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HAWAII / CB-3
Notes: The ALASKA class were designed as "super-cruisers" (and designated as large cruisers, or CB's, when built) to counter the Japanese heavy cruisers mounting 10-8" guns, and to counter the German SCHARNHORST class and the reported battlecruisers (B-64 class) that the Japanese were building. (Oddly enough, during their planning stages, the Japanese modified their plans (to the B-65 class) to counter what Japanese intelligence had learned about the ALASKA class!) The ALASKA class was originally designed to carry 8-12" guns in one twin and two triple turrets, but the design was modified to carry three triple mounts, in large part to simplify production. The 12" gun was of a new design, and fired a 1,140-pound shell out to 37,000 yards (as compared to the last American 12" guns mounted in the ARKANSAS class, built circa 1912, which fired an 870-pound shell to slightly over 29,000 yards). The overall design was similar to the BALTIMORE class heavy cruisers, but with the enlargement in size, it was possible to move the aircraft hangars and catapults to midships. By the time they became operational, their originally-conceived mission was no longer viable. They were excellent escorts for the Fast Carrier Groups as their speed was good enough to keep up with the ESSEX class carriers and their size allowed a heavy anti-aircraft battery to be carried.
HAWAII was launched in March, 1945, but never completed. She was retained in her incomplete state (84% finished) while various plans were studied. One of the plans called for her conversion to a "missile ship", but the one that came the closest to being carried out was a conversion to a command ship -- a larger sister to the NORTHAMPTON class. Her designation was changed to CBC-1 (large command ship) in February, 1952. When it was determined that HAWAII was "just too big" and too expensive to maintain, those plans were cancelled and she reverted to her original designation, CB-3, in October, 1954. HAWAII was deleted from the Naval Vessel Register in June, 1958, and broken up in Baltimore in 1959.