Military Wiki
USS Raleigh (CL-7)
USS Raleigh in July 1942
USS Raleigh in July 1942
Career (United States)
Builder: Bethlehem Steel Corporation
Laid down: 16 August 1920
Launched: 25 October 1922
Commissioned: 6 February 1924
Decommissioned: 2 November 1945
Struck: 28 November 1945
Fate: Sold for scrap 27 February 1946
General characteristics
Displacement: 7,050 tons (6,400 tonnes)
Length: 555 ft 6 in (169.32 m)
Beam: 55 ft 4 in (16.87 m)
Draft: 13 ft 6 in (4.11 m)
  • 90,000 shp (67,000 kW)*geared turbines
  • 4 × screws
Speed: 34 kn (39 mph; 63 km/h)
Complement: 458 officers and enlisted
Armament: 12 × 6 in (150 mm)/53 cal guns (8x1, 2x2), 2 × 3 in (76 mm)/50 cal guns, 10 × 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes

USS Raleigh (CL-7) was an Omaha-class light cruiser of the United States Navy. She was the third Navy ship named for the city of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Raleigh was laid down by Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Quincy, Massachusetts on 16 August 1920; launched on 25 October 1922; sponsored by Miss Jennie Proctor; and commissioned in the Boston Navy Yard on 6 February 1924, Captain William Carleton Watts in command.

Inter-war period

Raleigh shifted to the New York Navy Yard on 26 February 1924 to complete fitting out and cleared that port on 16 April for shakedown off the Virginia Capes. Final building yard alterations were completed at Quincy on 24 June. After shifting to Provincetown, Mass., Raleigh put to sea from that harbor on 30 July to join the Cruiser Division, Scouting Fleet, in northern European waters for duty in connection with the Army World Flight. After calling at ports in Norway, Denmark, and Scotland, she took up her reconnaissance station on 31 July off Hvalfjörður, Iceland. She shifted her station to the east coast of Greenland on 10 August and upon completion of duty with the flight operations, she returned to the Boston Navy Yard on 3 September for voyage repairs.

She stood out from Boston Harbor on 16 October for maneuvers off the Virginia Capes, followed by operations and battle problems off Panama, California, and the Hawaiian Islands. Steaming from Honolulu on 10 June 1925, she touched at San Diego with the Scouting Fleet and then returned to the Boston Navy Yard on 13 July. Raleigh continued to operate out of Boston for the next two years, spending most of the winter months with the Scouting Force in Cuban and Panamanian waters.

Clearing Boston Harbor on 1 February 1927, Raleigh embarked two detachments of Marines at Charleston, South Carolina. After participating in maneuvers at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, she transited the Panama Canal for Corinto, Nicaragua, arriving on 5 February to land the Marines, who were needed to deal with the bandit-plagued countryside. The cruiser stood by for possible assistance until 23 March, when she returned to Boston and resumed Atlantic coastal operations.

During the spring of 1928, Raleigh operated off the California coast and in Hawaiian waters, returning to Boston on 26 June to prepare for European duty. Departing on 17 August, she steamed for Hampton Roads, Va., where, on 15 September, she relieved Detroit as flagship of Vice Admiral John H. Dayton, Commander, Naval Forces, Europe.

After touching at Boston, Raleigh made diplomatic calls to many principal European ports before returning to Hampton Roads, Va. on 4 September 1929. The next day, she hauled down the flag of Commander, Naval Forces, Europe.

Raleigh then rejoined Cruiser Division 3 (CruDiv 3) of the Scouting Force, operating for the next few years out of Boston for battle practice, maneuvers, and port calls. Based at San Diego, Calif. on 15 August 1933, she trained off the California coast, with occasional runs to the Caribbean, as well as to Alaskan and Hawaiian waters. She departed San Diego on 27 April 1936 in company with the US Fleet, transited the Panama Canal, touched at Charleston, S.C., and entered the Norfolk Navy Yard on 15 June for overhaul.

As Raleigh repaired in the Norfolk Navy Yard, Squadron 40-T, a special temporary squadron, was organized for duty in Spanish waters to evacuate American nationals from the Spanish Civil War areas. Rear Admiral Arthur P. Fairfield broke his flag in Raleigh at Norfolk on 17 September 1936. The next day, the cruiser steamed independently for Gibraltar, arriving on 27 September. Kane, Hatfield and Cayuga, in company with Raleigh, initially comprised the Squadron. Together, the ships saved hundreds of Americans and other nationals from the dangers of the war in Spain.

Omaha relieved Raleigh at Villefranche on 28 April 1938, and two days later, Raleigh headed for Hampton Roads for overhaul in the Norfolk Navy Yard, arriving on 13 May.

Raleigh was next assigned to Flotilla One, Destroyer Squadron, US Battle Force. Clearing Norfolk on 16 August, she trained at Guantanamo Bay and then arrived at her new base of San Diego on 5 September. In early 1939, she participated in the fleet problem in the Caribbean, returning to San Diego in May to resume coastal operations. Next assigned to the Hawaiian Detachment, Raleigh steamed for Pearl Harbor on 5 October. As the flagship of Destroyer Flotilla One, she engaged in fleet maneuvers which took her from the central Pacific to the California coast.

World War II

Raleigh listing after the torpedo hit at Pearl Harbor.

Raleigh was moored at berth F-12, on the east side of the north channel at Pearl Harbor, when the Japanese made their surprise attack. In the first attack wave a torpedo passed ahead and a second hit Raleigh portside amidships. The cruiser took such a list to port that it appeared she might capsize. As she fought to survive, jettisoning topside weight, her gunners helped to destroy five enemy planes. Her valiant men won her from the enemy and the sea in a struggle which almost miraculously, left her with only a few wounded.

The next day, yard craft and Whitney came alongside to render assistance, and Raleigh was towed into the Navy Yard for repairs on 22 December. She departed Pearl Harbor on 21 February 1942 as an escort of a five-ship convoy which arrived San Francisco on 1 March. After overhaul at Mare Island, she cleared San Francisco Bay on 23 July as a unit of Task Force 15 (TF 15) assigned to convoy escort duty between San Francisco, Hawaii, Samoa and the Fiji Islands.

Raleigh steamed from Pago Pago on 3 November to search out and destroy four Japanese picket ships reportedly operating between the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. Finding no trace of the enemy, she touched at Pearl Harbor from 13–17 November, then steamed independently to Dutch Harbor, Unalaska, Aleutians, arriving on 24 November. The following months were spent searching for enemy ships carrying reinforcements in the Rat and Near Islands and escorting troop and supply ships between Dutch Harbor and Kulak Bay.

Raleigh put to sea on 10 January 1943 with Task Group 8.6 (TG 8.6) to cover the occupation of Amchitka Island. On 12 January, she conducted patrols off Amchitka, with infrequent sweeps off Kiska with her task group. Detached from the group on 10 February, she convoyed ships between Dutch Harbor and Kulak Bay, then entered Puget Sound Navy Yard on 23 March for repairs.

Sailing on 22 April, she arrived Adak on the 28th and joined TG 16.6, patrolling the approaches to the Near Islands and covering the southern approach to Kiska. Raleigh participated in the bombardment of Kiska on 2 August, blasting targets in Gertrude Cove, and shelled enemy positions again on 12 August, before heading for San Francisco and overhaul.

Raleigh stood out of San Francisco Bay on 15 September and resumed support of operations in the Aleutians, sweeping the ocean from Kiska to west of Attu. As part of TG 94.6, she steamed from Massacre Bay, Attu on 1 February 1944. to bombard enemy installations in Kurabu Zaki, Paramushiru, Northern Kuriles. In the early morning darkness of 4 February, she took her bombardment station off that enemy shore to blast an area where two dual-purpose batteries were located. She also took an airfield under fire, destroying a hangar and several barracks buildings. Her gunners also scored hits on a small merchant ship anchored inshore. After touching at Attu on 5 February, Raleigh returned to Puget Sound Navy Yard on 1 March for a three-month overhaul.

Joining TF 94 at Massacre Bay on 6 June, she suffered a casualty to her number two main engine while en route to Matsuwa Island. After repairs at Puget Sound, Raleigh departed Seattle on 22 June, touched at San Pedro, California, thence proceeded via the Panama Canal to Hampton Roads and then to Norfolk. Calling at Annapolis, Md. on 1 July, she conducted two midshipman training cruises, in the Caribbean and along the east coast. There, she steamed to the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 29 September 1945, there decommissioned on 2 November, and was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 28 November. Her hulk was sold for scrap at Philadelphia on 27 February 1946.


Raleigh received three battle stars for World War II service.


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

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