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CL-43 Nashville

USS Nashville, a 9475-ton Brooklyn class light cruiser built at Camden, New Jersey, was commissioned in June 1938. During mid-1938 she cruised to the Caribbean and to Europe, completing the voyage by transporting a shipment of gold from Great Britain to the United States. The next year, Nashville carried diplomatic representatives to Brazil and, in July 1939, steamed through the Panama Canal to take up duties in the Pacific. She returned to the Atlantic in June 1940 to serve on the Neutrality Patrol and in "short of war" operations and remained in the north Atlantic area through the first months of World War II.

In March 1942, Nashville escorted the new aircraft carrier Hornet to the Pacific and in April accompanied her on the Doolittle Raid on Japan, during which she first fired her guns "in anger" when the task force encountered Japanese picket boats. From May until November 1942, the cruiser served in the north Pacific. In August she took part in a bombardment of enemy-held Kiska Island, in the Aleutians. Late in the year, Nashville shifted her operations to the south Pacific, where she took part in raids against Japanese bases in the central Solomons. While shelling New Georgia and Kolombangara on the night of 12-13 May 1943, an explosion in one of her gun turrets killed eighteen of her crewmen.

After shipyard repairs, Nashville took part in raids on Marcus and Wake Islands before returning to the south Pacific in October 1943. During the next year, she participated in amphibious landings at Bougainville, New Britain, northern New Guinea, Morotai and Leyte, providing gunfire support and frequently serving as General Douglas MacArthur's combat flagship. While en route to the invasion of Mindoro on 13 December 1944 Nashville was hit by a suicide plane, losing more than 130 of her crew and suffering serious fire damage amidships. Repairs at the Puget Sound Navy Yard were made during January-March 1945.

Nashville returned to the war zone in May 1945 and took part in operations in the East Indies and South China Sea during the remaining months of World War II. In mid-September, soon after the surrender of Japan, she arrived at Shanghai to support the removal of Japanese forces from China. After leaving the Far East in November 1945, the cruiser made two voyages to the U.S. west coast as part of Operation "Magic Carpet", helping to bring home service personnel from the Pacific. Nashville went to the Atlantic in January 1946 and was inactivated at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, where she decommissioned in June. Sold to Chile in January 1951 and renamed Capitan Prat, she was an active unit of the Chilean Navy until 1982. The ship was again renamed in 1983, becoming Chacabuco, but was sold for scrapping shortly afterwards.



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