Haze Gray Mystery Picture #100 Answer


Can You Identify This Ship?

This photo shows the cruiser Chester (CL 27) [Ship#1] just after her launching at New York Shipbuilding, Camden, NJ; Salt Lake City (CL 25) [Ship#2] is at the fitting out pier.

Salt Lake City is identified by her unusual turret arrangement - a triple 8"/55cal turret superimposed above a dual 8"/55cal turret. This triple-over-double arrangement was only found in Salt Lake City and her sister Pensacola.

A shipyard historian will readily identify this yard as New York Shipbuilding, where Salt Lake City was constructed, rather than New York Navy Yard, where Pensacola was built. Even without recognizing the yard, the identity of the ships and the yard can be determined by examining the ship under tow. By her general configuration, she can be identified as a cruiser of the Northampton or Portland classes. Since New York Navy Yard did not build any ships of these classes, the photo must show New York Shipbuilding, which built one ship of each type. Becuase this is NYSB, the ship at the pier can be identified as Salt Lake City. The just-launched ship under tow is Chester, the only other cruiser launched at NYSB prior to Salt Lake City's completion.

Salt Lake City was commissioned in December 1929, followed by Chester in June 1930. Both ships exchanged their Light Cruiser (CL) designations for Heavy Cruiser (CA) on 1 July 1931, in accordance with the London Treaty. Both cruisers survived WWII; Salt Lake City was used in the Bikini Atoll atom bomb tests in 1946, then sunk in 1948. Chester was laid up in reserve postwar, until she was sold for scrapping in 1959. New York Shipbuilding survived until 1967, when it fell victim to the general decline in the US shipping and shipbuilding industry. The shipbuilding facilities have been demolished, and today the site is partially abandoned and partially employed for various industrial purposes.

Correct answers were received from: Patricio Meezs R., Mike Green, James T. Flynn, Jr., Dave Mimms, Stewart McArthur, William F. Fessenden, Seth D. Guy, Steve Hissem, Joseph Chase , Kurt Greiner, Sergey Myagkov, Jeff Benson, Espen Arnestad, Kevin McCarthy , Phil Tuckey, Mike McLeish Sr., Michael Dreiucker, Stewart Walker, Martin Kser, John Duerkop, Ed Truitt, Chris V, Bill Vickrey, Roland Webb, Grant Buehrer, Ben Kern, Sal Mercogliano, John Bradford, Frank Roach , cv66er@mindspring.com, Bob Smart, Carl Roland, Czh Gyrgy, James Harrison, P Soderquist, Ronald C. Ehlert, Alex Zhurbal, Brooks Rowlett , Miguel Larrea, Rich Vander Woude, Michal Hamon, Russ Frevele, Russ Frevele, Rune Aasgaard, Lisa Hardesty, Edgar Dutkowski, Jim Taylor, Vance Justice, Jeff Smith, Bret Coulson, Michael Lowrey, Jack A. Green, James B. Morris, Marl Karolus, James R Swank, Frank Van Horn, Vladimir Beglov, Rob Herrick, Joe Donahoe.

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