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QUINCY / CA-39
Notes: The NEW ORLEANS class link the WICHITA and the wartime American cruisers with their lightly-protected predecessors. By the late 1920's, there was growing apprehension concerning the light protection of the large cruisers under construction. However, the Bureau of Construction and Repair maintained that a 10,000-ton ship of high speed, armed with 8" guns, could not be well protected. Not until the NORTHAMPTON class were completed did it become obvious that the U. S. "treaty cruisers" were about 1,000 tons below the treaty limit. In 1929, the U. S. Navy began a program of 15 additional heavy and light cruisers. This program was interrupted by a combination of the London Treaty of 1930 and the Great Depression of 1929. But in 1929, the General Board approved a design very similar to the NORTHAMPTON class. This was not to be. There was considerable pressure within the Navy for a better-protected cruiser, and eventually the Bureau of Construction and Repair had to admit that by making some modifications, a better-protected ship might be achieved. In fact, it proved possible to replace the lightly-armored gunhouses of the NORTHAMPTON class with a true turret, for a great advance in protection.
Upon commissioning, QUINCY was assigned to Cruiser Division 8, Atlantic Fleet, and was soon sent to the Mediterranean to join in operations in an international rescue fleet, evacuating refugees during the Spanish Civil War. Upon her return to the United States, QUINCY was reassigned to CruDiv 7, Pacific Fleet, and she arrived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in May, 1937. She was redeployed to the Atlantic Fleet in January, 1939. QUINCY took part in several "neutrality patrols" upon the outbreak of World War II. In May, 1942, following a refit at the New York Navy Yard, QUINCY was once again sent to the Pacific, where she became the flagship of Rear Admiral Norman Scott's Task Force 18. She provided close fire support for the Marines landing at Lunga Point on Guadalcanal on 7 August 1942. On 9 August 1942, Task Force 18 was engaged by Vice Admiral Mikawa's Cruiser Division 6 (consisting of the heavy cruisers CHOKAI, AOBA, FURUTAKA, KINUGASA, and KAKO, the light cruisers TENRYU and YUBARI, and two destroyers) at the First Battle of Savo Island. Unseen in the darkness, the Japanese force was able to close to approximately 2,000 yards before opening fire - with devastating results. After sustaining many hits, QUINCY sank, with all of her guns out of action. 529 of her crew were killed in action.