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Page 12 text:
The size of the fleet reviewed, contrasted with the hundreds
of vessels engaged in the late war, indicates wartime growth
of the Navy. The fleet reviewed by President Hoover consisted
of ten slow, cage-masted battleships, nine cruisers, thirty de-
stroyers, two aircraft carriers, two submarines and the dirigible
During the maneuvers, the Salt Lake City had her first "air
attack", a playful zooming by planes from the Saratoga, a far
cry from the startling Kamikaze attacks she was to undergo
ln subsequent years, the Salt Lake City proved her leader-
ship in the peacetime fleet competitions. She was first in
engineering performance among Pacific Fleet heavy cruisers.
She made the highest torpedo score ever made by a cruiser
of the United States Navy and in l933 her aviation unit won
the highest merit for aircraft gunnery in the heavy cruiser class.
ln sports, she was outstanding. Her crew contained the
all-Navy wrestling champion and the wrestling and boxing
champs of the scouting force. She won the general excellence
athletic trophy for the year l933-34, and her whaleboat crews
were the best in the fleet. From l93l to l933, her whaleboaters
scored the highest number of points in the scouting force. Her
first enlistment crew was especially good. lt lost only one race,
and that by only two-fifths of a second.
'ir ir if
THE ONE SHIP FLEET
7 December 1941-12 October 1942
"She is the oldest heavy cruiser in the U. S. Navy. So bare
of streamlined beauty is her ungainly silhouette that corre-
spondent Bob Casey CTorpedo lunctionl fondly fastened the
nickname 'Swayback Maru' on her when the censors would not
let him reveal her real name. Because she never got hit hard
enough to be sent home for repairs, she never got much pub-
licity. But many a high-ranking Navy man willingly conceded
by last week that on performance the Salt Lake City was the
No. l U. S. cruiser of the war."-From, Time, March 3, l943.
When war came, the Salt Lake City was 200 miles west of
Page 11 text:
"The ten long range eight inch guns of the Salt Lake City
and the Pensacola set them in a class by themselves as modern,
high speed cruisers go," wrote one of the reporters who visited
the ship shortly after her commissioning. "None of the other
powers has in commission any vessels of this class with as
powerful a main battery except Iapan. Our two cruisers repre-
sent, probably, the finest balance of all requisite peace and
wartime qualities of any vessels of their type now afloat and
ready for sea. Everybody who loves ships can feel the beauty
of the Salt Lake City's swift, graceful lines."
The original armament of the Salt Lake City consisted of her
ten eight inch guns, four five inch 25 calibre dual purpose guns,
two three-pound saluting guns and six 21-inch torpedo tubes
in triple mounts.
Externally, she differed considerably from her present war-
time appearance. The foremast was less cluttered, the main-
mast was a tripod form. The forward five inch battery was
not installed nor were the six 40 MM quadruple mounts and
twenty 20 MM guns. Two torpedo tubes were on the main deck,
on each side and just forward of the after stack. The extensive
radar equipment, of course, was not to appear until the war
lnside, the ship was far less crowded. Her complement
consisted of 538 enlisted men, half the wartime crew, and 30
officers, about a third the number carried during the war.
After the commissioning, the Salt Lake City made a shake-
down and goodwill cruise to Brazil where her crew was royally
entertained at Rio de Ianeiro and at Bahia. She joined the
scouting fleet March 3l, l930, at Guantanamo, Cuba.
The ship's favored position in the fleet became apparent
the next spring, when she was selected to be the presidential
reviewing vessel at fleet maneuvers. Thirty-five miles off the
Virginia capes on May 20, l930, President Herbert Hoover, the
Secretary of the Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations and other
dignitaries stood on the deck of the Salt Lake City and watched
American naval might engaging in mock battle. lt was the first
timea President had ever reviewed three dimensional maneu-
vers---surface, air and submarine.
Page 13 text:
Oahu, steaming back to the Hawaiians with a task group that
had just delivered a dozen planes to a remote, sandy American
outpost, Historic Wake Island.
By that quirk, the cruiser escaped the fiery hell of Pearl
Harbor and was with the group that made the first independent
American reprisal. The Enterprise, carrier with that task group,
launched planes which cut down some of the straggling lap
The task group refueled at smoldering Pearl Harbor, then
patrolled the area near Oahu against a reappearance of the
Iapanese fleet. The next patrol duty, ten days later, was
scheduled originally to provide relief for besieged Wake, but
with the fall of that atoll, it was switched to cover reinforcement
of Midway and then of far-off Samoa.
Then the Salt Lake City participated in the first American
offensive action of the war. On February l, l942, a task group
commanded by Rear Admiral Halsey, USN., conducted an air
and surface bombardment of Wotje atoll, one of the principal
lap bases in the mandated Marshall Islands. The Salt Lake
City opened fire a few seconds before her fellow ships. The
fact has never been officially established, but it is probable
TASK FORCE UNDER AIR ATTACK AT WOTIE
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