Salt Lake City Cruiser Goes Into Service
Dec. 11th, 1929


The 10,000 ton cruiser, Salt Lake City, was placed in commission by Admiral Latimer, and then turned over to Captain Frederick L. Oliver.

After the formal Naval Ceremony, a silver service, the gift of citizens of Salt Lake City, was presented to the Officers and Crew. The presentation was made by A. G. MacKenzie of Salt Lake, representing the May of SLC.

The Salt Lake City is expected to join the Atlantic fleet about Jan. 1st, 1930.

Picture of Captain & Mrs. F. L. Oliver
Picture of Captain with SLC Officers - 1929-1932

Deceased Frederick L. Oliver

Newspaper articles about The Launching of the U.S.S. SLC CA25
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Salt Lake City Joins US Fleet
Cruiser is Commissioned
Captain Frederick L. Oliver in Charge
Salt Lake City Tribune, SLC, Utah, December 12th, 1929

Source of this article
Roy Webb, Multimedia Archivist, Special Collections
J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, SLC, Utah

Philadelphia, PA. Dec. 11, 1929

Uncle Sam today added a greyhound to his fleet of sea dogs when Salt Lake City, first of the 10,000-ton light cruisers authorized by congress in 1924, was placed in commission at Philadelphia navy yard.

The trim cruiser, which was built at the yard of the New York Ship-building Co., Camden, N. J., across the Delaware river from this city, was dedicated to the navy in the presence of about 643 officers and enlisted men who will man the ship. The ceremony was simple. An American flag was run up on the flagstaff aft in the presence of assembled officers, crew and guests.

Julian L. Lattimer, commandant of the navy yard, read a dispatch from Admiral Hughes, chief of naval operations, ordering him to place the ship in commission. Playing "The Star-Spangled Banner" by the band followed and then the pennant of Admiral Lattimer was broken out at main mast along with the commission pennant.

Admiral Lattimer turned the ship over to Captain Frederick L. Oliver, who will command the Salt Lake City. Captain Oliver in turn read his orders to take command and then made a short address to officers and men. At this point Captain Oliver introduced A. G. Mackenzie of Salt Lake City, UT., representing Mayor John F. Bowman of the Utah capital, who presented to the ship a splendid service, the gift of Utah citizens.

The service was accepted by Captain Oliver on behalf of the ship's crew and the commander extended his thanks to the citizens of Salt Lake City.

With the ceremony over, Admiral Lattimer left the ship and his flag was lowered as he went over the side.

The complement of officers and crew of the SLC is thirty-one officers, twelve warrant officers, thirty petty officers and 570 enlisted men.

The cruiser will complete outfitting and will join the Atlantic fleet about the first of the year.

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New Cruiser Begins Jaunt for Condition
Salt Lake City starts its
"SHAKEDOWN" Tour to join Fleet

Sleek and gray, the latest word in modern scout cruiser design, the USS SALT LAKE CITY, commanded by Captain Frederick L. Oliver, was launched recently from the Philadelphia Navy Yard on it first "Shakedown" cruise, a jaunt of 10,000 miles.

The big fighting ship is the latest addition to the nation's sea forces, and is the first of twenty-three 10,000 ton cruisers authorized to be guilt in the United States under terms of the Washington Arms Limitation Treaty of 1922.

The SALT LAKE CITY is the third most powerfully engined ship in the United States Navy, the airplane carriers SARATOGA and LEXINGTON alone having greater power. her four steam engines generate 107,000 horsepower, calculated to drive her through the water at a designed speed of 32.5 knots per hour. A glace at her slim, fighting lines shows that speed was uppermost in the minds of her designers.

Fine entrance lines are carried gracefully back to a slender stern, while her high, sharply flaring bow is designed to split the waves at high speed with a minimum of spray to interfere with firing the five eight-inch guns in the two forward turrets.

Aft of the two forward turrets rises the superstructure housing the communication platform, emergency platform, signal bridge and high above all, 170 feet aloft, the first control station.

Catapult Will Fling Airplanes on Way

Between the two funnels, so placed as to give full sweep to their operations, are two catapults, one on each side, for launching the four seaplanes which are a part of the SALT LAKE CITY's equipment. The planes carry two men each, and are designed for fighting, scouting and observation. The catapults are of secret design and closely guarded.

A secondary battery of four five inch anti-aircraft guns is located on the after tripod mast as another part of the cruiser's equipment.

The entire cruiser cost about 16,000,000. It carries 39 officers and 564 men, including a detachment of Marines. In wartime, the personnel could be increased about 10 per cent.

Quarters for both officers and crew are particularly comfortable and distinctive of design. The officers' quarters are forward, with the wardroom on the main deck and staterooms forward and below. The captain's quarters are above the wardroom. The crew is quartered aft on the second deck. These quarters are particularly commodious, compared with earlier ships of similar size.

Convenience of a small city are carried, consisting of barber shop, tailor shop, store and machine shop. A unique feature is the substitution of an electric communication device in place of the old bos'n's pipe. Loud speakers are placed in every position of the ship. Orders can be sounded from several central points into all of the loud speakers, or all loud speakers except those in a particular compartment can be cut out.

Captain Has Gig for Own Use

As auxiliary equipment, the SALT LAKE CITY carries a 35 foot gig for the Captain's use, another 35 foot boat for officers, two 40 foot motor sailers and a 36 foot motor sailer for the crew, two 30 foot whaleboats, a 26 foot motor whaleboat, and a punt.

The SALT LAKE CITY is 585 feet long, and has an extreme freeboard forward of 30 feet. Oil is used for fuel, and the oil tanks have a capacity of 900,000 gallons, or about 3,000 tons. The ship has a cruising radius of 13,000 miles, halfway around the globe, without refueling.

The cruiser's sides are protected with a one and one half inch armor plate, and the decks are covered with a three inch plate.

Every effort has been made to save weight. Furniture in the officers' quarters is of aluminum, and aluminum has been substituted for steel wherever it has been possible to do so without sacrifice in strength. Ladders leading from one deck to another, once so heavy that it was the work of half a dozen men to place them in position. On the SALT LAKE CITY, they are so light that two men can handle them easily.

After the SALT LAKE CITY completes her shakedown tour, it is understood that she is to join the combined fleets in March for fleet maneuvers off Guantanamo, and during the summer will form a new division of scout cruisers operating with the scouting fleet on the Atlantic coast.

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"Salt Lake City" Passes Speed Test on Atlantic
The SLC, under commander Captain F. L. Oliver, makes speed test at sea.

By Sandor S. Klein

The sleek 10,000 ton cruiser, Salt Lake City, newborn of the United States Navy and first ship of its class, "Showed Off" today for the naval board of inspection and survey, passing triumphantly every rigorous test for speed and power.

On its final acceptance run, during which the board decided whether the constructor's bill to the Navy should be marked "Paid in Full," the trim man o'war cavorted about the calm Atlantic ocean some 100 miles southeast of New York harbor, fulfilling every promise made for it, and more.

The Salt Lake City's four steam turbines required to generate an average of 107,000 horsepower for four consecutive hours, ground out 110,000 horsepower for five hours. Then came the test for stability. While the ship was ploughing through the swell at 32.5 knots, the rudder suddenly was turned full over to one side - an angle of about 35 degrees. Instead of keeling sharply sideways, there was less than 10 degrees list. The cruiser executed a comparatively small figure eight, churning the calm seas into a froth topped design.

Reverse Test Provides Unusual Spectacle

Then the cruiser set its course for New York at full speed. After about an hours sailing, to the surprise of the laud lubbers (two New York City newspaper reporters and this correspondent) aboard, the engines stopped suddenly, and then heaved a tremendous sigh. Before the landsmen could get over their amazement, the vessel started backing up at full speed.

The four propellers, drawing the boat backward at the rate of 21 knots - the average forward speed of a battleship - churned the waters high above the stern and the breeze carried a spray full over the gun turrets and up into the conning tower in the rigging.

Every bluejacket on deck climbed to aft gun turret tops to watch the scene, a treat even to old seafarers. When this test, known as immediate reverse from full ahead to full astern, was completed, the ship continued on to New York, where it staged a lone parade up the Hudson River.

Other Craft Salute Ship on its Return

A new craft, the nucleus of a 10,000 ton division now being constructed, the Salt Lake City moved majestically up the Hudson, while harbor craft, ranging from puffy little tugs to ocean liners, saluted it.

As it passed other vessels in the fleet, now anchored in the river, it was accorded the regulation naval honors. Since Rear Admiral Kittelle, president of the naval board of inspection and survey, was aboard, the new cruiser, the battleship CALIFORNIA, flagship of the division now visiting here, fired a 14 gun salute as the SALT LAKE CITY passed up to its anchorage off Dykeman Street.

"The SALT LAKE CITY underwent very strenuous tests," Rear Admiral Kittelle said. "So satisfactory were they I feel sure the vessel can stand any strain."

The admiral said he was highly in favor of this new class of ship.

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Source of Pictures & Articles: SLC Memorabilia Collection

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