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New Orleans

The heavy cruiser New Orleans, sister ship to San Francisco, was laid down at the New York Navy Yard on 14 March 1931 and completed on 18 April 1934. She displaced 9,950 tons and was 588 feet in length overall and 62 feet in the beam. She carried nine 8-inch, 55 caliber and eight 5-inch, 25 caliber anti-aircraft guns as well as 16 40mm and 19 20mm anti-aircraft guns. She carried four aircraft. On 7 December she was moored in the Navy Yard across the dock from the hammer-head crane which was forcing attacking aircraft to pull up to avoid it. The anti-aircraft guns were brought into action but suddenly power was lost when a seaman attempting to cut the mooring cables severed the electric cable instead. Among other problems this meant that the ammunition had to be moved by hand. Chaplain Howell Forgy shouted encouragement to the sweating sailors: "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!" A popular song was inspired by the words. New Orleans remained in action against aircraft until 1600 hours, which suggests some of her targets may have been American planes.

See also: Navy Yard; San Francisco

You can find out more about the New Orleans in the following Osprey book:

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