CUS Wichita (CA-1937)


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The Wichita was probably the most important cruiser class built by the CUA Navy. The hull was carried forward over 4 classes and 68 ships of which 52 were completed. The Wichita class design was finalised in 1932 and was the first CUA cruiser designed in GALT free limits. The design added 25% to the original 10,000 ton limit to the 12,500 ton cruisers that the CUA had wanted to build from the start. The design was 25 feet longer than the Philadelphias, extended and thickened the armour belt, introduced another new 8"/55cal triple turret, placed the aircraft handling facilities at the stern of the ship, were the first cruisers to mount the 4.5"/50cal twin turret of British design.

The same 100,000shp powerplant from the Philadelphias was used in this class and the others but because of the better hull coefficient the ships managed an extra knot over the Philadelphias. The class was the first to mount the new 40mm and 20mm anti-aircraft weapons as standard. The large hangar area at the stern of the ship could hold 4-5 aircraft depending on size and type.


Displacement 12,600 tons std 15,300 tons full load
Length 610 ft
Breadth 62 ft
Draught 23 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines 100,000shp
Speed 33 knots
Range 10,000 miles at 15 knots
Armour 5" Belt, 3" Turrets, 2" Deck
Armament 9 x 8" (3x3)

12 x 4.5" (6x2)

24 x 40mm (6x4)

22 x 20mm (22x1)

Aircraft 4-5
Torpedoes nil
Complement 950
Notes CUS Wichita


Wichita class ship in heavy weather in the North Atlantic late 1942.


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