USS Brooklyn, name ship of a class of seven 9700-ton light cruisers, was built at the New York Navy Yard. Commissioned in late September 1937, she operated in the western Atlantic area for the first two years of her career. During this time, she participated in the New York World's Fair in the spring of 1939 and served as base ship during initial rescue and salvage operations on the sunken submarine Squalus in late May and early June 1939. Brooklyn was then transferred to the Pacific. She cruised to the south Pacific in March 1941 and was sent back to the Atlantic a few months later. For the rest of the year she made Neutrality Patrols, supported the occupation of Iceland in July, took part in Neutrality Patrols and participated in the "short of war" operations that accompanied the steadily worsening relations between the United States and Germany.
Once war formally began in December 1941, Brooklyn continued her sea control missions in the Caribbean area and later in the north Atlantic, where she escorted convoys between the United States and the British Isles. In September 1942, she rescued more than a thousand men from the burning transport Wakefield (AP-21). The cruiser provided gunfire support during the North Africa operation during October and November, then returned to convoy service. Operating in the Mediterranean after mid-1943, Brooklyn took part in the invasion of Sicily in July, the Salerno landings in September, the Anzio Campaign during January-May 1944 and the Southern France operation in August of that year.
Brooklyn returned to the United States in late 1944 and was overhauled from then until May 1945. She then served along the east coast. In commission in reserve after early 1946, she was placed out of commission in January 1947. After four years in "mothballs" at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, USS Brooklyn was sold to Chile in January 1951. Renamed O'Higgins, she served in that nation's navy into the mid-1980s and was sold for scrapping in 1991.
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