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USS Little Rock (CLG 4)

- formerly CL 92 -
- later CG 4 -
- decommissioned -

Originally built as a CLEVELAND - class light cruiser and commissioned as CL 92, the LITTLE ROCK was named after the capital city of Arkansas. Extensively converted to a light guided missile cruiser from 1957-60, LITTLE ROCK was recommissioned as CLG 4. On July 1, 1975, the ship was again reclassified CG 4. Both decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on November 22, 1976, the LITTLE ROCK was donated to the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park as a museum ship on June 1, 1977.

General Characteristics:Awarded: 1940
Keel laid: March 6, 1943
Launched: August 27, 1944
Commissioned: June 17, 1945
Decommissioned as CL 92: June 24, 1949
Commissioned as CLG 4: June 3, 1960
Decommissioned as CLG 4: November 22, 1976
Builder: Cramp Shipbuilding Co., Philadelphia, Penn.
Propulsion system: 4 - 634 psi boilers; 4 General Electric geared steam turbines
Propellers: four
Length: 610.2 feet (186 meters)
Beam: 66.3 feet (20.2 meters)
Draft: 24.6 feet (7.5 meters)
Displacement: approx. 14,130 tons full load
Speed: 32.5 knots
Aircraft: none
Armament: three 6-inch/47 caliber guns in one triple mount, two 5-inch/38 caliber guns in one twin mount, one Mk-7 Talos missile launcher
Crew: approx. 1250

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS LITTLE ROCK. These are no official listings but contain the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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Accidents aboard USS LITTLE ROCK:

June 13, 1970Gulf of Laconia, GreeceUSS LITTLE ROCK and the Greek destroyer LONZHI are in a minor collision during NATO exercise Dawn Patrol 70.
May 1, 1976Tyrrhenian SeaUSS LITTLE ROCK suffers an engine casualty in the main engine lube oil system. The ship subsequently proceeds to Naples, Italy, arriving there the next day.

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USS LITTLE ROCK was built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Commissioned in mid-June 1945, two months before the end of the Pacific War fighting, in October of that year she began her maiden operational deployment, a cruise to Latin America that lasted until March 1946. LITTLE ROCK served in the Mediterranean Sea in June-September 1946 and again during 1947 and 1948. One of many light cruisers eliminated from the active force by Truman Administration defense economies during the latter part of the decade, she was decommissioned in June 1949.

Laid up in reserve since June 1949, LITTLE ROCK was redesignated CLG 4 in May 1957, some months after beginning conversion to a guided missile light cruiser at the Camden, New Jersey, shipyard of the New York Shipbuilding Corporation. When recommissioned in June 1960, the ship had been significantly transformed. She now had huge superstructures forward and aft of her two smokestacks, the forward one housing command spaces that gave the cruiser a new mission as a fleet flagship. The after superstructure held magazines and handling rooms for long-range Talos guided missiles, whose twin-armed launcher dominated LITTLE ROCK's after deck. Only one triple six-inch gun turret and one twin five-inch gun mount remained of her original battery of four and six of each. Topsides, two tall lattice masts and the after superstructure were topped by an elaborate array of radars to detect and track enemy aircraft and guide Talos missiles to intercept them.

The much-modified LITTLE ROCK spent the rest of 1960 shaking down, testing her new systems and training her crew in their operation. After a brief shipyard overhaul and more training, she deployed to the Mediterranean in February 1961 to serve as flagship of the Sixth Fleet. Returning to the U.S. in September 1961, LITTLE ROCK operated off the politically unstable Dominican Republic later in the year. She regularly cruised in the Mediterranean into the mid-1960s, as well as taking part in exercises off the U.S. East Coast, in northern European waters and in the Caribbean. The ship also received updated radars and other electronic equipment during this time, as well as in later overhauls.

In January 1967 LITTLE ROCK returned to the Mediterranean for a long deployment as Sixth Fleet flagship. Homeported at Gaeta, Italy, she remained in the region until August 1970, a time notable for the brief, intense June 1967 war between Israel and several Arab Nations, and for increasing Soviet naval activity in the area. The ship made another Mediterranean cruise from December 1971 to April 1972, then served as Second Fleet flagship in the Atlantic for much of 1972-1973. LITTLE ROCK arrived back in the "Med" in mid-1973, becoming flagship of the Sixth Fleet in time for another Arab-Israeli war that October. She retained the command ship role for four years before steaming home in September 1976. USS LITTLE ROCK was decommissioned in November of that year and promptly stricken from the Naval Vessel Register. In June 1977 she was donated to the city of Buffalo, New York, where she is still serving as a memorial and museum.

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USS LITTLE ROCK's Commanding Officers:

June 1945 - July 1946Captain W. E. Miller, USN
July 1946 - March 1947Captain H. H. Smith-Hutton, USN
March 1947 - January 1948Captain F. J. Mee, USN
January 1948 - May 1948Captain W. D. Wright, Jr., USN
May 1948 - July 1948Captain H. G. Moran, USN
July 1948 - June 1949Commander R. S. Craighill, USN
June 1960 - January 1961Captain J. O. Phillips, Jr., USN
January 1961 - February 1962Captain F. A. Chenault, USN
February 1962- August 1963Captain J. R. Payne, USN
August 1963 - September 1964Captain C. E. Bell, Jr., USN
September 1964 - September 1965Captain R. O. Middleton, USN
September 1965 - April 1967Captain O. F. Dreyer, USN
April 1967 - April 1968Captain J. J. Mitchell, USN
April 1968 - November 1969Captain W. F. V. Bennett, USN
November 1969 - June 1971Captain C. E. Little, USN
June 1971 - July 1972Captain G. R. Nagler, USN
July 1972 - July 1973Captain R. E. Morris, USN
July 1973 - May 1975Captain P. K. Cullins, USN
May 1975 - October 1976Captain W. R. Martin, USN
October 1976 - November 1976Commander K. R. Siegel, USN

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As CL 92

As CLG 4

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning on September 25, 2018, during a visit aboard the USS LITTLE ROCK (CLG 4) museum at Buffalo, NY.

Click here for more Photos.

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