USS Honolulu, a 9650-ton Brooklyn class light cruiser, was built at the New York Navy Yard. Commissioned in June 1938, she made her shakedown cruise to England, then operated for nearly a year in the Atlantic and Caribbean. Honolulu was transferred to the Pacific in May 1939 and had her base moved to Pearl Harbor in November 1940. Damaged by a Japanese bomb in the 7 December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, repairs allowed her to begin wartime operations in January 1942.
After several months of escort duties between the United States and the south Pacific, in late May 1942 Honolulu was sent to the Aleutians to counter enemy advances into that area. During August, she bombarded Kiska and supported the occupation of Adak. Following an overhaul, the cruiser returned to the south Pacific, where she participated in the final months of the Guadalcanal Campaign. In the Battle of Tassafaronga at the end of November 1942, Honolulu was the only U.S. cruiser present that was not torpedoed. During the first half of 1943, she was part of the surface striking forces that spearheaded the push up the Solomons. In May she bombarded the Japanese bases at Munda and Vila and in July assisted in the Rendova-New Georgia invasion. Honolulu engaged enemy warships in the Battle of Kula Gulf on 6 July and the Battle of Kolombangara on 13 July. Torpedo damage to her bow, received in the latter action, forced her to return to the U.S. for repairs.
Honolulu was back in the south Pacific by early December 1943. For the rest of that year and into 1944, she took part in the Bougainville operation and other actions intended to isolate the Japanese strongpoint at Rabaul. In June 1944, she steamed northwards to participate in the Marianas invasion, during which she bombarded Saipan and Guam. Honolulu also covered the landings in the Palaus in September and at Leyte in October. While off Leyte on 20 October 1944, she was the victim of a aerial torpedo attack. Hit amidships, Honolulu again required repairs in the United States. This work, which included extensive updating of her secondary battery and an increase in her beam, was not completed until after the end of the Pacific War. After brief duty as a training ship, Honolulu was decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in February 1947. She remained in the Reserve Fleet there for twelve years and was sold for scrapping in late 1959.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|