/55 caliber guns whereas the German and Japanese only had 155mm guns (though the Mogamis later picked up 10×8-inchers). A larger suite of AAA guns that included a dozen 5 inch /38 caliber guns in twin mounts and 70+ 40mm and 20mm guns rounded this out.
In short, these ships were deadly to incoming aircraft, could close to the shore as long as there were at least 27 feet of seawater for them to float in and hammer coastal beaches and emplacements for amphibious landings, then take out any enemy surface combatant short of a modern battleship in a one-on-one fight.
Originally laid down on 3 September 1941 by Bethlehem Steel Corp of Quincy, Mass., as the third USS Pittsburgh, the subject of our tale was renamed USS Canberra on 16 October 1942 in honor of the Kent-class heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (D33) of the Royal Australian Navy (while CA-72 would go on to be named Pittsburgh until stricken in 1973).
The move was to pay respect to the cruiser which– struck by two Japanese torpedoes and 20 8-inch salvos of gunfire while fighting alongside American ships and under the tactical command of RADM Richmond K. Turner– was lost at the Battle of Savo Island off the Solomon Islands two months prior and was the first time that a U.S. naval vessel was named for a foreign capital city.
The Australian Minister to Washington, Sir Owen Dixon, somberly presented the American ship with a special plaque to represent its RAN namesake (which had itself been the first to carry the name “Canberra”) and his handsome wife dutifully performed the christening ceremony in 1943.
USS Canberra commissioned on 14 October 1943, CPT Alexander R. Early (USNA 1914) in command. After completing her wartime shakedown in the Caribbean (90 percent of her crew had never been to sea and were fresh “off the farm”) and a yard period in Boston afterward, she was on the way to the Pacific.
USS Canberra (CA-70) underway, circa late 1943. NH 45505
USS Canberra (CA-70) underway in Boston harbor, Massachusetts, 14 October 1943. Note the ship’s two aircraft cranes, stern 40mm quad gun mount offset somewhat to port and arrangement of 8/55, 5/38, and 40mm guns aft and amidships. NH 98386
Her war got real when she escorted the carrier USS Saratoga (CV-3) to plaster the Japanese stronghold at Eniwetok in February 1944 then proceeded to protect the amphibious landings there.
After a pollywog party while crossing into the South Pacific, she worked interchangeably with the legendary USS Enterprise (CV-6) and the newer Essex-class USS Lexington (CV-16) for attacks on the islands of Palau, Truk, and Yap as well as supporting the troop landings at Tanahmerah Bay on New Guinea. Then came more “softening up” raids on Marcus Island, Wake, Guam, and Iwo Jima.
During the Battle of the Philippine Sea, she was one of the units who used searchlights and star shells to guide American carrier air wings back to the fleet from the “Marianas Turkey Shoot.” Afterward, Canberra and her OS2N Kingfisher floatplanes performed extensive lifeguard duties for aircrews of ditched and lost planes, rescuing young aviators who had started the battle on squadrons from Yorktown, Lexington, Wasp, and Belleau Wood but ended it in life rafts.
Then came more work in the Carolines before shifting back to the PI, where she accompanied her carrier task force to Samar, Leyte, Cebu, Negros, and Bohol Islands.
USS Canberra (CA-70) operating with Task Force 38 in the Western Pacific, 10 October 1944, three days before she was torpedoed off Formosa. Her camouflage is Design 18a in the Measure 31-32-33 series. 80-G-284472
It was while on station roughly equidistant from Okinawa, Formosa, and Northern Luzon– within easy flight range of all three, on Friday the 13th, October 1944, her crew spied a late afternoon/early evening attack at approximately 1833 by a group of Japanese torpedo bombers. Although her AAA crews splashed three of the incoming planes, one was able to drop a fish that contacted our cruiser.
Damage chart from her torpedo strike. Much larger version here.
Believed to be a Type 91, Mod. 3 torpedo, it hit below her armor belt at the engineering spaces and blew a jagged hole in her side, killing 23 men outright. Due to the location of the wound, a whopping 4,500 tons of water flooded her after fireroom and both engine rooms, leaving the cruiser dead in the water. (Read the extensive damage report, here)
Saved by heroic DC efforts, Canberra, along with the likewise torpedoed light cruiser USS Houston (CL-81), was towed to safety over the next several days under a CAP flown by the aircraft of the carriers Cabot and Cowpens. Nonetheless, during the initial retirement to Ulithi, the crippled cruisers were subjected to repeated Japanese air attacks, with Houston suffering another torpedo hit before it was over.
USS Canberra (CA-70) under tow toward Ulithi Atoll after she was torpedoed while operating off Okinawa. USS Houston (CL-81), also torpedoed and under tow, is in the right background. Canberra was hit amidships on 13 October 1944. Houston was torpedoed twice, amidships on 14 October and aft on 16 October. The tugs may be USS Munsee (ATF-107), which towed Canberra, and USS Pawnee (ATF-74). NH 98343
USS Canberra dry-dock ABSD-2 at Manus after the Japanese torpedo attack.
In the end, Canberra would remain under repair in forward bases then at Boston Naval Yard until after VJ Day. Ordered back to the post-war Pacific Fleet, a refreshed Canberra arrived at San Francisco on 9 January 1946 then was placed out of commission at Bremerton on 7 March 1947 and mothballed.
She earned seven battle stars for her WWII service. Captain Early, her wartime skipper, would earn a Naval Cross and retire as a rear admiral in 1949, a veteran of both world wars in big-gunned ships.
USS Canberra (CA-70), a chart of the ship’s operations in the Pacific Ocean with the Fifth and Third Fleet, from 14 February to 19 November 1944. Drawn by Quartermaster J.L. Whitmeyer, USNR. NH 78680
The Missile Age
The Baltimore class cost Uncle Sam an estimated $39.3 million per hull in 1940s War Bond-backed dollars. It made sense in the 1950s to try and get some more use out of these all-gun cruisers in an increasingly Atomic world. With that, Canberra and her sister ship USS Boston (CA-69) were tapped in 1951 to become the U.S. Navy’s first guided-missile warships in fleet service, dubbed CAG-1 (Boston) and CAG-2, respectively.
The conversion radically changed the aft of the vessels, deleting their 143-ton No. 3 8-inch turret and after twin 5-inch DP mount. Also stripped off were all the 40mm and 20mm AAA guns, replaced by six (later reduced to four) of the new 3″/50 twin Mk. 22s. Also deleted were the seaplane provisions and accompanying hangar, catapults, and crane.
Aerial photographs of USS Canberra in 1943, top, and 1967, bottom. Note her helicopter platform, angled to the starboard to provide for boat storage space. Immediate CAG sistership Boston did not have such an arrangement.
The superstructure was modified with their twin funnel arrangement morphed into a single stack and their pole mast replaced with radar mast topped with a powerful air search radar.
Two giant Terrier missile systems–capable of firing two missiles every 30 seconds– were installed over the stern along with two giant AN/SPQ5 radar directors for them. Below deck, a massive rotating magazine/workroom, capable of holding 144 missiles, was created. Keep in mind that the VLS-equipped Ticonderoga-class cruisers of today only have 122 cells.
USS Canberra (CAG-2) fires a Terrier guided missile during First Fleet demonstrations for Secretary of the Navy Paul H. Nitze, off the U.S. West Coast in December 1963. KN-8743
USS Canberra fires a Terrier guided missile, February 1957. Photo NH 98398
Official period caption: “Super radars (AN/SPQ5) for guidance on terrier missiles installed onboard USS Canberra (CAG-2). The radars have massive, turret-like antennae and resemble giant searchlights. Developed for the U.S. Navy by the Sperry Gyroscope Company, the long-range, high-altitude missile guidance systems are a part of the U.S. Navy’s program directed toward the fleet with highly reliable missiles to combat supersonic jet aircraft. The super radar is giving an exceptionally high performance for tenacious stable guidance of supersonic missiles whether fired singly or in salvoes at individual or multiple enemy attackers. The systems combine many automatic radar functions in each unit and either system can control the missiles from a single launcher or battery, which fires the terrier missile or both radars can track different target groups simultaneously. It also includes flexible modes of scanning the air space many miles beyond the horizon, providing the advantage of early warning. Thus, individual targets can be selected from close flying groups and tracked with great distances while the missiles are launched and guided with extreme accuracy.” USN Photograph 670326 released May 3, 1957.
The two-stage missile weighed 1.5 tons and was 27 feet long over the booster but had a speed of Mach 3 and a range of over 17 miles. Besides the 218-pound warhead, it could carry a W45 tactical nuke in the 1KT range. Not bad for just a decade off WWII.
Seen here aboard the USS Providence (CLG-6) in 1962.
The conversions cost $15 million per hull or about half their original cost. Canberra was re-commissioned on 15 June 1956 at Philadelphia and looked quite different from when she was last with the fleet.
USS CANBERRA (CAG-2) entering Hampton Roads, Virginia, 1950s. K-20598.
The Kangaroo opened her pouch for the brass as needed, hosting Ike for his 1957 Bermuda conference with British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower with his Naval Aide, Captain Evan P. Aurand, USN, onboard a launch taking them to USS Canberra (CAG-2), 12 March 1957. NH 68550
USS Canberra CAG-2 carrying President Eisenhower on a trip to Bermuda – March 1957 LIFE Magazine – Hank Walker Photographer
President Dwight D. Eisenhower practicing his golf game, while onboard USS Canberra (CAG 2) en route to Bermuda for a conference, 14 March 1957. The driving target and protective netting have been rigged on the main deck, just to starboard the ship’s Number Two eight-inch gun turret. NH 68555.
After a mid-cruise in the Caribbean and an extended deployment to the Mediterranean, she served as the ceremonial flagship for the selection of the Unknown Serviceman of World War II and Korea in 1958.
USS Boston sailors render honors as the casket is transferred to USS Canberra prior to ceremonies on board Canberra to select the Unknown Serviceman of World War II. Virginia Capes on 26 May 1958. NH 54117
Hospitalman William R. Charette selects the Unknown Serviceman of World War II, during ceremonies on board USS Canberra, 26 May 1958
Then came another mid cruise, and stints in the Med, where she was often used as a flagship. A 1960 circumnavigation saw her visit her “home” in Australia for the first time and the next year she was on the line off Cuba, where she hosted RADM John W. Ailes, head of the blockade err quarantine task force.
A beautiful Kodachrome of USS Canberra (CAG-2) underway on 9 January 1961. KN-1526
Then came her second shooting war, and she did lots of shooting.
Off Vietnam in February 1965 screening carriers of TF77, Canberra became the first U.S. Navy vessel to relay an operational message via communication satellite via the Syncom 3 system and prototype Hughes Aircraft terminals to reach the Naval Communications Station in Honolulu, 4,000 miles away. She followed it up with a confirmed xmit to USS Midway (CVA-43), which at the time was some 6,000 miles away.
By March 1965, she shifted away from Yankee Station to take up a spot on the evolving gun line just off the coast of Vietnam during Operation Market Time. This included proving overwatch for air raids into the country and Sea Dragon naval gunfire support, a mission the Navy had thought for sure was dead.
As noted by DANFS, “While supporting these operations Canberra carried out six fire support missions making her the first U.S. Navy cruiser to use her guns in warfare since the Korean War.”
In this role, the old WWII bruiser and others of her kind and vintage found steady employment. Between February 1965 and December 1968, Canberra shipped out for Vietnam’s littoral waters on five deployments, with her guns heavily in demand.
Off the coast of North Vietnam, the eight-inch guns of the USS CANBERRA (CAG-2) frame the “Terrier” missile launchers of the USS LONG BEACH (CGN-9). Photographed by Chief Journalist R.D. Moeser, USN. USN 1121640
USS Canberra (CAG-2) Eight-inch guns of Turret # 2 firing, during a Vietnam War gunfire support mission, March 1967. Note the two outgoing projectiles in the upper right corner. Photographed by Chief Journalist R.D. Moeser, USN. USN 1142159
USS Canberra (CAG-2) crewmen sponge out an 8/55 gun of Turret # 2, following Vietnam War bombardment operations, March 1967. USN 1122618
USS Canberra (CAG-2): A ball of fire lights up USS Canberra (CAG-2) as a three-gun salvo is fired toward North Vietnamese targets, March 1967. Accession #: L45-42
The POW Savant
One of Canberra’s bluejackets had the misfortune of falling into the hands of the North Vietnamese through a freak accident and became a POW in the Hanoi Hilton.
Seaman Apprentice Douglas Hegdahl spent two years in a hell hole but was released earlier than a lot of other prisoners– as he wasn’t seen as being much of a threat and was one of the few conscripts in NVA hands–and carried irreplaceable intel back home. You see, as an EM in a prison camp full of 256 officers, he was given nearly free rein of the place and could interact with the other Americans. As such he (amazingly) memorized their names, capture dates, method of capture, and personal information despite feigning illiteracy during his captivity.
Petty Officer Second Class Douglas Hegdahl was quiet and self-effacing. Unlike most American prisoners, who had been shot from the sky, he had been rescued from the sea. Serving aboard the USS Canberra, he had disobeyed orders and crept up on deck to watch a night bombardment. As he stepped past a five-inch gun, it discharged. He lost his footing and fell into the Gulf of Tonkin. The warship steamed away into the darkness.
Vietnamese fishermen picked him up and turned him over to the authorities, who thought him so clueless that his North Vietnamese guards called him “the incredibly stupid one.” But once released, he turned out to be a gold mine of information. To the tune of “Old McDonald Had a Farm,” he had memorized the names of more than two hundred prisoners. Thanks to him, scores of American families would find out for the first time that their sons and husbands and fathers were still alive. Within a few days of the press conference, Hanoi’s treatment of the prisoners began to improve— “a lot less brutality,” one captive remembered, “and larger bowls of rice.”
From Piloten im Pyjama, an East German propaganda film shot in the glorious Democratic Republic of Vietnam:
“Douglas Brent Hegdahl maintaining the cleanliness of the camp. Hegdahl is the only American draftee in custody in the DRV. The sailor fell overboard from a warship where he was serving as a draftee and was fished out of the water a short time later by Vietnamese fishermen. Now Hegdahl is sharing the life of the captured air pirates.”
By July 1969, Canberra had been redesignated as an all-gun cruiser, picking up her old hull number (CA-70) and her Terrier missile systems and related equipment were removed. Although she was found to still be in good condition, she was instead pulled from service as part of a big pull down by the Navy to liquidate older vessels.
On 2 February 1970, Canberra was decommissioned at San Francisco, was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 31 July 1978, and sold for scrap two years later.
Doug Hegdahl is still alive, aged 74. He left the Navy in the 1970s after working as a SERE instructor, a job he had particular knowledge.
One of the USS Canberra’s screws was saved and is on display at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum in San Pedro.
Her ship’s bell was presented to the Government and Commonwealth of Australia the day before September 11th to mark the 50th anniversary of the ANZUS Treaty Alliance in a ceremony between President George W. Bush and Australian Prime Minister John Howard. It is now on display at the Australian Maritime Museum in Sydney, where Bush visited the bell in 2007.
White House photo by Tina Hager.
Further, in 2000, a plaque commemorating USS Canberra was installed at the Australian War Memorial.
She is also remembered in maritime art.
Painting of USS Canberra (CAG-2) departing San Diego Bay, in 1963 by artist Wayne Scarpaci titled Silvergate Departure
When it comes to such artwork, a 1928 watercolor of HMAS Canberra, which was presented to USS Canberra and carried aboard until she was decommissioned, is now in the custody of the NHHC.
NH 86171-KN HMAS Canberra (Australian heavy cruiser, 1928) Watercolor by F. Elliott. This painting was received from USS Canberra (CA-70) in 1970.
While the Royal Australian Navy is currently on their third HMAS Canberra, a 28,000-ton LHD, the U.S. Navy is set to soon receive their second. PCS USS Canberra (LCS-30), an Independence-class littoral combat ship, recently took to the water of Mobile Bay and is set to commission in 2023. Her name was announced at a Feb. 2018 meeting between President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Displacement: 14,500 long tons (14,733 t) standard 16,000 tons full load
Length: 673 ft. 5 in
Beam: 70 ft. 10 in
Height: 112 ft. 10 in (mast)
Draft: 26 ft. 10 in
Propulsion: 8 Babcock & Wilcox boilers, four GE geared steam turbines with four screws = 120,000 shp
Speed: 33 knots
Fuel: 2,500 tons
Complement: 61 officers and 1,085 sailors
Armor: Belt Armor: 6 in
Deck: 3 in
Turrets: 3–6 inches
Conning Tower: 8 in
Aircraft: 4 floatplanes (Kingfishers) 2 catapults, one crane over the stern, below deck hangar for two aircraft
9 × 8″/55 (20.3 cm) Marks 12s (3 x 3)
12 × 5″/38 (12.7 cm) Mark 12s (6 x 2)
48 × 40 mm Bofors guns
28 × 20 mm Oerlikon cannons
Displacement: 17,500 full load
Length: 673 ft. 5 in
Beam: 70 ft. 10 in
Height: 112 ft. 10 in (mast)
Draft: 26 ft. 10 in
Propulsion: 8 Babcock & Wilcox boilers, four GE geared steam turbines with four screws = 120,000 shp
Speed: 33 knots
Fuel: 2,500 tons
Complement: 73 officers, 1,200 enlisted
Armor: Belt Armor: 6 in
Deck: 3 in
Turrets: 3–6 inches
Conning Tower: 8 in
Aircraft: Deck space for helicopter
Radar: SPS-43 forward, SPS-30 aft pole mast
6 × 8″/55 (20.3 cm) Marks 12s (2 x 3)
10 × 5″/38 (12.7 cm) Mark 12 (2 x 2)
8 × 3″/50 (7.62 cm) Mark 22 AAAs (4 x 2)
2 x Terrier twin rail SAM launchers (144 missile magazine)
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USS Canberra (LCS-30)
USS Canberra (LCS-30) will be an Independence-class littoral combat ship of the United States Navy.   She will be the second US ship to be named Canberra, after the ship HMAS Canberra which in turn was named after the Australian capital city.  Canberra will be built in Mobile, Alabama by Austal USA.  She was christened on 5 June 2021, with Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator the Honourable Marise Payne, serving as the ship's sponsor. His Excellency the Honourable Arthur Sinodinos, Australian Ambassador to the United States was in attendance at the ceremony on behalf of Australia. 
- Sea Giraffe 3D Surface/Air RADAR
- Bridgemaster-E Navigational RADAR
- AN/KAX-2 EO/IR sensor for GFC
- EDO ES-3601 ESM
- 4× SRBOC rapid bloom chaff launchers
- Mk 110 57 mm gun
- 4× .50 cal (12.7 mm) guns (2 aft, 2 forward) 11 cell missile launcher
- Mission modules
- 2× MH-60R/S Seahawks
- ^ abcd"Canberra (LCS-30)". Naval Vessel Register . Retrieved 28 February 2018 .
- ^ ab
- "Navy to Christen Littoral Combat Ship Canberra". defense.gov. 4 June 2021 . Retrieved 5 June 2021 .
- ^ ab
- Brown, Andrew (24 February 2018). "Donald Trump announces newest US warship to be named after Canberra". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media . Retrieved 28 February 2018 .
- "US Navy to name LCS 30 after Australian WWII cruiser HMAS Canberra". Naval Today. 26 February 2018 . Retrieved 28 February 2018 .
- This article includes information collected from theNaval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.
This article about a specific ship or boat of the United States Armed Forces is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.
USS Canberra (CA-70) (originally Pittsburgh)
USS Canberra (CA-70) was a Baltimore class heavy cruiser that was badly damaged by a Japanese torpedo during the battle off Formosa (12-16 October 1944) but that was towed to safety, a remarkable achievement that also helped to convince the Japanese that they had inflicted heavy damage on the American fleet. She was later converted into a Guided Missile Cruiser (CAG-2) and served in that role until 1970. Canberra received seven battle stars for World War II service.
The Canberra was launched on 19 April 1943 and commissioned on 14 October 1943. She was originally going to be named USS Pittsburgh, but the name was changed to honour HMAS Canberra, an Australian cruiser that was lost at the Battle of Savo Island (9 August 1942).
The Canberra joined Task Force 58 in the Pacific on 14 February 1944, and almost immediately was thrown into the action during the invasion of Eniwetok. She then joined the Yorktown (CV-10) for a raid on the Palau Islands, Yap, Ulithi and Woleai (30 March-1 April). She then joined the Enterprise (CV-6)for an operation to support troops landing on New Guinea. Carrier aircraft hit Hollandia and Wakde then the major Japanese base at Truk. At the same time a force of cruisers, including the Canberra, took part in a surface bombardment of Satawan Island (29 April-1 May 1944).
In May 1944 the Canberra was part of TG58.2 during a raid on Marcus and Wake Islands. In June she joined TG58.1 for the invasion of the Mariana Islands. She was with the task group during the battle of the Philippine Sea.
In August she supported another raid on the Palau Islands and a raid on the Philippines, then in mid-September helped support the invasion of Morotai.
At the start of October the Canberra joined TF 38 for a series of air strikes on Okinawa and Formosa. These were designed to wear down Japanese air power before the upcoming invasion of Leyte Gulf, and were a great success. The Japanese responded to the American raid with a series of massive air strikes (battle off Formosa, 12-16 October 1944). The Japanese lost over 600 aircraft during this battle, but falsely believed that they had achieved a massive success, claiming to have sunk eleven aircraft carriers and two battleships. This affected their conduct of the upcoming Battle of Leyte Gulf, as they believed they had crippled the American fleet.
The Canberra was one of the few American ships to be damaged during the battle off Formosa. On 13 October she was hit by an aerial torpedo that struck below the armour belt. No.4 Fire Room was knocked out by the initial explosion and 23 men were killed. 4,500 tons of water flooded in. The water was able to get through gaps caused by a damaged propeller shaft and flooded a second fire room and both of the turbine rooms. The Canberra lost all engine power.
Although she was only ninety miles from the Japanese bases on Formosa, the Canberra was successful rescued. For two days she was towed by the Wichita (CA-45). The small fleet was joined by the Houston (CL-81), which was torpedoed early on 14 October. The damaged ships and their tugs formed 'cripple division 1', and made slowly towards safety at Luilti. Admiral Halsey hoped to use this division to trick the Japanese fleet into coming into range of his aircraft, but he struck too soon and the Japanese retired. Canberra and her escorts managed to fight off one Japanese air attack, although Houston was hit for a second time.
The damaged cruisers reached Ulithi on 27 October. She was then towed to Manus where temporary repairs were carried out. She was then towed back across the Pacific and around to Boston. Full repairs took from 16 February to 17 October 1945, so by the time the Canberra was ready to return to the fleet the war was over. She was decommissioned on 7 March 1947.
On 4 January 1952 the Canberra was reclassified as CAG-2, in preparation for conversion into a guided missile cruiser, following on from the Boston(CA-69). This was a fairly simple conversion compared to later efforts. The rear 8in turret was removed and two Terrier missile launchers were installed. She was recommissioned in her new configuration on 15 June 1956.
The modified Canberra was selected for a number of high prestige roles. In March 1957 she carried President Eisenhower to Bermuda for a conference with Prime Minister MacMillan. In June she was the reviewing ship for the International Naval Review in Hampton Roads. In the spring of 1958 she was the ceremonial flagship for the flotilla that brought the unknown servicemen from the European and Pacific theatres of the Second World War and the Korean War to Arlington. In 1960 she was the flagship of Rear Admiral J McN Taylor on a goodwill world cruise.
More normal duties saw the Canberra conduct midshipman cruises in the summers of 1957 and 1958.
She served with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean from September 1957 to March 1958. In 1962 she took part in the naval blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
She served five tours of duty off Vietnam, starting in 1965 and ending in 1969. Here her 8in and 5in guns were far more useful than the Terrier missiles. She was hit herself on 2 March 1967, suffering 5 minor casualties. The third tour, in 1968, saw her take part in the Tet Offensive, firing 35,000 rounds during the battle of Hue.
On 1 May 1968, reflecting the out-of-date nature of the Terrier missile, the Canberra was redesignated as CA-80.
The Canberra was decommissioned on 2 February 1970 after the end of her fifth tour of Vietnam, and struck off the Navy List on 31 July 1978.
USS Canberra (CAG 2)
Initially named PITTSBURGH but later renamed CANBERRA, the ship was commissioned as a BALTIMORE - class heavy gun cruiser. Decommissioned in 1947, the CANBERRA was reclassified CAG 2 in January 1952 and subsequently underwent conversion to a guided missile heavy cruise at New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J. Her after 8" turret was replaced by Terrier antiaircraft missile launchers and she was otherwise modernized. CANBERRA was recommissioned on June 15, 1956. Decommissioned on February 2, 1970, and stricken from the Navy list on July 31, 1978, the CANBERRA was sold for scrapping on July 15, 1980.
|General Characteristics:||Awarded: July 1, 1940|
|Keel laid: September 3, 1941|
|Launched: April 19, 1943|
|Commissioned: October 14, 1943|
|Decommissioned: March 7, 1947|
|Recommissioned: June 15, 1956|
|Decommissioned: February 2, 1970|
|Builder: Bethlehem Steel, Quincy, Mass.|
|Propulsion system: geared turbines 120,000 shaft horsepower|
|Length: 673.5 feet (205.3 meters)|
|Beam: 69.9 feet (21.3 meters)|
|Draft: 24.94 feet (7.6 meters)|
|Displacement: approx. 17,500 tons full load|
|Speed: 33 knots|
|Armament: six 8-inch/55 caliber guns in two triple mounts, ten 5-inch/38 caliber guns in five twin mounts, eight 3-inch/50 caliber guns, two Mk-10 Terrier missile launchers|
|Crew: 80 officers and 1650|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS CANBERRA. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
USS CANBERRA Cruise Books:
CANBERRA was launched 19 April 1943 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass. sponsored by Lady Alice C. Dixon and commissioned 14 October 1943, Captain A. R. Early in command.
CANBERRA departed Boston 14 January 1944 and sailed via San Diego to embark passengers for Pearl Harbor, arriving 1 February. She rendezvoused with TF 58 on 14 February and took part in the capture of Eniwetok. The cruiser steamed from her base at Majuro to join the YORKTOWN (CV 10) task group for the raids on the Palaus, Yap, Ulithi, and Woleai (30 March - 1 April), then got underway from the same base 13 April for air strikes against Hollandia and Wakde in support of the Army landings on New Guinea. CANBERRA joined with the ENTERPRISE (CV 6) task group for fighter sweeps against Truk, then bombarded Satawan, rejoining the carriers for further strikes on Truk (29 April - 1 May).
After a raid against Marcus and Wake Islands in May 1944, CANBERRA sailed from Majuro 6 June to participate in the Marianas operation, including the far-flung Battle of the Philippine Sea, and the supporting air strikes and bombardment to neutralize bases in the Bonins. Following replenishment at Eniwetok, CANBERRA sailed 29 August for raids on the Palaus and the Philippines, and to back up the Morotai landings (15 - 16 September).
On 2 October 1944, CANBERRA sailed in company with TF 38 for air strikes on Okinawa and Formosa in anticipation of the forthcoming landings on Leyte. On 13 October, only 90 miles off Formosa, close to the enemy and far from safe harbor, CANBERRA was struck below her armor belt at the engineering spaces by an aerial torpedo which blew a huge, jagged hole in her side and killed 23 of her crew instantly. Before damage control could isolate the compartments, some 4,500 tons of water rushed in to flood her after fireroom and both engine rooms, which brought the cruiser to a stop. Then began one of the most notable achievements of the war in saving wounded ships.
CANBERRA was taken in tow by WICHITA (CA 45). The task force reformed to provide escort for her and HOUSTON (CL 81) who had been torpedoed on the morning of the 14th. Retiring toward Ulithi, "Cripple Division 1" fought off an enemy air attack which succeeded in firing another torpedo into HOUSTON. Admiral Halsey (CTF 38) attempted to use the group, now nicknamed "Bait Division 1," to lure the Japanese fleet into the open, but when the enemy sortied from the Inland Sea, air attacks from the rest of TF 38 roused enemy suspicions of the trap, and the Japanese force withdrew. CANBERRA and her group continued unmolested to Ulithi, arriving 27 October, 2 weeks from the day she was hit. The cruiser was towed to Manus for temporary repairs, thence departed for permanent repairs at Boston Navy Yard (16 February - 17 October 1945). CANBERRA returned to the west coast late in 1945 and was placed out of commission in reserve at Bremerton, Wash., 7 March 1947.
Reclassified CAG 2, 4 January 1952, CANBERRA was towed from Bremerton to New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J., where she was converted to a guided missile heavy cruiser. Her after 8" turret was replaced by Terrier antiaircraft missile launchers and she was otherwise modernized. CANBERRA was recommissioned 15 June 1956, part of the sweeping revolution that is increasing the United States' seapower for peace. Local operations from her home port of Norfolk and Caribbean exercises were conducted until 14 March 1957 when she carried President Dwight D. Eisenhower to Bermuda for a conference with Prime Minister Harold MacMillan of Great Britain. On 12 June, she served as a reviewing ship for the International Naval Review in Hampton Roads, with Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson embarked. After a midshipman training cruise to the Caribbean and Brazil (13 June - 5 August), she departed Norfolk 3 September to participate in NATO Operation "Strikeback," sailing on to the Mediterranean for duty with the 6th Fleet before returning home 9 March 1958.
In the spring of 1958, CANBERRA was designated as ceremonial flagship for the selection of the unknown servicemen of World War II and Korea to be buried with honor at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. The cruiser rendezvoused off the Virginia Capes 26 May with BLANDY (DD 943) carrying the Unknown of the European Theater, and BOSTON (CAG 1) carrying the unknowns of the Pacific Theater and the Korean War. After BLANDY had transferred her Unknown to BOSTON, all three caskets were highlined to CANBERRA, where the selection between the two Unknowns of World War II was made. The selected casket along with the Korean Unknown was returned to BLANDY for transportation to Washington, D.C., and the unselected Unknown was buried at sea with military honors by CANBERRA.
CANBERRA carried midshipmen on a training cruise to Europe (9 June - 7 August 1958), then after a brief visit to New York, entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard for overhaul.
Departing from the normal operating schedule, CANBERRA sailed from Norfolk on 3 March 1960 on a good-will cruise around the globe, flying the flag of Rear Admiral J. McN. Taylor, Commander of the Atlantic Fleet, Cruiser Force and Cruiser Division 6. On this cruise, he took his flagship to the South Pacific, where her namesake had sunk, where she had engaged the enemy in 1944 and where he had served. On this cruise CANBERRA operated with both the 7th and 6th Fleets as she sailed across the Pacific, through the Indian Ocean, Suez, the Mediterranean, and across the Atlantic. She arrived home in Norfolk on 24 October. For the remainder of the year she operated on the east coast.
In October 1963, the CANBERRA transfered to the Pacific Fleet and on 5 January 1965, left San Diego on her first Vietnam War Cruise during which she conducted PIRAZ duty off Da Nang.
CANBERRA's second Vietnam Cruise was conducted February - June 1966. During the cruise, the CANBERRA was also involved in naval gunfire support for ground troops in Vietnam. Back in San Diego 8 June 1966, the CANBERRA left on her third tour of duty off Vietnam 11 October 1966. After a visit to Australia in May, the CANBERRA returned to San Diego 1 June 1967.
CANBERRA's fourth Vietnam deployment took place 5 October 1967 - April 1968. At the end of this cruise, the CANBERRA was again reclassified as CA 70 after her Terrier missile system had previously been retired since it was considered obsolete against modern high performance aircraft.
The cruiser again operated off Vietnam September 1968 - January 1969. The CANBERRA was decommissioned 2 February 1970.
World War II Memorial: Propeller from Heavy Cruiser U.S.S. Canberra CA-70/CAG-2
This exhibit made possible by the following firms and individuals: Propeller donated State of California, Dep't. of Education - pedestal design, Robert Blake - structural engineering, Moffatt & Nichol - pedestal steel from Todd Pacific Shipyards Corp. Pedestal fabricated, machined, assembled, and painted by Southwest Marine, Inc. - Propeller polished by Pacific Marine Propeller - Sealer by International Paint - storage, transportation and services by National Metal & Steel Corp. - site foundation Los Angeles Dep't. of Recreation and Parks - crane, rigging and installing Metropolitan Stevedore Co.
Project Coordinator I. Roy Coats
Asst. Gen'l. Mgr., Pacific Region
Dept. of Recreation and Parks
Joan M. Flores, Councilwoman 15th District
Project Coordinator I Roy Coats
Dedicated 7th December 1986
Erected 1986 by City of Los Angeles.
Topics. This memorial is listed in this topic list: War, World II.
Location. 33° 44.328′ N, 118° 16.735′ W. Marker is in San Pedro, California, in Los Angeles County. Memorial is at the intersection of Sampson Way and Sampson Way, on the right when traveling north on Sampson Way. The Memorial
is on the northwest lawn of the L.A. Maritime Museum - off the sidewalk at the east end of 6th Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 600 Sampson Way, Berth 84, San Pedro CA 90731, San Pedro CA 90731, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Municipal Ferry Building (within shouting distance of this marker) American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker) Anna Lee Fisher - Astronaut (within shouting distance of this marker) American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial Wall of Honor (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line) U.S.S. Los Angeles (about 300 feet away) In Memory of Bloody Thursday (about 400 feet away) Harry Bridges Memorial (about 400 feet away) Fishing Industry Memorial (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Pedro.
Also see . . .
1. USS Canberra CA70 / CAG 2. (Submitted on February 15, 2014, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. HMAS Canberra- D33. (Submitted on February 17, 2014, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
Navy to Christen Littoral Combat Ship CanberraThe crew of USS Mobile (LCS 26), man the ship during the commissioning ceremony of Mobile. The newest Independence-class LCS, the future USS Canberra (LCS 30), will be christened June 5. U.S. NAVY / Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alex Millar
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy will christen its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Canberra (LCS 30), during a 12 p.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, June 5 in Mobile, Alabama, the Defense Department said in a June 4 release.
The Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator the Honourable Marise Payne, serves as the ship’s sponsor. As she is unable to attend, His Excellency the Honourable Arthur Sinodinos, Australian Ambassador to the United States, will deliver the christening ceremony’s principal address. Todd Schafer, acting assistant secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations, and Environment) and Vice Adm. Ricky Williamson, deputy chief of naval operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics (N4) will also provide remarks. In a time-honored Navy tradition, the Australian Ambassador’s wife, Elizabeth Anne Sinodinos, will break a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow on behalf of Foreign Minister Payne.
“Tomorrow we christen the second USS Canberra named for the great capital city of Australia, our stalwart ally and superb naval partner,” said acting secretary of the Navy Thomas Harker. “In so doing we move one step closer to welcoming a new ship to Naval service and transitioning the platform from a mere hull number to a ship with a name and spirit. There is no doubt future Sailors aboard this ship will carry on the same values of honor, courage and commitment upheld by crews from an earlier vessel that bore this name.”
LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. The platform is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.
The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom-variant and the Independence-variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).
LCS 30 is the 15th Independence-variant LCS and 30th in class. It is the second ship named in honor of the city of Canberra. The first USS Canberra (CA 70) was laid down as USS Pittsburgh on Sept. 3, 1941, and renamed Canberra on Oct. 15, 1942. She was named in honor of the Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra, which sank after receiving heavy damage during the Battle of Savo Island.
Awards [ edit | edit source ]
- ↑ Cassells, The Capital Ships, pp. 45, 129
- ↑ Cassells, The Capital Ships, p. 45
- ↑ 3.003.013.023.033.043.053.063.073.083.093.103.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.193.20Canberra, in Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
- ↑ 4.004.014.024.034.044.054.064.074.084.094.10 Clark, The Fighting Canberras, p. 12
- ↑ 5.05.15.25.3Bartholomew & Milwee 2009, p.𧆣.
- ↑ 6.06.16.26.18.104.22.168 Clark, The Fighting Canberras, p. 13
- ↑ Clark, The Fighting Canberras, pp. 12-13
- ↑ 8.08.1 Mellefont, Two ships called Canberra, p. 6
- ↑ Clark, The Fighting Canberras, pp. 13, 15
- ↑ Clark, The Fighting Canberras, p. 15
- ↑ 11.011.1 Mellefont, Two ships called Canberra, p. 7
USS Canberra (CA 70)
USS Canberra was named in honour of the Australian cruiser HMAS Canberra lost in action at Savo Island on 9 August 1942.
Decommissioned 7 March 1947.
Recommissioned as guided missile cruiser on 15 June 1956.
Decommissioned 2 February 1970.
Stricken 31 July 1978.
Sold 31 July 1980 and broken up for scrap.
Commands listed for USS Canberra (CA 70)
Please note that we're still working on this section.
|1||Capt. Alexander Rieman Early, USN||14 Oct 1943||25 Feb 1945|
|2||T/Cdr. Richard Benjamin Levin, USN||25 Feb 1945||17 Jul 1945|
|3||T/Capt. Russell Million Ihrig, USN||17 Jul 1945||18 May 1946|
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1941年9月3日，匹兹堡号在马萨诸塞州昆西的伯利恒钢铁公司福尔河造船厂开工。建造期间，为纪念在萨沃岛战役中表现英勇的皇家澳大利亚海军堪培拉号重巡洋舰，美国总统富兰克林·D·罗斯福希望能以同名来命名美国军舰。匹兹堡号被选中并更名为堪培拉号  。1943年4月19日，堪培拉号在澳大利亚驻美国大使欧文·狄克森的妻子艾丽斯·狄克森夫人的主持下下水，是美国唯一一艘以外国军舰或城市命名的军舰  。1943年10月14日，堪培拉号入役。作为回报，澳大利亚政府将一艘新的部落级驱逐舰命名为巴丹号，以此纪念美军在巴丹战役中的表现。
1944年1月  ，在诺曼·斯科特号驱逐舰的护卫下，堪培拉号离开波士顿，经圣迭戈前往珍珠港，加入第58特遣舰队  。2月底，堪培拉号在埃内韦塔克战役中提供了炮火支援   。3月和4月间，堪培拉号加入约克敦号航空母舰特遣队，并在3月31日至4月1日空袭帕劳群岛、雅浦岛和沃莱艾环礁的行动提供支援  。4月13日，堪培拉号为荷兰迪亚和瓦克德岛的两栖登陆战提供护卫  。4月29日至5月1日，堪培拉号加入企业号航空母舰战斗群对特鲁克群岛的空袭行动，并被单独派遣去轰击位于萨塔万环礁的日军航空基地  。5月，堪培拉号参加了对南鸟岛和威克岛的袭击。6月，又参加了马里亚纳群岛和帕劳群岛战役  。作为这场战役的一部分，堪培拉号还参加了菲律宾海战役并袭击了小笠原群岛上的日军機場  。8月和9月间，堪培拉号参加了对帕劳和菲律宾袭击行动，并为莫罗泰战役提供支援  。
10月初，堪培拉加入第38特遣队，为登陆莱特岛进行备战  。10月13日，日军飞机空投的鱼雷击中堪培拉号   ，爆炸造成23人死亡，机炉舱被毁，舰艇失速  。威奇托号重巡洋舰将堪培拉号拖到与芒西号拖船的汇合点，由后者接管拖船任务  。经过一周的行进，芒西号与军舰管理局租借的一艘拖船汇合  。又经过一周，两艘拖船将堪培拉号带到阿贾克斯号修理船所在地  。经过暂时修理后，堪培拉号自行回到波士顿海军工厂  。1945年2月至10月，堪培拉号一直在船厂进行修理  。战争结束前，堪培拉号被布署到美国西海岸。 
1947年3月7日，堪培拉号退役，停泊在华盛顿州布雷默顿的普吉特海湾海军造船厂和中级维修设施内  。1952年1月4日，堪培拉号及其姊妹舰波士顿号重巡洋舰被拖往新泽西州卡姆登的纽约造船公司，接受改装，成为波士顿级导弹巡洋舰   ，軍艦舷號也更換為CAG-2，成為美國海軍第一批次服役的飛彈重巡洋艦。整个改装工程于1956年6月结束。
1956年6月15日，堪培拉号重新服役，母港为弗吉尼亚州诺福克  。1957年3月14日，堪培拉号运送美国总统德怀特·D·艾森豪威尔前往百慕大与英国首相哈罗德·麦克米伦会见  。在完成7月和8月的训练后，堪培拉号被派往地中海参加北大西洋公约组织举行的海上军演  。