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USS Oklahoma City (CLG 5)

- formerly CL 91 -
- later CG 5 -
- decommissioned -
- sunk as a target -

Originally built as a CLEVELAND - class light cruiser and commissioned as CL 91, the OKLAHOMA CITY was the first ship in the Navy to bear the name. Extensively converted to a light guided missile cruiser from 1957-60, OKLAHOMA CITY was recommissioned as CLG 5. On July 1, 1975, the ship was again reclassified CG 5. Both decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on December 15, 1979, the OKLAHOMA CITY spent the following years laid-up at Suisun Bay, Calif., before she was sunk as a target off Guam on March 25, 1999.

General Characteristics:Awarded: 1940
Keel laid: December 8, 1942
Launched: February 20, 1944
Commissioned: December 22, 1944
Decommissioned as CL 91: June 30, 1947
Commissioned as CLG 5: September 7, 1960
Decommissioned as CLG 5: December 15, 1979
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 OKLAHOMA CITY. These are no official listings but contain the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (CL 91) was laid down 8 December 1942 by the Cramp Shipbuilding Co., Philadelphia, Pa., launched 20 February 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Anton H. Classen; commissioned 22 December 1944, Capt. C. B. Hunt in command.

Following shakedown, OKLAHOMA CITY transited the Panama Canal and reported to ComCruPac for duty, arriving Pearl Harbor 2 May 1945. She conducted local operations until 22 May when she sailed for Ulithi, thence to rendezvous 6 June with Carrier Task Group 38.1 for operations in support of the Okinawa campaign. For the rest of June and into July she screened 3rd Fleet carriers during their intensified air operations against Japanese forces. On 18 July she formed a bombardment group with other cruisers and destroyers, then rejoined the carrier task group for continued action against the Japanese home islands. At the end of hostilities she continued to patrol off the coast of Japan and it was not until 10 September, after seventy-two days of continuous steaming, that she finally entered Tokyo Bay. OKLAHOMA CITY remained on occupation duty until relieved 30 January 1946 when she departed for the United States. She arrived at San Francisco 14 February where she remained until 15 August when she entered the Mare Island Navy Yard for inactivation. She was placed out of commission in reserve 30 June 1947 assigned to the San Francisco Group, U.S. Pacific Reserve Fleet.

On 7 March 1957, OKLAHOMA CITY arrived at the Bethlehem Steel Corp. Pacific Coast Yard, San Francisco, where conversion to a guided missile light cruiser commenced 21 May, her hull classification and number being changed two days later to CLG 5. Her conversion completed 31 August 1960, she was towed to Hunter’s Point where she recommissioned 7 September, Capt. Ben W. Sarver in command.

During her shakedown training, OKLAHOMA CITY became the first combatant unit of the Pacific Fleet to fire a TALOS guided missile successfully. Following shakedown, she participated in several major training exercises while serving as flagship for CruDiv 3 and CruDesFlot 9, then departed 1 December 1961 for a six-month deployment in WestPac. She arrived in Yokosuka, Japan 20 December where six days later she became flagship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. The ship participated in SEATO training operations, received two awards for operational excellence, and served as an ambassador of good will to several cities in the Far East. She then returned to Long Beach, California, 12 June 1962 and spent the next several months conducting local training operations and upkeep work. On 14 December she entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for restricted availability followed by an extensive overhaul.

In early 1964, OKLAHOMA CITY began refresher training in Southern California waters to prepare for a lengthy deployment, then departed for Yokosuka where she arrived 7 July to assume her duties again as 7th Fleet flagship. Shortly thereafter, North Vietnamese gunboats attacked U.S. destroyers in the Tonkin Gulf and OKLAHOMA CITY quickly began a 25-day alert in the Gulf. Training exercises and operational visits to various ports in the Far East followed, then in June 1965 she began gunfire support missions off Vietnam. When the level of hostilities increased, she began to spend more and more time in the South China Sea and eventually participated in operations “Piranha,” “Double Eagle” “Deckhouse IV,” and “Hastings 11”. After serving as 7th Fleet flagship for two and one-half years, OKLAHOMA CITY returned to San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard 15 December 1966 for overhaul. Following her yard period, she began refresher training in the Southern California operating area in July, 1967, and continued those exercises and intermittent calls to West Coast ports until she deployed again to WestPac 7 November 1968; the start of an eleven-year-long deployment. Homeported in Japan, she travelled widely in the Far East, representing the United States in peaceful visits to nations in the region. OKLAHOMA CITY also made frequent Vietnam War cruises during the next four years, shelling targets ashore with her six and five-inch guns and employing her advanced radars and communications equipment to support the air campaign against North Vietnamese forces. Redesignated CG 5 in mid-1975, she remained in her fleet flagship role until October 1979, when USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC 19) took her place. Decommissioned in mid-December 1979, very soon after returning to the United States, USS OKLAHOMA CITY was part of the Pacific Reserve Fleet until stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in August 1982. However, she stayed in Navy (and later in Maritime Administration) custody for many years more, finally being sunk as a target during combat exercises off Guam on 26 March 1999.

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USS OKLAHOMA CITY's Commanding Officers:

December 1944 - October 1945Captain C. B. Hunt, USN
October 1945 - June 1946Captain D. L. Madeira, USN
June 1946 - July 1946Commander H. V. Burkhart, USN
July 1946 - June 1947Captain C. O. Humphreys, USN
September 1960 - July 1961Captain B. W. Sarver, USN
July 1961 - July 1962Captain G. R. Muse, USN
July 1962 - August 1963Captain R. D. Mugg, USN
August 1963 - August 1964Captain E. P. Bonner, USN
August 1964 - July 1965Captain H. A. Seymour, USN
July 1965 - October 1966Captain K. G. Simmons, USN
October 1966 - June 1968Captain D. H. Bagley, USN
June 1968 - September 1969Captain W. D. Surface, USN
September 1969 - February 1971Captain J. S. Howell, USN
February 1971 - June 1972Captain J. J. Tice, III, USN
June 1972 - October 1974Captain W. A. Kanakanui, Jr., USN
October 1974 - 1976Captain P. D. Butcher, USN
1976 - 1978Captain T. R. Colligan, USN
1978 - November 1979Captain R. P. McDaniel, USN
November 1979 - December 1979Commander J. A. Shreckengaust, USN

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As CL 91

As CLG 5

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